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virgin islands on line : St. John : hotel & villa reviews

Coral Rays 05/06/2008
Reviewers Rating: Excellent
Our group of 4 adults and 1 almost teen recently stayed at Coral Rays which rented through Destination St. John.

We are quiet, unassuming group and just wanted to spend a week relaxing and this house was the perfect place to do it. The house is fairly new, built in 2005. This is the house with the infamous drive up and parking situation. Iím happy to say that we mastered the road quite quickly. We started out with a Jeep Liberty, but due to mechanical issues changed to a 4 door Jeep Wrangler. That made a big difference getting up the driveway especially after the night of very heavy rains which left the upper part of the road a bit rocky. The only way I can describe the driveway is that it is like a ride at Disney World. The angles you are at are amazing. After the first couple of times we also go the hang of the parking pad. You kind of have to pull in at an angle and then back up and straighten it out.

The house is on 3 levels with 3 flights of stairs. The main entry level is the kitchen, living area and bathroom with outdoor shower and porch with 3 deck chairs and 2 small tables. One level down is the pool deck and has 2 bedrooms with sliders facing the pool. There is a large pool and large hotub at this level. The 3rd level has the 2 master bedroom suites, each with its own bathroom and one also has an outdoor shower. We got a good work out going up and down the stairs.

Kitchen: We ate all of our meals at the house. We sent dry goods ahead, checked 35 pounds of frozen food and made once a day stops at the local markets. There is a dishwasher (detergent provided), large fridge, microwave, oven/convection oven and a 5 burner gas stove. There was every utensil we could need. Plenty of pots and pans. Fully stocked with plates, cups, glasses, bowls. There were a few spices in the pantry left over from other renters. There is also a small bar fridge that wasnít working. There were dishtowels, potholder, placemats. Garbage bags were provided. There was no foil or plastic wrap tho. Also, there were no Glad type storage containers. Tile floors throughout this level of the house.

Dining area: Its in between the kitchen and living area. Large tiled table. There are also high bar stools at the kitchen counter for added eating space.

Living area: Large tv and dvd player in corner with satellite service which did go out on the night we had the heavy rains. There is a couch which I think pulls out into a bed and 2 easy chairs all around a glass coffee table. There was also wireless internet access. There are lots of books in the book shelf and games and more books in the storage room off the bathroom. We found everything comfortable and well maintained. There is no a/c in this area. At times it did feel quite warm and was cooler outside. There were small fans and 2 ceiling fans that we kept going at all times. There are 3 sliders out onto the small porch area. The screen doors were in need of repair. We did a temporary fix by pushing the gaskets back in holding the screening in place. The rain did bring out some leaks in the house, but we put a couple of towels down and we were fine. The view is the best from porch at this level. You look out over Coral Bay, the upper part of the East End, and the western part of Tortola as well as the central part of St. John.

Pool area: Lots of full sun in the morning. By afternoon there was a good amount of shade under the overhang, but still a large sunny portion. There were 4 deck loungers and 4 regular patio chairs around a table with an umbrella. Pool is about 10x20 and about 5í deep at the deepest part and was the perfect size for us. The water was also the right temperature, not too cold and not too hot. There is a shelf/bench in the pool on one side that made for a nice area to just sit in the water and watch the day go by. The hot tub was large, however it didnít always work. The buttons would stop working and then later start working again. It worked enough that we did have time to enjoy it. The pool and the hot tub were cleaned and chemicals added just before we got there. The heavy chlorine smell lasted a few days. Lots of beach towels are also available. Never ran out. The view was semi-restricted at this level because the vegetation has grown higher. It still is a breath taking view around the trees tho.

Laundry Room: Off the outside dining area near and under the parking pad. Front loaders and detergent was provided. We washed towels and clothes while we were there. Directions for use were on each machine.

Bedrooms: There are 2 bedrooms on the pool level and they share a bathroom. One had a queen bed and a day bed. The other had 2 twins that could have gone together to make a king. Both rooms had a dresser. The 3rd level has 2 master bedrooms. Both are similar in style and furnishing. Both had king beds with a dresser. Lots of closet space. Sheets were provided. The one set we had tho has reached the end of its life and should be retired. Each room had a clock. One of the rooms was darker than the other as it faced into the hill side. We were in the room facing the valley. It was a very bright room as the curtains are gauzy. Both rooms had a large bathroom with double sinks and shower. One also had an outdoor shower though it is not as private as the one on the main level. If someone were coming down the stairs they could easily see into the shower. Each bathroom was stocked with plenty of good towels, soap, shampoo, lotion and toilet paper. There is a wide covered porch in front of each bedroom. There is not much of a view as the trees and vegetation is high here. There is a nice chair swing on one end. We found the mattresses extremely conformable. Each bedroom had ceiling fans and air conditioning.

Critters: There were at least 3 families of chickens around the house. Roosters off in the distance. If you are a light sleeper youíll notice the crowing in the very early morning hours. Sometimes we could also hear the goats and sheep. Lots of lizards that would quickly run away when you walked near them. There were two friendly dogs that would visit during the day. They seemed to know when we were cooking outside and would make a point of coming by then. After the day of rain, we noticed an increase in mosquitoes. Double check the screens to make sure there are no ways for them to get in. The bats at dusk swooping down dipping in the pool were very cool.

Construction: There are two houses nearby that look like they are under constructions. There was not a lot of activity, but a couple of mornings one of the houses had workers on site around 7 am and voices do carry. But it was never anything that was overly intrusive. We would inevitably meet a car on the sharpest turn. One day it was utility trucks. Another day we had a large excavator at the top of the driveway, but it was sufficiently out of the way.

Overall, Coral Rays is a great villa. It is well maintained, comfortable and very relaxing. I would definitely recommend it to anyone willing to make the trek up the roadway.


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