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

Altamira 01/15/2007
Reviewers Rating: Stars Excellent
We just returned from a week in Atamira villa on StJohn. This 3 br, 3Ba villa in the Boatman point area has a pool, hottub and every possible kitchen and hospitality utensil one might want. We had two adult couples stay here in mid January. The house is laid out with two bedrooms on the main floor, and the third is on the lower floor. The upper bedrooms are on opposite sides of the structure - very private - you need to leave the main house, walk 10 feet on the veranda and enter the other separate bedroom building. The house faces east across Rendezvous bay towards Ditleff point - the whole upper floor had spectacular views with wonderful sunrises. The kitchen and great room was large, airy, and nicely furnished - not too fancy, just right for a vacation house. TV, music, and internet was there, but it felt more like a house for reading. The pool was gorgeous, clean, and only a few steps down from the main deck. It had nice views over the mature landscaping. The hot tub was sunken into the main deck - it had the best view, but the hot tub itself was a little dated. It was comfortable and funcional - but not a fancy model with lots of controls or jets. It fit 4 people comfortably. The house was ~ 8 minutes from Cruz Bay, up the hill past the Westin. The drive was all paved, and not any more exciting that the rest of the StJ roads.

Access to the bay below was via road and stairs. It was walkable (~1/2 mile), but we were lazy and drove the 3 minutes to the stairs. The beach was mostly rocks, but the snorkeling was great - turtles, sting rays, octopus, barracuda and an eagle ray were all spotted that week right in the bay below the house.

It was rented by Private Home for Private vacations. Mary-Phillis runs the shop, and knows her stuff. They did pickup at the ferry, and provide a 4" thick binder of StJ info - every restarurant menu, sail cruise brochure, ferry schedules, were all there for us. She was very nice and helpful.

The best part was the outdoor dining area - nestled between the two buildings - covered by a roof, but perfect view over the bay. Every meal was eaten there - card games and conversation to the wee hours with almost no bugs. The healthy crop of resident lizards must be earning their keep (or eating it!)

We didn't use the third (lower) bedroom - its actually its own apartment with small kitchen. It didn't look nearly as appealing as the rest of the house, however. It was clean & nice, but it was under the deck, and was hidden from the view by the landscaping. It would probably be ideal for teenagers who stay up late and sleep in, and who need privacy.

The house is obviously used quite alot by the owners - it was fully equipped, well maintained, and lived in. We didn't feel like we were in someone's hygienic rental property - we felt like we were borrowing a good friend's home. Nothing was at all shabby or worn.

The only thing someone might think it needs is A/C. We were very comfortable in January, sleeping with the windows & doors open - we actually used the blankets. The house is high enough to get a terrific breeze, and a cooling rain two nights we were there. The power went off for an hour, but I guess thats part of island living.

When we go back to StJ, we will definitly try to get Altamira, and I would recommend it to others.

Rip Harris

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