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“Awesome place but don't expect the Ritz”

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Sunset Ridge Villas
Bonaire, Georgia
Level Contributor
16 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Awesome place but don't expect the Ritz”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 October 2012

The view is amazing and where else can you stay with a group of 7 and not be crowded. The staff was extremely friendly and helpful. They provided, a welcome package, (loved the rum), beach towels, chairs, coolers & everything else you can imagine. The only thing it needs to be equipped with is bug spray. The no-seeums are terrible! Just remember there is no air-conditioning in the units but they do have ceiling fans and box fans. I would recommend this place to anyone who has a large group traveling with them as long as you don't mind getting back to the simple things in life. Also found "Hawksnest Beach" to be the best as far as snorkeling, many different coral areas. We snorkeled all beaches and this was absolutely the best for viewing a variety of fish. Also found Iguanas bar to have the best grouper fingers!

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Beverly E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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23 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (6)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Chesapeake, Virginia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 July 2012

St John (SJ) is a unique type of island that steals your heart. I have been to many islands from Bahamas to Grenada but fell in love with SJ. If you are middle class & on a budget and don't have to stay at The Ritz - Sunset Ridge is a great place to stay. It's affordable, clean & they are doing upgrades all the time. Little no-seeums, and other little bugs do live all over SJ. I have never had bugs in my dresser, bags and there have been curtains on windows. The furniture is not the very best - but unless you want to pay Westin or Caneel Bay prices - then you look past the furniture. It's clean. We bought 2 weeks at SRV and we love it. The owners are continually doing upgrades & it has come along way. I would recommend it to anyone. I will say there is not a/c. But the breezes & fans at night keep you cool. And we are not there anyway - we are at the beaches, in town - out having fun. The poll looked liked it had been scraped & repainted and I saw no animal feces.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank LinDav55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pa
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 May 2012

We are back at Sunset Ridge Villa for two weeks in May. The view is the best. With just six units it is very peacful and friendly. Water and weather is warm and less people. Great time to be back on St John.

Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank pjpman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oyster Bay, New York
Level Contributor
26 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 May 2012

We returned to Sunset Ridge (4/28-5/5) after several years to find that the new management company has done a terrific job in renovating the villas and property. Where else can you find a 2 building villa with pool and outstanding views for a reasonable price?! The units are clean and spacious. Beach chairs and towels are provided. Foliage has been cut back to allow outstanding views. Unit E offers a panoramic view from the Westin west to St Thomas.
No need for air conditioning. There is always a breeze on the hill.
The beaches are all beautiful. Our favorites are Maho Bay and Francis Bay.
The restaurants in Cruz Bay can be expensive. The best deal is Joe's for BBQ ribs - eat there or take out.
We will go back next year!

Room Tip: Units A and F are least favorites. Units B and C overlook the pool. Unit E has widest ocean view.
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank chacunasongout
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 September 2011

Date of stay: July 16-23, 2011.
My review was posted in the wrong area.

I must beg to differ with these recent reviews. Apparently, many people love these villas just to be on St. John, but I found my vacation to be just the opposite. We exchanged into Sunset Ridge for a week. We left after the first night! I could not wait for RCI to open the next morning to get us out of there. We were in Unit C, which supposedly had just been updated. The only thing we could see were some new cabinets. Everything else was dilapidated. Even the kitchen utensils were corroded and could not be used. We could not even boil water since the tea pot was corroded with rust. Maybe most people eat out daily/nightly and do not use the utensils. We only wanted to make tea.

There were bugs everywhere!!! It was impossible to use anything in the kitchen because of the bugs, which we sprayed numerous times. The top of the garbage can was full of bugs. I left my luggage on top of the dining room table to prevent the bugs from crawling inside. One of my friends awakened during the night while sleeping upstairs only to find her chest full of bugs!!! Her luggage and pocketbook were also full of bugs. I had a sleepless night from not wanting to close my eyes in this place. At 8:00 the next morning, I was on the phone with RCI requesting for them to get us out of that place. I had numerous mosquito bites just from one night of being in this villa. I intended to stay in the master bedroom, but found the place to be pretty creepy. I slept for about 2 hours on the sofa. There are no curtains to prevent the neighbors from across the street from looking directly into the kitchen and living room. We found a table cloth and climbed on top of the counter, using some books on the side of the cabinets, to cover the window. I guess having people looking directly inside the unit is not a problem for most people. Upon arrival when the agent was showing us the pool, there was animal feces in several places near the pool, which she seemed to think was fine. So, were we supposed to look at the feces an entire week???

