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

Satinwood 06/29/2008
Reviewers Rating: Great
Satinwood is located in the Upper Carolina area of St. John at the end of Majestic Mile. It has an amazing view of Coral Bay and the entire east end of St. John. It has no A/C but is built to take advantage of the constant trade winds. It has a wonderful pool that gets sun until about 3 p.m. It has wireless internet access and cable TV. The main house is all on one level. There is a separate king bedroom apartment on a lower level that can be used to accommodate larger groups. It is not rented out separately.

Location: I cannot say enough good things about this Upper Carolina neighborhood. It is convenient to the entire island. It is 10 to 20 minutes from all north shore beaches, 20 minutes from Cruz Bay, 5 minutes from Coral Bay, 20 minutes from Salt Pond and 20 minutes from the east end beaches. The roads are all paved and graded so they are probably not too slippery even when wet. There are a number of hairpin switchbacks leading up to Majestic Mile, but the neighborhood has placed mirrors at all of these turns, so you can tell if another car is coming. The view is astounding and the winds are constantly blowing. I was worried about mosquitoes but I never had to use repellant outside because of the winds. (I did get a few stray bites from mosquitoes that found their way inside, but I was able to sit on the balcony and take in the view without any problem.)

Layout: We were a family of 4 but this house would also be great for 2 or 3 couples. The center of the house is a large, open living/dining/kitchen area. The kitchen has a gas stove and burners, a full size fridge, microwave, and a dishwasher. The living room has two full size sofas, TV, stereo and wireless internet access. There is a full wall of windows/sliding glass doors in this area leading out to the balcony. The balcony is a good size but there is no eating area set up here. The indoor dining table is located right next to the windows, so you could get the breeze and the view even though you are not outside.

Two equal king bedrooms are on either side of the living area. Each bedroom has its own bathroom and private balcony. There is a ceiling fan in each bedroom. There is a king bed in each room and a loft area with two twin beds. Adults with children sleeping in the loft would not have privacy. The lofts are accessed by a built-in ladder and would probably not be suitable for younger children. The only difference in the bedrooms is that one looks out over the pool.

There is a separate apartment reached by outside stairs below the main living area. This is like an efficiency apartment with a king size bed, two reclining chairs in a sitting area with TV, etc., and a full, small kitchen. This apartment does not have a view because of the trees, but it does get breezes.

Pool: The pool is average sized and is between 4 and 5 feet deep. It has in-pool seating areas along two sides. There is a pretty pool deck with a small table, umbrella and chairs, and three full length loungers. The view from the pool deck is the same spectacular view as from the front balcony. The pool is located to the side of the house at the end of the driveway. It was perfect for throwing ourselves into after a morning or afternoon of snorkeling. If you like to use your pool area as an extension of the living/dining area, it is not as good for that. It's a great summer pool, since we would come back from snorkeling hot and sunburned and loved the shade and coolness. Not sure it would be as good in the winter.

Owners/Managers: The owner, Jim, was great to work with. His father built the house and it is unique in that it was built to be environmentally friendly. It is completely off of the power grid for the island. The house has solar panels and its own generator. There was a power outage one night that we were there and while we did loose the cable TV, we did not loose power. The toilets are self-composting and do not require flushing. They do not smell at all. The showers had plenty of hot water and water pressure.

Peter is the on-island contact and he was great to work with. The internet was not working when we first arrived and he fixed that problem quickly and with no trouble on our part.

Driveway: Some of the driveways coming off of Majestic Mile are very scary. They all either go up or down from the road at very steep angles. The Satinwood driveway goes down from the road. It is a long driveway and it is completely paved. There is a small turn around at the end of the drive so you do not have to back out. At least not if you have a relatively small car. We had a two door jeep. A small four door would also be able to turn around, but not a van or larger SUV.

Overall: I would definitely stay in this villa again. It is an older home and is not elegant but it is extremely clean and well kept. The rooms are large and comfortable and the view is to die for. The owners and managers were great to work with and the price for all you get is amazing.


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