My boyfriend and I recently stayed at the Oleander Cottage for 8 nights. We were so excited to stay as both the cottage and properties received excellent reviews.
When we arrived we were delighted to see that the cottage was secluded and had a great walking path up to the door with ample parking if you chose to rent a car (as we did). The cottage is very small, but if you are travelling with someone you are close with, it really was not a big deal. The space was clean and seemed to be painted recently.
However, it was our second day there that our problems with the house began. The first night there we noticed that every screen in the windows was not properly secured. This resulted in the screens blowing in at night and bugs entering through the gaps between the screen and the open windows during the day. This resulted in getting absolutely chewed by mosquitoes every night we were there. I had about a dozen or so bites on each arm and leg. Luckily my boyfriend is a carpenter and our third day there spent at least an hour or so fixing all of the screens to try and cut down on our bug bites.
When we woke up the first morning we went down to the store (Big Ben's about a 5 minute drive) to pick up some food to make breakfast. When we turned on the stove both the gas and the water were out. Again, luckily as my boyfriend is a carpenter, he was able to connect the hoses underneath the house and remedy the problem. If you did not know what you were doing (as I do not with gas and water lines) this could present a big problem for you. None of this was explained when we were shown to the cottage after our arrival. Once connected, the stove worked great and it was great to be able to cook our own breakfast each morning.
However, the hot water was an entirely different story. I take relatively quick showers and never had enough hot water to even get the shampoo out of my hair, which got annoying rather quickly. Also, the shower is in horrible condition. The floor looks like if you step on it the wrong way you are going to go through it completely and you can see the ground below you. The wood and paint are both rotted and peeling away. We were told that they were going to repair it, but it was certainly not repaired during our visit.
So after our 2nd or 3rd night we seemed to have remedied some of our problems, or so we thought. The next morning I woke up to a giant tree spider right next to my suitcase. I'm not talking your average small spider, that I can deal with, think tarantula size. I understand that the cottage is in the hills and that it is home to many species of bugs, but it freaked me out completely. Maybe others would feel differently who knows. The next night we also found a milipeed the size of a finger. We just couldn't seem to win staying here.
So after the mosquitoes, ill-fitted screens, no-hot water, and life sized spiders, things seemed to calm down, or so we thought. The island seemed to be having blackouts each day for about an hour, which was no big deal and mostly occurred while we were out for the day. However, the last few days of our vacation we had no power for over 10 hours. Normally I would be okay with this, but please keep in mind that when the power goes out, there is no running water and the ceiling fans do not work, it can get rather hot and sticky at night. This also means no brushing your teeth, going to the bathroom, or taking a shower, cold or hot. This was obviously out of anyone's control and although I cannot fault anyone for what happened, I found the cottage to be unlivable during those times without water.
After being eaten alive by mosquitoes, not having a hot shower for days, tree spiders, and no power, we decided to check into the Long Bay Beach Resort down the street for the remainder of our stay and had a lovely time there (which was only a bit more expensive per night than the cottage). Although the resort could use some updating, I was at my wits end staying at the cottage and welcomed staying at the resort with closed windows and hot water.
Next time I would definitely stay at the Long Bay Resort.
There are a few +'s about the cottage, it is in a great location between Apple Bay and Long Bay and is easily accessible to great restaurants and beaches, but a good 10 minute drive to Cane Garden Bay.
We had a great time at Smuggler's Cove, Jost Van Dyke, and Virgin Gorda. If you are travelling to Tortola definitely take the time to visit those sites, you will not regret it. Our favorite beach on Tortola was definitely Smuggler's Cove, it was so secluded and the beach bar was great for an afternoon cocktail! Cane Garden was also a great beach, but when the cruise ships come in, it is absolutely mobbed.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Turtle Dove Cottages are a group of charming cottages and villas nestled up on the hillside overlooking 2 of Tortola's most famous beaches. Relax on the decks and enjoy stunning panoramic views out to the islands of Jost Van Dyke, Sandy Spit and down to St Thomas. You are only a 10 minute walk from both the excellent surf break at Apple Bay and the quiet beauty of Long Bay. Turtle Dove House: The 3 bedroom villa is incredibly situated, nestling on the ridge between Long Bay and Apple Bay, affording a 180 degree view including both beaches. The main level of the villa has the open plan, fully equipped kitchen and lounge area furnished with solid wood furniture. Also on this level is the air conditioned master bedroom with 4-poster king bed and en suite and the second bedroom with a dedicated bathroom. A large dining deck with BBQ extends out providing an ample entertaining area while watching the breath-taking sunsets. On the lower level is the third bedroom suite and the lower deck. Here you can dine al-fresco, enjoy the hot-tub or relax in a sun lounger with a cocktail. The entire house with the exception of the decks is fully screened. Guavaberry Cottage: This charming one bedroom cottage has an unobscured view of Apple Bay and down the coastline of North Tortola. Open plan living area and fully equipped kitchen, one air conditioned bedroom with queen bed and a bathroom with shower. Large deck with covered and uncovered areas to sit and enjoy the view or cook on the BBQ. Wireless internet to keep in touch if absolutely needed! The cottage is fully screened. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Turtle Dove Cottages Tortola/West End