Reviewers Rating: Excellent
La Jolla Caribe Villa review
We went down to St. John in July with a large group of family and stayed at La Jolla Caribe Villa. It is located in an area called Estate Catherinberg on the North Shore above Cinnamon Bay and is rented through Destination StJohn.com . It took us less than 10 minutes to get there on Centerline Road. Coral Bay was about a 12-15 minute drive. You do have to go down John Head Road off either Center line or up it off North Shore to Wattapama to get there; both are dirt and can be bumpy. The North Shore beaches are a few minutes to drive, or you can walk to Cinnamon down hill in 15-20 minutes (but it is steep coming up). The teenagers walked down but got rides up.
The house has plenty of parking, which we needed with our large group. There were 2 bedrooms with queens, two with two twins (that can be made into a king) and two with two twins. One bedroom is air-conditioned but we never felt a need to have air-conditioning. Each room has a ceiling fan and screened windows with cross ventilation. The house is located high above the North Shore beaches and there was always a breeze and the house was surprisingly comfortable even in July. We have rented before in the same area and never needed air conditioning. There are large decks are on all three levels with spectacular views. We have been in other villas here but this one seems to be on a bit of a point so you see the sun rise over the National Park and set over Peter Bay. You can see the white sands of Cinnamon, Francis and Peter Bays. I often got up to see the beautiful sunrise but the others in the group only saw the sunsets. You can see the long white beach on Jost Van Dyke, Tortola, and Waterlemon. We even heard the sounds of the waves a couple of nights.
There is a large hot tub on a deck set in the forest with incredible views; we got 7 in it at once with ease. We enjoyed sipping drinks and watching the bats come out. There is an outside shower in the forest (hot and cold water) for rinsing off from the beach (or if you like bathing al fresco) that has great views (…for you, not of you).
There is an inside dining room that we just used for breakfast (sits 8). Mostly we enjoyed the outside dining table that seats 10 under a roof, with great views. With our large group we ate in except for Donkey Diner Pizza night. We had brought down meat to barbecue and some Costco food and the kitchen was as well equipped as ours at home. There are mosquitoes in the evening outside but usually they were not much of a problem except on the one day the breeze quit! Bring repellent no matter where you are on the island! The family room had a great view and some games for the kids. It was comfortable for all of us to gather at once but the 3 levels of decks and multiple rooms allowed plenty of personal space. The bedrooms were all comfortable and freshly decorated. There are 5 bathrooms with showers and tubs, very clean and nice but not luxurious. The entire house has wireless high speed internet for no charge, which made the teens happy. There is a TV upstairs and a stereo that has an mp3 hook up. One other room has a TV and surround sound so the kids watched movies in there. There is even a courtesy bar, take some/leave some.
We thought we would miss a pool but the hot tub was perfect and the North shore beaches are so convenient we often went to two beaches a day. There are plenty of towels, beach chairs, water toys, coolers and a large selection of DVDs and CDs. There is a large area to hang all of your beach stuff in the 2nd floor breezeway.
If you need to be in the city life this is not for you, even though it is a only a short drive. It has a quiet and peaceful setting in the middle of the National park. The views are incredible even by St. John standards and the house is very comfortable and roomy for a large group. I highly recommend it for families or groups of friends. I have stayed in several homes on St John and this is our new favorite.
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