Real Caribbean Cottages. A Rustic Hide-A-Way for the Adventurous. Adorable and Affordable.
The Main House
This meticulously maintained Caribbean Cottage is tucked into a beautifully landscaped hillside on the quieter side of St John. Surrounded by National Park, this two bedroom, one bathroom house with a fully equipped kitchen is tucked into a tropical mountain valley, located within walking distance of several hidden Caribbean beaches and a four mile drive from Coral Bay, with its many bars, restaurants and attractions. This colorful Caribbean design cottage also offers a screened porch, barbeque grill and hot tub for added living areas and tranquility in a natural setting.
The Cottage Studio
This Caribbean studio cottage offers spectacular panoramic mountain views of the surrounding National Park. The carefully appointed interior of this cottage offers comfortable studio accomodations with a pillow top full size bed that sleeps two and a fully equipped kitchen and bath. The large covered porch provides spacious outdoor living and dining areas as well as the barbeque gril. Its decidedly Caribbean design and decor along with its incomparable National Park setting make it the perfect vacation choice for those seeking peace and tranquility of a true island getaway.
A Brief History
The Cottages were built in 2002 by an islander builder, David, a transplant from the mainland. Although now retired, David is still considered to be the best builder on this island. The Cottages were built to the new standard hurricane code. Until this year, we had weathered some pretty big storms and always felt very secure. It also helps that we are nestled in the hillside, in a valley. It protects us from severe wind. But our true test came this year. Our cottages are wooden structures, and only a handful of wooden structures survived. Yes, we were lucky, but it’s worth noting that the strict building codes used in the construction are what saved us. As lucky as we were, we still had a ton of work to do. Russ and I did 95% of the cleanup. We worked every day all day for 2 ½ months. We are now ready for guests.
The area all around us is the National Park. When Lawrence Rockefeller donated his property (3/4 of the island) to the National Park Service, there were small pockets of privately owned land here and there. That is how this site came to be within the boundaries of the National Park. The wonderful news is that there will never be any new development near us. It will always look like this.
The first owner was Judy from New York City, who hired David to build the separate cottages. Judy busied herself with renting the Studio to vacationers and was also very involved with animal rescue. She used the adjacent lot (which was and still is part of the property) to do donkey rescue. She built a corral and kept sick or injured donkeys brought to her by the park rangers. She had a small open air pole barn where they were fed and sheltered.
Russ and I had been coming to the USVI since 1986. We always spent a few days each vacation on St. John. We happened upon the Cottages as we were driving around in February 2010. Owning a small piece of paradise is something we always wanted to do. We rent to vacationers, but because we are not here 100% of the time, we do not help with donkey rescue. Sick or injured donkeys are sent to St Croix. The pole barn has been converted into the “hut”, the very small cottage on the lower level. This is where Russ and I stay when we have guests in both places at the same time.
We do upgrades as we can to keep everything as nice as possible. We took out a window in the Main House and replaced it with French doors. This gives much easier access to the deck. We also enclosed a large portion of the deck with screen, giving a lot more comfortable living space.
In the Studio, we excavated underneath and installed another cistern, giving us even more water on site. It is a big help during the dry months.
Even though our accommodations here are simple, we are always working to keep things comfortable, adorable, and most importantly, affordable.