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“Great place with amazing hosts” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Garden by the Sea B&B

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Garden by the Sea B&B
Ranked #2 of 5 Cruz Bay B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
NY
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Great place with amazing hosts”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 November 2013

Stayed here in late Oct and were treated like family. Great rooms, beautiful view and absolutely delicious breakfast. The hosts we very caring suggesting places to go, providing us with gear and lots of care, highly recommended.

  • Stayed October 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank worldtrekker1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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194 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (52)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Baltimore, Maryland
Level Contributor
178 reviews
67 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 131 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 November 2013

We just returned from a delightful five-night stay at Garden by the Sea and would recommend it unconditionally. Armed with clear directions from Nancy, it's only a few minutes' drive from town, with parking for all guests, if needed. Those who wish to walk will find it takes only minutes--and we availed ourselves of this option when we didn't want the hassle of finding parking at night in Cruz Bay. John and Nancy were extraordinarily helpful arranging activities, checking times and conditions, and offering spot-on dining suggestions. We stayed in the Garden Suite which boasts a bathroom open to the sky, filled with vines and orchids--like showering in a tropical paradise! Every breakfast was delicious--especially the pancakes studded with Maine blueberries that Nancy brings down to St. John each season they're in residence. Be sure to bring home one of the beautiful wind chimes that Nancy crafts as a way of recycling glass. The sound will echo what your heart will be saying--"got to go back again one day!"

Room Tip: We adored the Garden Suite.
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank atastefortravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Burke, Virginia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 November 2013

My wife and I stayed at Garden by the Sea October 18-23rd and could not have been happier. When we got out of the taxi at Garden by the Sea, we were met at the door by John and once inside by Nancy. Immediately we could tell they were very nice people. We were the first guests to arrive and we were given a quick tour of the premises and our room. We had booked the Garden Suite because of the outdoors shower in the bathroom. The room was nicely appointed and very clean. The room was broken up into a bedroom area and a small living area with a day bed/couch and coffee table. Each room had its own ceiling fan and the bedroom had a window A/C unit, which was definitely strong enough to cool both rooms down. The bed was a bamboo four post bed with a mosquito net draped over it (I think it was for show because we didn't have any bugs in the room). The coolest part of the room was the bathroom, weird, I know, but it was an open air bathroom with a partially roofed and partially screened in top. Obviously, since it was open air, we had to keep the door shut to keep the a/c in the rooms. But the shower area had the screen over it and it was really cool to shower under the open skies!

John and Nancy had just returned from Maine and all of our breakfasts included some use of Maine blueberries. All of the breakfasts were delicious and they always had other fresh fruits in addition to whatever Nancy cooked. We did not have any special dietary needs, but John and Nancy were sure to ask when we got there. The common area was very neat, a small kitchen area for us to use where the fridge had a shelf dedicated for each room and a wide open living room. The tile floor was decorated with fish made out of other color tiles and it was really cool. They also maintained an "honor bar" where drinks cost $2 if you put alcohol in it or $1 if it was just juice or soda. One of our favorite things was coming back to the B&B in the afternoon after being out all day, showering up and then sitting down with a drink and our books for some down time before heading in to town for dinner.

The B&B was located just outside of downtown Cruz Bay and it was a pretty easy walk into town. The room key had a flashlight attached to it and they explained we could use a path between the property and the salt pond and through the yard of Coconut Coast Studio, an art studio right across the street from Frank Bay. Make a right and go up the hill, past Gallows Point and down into town. It took us less than 10 minutes to get into town, very easy and the hill really wasn't too bad.

Overall, we really enjoyed our stay at Garden by the Sea. The B&B was neat, clean and very well run. Nancy and John asked us each morning what our plans were for the day, offered tips and advise for places to go see and every afternoon they made sure we had dinner plans and recommended restaurants if we didn't. Nancy even drove us to Starfish Market our first morning there, she had some grocery shopping to do and we had mentioned we wanted to go there to grab some food for lunches to bring to the beach during the week. She waited for us and drove us there and back, which was fantastic! John and Nancy were wonderful hosts, extremely knowledgeable about the island and very interesting people to talk with. They obviously love St. John and went out of their way to make sure we had everything we needed for a great stay.

To Nancy and John, Thank You again for a wonderful time at your piece of paradise, we can't wait to come back.

Room Tip: The B&B is only three rooms, we enjoyed the Garden Suite which gave us a bit of extra room and t...
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank eholo5yx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 November 2013

My husband and I stated here 10/28 through 11/3 for our honeymoon and could not have been more pleased. This is the cutest and most intimate b&b I have ever stayed in. John and Nancy go out of their way to make your stay comfortable and make sure you have everything you need for a great vacation. Breakfast every morning out on the veranda never disappointed. We loved coming "home" from dinner and having drinks in the common room with the sounds of nature and island music playing in the back ground. We are already planning a return trip for our anniversary next year. They even brought our luggage to us at the Ferry dock so we wouldn't have to walk around town with our suitcases. There is an easy path to walk to town, we only rented a jeep for 2 days and still saw so much of the island. Taxi's are easy to get to the north shore beaches.

Garden by the Sea added so much to our honeymoon. Stay here, you will not be disappointed :)

Room Tip: We rented the wild ginger room and LOVED the semi outdoor shower. It is plenty big enough for a coup...
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Jennifer E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brooklyn, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 October 2013

I spent a week at the Garden By The Sea and had a lovely stay. Nancy and John were incredibly welcoming and helpful. They cooked delicious breakfasts for us, which we took on the deck, watching the birds and the view. It's walking distance from the center of Cruz Bay, so you can go out for dinner/drinks and don't worry about driving and parking. It's also peaceful and quiet, at night you can hear the tropical sounds of nature as you fall asleep. I just wish the mattress had been a bit more firm, as I have lower back pain. Obviously you won't have ALL the comfort and amenities of a big hotel chain, but that's not what you're looking for in a quaint B&B, right? Just don't forget to put on plenty of bug spray - but Nancy & John will have you covered, literally :) I highly recommend this place!

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank fionaconrad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
McKinney, Texas
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 September 2013

We had the best time at Garden by the Sea. Breakfast on the deck watching the birds and iguanas was the perfect start of our day. Then we got plenty of advice on the best places to go and the must sees. After hiking or snorkeling we came back to rest for a bit before heading into town for dinner.

On our wedding day, Michael and Carol were kind enough to give us a ride out to Trunk Bay. They stayed for the ceremony so Michael could take some pictures for us. Then they took us over to the Ocean Grill for our wedding supper. They really went above and beyond to make sure our special day was perfect. Then they surprised us with champagne in our room when we came back from dinner.

We will be back someday.

Room Tip: We stayed in the Garden Suite and it was just lovely.
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank NancyNord
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 August 2013

I've stayed in other places in Cruz Bay/St. John, but Garden by the Sea is where I'd definitely want to stay again. The location, amenities, and innkeepers really make this place a gem!

First of all, this place is a very short walk to the center of Cruz Bay, which means you don't have to take taxis to get to the restaurants/bars in town. There is a bit of an uphill walk to get to town, but it's easy to walk up. Since they're not right in town, it's blessedly quiet all day. Also, you get nice views of the nearby salt pond (great bird-watching)!

The inn is located in a beautifully painted gingerbread-style house. The main room and guest rooms have beautiful Caribbean mosaics on the floor, and the balcony (where they serve breakfast) is covered with beautiful flowering plants. The guest rooms are simple, but very elegant - and blessedly air-conditioned. The bathroom where we stayed (Wild Ginger Room) had a semi-open-air (screened) garden shower, which was a really cool feature.

The breakfasts were delicious and prepared exactly to our liking- featuring items like eggs benedict, piña colada French toast, and blueberry pancakes. It was wonderful watching the native bananaquits (birds) and hummingbirds eating from the feeders while enjoying our breakfasts on the beautiful balcony.

What really made the stay amazing was the attention of John and Nancy, the owners. They were welcome and friendly right from the start, and they offered some amazing tips on local attractions, (even for those of us already familiar with St. John!) They have beach chairs, coolers, and snorkel equipment available for use, and they were happy to make car rental arrangements for us as well. John even delivered our luggage to the ferry dock, when we wanted to get some morning beach time before heading back to St. Thomas!

The only negative thing I can think of is that GBTS does not accept credit cards or personal checks. However, Nancy and John do a great job of explaining their payment process before you arrive, so there are no last-minute surprises.

If you're looking for a big resort with lots of swanky amenities, GBTS isn't for you. However, if you want a truly memorable experience with tons of local flavor, you can't get better on St. John than Garden-by-the-Sea!

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank SmooveBB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Garden by the Sea B&B

Property: Garden by the Sea B&B
Address: PO Box 37 | Enighed, Cruz Bay 00831-0037, St. John
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > U.S. Virgin Islands > St. John > Cruz Bay
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 B&Bs / Inns in Cruz Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Garden by the Sea B&B is the quintessential Caribbean home: bright, colorful walls; local art and paintings; gingerbread trim; lush gardens with coconut and banana trees; & nesting birds, iguanas, and peacocks. We are located in the heart of Estate Contant and Enighed – a funky little neighborhood within walking distance of Cruz Bay and 1 ½ blocks from Frank Bay Beach. Your hosts have lived on St. John for over 12 years and are very familiar with the island and the national park and are very willing to help plan your daily activities. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Garden By The Sea Hotel Cruz Bay
Garden By The Sea Bed And Breakfast
Garden By The Sea B&B St. John/Cruz Bay

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