Reviewers Rating: Excellent
We just came back from a family vacation on St. John. We stayed at Ristaba - a 6 bedroom villa about 5 minutes from town. Everything was perfect!
Our party had 3 children and 9 adults. The house was perfect for us. The family with children stayed in the cottage. They were able to have their own kitchen and watch movies in there at night, but for the most part everyone tended to congregate in the main house.
The living area of the main house is the second floor. It has LOTS of space - a huge dining room table that accomodated all of us, a kitchen big enough for a chef and a few helpers (which was nice when you're cooking for 12!), and a TV/reading area for about 6 people. Because of the large screened doors around the room we enjoyed wonderful breezes every day. The living area extends out to the porch where there is another table for 6 to dine and some wicker furniture.
The views from the living area both inside and oustide are amazing! We saw St. Thomas, the Westin, and on clear days, St. Croix. Looking down from the balcony you see the pool which is fun because you don't have to be IN the pool to enjoy being with the kids. However, the pool is very deep so kids must be supervised by an adult. There is a large step area which is where the kids generally swam.
The bedrooms in the main house are very nice. The air condioners and fans do a great job of keeping the rooms cool. Some of the bathrooms have outdoor showers which is fun.
Both houses have laundry machines which is very convenient. (We only used it twice b/c of the water conservation on the island)
The house provided beach chairs,
bed linens, bath and beach towels. Also, a nice surprise was the hair dryers in the bathroom.
Ristaba is located in Chocolate Hole, which is about a 5 minute drive to Cruz Bay and a 3 minute drive to the Starfish Market. We found the location to be very convenient. We rented 2 SUVs and 1 car, but you could also call taxis to get around if you prefer.
We will definitely be back to Ristaba! It is paradise in every way.
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