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

Poinciana 06/02/2004
Reviewers Rating: Stars Excellent
We just returned from a wonderful honeymoon in St. John. Part of what made our trip so memorable was having our own private home for our stay. Poinciana is one of the older homes (built in 1986) but offered everything we sought: a great location close to Cruz Bay, but not in Cruz Bay, privacy, a great hot tub, and amazing views of Hart Bay.

Poinciana would be perfect for a couple, or a family with older children. While Poinciana sleeps six, the master bedroom is the only bedroom directly connected to the living room and kitchen. The other two bedrooms are downstairs, and connected by an outside staircase. Great privacy if you are traveling with other couples, but those staying in the lower bedrooms might be a little disappointed. Older children might appreciate having a little more personal space downstairs, and can take care of themselves. If you are traveling with young children, I don't know if you want them in a separate area, or maybe you do. But if it's raining in the middle of the night, you have to go through the sliding glass doors or your bedroom door, to the deck, to the outside staircase, to get to the lower level rooms.

Poinciana has all the basics: full kitchen, washer dryer (we had to buy some laundry detergent), some beach gear (the snorkeling gear was in pretty bad condition, BYO!) ceiling fans and a gas grill. Some of the nicer amenities include: a deck with a wonderful view, a huge, 8 person hot tub, outside showers and hose for rising off, constant ocean breezes so you won't need AC, and a private path to a very secluded and rocky beach. The villa also has a nice mini stereo system, a DVD player and a small 20" TV with cable. Folks have been nice enough to leave a small video and DVD collection for those evenings at home.

We chose Poinciana because of its location (about 5 minutes to Cruz Bay) and relative affordability as one of the least expensive villas we could find that wasn't bereft of features or in an undesirable locations, whereever that may be on St. John.

The management company, Private Homes for Private Vacations, was excellent and communicative throughout the rental process and our stay. We were met at the dock, taken to our villa and given a tour of the house. You will need a jeep here, as some of the hills and roads are steep. The driveway is down a fairly steep incline, but with some practice, you'll be fine. During our stay, the microwave made an unpleasant popping noise and died, and one of the jets from the hot tub fell out. We alerted the management company, and within 24 hours, we had a new microwave and a note saying the jet (one of 40, so it didn't really matter) was on order. Very responsive!

Some of the downsides: there was construction going on in the villa immediately next to Poinciana, and another one two houses away. At the time of our rental, we were told that no construction was scheduled "at this time." So, perhaps the construction was scheduled to start two months later? It didn't really bother us, since the ocean breezes drowned out a lot of noise. I also don't think that you can avoid construction on the island, especially if you travel in the off season. We were out of the villa in the morning anyway, and back after construction ended at 4:30. Still, I was surprised to hear hammering at 7:30 am on our first morning there.

But we had a fantastic time. Poinciana was excellent for our needs. This was also our first time renting a villa, so we didn't have expectations. I'm sure there are better villas out there, but they will cost quite a bit more.
We thought about villas in other locations, Coral Bay, Bordeaux Mountain, but felt that we didn't want to drive around St. John late at night or have to drive very far after an evening out. It does take a while to get across the island, and you need to be an adventurous, somewhat fearless driver, even with a Jeep!

Would we rent Poinciana again? Absolutely!

Tom





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