Reviewers Rating: Excellent
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THE RIDE TO THE VILLA:
We had read reviews that just cursed the ride to Orchid Knoll. Some of the reviews said that it was a mile long pothole and other said it was very rough, but well worth it.I guess we will see. We turned off Route 10 at the corner by Chateaux Bordeaux. The first mile or so is blacktop road which we were expecting. Then the road turns into CONCRETE! They paved the whole darned thing with CONCRETE! It was like an interstate highway almost all of the way into the villa. The last couple hundred yards was gravel, but it looked like they were working on changing that. A couple words of wisdom to those looking for villas to rent, DO NOT BE AFRAID OF THE MOUNTAIN-IT IS GOOD!.
On the way in you can see the villa at an opening in the forest roof. The villa sits out on a point on the mountain. We were very excited to see where it was located. You actually need to drive around behind the villa to get to the driveway. The beginning of the driveway is pretty steep, but no problem if you have a vehicle with a little clearance. The driveway winds around a knoll. Both sides of the driveway are lined with beautiful flora. When you get around the knoll-Bam-the villa is right there! As you drive towards the villa, you notice how far this villa is built out onto the edge of the knoll. All you see is the villa and the blue sky behind it-absolutely no obstructions to your view-it is almost surreal.
You enter the house through a set of arched French doors. As you enter the house, the living room is on our left, the kitchen on your right (behind a half wall) and the dining area is ahead and to the right. The flooring throughout the main area is terra cotta tile. The ceilings throughout the house are wood cathedral. The furnishings are definitely adequate-not extravagant-just nice and simple. The living room faces south. In the center the living room is nice little fireplace. There are two sets of arched French doors on the south wall (one on each side of the fire place). There is a futon in front of the fireplace that was actually pretty darned comfy. The only TV in the house is in the living room. They do have cable, a Bose radio, and a DVD. The kitchen is again quite simple and adequate. I had read that the kitchen was way too small.I thought it was great for what we wanted. There is a small pantry off of the kitchen. The dining area is next to the kitchen-again, pretty simple-but just what we wanted. We were not planning many sit down dinners during our stay. There is a semi-portable stereo in the half wall between the kitchen and the living room. They could get a little better stereo for the house-it does not play home-burned CD's.
If you go down the hallway to the right of the kitchen, you will pass a half bath (on the left) on your way down to the master bedroom. It looks like the hallway and the master bedroom were built before the rest of the house. The main portion of the house is stone and concrete. The hallway and master bedroom are wood. If I am not mistaken, you can no longer use wood as a structural component of a house on St. John. Anyhow...The master bedroom is a decent sized room. There is a 4 poster queen bed-the mattress was pretty nice (firm). The air conditioner could have been larger, it could barely keep up with the summer heat. The best it could do was about 80 degrees by bedtime. There is a 6 foot wide deck off the north end of the master bedroom. The deck is enough to sit on, but that is about it. The view from the deck is unbelievable. Coral Bay is your back yard. The master bath is also decent sized. At the back of the master bath is the master shower. The shower is normal in size. The difference here is that you can see Coral Bay, some of the North Shore, Jost Van Dyke, and Tortolla from the shower. It gives you quite bright outlook on the day when you jump into this shower!
When you come in the front door, if you head straight through the house, you will come to another set of French doors. This set leads out on to the covered deck. The deck is the entire width of the living room and dining room. It wraps around the south end of the house. I do not care which reviews you have read. YOU CANNOT BEAT THE VIEW FROM ORCHID KNOLL!!!! From the deck, you can see the south shore, the hills over Cruz Bay, portions of the north shore, Coral Bay, and all islands that lie around St. John. Every evening gives you an unobstructed view of the sunset over St. Thomas. It is impossible to explain what you will see from the deck on this villa. You are definitely on top of the world! The furniture and fans on the deck are a little old and showing some wear. They should probably be replaced at some time in the future. Functionally the furniture worked well, ascetically it needed some help.
If you go to the south side of the deck, there is a set of stairs that leads down one level. At the bottom of the stairs is the pool deck. The pool is very nice and quite well concealed. There is not much of a view from the pool deck, but we really enjoyed it a lot.
There is also a 2nd bedroom and a laundry on this level. The laundry was nice. The 2nd bedroom looked nice, but was extremely musty. It might have been okay with a day or two of fresh air rolling through it but, I am glad we did not need to sleep in that room.
All-in-all-WE LOVED THIS VILLA. It was great for one couple. If a second couple was planning on coming, I would try to make sure they did something about the mustiness in the basement bedroom. If you are considering this villa, please give it a try, you will not be disappointed! If you would like to know more about this villa, e-mail me at the link above.
Paul & Janet
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