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Rapture :: Upscale comfort in Virgin Grand Estates

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Rating: (Excellent)

Rapture is a four bedroom (plus additional trundle bed in the family room), 5 bathroom home with central air conditioning and pool located in gated Virgin Grand Estates.

The layout of this home is fantastic--interior and exterior. Photos of the home on the St. John Ultimate Villas website are accurate. The entire villa is accessible via indoor stairs, a rarity on St. John and a plus with my group, which included children.

The top floor consists of two virtually identical master suites with water views, both with balconies, en suite baths and outdoor showers. The rest of the floor consists of a gourmet kitchen which is open to a large living/dining space, and an additional bath. The living space has a large flat screen TV and is well stocked with books and games. The sunny pool deck and covered porch, both with water and sunset views, are also located off this upper level.

The lower level has two more bedrooms, both with full en suite baths (one of the rooms has beds that can be split into twins) and private deck space. There is also a games/family room with foosball and a couch that converts to a trundle bed for extra guests and TV/video player. The laundry room is also on the lower level, and features a double washer/dryer setup.

All of the furnishings, both indoor and out, are very comfortable, including (especially!) the beds. I love to cook and was glad to see a decent amount of good quality pots and pans to use in the lovely kitchen. There was plenty of glassware and plateware, as well as plastic items to use poolside. The outdoor grill was a good size and well maintained also.

Everyone in my group especially loved the outdoor space. The covered deck area had multiple seating areas, including glider chairs. The adjacent swimming pool gets full sun and is a decent size. Plenty of additional seating is available in the sunny area by the pool. There is also a "hot tub" with permanently non-working jets (apparently a construction glitch) attached to the swimming pool.

There's not much room for improvement with this house, but a couple of things could help: the house definitely needs a better internet connection. A faster modem, maybe. Many days I could not connect at all, and the days I could it was mind-numbingly slow. I know connectivity can be spotty on St. John, but I've not experienced such consistent slowness/failure to connect in any other house I've rented on the island. I did mention this issue to the owner, so it is very possible that this has been fixed.

We had some difficulty with the electronic equipment. We never did figure out how to use the sound system for music (TV worked fine). Having written instructions for how to operate each element of a villa's entertainment system is so, so helpful when renting a house. It just makes things easier!

Other random things that I really liked about Rapture: the driveway! I liked that the grade is not overly steep and that there is a turnaround area. The double washer/dryer setup in the laundry room was a huge bonus considering we were a party of six. Also, the management company (St. John Ultimate Villas) was very responsive. As an example, we needed to request more beach towels (for some reason there were only six in the entire house on arrival), and they were brought to us the next day. When we ran out of gas for the grill, they delivered two new tanks the following morning. They were also kind enough to mail me back a suitcase which one of my party left in the foyer of the house when we checked out!

Finally, one of the best things about Rapture is the view! We watched so many beautiful sunsets from the deck in the evenings, and enjoyed a couple of rainbows that came with scattered morning showers as well.

If you are looking for a comfortable, well-appointed and upscale house for your family or large group, Rapture is hard to beat.



1 Comment

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Thanks for the review - and what an awesome picture! Looks like a magazine shot!!!

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