I must say that I was so taken aback by this place after hearing so much about the island of St John and wanting to stay there at what ever cost. Since RCI only has two timeshare properties on the island, and the Westin is so difficult to get in, we selected Sunset Ridge Villas. I don't think that this place should be affiliated with RCI (Resort Condominium International). I exchanged there from a gold crown resort for this place and I was very dissatisfied. I have stayed in other resorts that are not gold crown, but this one took the cake. It was the ugliest place I have ever seen. I don't vacation just for the views. I need to have a clean, satisfactory living environment, which this was not. The splash pool was also not available, but we would not have used it anyway after looking at the ugly ground surrounding it. The surface in the courtyard was horrible. The grill was rusty, as well as the lawn chairs.

I would never recommend my friends to stay at this place.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Hajjah85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
57 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 September 2011

This is a great place for a do it yourself vacation. As others have said it is not a resort. It is a collection of 6 condo-like villas. There is no air conditioning but you're at the top of the hill so you have constant breezes. You may get chilly at night, I did. Also remember that this is the tropics so the house is not bug-free. If these two things aren't a show stopper for you then you'll really enjoy the location and space. It is at the top of the hill from Cruz Bay. You'll need a car. You have all the markets, restaurants and shops nearby and the view over Cruz Bay to St Thomas is stunning. It was nice to see the twinkling lights of St Thomas from bed. The villa has everything you need from a full kitchen (dishwasher, blender, coffee maker, dishes, etc), a washer/dryer, gas grill, etc. The property management company met us at the dock to show us the way and were helpful and available throughout our stay!

Room Tip: Units A, B & C seem to have the better view.
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank lark536
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
opelika, alabama
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 August 2011

I just got back from a wonderful week in st john. We stayed at Sunset Ridge for the second time and plan to go back every year. We think it is perfect, but it might not be for everyone.

This is not a resort. Sunset Ridge is a complex with 6 units that sits on the highest point overlooking Cruz Bay. Each unit has 2 buildings. One that has the master bedroom/bath that sleeps 2 and a main building that has the kitchen/living/dining/powder room/laundry area downstairs and upstairs with a double bed and 2 twin beds with full bath. There is no air conditioning but a lot of windows that we kept open all the time. The trade winds are wonderful, but it can get hot. There are plenty of box fans, but all week I never slept under any covers, not even a sheet. After a day or so, you get used to the temperature. The bugs weren’t too bad but definitely need to take bug spray. There is a courtyard with a dipping pool in each unit, but there is a very nice size pool that all units share. Sunsets are beautiful and different each day.

St john is a small island in the US virgin islands and is mostly natural parks. I’ve been going there since 2003 and nothing has really changed in all that time. It is not over developed and definitely gives you the laid back island feel. Getting to sunset ridge is a process. You arrive in st Thomas and then take the ferry to st john cruz bay. The Cimmaron Property mgr will meet you at the ferry dock and escort you to the ridge. You have to have a 4 wheel drive vehicle to get up to the ridge. The roads are very steep and narrow. We rented a jeep commander. In order to get everyone plus luggage up to the ridge, you can only take one medium size suitcase which need to include your snorkel gear in it. You really don’t need a lot of clothes. We spent most of our time in bathing suits and eat in about half the nights. However, because of only having one vehicle, we all had to agree to do the same thing everyday. Nobody wears make up or does their hair. I only tried to do anything for the last’s nights dinner and then it was just mascara, lipstick and let my hair down instead of pulled back in a pony tail.

We stocked the kitchen to be able to have breakfast at the ridge and pack lunch/snacks/drinks for the day trips. Coolers/ beach chairs/ beach towels are provided. If you need more , the property mgt will provide it. Most groceries are more expensive since everything has to be shipped in and liquor/wine is double what we pay in the states. Although, we did find a local’s grocery that had better prices. We all shared the duties for the week. Cooking breakfast, packing coolers, packing the car, washing towels, getting groceries, bagging trash to take down the hill, etc.

