We have just returned from an eight day stay at Sandy Ground Estate and are a little fearful of spreading the good news of this little gold mine to the world. That being said, it is a place that some people would not find ideal. This is THE place for those that don't need to be entertained by the bar scene, TV or telephones. The villa had a well equipped kitchen, incredible views from the patios/bedrooms, and was nicely designed in a Tuscan style. The shutters on the windows all had moveable louvres. Most of the windows didn't have screens, which was only a problem in twilight hours when the no-see-ums (some) and the mosquitoes (very few) come out. The rest of the time we wanted to have to windows open wide for the beautiful breezes and great ocean sound. If a lizard poked his head inside, it usually wasn't for long.
Although its a short walk to Foxy's Taboo (bar/restaurant with a great chef), you'll want to bring your own food. We ordered ours online from Bobby's Marketplace (Tortola). Is difficult to know exactly what you are getting from their 17 page shopping list. Next time we'll try to shop for ourselves. There are a couple convenience stores on Jost Van Dyke, but they stock only the basics and are not within an easy walking distance.
Sandy Ground's beach is a beautiful one. They have planted palm trees and sea grape trees for some shade. The hammocks and chairs complete the scene. Their beach is not much of a swimming beach since the reef is right there. However, there are some spots without the reef for a nice dip in the 80 degree crystal clear warm water.
We took an eco-tour with Colin from Jost Van Dyke Scuba. He was an excellent guide for snorkeling and hiking at Sandy Cay. I would recommend his services. He seems to be trying to create more eco-tourism instead of hotel/bar development in the area. Snorkeling off the SGE beach is very good, off of Sandy Cay is even better. Lots of colorful fish, coral and even a few sea turtles.
How we got to Sandy Ground: Delta Airlines to St. Thomas. Then, land taxi to Charlotte Amalie port for $17. Water Ferry from Charlotte Amalie to West End, Tortola ($49 each for round trip ticket). Picked up our food on the dock at West End and took a water taxi to Sandy Ground for $100 each way. Nadine, from Sandy Ground, helped with the ferry and water taxi arrangements. If you've got the money, I'd go for the $225 water taxi directly from St. Thomas to Sandy Ground.
Getting around Jost Van Dyke- Although there is a road within Sandy Ground Estate, there is not a road connecting it to the rest of the island (there is a path to the road). Walking to Foxy's Taboo is maybe 15 minutes with a hill on the return. Walking to Little Harbor involves a big hill and about 30 minutes. Walking to Great Harbor and White Bay would be considered more of an outing at about an hour or more. Land taxis are available and charge $5 to get to the next harbor per person. (From White Bay to SGE, taxi cost us $30). The taxi meets/drops you off at the above mentioned path.
Personally, I have never had such a relaxing vacation. We stayed in Loblolly Tree House (perfect for two couples) and loved it. Its an ideal spot to sit and watch the scenery and wildlife (the pelicans were a trip as well as a colorful little sugar addicted bird called a bananaquit). The outdoor showers have a dream view. The house had a few games, many local guide books and lots of fiction to read. If you are looking to get away from reality but still want a kitchen and a nice bed, this could be your spot.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to Sandy Ground Estates, perfectly situated on Jost Van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands, this unique location offers an experience like no other: glorious weather, azure waters, brilliant beaches, fascinating flora and fauna, awe-inspiring coral reefs and activities almost too numerous to mention. Jost Van Dyke is the smallest of the four main islands of the British Virgin Islands with Sandy Ground Estates, made up of six villas, occupying the eastern end of the island overlooking picturesque Sandy Spit, Sandy and Diamond Cays and only minutes walk from a sandy white beach you can call your own. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Sandy Ground Estates Hotel Jost Van Dyke
- Sandy Ground Estates Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands