Reviewers Rating: Excellent
Perched high near the center of St John with the easiest of accesses yet the ultimate in privacy is the villa Casa Bueno. This villa has only been on the rental market for three months and has recently undergone a change of ownership.
A private and paved road leads from Centerline Road to Casa Bueno’s driveway then on to one other house which sits below and is well separated from the villa by heavy foliage. This house is not seen at all from Casa Bueno. There is roomy parking and turning space at the top of a steep but very manageable driveway, which is edged in flower beds of colorful plants as bougainvillea and blue daze; orchids abound. Three or four papaya trees are around the corner. Stonework in typical St John style graces the ground floor where one bedroom suite and a storage room are entered separately and away from the rest of the house. We did not have access to this bedroom. The storage room houses the coolers (at least two igloo type), six high backed, backpack type beach chairs (very comfortable and not too heavy) plus an extra propane tank for the grill.
A flight of brick steps leads to the brick deck and main house entry. The deck begins as a covered space and then is open toward the end and around the corner at the pool area. Potted plants abound. The pool has four teak chaises (with sunbrella pads) making sunbathing comfortable and private. The Weber gas grill is located here. At this time there was no dining table and chairs outside; comfortable seating and a large “coffee” table were fine for our casual dining. The views are from this entire side of the house and are amazing… looking down to Coral Bay, past Hurricane Hole and on through the BVI to Virgin Gorda.
The great room of Casa Bueno, as all the entire house, is spacious, comfortable, well ventilated, and filled with natural light from windows on all sides of the villa. Outside lighting is excellent; lights are everywhere needed. Four ceiling fans with lights cool the great room extremely well; each bedroom also has a lighted ceiling fan. The entire house has air-conditioning; we never turned it. All windows have bamboo blinds and all bedrooms have curtains at the sliders as well. All windows and doors are screened except the front door. Double disappearing sliders open the living area to the deck, bringing the outdoors inside so easily. The dining table is round and large with six comfortable chairs. There is a utility closet under the stairwell. A stacked washer/dryer is located in a closet at the edge of the kitchen. The kitchen is roomy and well equipped with basics; the refrigerator is stainless (no icemaker) as is the gas range/gas oven. There is a deep stainless sink, a microwave, coffee maker, 4-slice toaster, blender, and knife block. A large and lovely wooden counter has seating for two. When we arrived seven, yes seven, vases of flowers were placed all around the house; such a treat! The TV is flat screen and had an excellent picture, sound, and choices of channels. The stereo produced good sound; some CDs and DVDs were on the shelves. Comfortable couches, unique antique furniture and beautiful accessories made this space so relaxing and enjoyable.
The three bedrooms are well separated with one being on the driveway side of the great room, one being on the pool side, and one being upstairs. Each large bedroom has two windows plus sliders to a balcony or the deck, an adjoining full bath with two windows, huge closets, extra shelving, and king beds. Two bedside lamps and good mirrors added to the comfort of each of the bedrooms. We chose the upper bedroom and really loved the balcony with large chairs for soaking in the magnificent view. Our bed was a Simmons pillow top with smooth linens, a choice of soft or medium pillows, and the towels were soft, fluffy and absorbent. Each bedroom had a phone as did the great room. The downstairs poolside bedroom closet was a walk-in with a large, keyed safe and an iron and board. Nice hangers were abundant. The bath for bedroom on the driveway side also opens into the great room. Each bath had rainfall showerheads, shelves for toiletries, hair dyers and one pedestal sink. Soaps and paper products were plentiful.
The concrete pool is 20 by 10 and roughly 5 ˝ feet deep. It is totally private except to the poolside bedroom. The water felt a bit chilly to these Floridians, but we did take a few dips. Plenty of large, thick, colorful pool/beach towels were provided.
Warm water for the villa is solar heated and it takes a while to reach the upper bath.
Tea bags, salt, pepper, a few other spices and coffee filters were already in the kitchen. I left sugar and Dijon. Two lovely “coffee table” photography books and some design magazines were the reading materials, but I noticed no games. We did not have wi-fi (the new box had not arrived) and we found ATT service a bit sporadic. Everything functioned as expected and we had no worries. Although a little off the beaten track, I would consider the villa to be in a very safe location.
I have learned that the new owners have yet to stay at Casa Bueno, and I feel a bit guilty for having enjoyed their new vacation place so much. I would expect that Casa Bueno will only get better as the new owners add their love and personally to the villa. We would return to this villa without hesitation and we actually do hope to spend more time there on future trips.
Casa Bueno is convenient, comfortable, and very classy.
Photos at http://www.flickr.com/photos/floridalindalee/sets/72157622746426462/
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