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“Found: Paradise in Paradise”
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Very good
15 reviews
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Overview
Villa -
5 Bedrooms, 6 Bathrooms, Sleeps 12
St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands

Reviews from our community

Very good - based on 15 reviews
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Reviews from our community

Date | Rating
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M B
Trenton, New Jersey
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Could be great, but needs some TLC...”
Reviewed 13 February 2018 for a stay in February 2018
2
people found this review helpful

We rented the Beach Villa in summer of 2017. We had 3 couples, but 1 backed out last minute. We liked the location and Donald worked with us since it was only 4 people. Then they got hit hard by Hurricane Irma. By the time February came around, the Island was open for business. I want to thank all of the people and companies who worked so hard to recover from this disaster!

The location is great being close to Cruz Bay and right on the water. Donald was very helpful leading right up to or stay. Donald helped with getting taxi service to and from the airport. We also rented a car from Bougainvillea (Donald's Company). This was a bit of a disappointment as we rented a 4 door Jeep, but we were given a beat up Dodge Durango. It seemed there were plenty of nice Jeeps there, so we aren't sure why we got the Dodge. The only positive here was our ability to park there and then walk through town.

The Beach Villa and property could be gorgeous. I say could be because it does need a bit of updating and maintenance. To start with, 2 of our search criteria were a pool and a hot tub, and this had both. However, when we asked about the hot tub operation, we were just told "oh, we've been having problems with it so it doesn't work". We initially thought it was storm related, but realized the heater was just completely rusted out, so the system was turned off. This was disappointing and we never got to use the pool or hot tub. The inside could have used a little better cleaning and we had to completely wash all pots and dishes prior to use. Half of the kitchen lights did not work and they said they would fix them, but that never happened. There are 2 refrigerators, but 1 was turned off, and it still had stuff in it. The kitchen could have had some basic supplies such as paper towels or napkins, but you'll need to go to the store for that.. Don't leave anything on the counters or table because it will have ants on it in a short time. The televisions did not work (I guess due to the storm?) and the wireless is pretty unreliable (but we didn't go there to watch TV and play on the computer).There were the little centipedes mentioned in previous reviews, but it was no big deal to remove them with a tissue.

The grounds and beach are very nice and is a great place to relax and enjoy the views. There is a very friendly cat who resides on the grounds, however since he uses the beach as his litter box, you may get a surprise between your toes if you go bare foot.

Donald was a gracious and friendly host, and shared some nice wine with us on our last night. As I said, the Villa could easily be 5 stars with a bit of upgrading.

Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   No.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
skh2016
Ridgefield, Connecticut
2 reviews
“Found: Paradise in Paradise”
Reviewed 22 January 2016 for a stay in January 2016

This is the perfect place for a family reunion or group gathering. The setting includes
private pool, hot tub, beach area and hammocks....it is like your own mini-resort property.
The home decor has many artistic details (made by the talented owner)!
The five bedrooms are like individual mini-suites complete with full baths.
The BEST PART: The owners and staff exceed any expectations! Starting with arrangements for taxi
transport from the airport, meeting us at the ferry, referrals for catered meals,
rental car, restaurant reservations AND birthday party decorations and bubbly....
Highly recommend Beach Villa for your visit to St. John USVI.

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Liked best: No one "best": hosts, property layout, furnishings all equally wonderful
Liked least: not walking distance to town--but taxis or rental car are both good options
Travelling group: Extended Family
Your age range 50-64
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Large groups
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Winthrop...
Boston, Massachusetts
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Amazing place, Incredible people, Book with Donald Schnell and family!!”
Reviewed 28 September 2015 for a stay in May 2015
1
person found this review helpful

The beach villa is impressive and amazing. We were lucky enough to stay at both the beach villa and beach estate ( see our review of the beach estate on it respective page) There is an intimate indoor living space, my fiancé found this particular home to be her favorite among the villas that Donald offers. I myself could not decide. The outdoor space here is much flatter than usual villas on island and therefore gives the feel of more expansive grounds. Because of the flatter ground it makes you feel as if you are right at the water’s edge. Simply breathtaking!! Donald’s properties at night are magical thanks to the beautiful landscape lighting created at Schnell studios. The villa is five bedroom, five bath with each master suite having its’ own entrance. This is perfect for a group of people or a couple. The beach is an awesome spot with perfectly placed lounge chairs and hammocks with the right amount of shade. It was on the beach at this property that I proposed to my now fiancé! We both could not have asked for a more epic setting for the start of a new and exciting chapter in our lives! St. John is our favorite place to be and Donald’s properties are our favorite accommodations on the island, as well as being located close to town. We also rented a jeep from Donald during our stay and it was practically brand new. His vehicle rental rates were the most affordable on the island! We loved driving the jeep around the island and spent one day driving around the whole island. Make sure you make the trip to Maho beach to see turtles and if you are feeling up to a short hike, take the walk to Solomon. This beach has beautiful palm trees straight out of a corona commercial! We highly recommend Donald and the Schnell family for any of your needs on St. John, their service was amazing. They could not have provided a better experience.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
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Liked best: everything, especially the beach and landscape lighting
Liked least: nothing!
Travelling group: Spouse/Partner
Your age range 25-34
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway People with disabilities
Older travelers Families with young children
Large groups
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
  • Was your security deposit returned on time?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SouthBeac...
Miami, Florida
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Amazing property, exceeded our expectations”
Reviewed 8 September 2015 for a stay in August 2015