Every day is about going to a different beach to snorkel and relax. We took two day trips off island which is a must do. Here is an sample itinerary:
• Day 1 – arrive in st Thomas, take the ferry to st john, pick up the rental car, settle in, go to woody’s for dinner. Woody’s is a famous local bar that is frequented by Kenny Chesney when he is on island.
• Day 2 – go to trunk bay for the day. It has an underwater snorkel trail you can follow which is fun. Have dinner at the ridge
• Day 3 – go to leinster bay for snorkeling for the morning and then to either francis or maho bay for the afternoon to relax. Since we were halfway there, dinner is at skinny legs which is in coral bay on the east side of the island…..opposite from where we are on the west side of the island
• Day 4 – off island. Sail to jost van dyke, bvi. Have to have your passport. Go to foxy’s in great harbor for a drink, then sail to soggy dollar bar in white bay for most of the day. We cooked at the ridge for dinner
• Day 5 – kind of a rest day. Go shopping in mongoose junction and at the wharfside village. We ate at the waterfront bistro for dinner…very good, fresh fish
• Day 6 – go to cinnamon bay for the day. Sun and snorkeling. We cooked at the ridge for dinner, tried to use all the food we could so as not to waste it.
• Day 7 – off island. Sailing day to some great snorkeling spots….lavongo cay and Christmas cove. We used Sail Safaris and would highly recommend them. Capt Han and 1st mate Samantha were knowledgeable, experienced and fun. Lunch is provided by the captain. We get back around 4. Dinner at Lime Inn is a must and a great way to end the trip
• Day 8 – have to return the rental car and catch the ferry back to st Thomas. The airport doesn’t open til 1:00 and the flight we get is 3:00. So when we get to st Thomas around lunch we hire a taxi(van) to hold our luggage while we go and eat at Gladys’ restaurant and meet the driver around 1:15 and then to the airport.

I put together what I think the individual expenses, at a minimum, would look like for the week.
airfare 500 (from atlanta, ga)
car/gas 150
parking 30
taxis 40 (to/from airport)
ferry 50 (to/from st john)
day trips/tips 300 (2)
groceries/drink 300
eat out 300
miscellaneous 130
total 1800

I absolutely LOVE this as a vacation. It makes me happy the minute I step on the island.
We loved the new cabinetry. I have seen on the SR website some talk of filling in the unit's dipping pool. I really hope they don't do that. It is great to come back from the beach and get in the courtyard pool and wash off the snorkel equipment and relax. Cimmaron was quick to handle any issues we had...need a new toaster and an additional beach chair and a couple of other things. The next thing we think needs to be replaced are the mattresses, a little lumpy. But , truthfully , we were so tired after the days activities it only really bothered one person who said the couch was more comfortable. Then i think everything else can be replaced as needed, ie the appliances.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank alee_travels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sunset Ridge Villas

Property: Sunset Ridge Villas
Address: | 1-F Estate Bethany, Cruz Bay 00831, St. John
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > U.S. Virgin Islands > St. John > Cruz Bay
Amenities:
Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 17 Speciality Lodging in Cruz Bay
Hotel Class:3 star — Sunset Ridge Villas 3*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Perched atop Sunset Ridge on beautiful St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands, are 6 lovely and quiet personal villas that take full advantage of their hilltop locale. The villas provide you with commanding views 180 degrees to the west. In the evening after a beautiful sunset, watch the lights of St Thomas flicker on or during the day watch the inter island traffic in Pillsbury Sound. But don't just take our word for it, view our video on the previous page. Each unit consists of two buildings with a private courtyard between them. On one side of the courtyard is the great house containing a fully equipped kitchen, dining and living rooms with a half bath and sleeping arrangements for 2 or 4 up stairs with a with a full bath. A fold out couch is available on the main floor to expand the possibilities for accommodations. A private master suite with a full bath is across the courtyard. The master suites are now air-conditioned for an additional fee. Televisions are in both the great house and master suite and each unit is equipped with its' own grill in the private courtyard. In addition there is a large 20' x 40' community pool with spectacular views of Cruz Bay, Pillsbury Sound and St. Thomas to the south and west. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sunset Ridge Villas St. John/Cruz Bay

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