First off, this is not a negative review of the property in general - more of a "what if" list of suggestions for the owner to consider (and questions future guests might ask). I stayed with a group of 5 for a big 50th birthday celebration. While we left satisfied overall with our experience (lemons to lemonade, right?), there were enough "little things" that left us feeling we would look for alternate accommodations from an alternate host on out next trip to Saint Martin.
First, know you'll need a car to fully enjoy this villa and the area for shopping, supplies, beaches, etc. We rented a jeep which was perfect for our needs.
The hosts (owners) live downstairs, so just something to be aware of. Pros and cons to that of course.
The hosts met us when we arrived and were very friendly in showing us around. We were awestruck at first. The view is absolutely stunning as portrayed in pictures - in fact so amazing we initially overlooked small flaws that crept into our awareness the first few hours of our stay.
One of our party used the WC in their guest room only to discover it was non-functional. We were prepared to "self repair" but the toilet tank lives somewhere in the wall and the host was nonplussed in recommending we use the public WC on the other side of the villa during our stay. Okay then. First "lemons to lemonade" opportunity for us, right?
Very soon after arrival, and while having a drinkie on the deck, we noticed the water feature for the infinity pool was non-functional. This is a big deal when it comes to setting the "ambience" of a special place like this. The owner, again, shrugged and said the part was on order. It did not appear to have been working for some time. Alrighty then. Lemonade opportunity number two for us.
The last "little thing" that maybe bothered me the most was the owner's reaction to our question about the freezer and ice-making capacity. Remember, there's five of us in a six person capacity villa. We're celebrating. It's consistently 80-90 degrees F. We're going to want icy cold drinks often, right? Well, the "automatic ice maker" produced about one tray's worth of ice every few hours. This seemed more than inadequate in hosting a group of guests and I asked the owner if it might be broken or if there was a special trick to producing more. Again, nonplussed, he said we could go buy bags of ice at the store for 1 euro. We did this frequently of course, it was actually 2 euro each and about 1KM away by car. The ice was partially melted during resupply missions and globbed together once in the freezer. Not ideal.
In summary, nice place. Superlative view. AC worked well in all rooms for sleeping. Lemonade was enjoyable but nicer maybe if we didn't have to deal with lemons to start with. Great potential to fully deliver on photos and description.
In view of our need to adjust expectations and compensate for all the little issues, the person in our party who arranged the booking on Airbnb requested the owner consider deducting one night of our 10 night stay in a gesture of goodwill. Not hearing back from the owner for 10 days, our arranger proceeded to publish a positive 4 star review on Airbnb. The owner immediately posted his own very negative review of his guest and our friend on Airbnb. This seemed very lowball and extreme to us. Why not honestly communicate with your guest during the allowed window of opportunity? For this reason, I highly recommend you take Airbnb ratings with a "grain of salt".
Also of note, we booked last minute during low season for 10 nights. The owner was very well compensated for what likely would have been a vacancy. A gesture of goodwill in refunding one night seems like a reasonable response from my days of professional customer service and brand recovery.
Recommendations for owner (and consequent questions a guest might ask in advance):
1) Fix the en-suite toilet as advertised on Airbnb immediately. At a very minimum, when things don't work, let your guests know in advance or upon arrival so they don't use said facilities and have to self-help.
2) Fix water feature for infinity pool post-haste. It's an important element. Have an extra part on hand - it's a humid, salty environment and it will happen again.
3) Install a dedicated auxiliary ice maker in the utility room. It's a warm climate. Ice melts fast. At the very least, buy like 10 plastic ice trays for the freezer and give guests a fighting chance of avoiding frequent trips to the store for bags of ice.
4) Exercise grace and concern in working with your guests while on site and in post-visit requests of goodwill. A common flaw for any business is that they assume everyone is "out to get them" or "work it" when asking for consideration. The exact opposite is true: it's just one extra opportunity to turn a lemon into lemonade for your business.
Footnote: if the owner should proceed to slam this review, he might well consider point number (4) above just one more time.
I had a similar experience to the reviewer who expressed concerns about the number of guests this villa can accommodate -- in addition to that the owner was rude (as evidenced by his response to her review).
If you are expecting what you see in the photos you will be disappointed. What they don't show is the multitude of unfinished construction work on the property. For example one toilette was out of service our entire stay! There also were unfinished soffits and drywall, and the pool fountain was also out of service.
All of this was manageable, but our expectations were set unrealistically high by the the photos and property description provided by the owner. And again, the owner was RUDE.
The villa is beautiful and well-located, but proceed with caution: check with the owner to ensure that all facilities are in working order before you book -- one of the toilets was inoperable during our entire stay, which became quite inconvenient for the two members of our group sharing that room. We understand that these things happen, but let us know before we arrive so that the expectation is set (I've had this happen at other properties and it was no big deal). While communication was good during our stay, when we asked the owner if he might consider a slight discount after our stay, he was completely unresponsive until after we left a 100% positive review and he sent a very negative, three-paragraph, inaccurate rant through Airbnb and proceeded to do the same in his review of us. Totally surprised and caught off guard by that behavior, but now I'm not surprised to see he threatened to sue someone in his response to another review here on TripAdvisor. It's a shame, really, because all of this negative energy could have been avoided if he had just let us know that one of the en-suite toilets was broken, or taken the time to respond to our messages about the issue, as more reasonable hosts do. As such, I'd recommend taking a look at other villas in the Cul-de-Sac area, a few of which look like they're equally as beautiful...
I rarely write reviews , but felt compelled to do so since my family and friends had such a wonderful time at this villa. To start it has probably has better views than any villa on the island and is brand new and super clean. We really enjoyed dining on the deck with the yacht and sear in the background, and having champagne in the infinity pool over looking this amazing view. The led lighting in the pool really enhanced the ambiance at night . We had such a great time that we plan to go back
Staying here COMPLETELY RUINED our vacation. The owners should be more honest about number of people they can COMFORTABLY accomodate.
They sent us photos of an additional apartment bedroom for our use which was locked our entire visit and a horrible pull out couch was in the main apartment area instead. Completely unacceptable. Owners were completely unresponsive to our request to have the use of the bedroom promised.
I can't say enough of how much they ruined our entire vacation. Waste of money. Wish I had stayed anywhere but here.