We went with a group of friends and had the most amazing time ever! We have frequented St. John a number of times and usually rent properties from this owner. On our last trip we stayed in his "Beach Estate" property. It was very majestic. When we couldn't get the same property again this year, we opted for his "Beach Villa" instead. We came in with some apprehensions of the property and were worried that it wouldn't meet the expectations of the other one. Wow, we were so wrong! Although this property seems smaller in scale the back yard area was the winning feature! You spend most of the time in the outside part of the house anyway. We enjoyed swimming in the bay right behind the home and spent hours in the pool and Jacuzzi. The property is eccentric with resident "pets" including turtles, fish, a cat, lizzards, and even hermit crabs. We absolutely loved every minute we spent here. I know we will return again, and this is definitely the property we will request in the future!

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Service
Liked best: The backyard/outdoor areas
Liked least: Nothing!
Travelling group: Friends
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Older travelers
Families with young children
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MeLoo2
Tri State Area
Level 6 Contributor
94 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Absolutely choose Beach Villa if staying on St. John!”
Reviewed 29 July 2015 for a stay in July 2015
1
person found this review helpful

We just got back from a 10 night stay at Beach Villa with my family of 8. From the beginning of the process in working with Donald, Eric and Debbie to the end of our vacation, we had a great experience. We had 4 of the 5 bedrooms at the house and all rooms had their own entrance, AC, full bathroom, and nice views. Seeing other places on our trip that i had researched before committing to beach villa, I can't say enough about how happy I am we booked this villa. It is the PERFECT spot. You have a nice sandy area and water access right into Great Cruz bay. We hung out on noodles and floaties out there in the bay throughout our stay. The pool, though small is also amazing. It was really great to have access to both. And the hot tub was a nice addition as well so we had lots of options. The artistry and decoration on the exterior of the house is beautiful and thoughtful. They used coral, shells, and plants to decorate the exterior. And it was a nice little oasis for our family to hang out in each day. There was plenty of seating around the outdoor table (the chairs need some padding, but thats its only downfall) made beautifully. There are three hammocks that we hung out in every day. Dinners were great outside and the kitchen was adequate for our needs. We ended up getting some groceries brought in ahead of time through Meredith at St John Provisions and i would highly recommend doing that as we were starving by the time we got to the house! Beds were all king beds, and the AC was nice to have a break from the high humidity in July. Frank checked on us and the house frequently and Mike stopped by as well to bring up a mid week clean up crew. We rented two jeeps through the company as well and they were the most reasonably priced and the cars were in great shape. Get the jeep wranglers, you need a car on this island. Trust me you don't want to take taxis everywhere, you want control of your driving ;) Plus there are so many beaches to see you want to be able to drive to all of them. I asked a lot of questions up front and all were answered thoroughly. Do not hesitate to stay here. This is BY FAR one of the nicest villas for a large group to stay at. You have privacy and you are super close to cruz bay. Do not get one of those houses on top of the mountain, you will regret it. The water access was literally precious. I really liked working with this group. They are good people and they were flexible with our requests. Beach Villa is a must stay if you are staying on St. John.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: bay access, pool, privacy, outdoor space
Liked least: just wished the wifi was stronger
Travelling group: Large Group
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Families with young children
Large groups
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
bearskinr...
Chugwater, Wyoming
Level 5 Contributor
81 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Beautiful as promised, but the worms...”
Reviewed 13 January 2015 for a stay in April 2014

Donald made an arrangement so my husband and I could rented one room, Room 5, overlooking the pool when he had no other guests. We did not have kitchen access, but we had access to all the outdoor amenities and a small fridge and sink in our room. For logistics, you do have to rent a jeep from Cruz Bay. We rented from Bougainvillea Leasing, Donald's company. By doing that we were able to park at his property in town. All communication was top notch.

It's a very special property with Donald's legendary ceramics in many adornments. The pictures do not lie. The only problem was there were little shiny black curling worms, about 3 cm long, everywhere. I first found them curled in the pool. Then they were in our outdoor shower, and on the walls, ceiling, and floor of our room. It was very manageable for my husband but I have a worm phobia. He said they were just centipedes and kindly kept throwing them out, but it was not my idea of relaxing. As we were paying at the top of our budget, though what is good value for St. John, it was a disappointment. I mentioned it to Donald the day we left and he acted surprised.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Bathroom cleanliness
Other facilities & amenities Service
Liked best: The ceramics
Liked least: The worms
Travelling group: Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   No.
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was your security deposit returned on time?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Don M
Pittsboro, North Carolina
Level 5 Contributor
69 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“A beautiful, comfortable place - friendly and informative host.”
Reviewed 25 February 2014 for a stay in January 2014

I recently celebrated my birthday with friends at the Beach Villa. It's a great place, open and airy, right on the water, wonderful landscaping, nice artistic touches. Located on Great Cruz Bay (not Cruz Bay), near (but not adjacent to) the Westin. I was totally happy with every aspect of the rental. Donald Schnell was a friendly and helpful host, who also rented us a virtually brand new Jeep, which made getting the island a breeze.

How easy was it to book the property? How easy was key pickup/access to the property?
Overall condition of the property Bedding & mattresses
Kitchen & utensils Bathroom cleanliness
Other facilities & amenities Service
Travelling group: Friends
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Large groups
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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