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“True paradise!”
Review of House of Open Arms

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House of Open Arms
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 16 April 2011

My husband and I had the amazing opportunity to stay at A House of Open Arms for our honeymoon. As I read other reviews, I feel like there is no way to express how helpful Catherine has been or how amazing her place truly is. Catherine sent us a huge book on St. John before we made the trip, which we used every day while on the island. It led to some of our favorite snorkels and hikes of our trip. Catherine gave us good advice on where to rent a jeep (you will need one if you plan on getting to a lot of snorkeling places and A House of Open Arms). The people at the rental company were so helpful and kind. Catherine met us at the ferry dock with big hugs for both of us. She led us through town to get us settled. She was always willing to give advice or tell us more about great opportunities on the island. At the same time, we felt like we had a lot of privacy in the cottage/on the property. The dinner she made us on the first day was fresh, local, and amazing. You will be spoiled! The cottage has everything you need (we ate all breakfasts there, made sack lunches, and cooked most dinners on the grill). She's supplied you with pots, pans, dishes, a toaster, a blender (we loved this), napkins, basic fridge stuff, WONDERFUL granola, coffee, and a great cooking area (see our pictures...there is a fridge inside the cottage). We sat and ate all of our breakfasts and dinners out on the porch listening to the waves and birds. Catherine has really thought of everything and has a great selection of books, music, bug stuff (though we did not experience ANY bugs), fans, and basic bathroom items for you. We loved that the whole cottage and property was off the grid and ran off of solar energy (she mentioned that she was going to go on the grid this summer just for certain days). We did our best to live with a minimum impact as we were there, which supports the lifestyle we have at home. The whole island is beautiful and we cannot wait to go back. We told Catherine we would tell all of our friends about her place and we will continue to do so! We've stayed at a lot of homes on vacation, but this truly was one of the best. We just hope you don't end up taking our days when we make the trip back!

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank M2K_and_DK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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120 - 126 of 175 reviews

Reviewed 28 March 2011

We just returned from an 8 night stay at A House of Open Arms. My husband and myself do alot of traveling and I am always looking for the very best of the best. I did find it in A House of Open Arms. Catherine is an absolute gem. From the time I made the reservation, she began helping us plan the perfect vacation. From sending me a fabulous book all about the island, to helping me receive a discount at a rental car agency, meeting us at the ferry and driving us to pick up our jeep. She then led us to the grocery store and then to the villa. I felt like I was truly in paradise after arriving. The view is honestly breathtaking!!! Catherine cooked us the best meal we had all week the first evening as a welcome gift after a long travel day. We ate the meal in candlelight on our private deck. She also provided homeade granola, milk, sugar, coffee, and orange juice for breakfast. The villa is even more beautiful that the pictures on her web-site. The villa was spotless and had everything needed for a extremely comfortable stay. Did I mention the private pool??? I hesitate speaking so fondly about the House of Open Arms, because I always want their to be a spot for us every year. But, I am so blessed that I found the reviews on this site, or I would have not found this perfect slice of heaven. Thanks again Catherine and we will see you next year!

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Trina M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 March 2011

I cannot say enough about our recent stay at House of Open Arms.  Yes, St. John is a wonderful island but our House of Open Arms made it even better.  My wife and I stayed in the villa and it was perfect!  We are very picky when it comes to choosing accommodations when we travel and the villa was quaint, comfortable, clean - everything! 

With this being our first visit to St. John, we were greatly appreciative of Catherine's help with beach ideas and directions around the island.  She is a delightful host and is very accommodating.  In addition, we were very pleased with our decision to stay on the Coral Bay side of the island. 

I would highly recommend staying at the House of Open Arms and in fact are trying to plan a trip back!  

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank TNTravelers0909
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 February 2011

We stayed at the villa the last week of January.Catherine is the consummate host.Her property is very special (as is she) Do not miss getting to know this lovely lady. 4 wheel drive is a necessity and well worth it to experience this lovely place.(tho we always rent 4 wheel on St John). Road to villa is bumpy but we laughd every time. The moon was full the first few nights and we enjoyed our first night dinner she made for us in the candlelight and moonlight. This is the place to rejuvenate your relationship with your significant other and simply relax and enjoy the sounds of the water below, the birds that will prompt you to feed them the sugar , incredible sunrises,and a view that doesn't stop. This is as good as it gets on St John. Catherine is available to answer any questions or help you learn more about the island, yet you are not aware of her being on property unless you are looking for her.We love St John and plan to return .. this is a place not to be missed.

Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
2  Thank boodlesmtgretna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 January 2011

We had a lovely time at House of Open Arms. Catherine Perry is a wonderful human being -- smart, insightful, caring and also a good business woman who looks out for her property and guests in unusually devoted ways. We rented the villa (rather than the cottage) and were very pleased by the phenomenal view, the quality of the furnishings, the hummingbirds and banana keets in our little private garden, the privacy etc. And on top of it all, Catherine gives watercolor lessons (and is talented as both a teacher and an artist). She knows massage therapists and private chefs and the best restaurants, beaches, snorkels...
The road to the villa is a bit difficult - as many in St John are. So this is not a place for the elderly or faint-of-heart. But, if you are not in those categories and want a chance to simply feel great about being alive in this world, House of Open Arms is for you!

