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“Spend the same amount and stay at Long Bay”

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Turtle Dove Cottages
Reviewed 14 July 2009

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.

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Sjyonkowski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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24 - 30 of 41 reviews

Reviewed 25 March 2008

We stayed at the newly named "North Shore Cottages" (formerly Turtle Dove) for a week and it was the most beautiful place we have ever stayed. The cottage was small but perfect for two with a small kitchen and bath with a hot shower. The deck overlooked the most incredible view imaginable. It is secluded, in the hills above Apple Bay and Long Bay. Easy walk to the beach. We will be back!

Stayed: March 2008
Thank jimmyjones
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 March 2008

My girlfriend and I spent almost two weeks on Tortola - the first 10 days in the Guavaberry Cottage and the last three days in Oleander Cottage - we loved both cottages. The larger cottage and the house both looked great too. The location was perfect, close to the beaches, surfing, restaurants, etc. and the views are incredible!

If we are ever in the area again we will be sure to stay there again!

  • Stayed: February 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank SurfingSean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 June 2007

My husband and I stayed on Carol's property in April 2007. This is the perfect place for a close couple who wants to get away for a bit. We were in Oleander and as far as I'm concerned I wouldn't change a thing. It is a quaint cottage, but if you're going somewhere
with one person, you'd better be comfortable with your companion anyway. All of the cottages are private from each other, but especially Oleander. The only people that could see us from our balcony were those with binoculars on sailboats on a beam reach...
Much too far away for me to care if they saw me in the buff. Very quiet and very clean.

Carol is a very nice lady. Keep in mind when visiting other places outside of the US that you may not see that fake front of friendliness when you first meet people. I say that because I had read someone's comments that Carol was unfriendly. My guess is that they had taken the wrong impression of her. Once you've been around for a few days she is very friendly, but don't expect the first day you are there for her to act like she's been waiting all of her life for you to come.

This is a great experience for a couple, but if you have any children making the trip with you, probably consider something down the hill.

Thanks Carol, we will always keep you in our hearts!

  • Stayed: June 2007, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank hvazquez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 April 2007

Carol Vanterpool made our Tortola experience memorable. We stayed at Turtle Dove cottages in 1999 and found that her care in maintaining extremely clean, well decorated, comfortable accommodations is evident. And, she provided wireless Internet at our convenience. Turtle Dove Cottages are absolutely our most favorite place to stay in the last ten years. The view, the comfortable ambiance, the ownership and management are memorable.

  • Stayed: March 2007, travelled as a couple
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Thank Linda S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 April 2007

This was my second stay with Carol at Turtle Dove Lodge. Last year, I had stayed in the Oleander (see my other review). At that time (Feb 06), Carol had just purchased the Chai House and was in the process of renovating it. Based on what I saw that time, I couldn't wait to come back and rent it. This year, my fiance and I returned and was lucky enough to stay in the Chai House--the only problem with it is we are now so spolied, that anywhere we stay on our honeymoon will pale in comparison.

The Chai house is exceptional. There is a 270 degree view from the house, wrap around porches (both from the bedroom and off of the living room), you are king/queen of the hill (located at the top, this is clearly the "master" cottage), there are cathedral ceilings with floor to ceiling windows, and VIEWS VIEWS VIEWS. The first day we were there, it rained all day, but frankly, we didn't mind. We sat on the couch and read all day while looking out over seemingly endless ocean and islands. The high vantage point and the huge windows made us feel like we were floating above the water. When the rain finally ended, we actually didn't feel like leaving the house!

The inside is extremely well equipped (stainless steel modern kitchen, huge bedrooom with new king bed, absolutely amazing shower build right into the local bedrock....you feel like you are showering in a stream!!!). Plus, the walls are decorated beautifully and tastefully (Carol's forte really). Chai really is the theme. Also adorning the walls are Carol's wonderful photographs (she has photographed for Nat Geographic). See my pictures for more.

All this for an incredibly reasonable price (much much cheaper than the crammed Long Bay Resort just down the hill).

Writing this is only making me yearn for that house again! Thank you Carol for providing one of the most memorable weeks I have ever had while vacationing!


  • Stayed: February 2007, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank dbNewYork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 January 2007

We honeymooned on Tortola in 2001 and wanted to return for our 5th anniversary. We remembered another couple had stayed at the Turtle Dove and so we looked it up (because it's not listed in 90% of the travel guides). We're so glad we did!

Turtle Dove is a small collection of guest cottages built up on the hillside overlooking Apple Bay and Long Bay. We stayed in the Guavaberry cottage, which was right off the small (3-4 cars max) parking area (i.e., no climb up the hill to get to the front door). The cottage featured a porch that wrapped around the corner of the building, with sweeping views of the island. Absolutely stunning. We could watch surfers in the water at Apple Bay and see over to Jost Van Dyke as the sailors accumulated for the big Foxy's bash. The cottage was smartly decorated in island style, featuring several of owner Carol Vanderpools' original art pieces. No AC, but many ceiling fans and good breezes.

The cottage had a full kitchen, which was great. We picked up breakfast food, snacks, and beverages at the grocery store and ate on the porch in the mornings. Carol had greeted us with a lovely bottle of wine. All linens, beach towels and a clothesline were provided. The bed was comfy, and the cottage was fully equipped with cable TV, DVD player with an assortment of recent releases, and a desktop computer with broadband internet access. At first I goraned at the thought of using the computer on vacation in Tortola, but I must admit that we fired it up once or twice to get restaurant phone numbers.

If you stay there, make sure you rent a car with four-wheel drive, because the steep road up the hill requires it.

We loved our stay and hope to return for another visit!

Stayed: December 2006
Thank MGanoush
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Turtle Dove Cottages

Address: Long Bay Road, 0000, Tortola (Formerly North Shore Cottages)
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > British Virgin Islands > Tortola > West End
Amenities:
Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Speciality Lodging in West End
Price Range: £118 - £185 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 4
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

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