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virgin islands on line : st. john : hotel & villa reviews

CariBeana Villa 01/27/03
Reviewers Rating: Fair
Our family visited St.John in December. This was our first trip to St.John, and the Virgin Islands for that matter. The beaches were even more gorgeous than promised, and exceeded our expectations. Unfortuantely, the same cannot be said for our accomodations. If you are reading this as part of your research on St. John, you will absolutely love this island - just don't stay at CariBeana Villa.

CariBeana Villa is no dump; but it is no great villa, either. Not nearly as nice as the photos and promotions would have you believe. Also, if you mind sleeping with gecko lizards on the bedposts and flies all around, you might not particualrly care for the guest rooms.

One thing you will not be told about CariBeana Villa is the driveway. Without exagerration, it is approx. 65-70 degree hill with no traction whatsoever, even in 4wd. And yes, like many beofre us, our car went off the side of the hill (the emergency tow service said they have been there often). Trying to back down this nightmarish slope of death, feeling the tires slip and having your Jeep go off the road, slamming into a tree on the edge of a cliff was not one of our fonder memories of this villa. Had we not been lucky enough to hit the tree, we might have fallen the 200 feet down beyond the driveway.

Amazingly, that was not the worst part of our stay at CariBeana Villa. No, that would have to be coming home to find our villa broken into, and all our money stolen, even though we had taken great pains to lock every single door. While filing the police report, the officer told us that it is likely that so many people have keys to these villas, someone just waits till your gone and comes and gets what they can. Not much of a consolation. Even worse is the fact that a neighbor, who is a year-round resident, told us that "oh yeah, everyone knows CariBeana is a rental, it gets robbed all the time." Would've been nice for the owner or broker to have warned about such criminal possibilities.

Despite our worst accomodation experience ever, we did our best to enjoy this wonderful little island and all it has to offer. If you enjoy sand, sea, sun and snorkeling, this truly is paradise. Only next time, we'll stay at the Westin.


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