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank SusanofBoston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 January 2011

My husband and I returned last fall to A House of Open Arms Villa to celebrate our 1st anniversary at the very same place we had enjoyed our honeymoon. . and we wouldn't have had it any other way! Having been married at Cinnamon Bay Beach in St. John, we had fallen in love with this amazing island that offers breathtaking beauty and several beaches to choose from which are truly right out of paradise! And how fortunate we consider ourselves to have found Catherine Perry's magical Villa, tucked away in the scenic mountains of Coral Bay, where the stars and birds are your neighbors, far away from the hubbub and commotion of a typical resort. This is the perfect spot for ROMANCE and getting away from it all while still being connected to the best of everything! Yes - there are great restaurants, shops and other such things very accessible and nearby, if that is one's choice, (and we had easy cell phone/internet access, too) but this is what one can do at home! We spent as much time as possible viewing the sunrises and sunsets from our private veranda, stargazing and relaxing in our private pool, connecting with each other in the spacious and elegant villa and planning our excursions to the beach each day! A House of Open Arms is a "lifestyle of the rich and famous" type of place, with incredible views and privacy, at a price that even a non-celebrity can afford! Everything is immaculate, spacious, elegant and well-cared for! Amenities are top-notch - you can't beat the cool sea breezes for a perfect night's rest - and let me emphasize that although you are in a very natural setting, this is by no means "roughing it." My husband and I are in our mid to late 40's and no athletes (we enjoy gentle yoga and nature walks for fitness); however we found that the pathway to/from the Villa was simply invigorating and of no strain! Also, our daily jaunt to and from the beaches along the scenic roads in our 4WD was part of the adventure that makes this place so unique! And although it's been written hundreds of times by other reviewers including ourselves, it is worth mentioning here again how wonderful Catherine is - a genuinely caring, vivacious and talented woman who is the truly heart and soul of this incredible place! We will be returning again soon!

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank JustineW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 December 2010

After a couple of tries to get to a House of Open Arms, we finally made it, and WOW, what a vacation! This was by far the most fun we ever had on a vacation! The best part of our trip was staying at Catherine's paradise, A House of Open Arms' cottage. It is precious to say the least. We ate out only one meal; the rest made our meals on the grill and eating by candlelight every night or by sunrise each morning. We are in our mid 50's and although the driveway was a bit of a challenge (as another reviewer stated), it gives me incentive to get myself in shape for our return trip. Yes, we will be back. The road into Catherine's place is what made it so much fun, bouncing up and down, running into the neighborhood donkey or two, and then settling in for the night only to be lulled to sleep by the crickets, frogs, and night birds - I LOVED EVERY MINUTE WE WERE THERE!

YOU HAVE TO TRY THIS PLACE. Catherine is such a genuine, caring, and lovely lady. You can tell she truly wants nothing but the best for you and to make your vacation all that you have dreamed it would be. Oh, one more mention would be the welcome dinner - It was the best meal of our trip. She leaves you with homemade granola, coffee, milk, orange juice, all the soaps and bath items you would need for your stay. She would always ask us if we needed anything for our cottage, and would always ask us how our day went. To sum this trip up would be easy, PERFECT. ABSOLUTELY PERFECT!

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Ronniedawg01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about House of Open Arms

Address: 15-2 Estate Fortsberg | Coral Bay, 00830, St. John
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > U.S. Virgin Islands > St. John
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 32 Speciality Lodging in St. John
Price Range: £127 - £268 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 2
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A House of Open Arms is a beautiful vacation villa and cottage on the peninsula of Fortsburg in Coral Bay, St. John, USVI. 75% of St. John is Nat'l Park and we are located just outside of it overlooking Nat'l Park waters of Hurricane Hole, East End and beyond to Norman Island in the British Virgin Islands. We have solar water power and we are on the grid so we have air conditioning too! 180 degree white water views wrap around this delightful one bedroom villa and charming one bedroom cottage. The villa is 1000 square feet and has 1 bedroom, living room, kitchen, bathroom, veranda and pool. The cottage is 650 square feet and has a wrap around porch, outdoor cooking area, front entryway, bedroom and an inside bathroom with an outdoor shower. Both areas are separate and very private. The cottage is down the hill from the villa about 40 steps. While the cottage will only hold 2 people, the villa can accomodate small children easily. The property is owned and managed by Catherine Perry a local potter and watercolor artist. She is available for local knowledge, helping plan excursions, restaurant recommendations or any need you may have. House of Open Arms is located on a breathtakingly green, private hillside with constant, cool ocean breezes. Come relax in peaceful elegance and see how well you can live while staying in balance with the world around you! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
a House Of Open Arms Hotel St. John
House Of Open Arms St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands

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