We had an exceptional experience at Villa Marbella. We stayed in the Frenchmans Bay Loft. This was our first vacation together - me a little more adventurous than him - so staying here was a fantastic compromise to staying at a resort.
The area is Frenchman's Bay - 10 minutes from Charlotte Amalie and 15 from Redhook. The Villa is tucked into one of the many windy mountainsides and gives the impression of semi-seclusion. If you want to stay secluded there's an almost-secret beach where the owners cleared a rustic path. Bring tennis/hiking shoes for the walk and be prepared for a 10 minute strenuous hike. I think this was our favorite beach. We went to the beach every morning, caught a swim and a workout and never saw another soul. However if you want more action without leaving the mountain, just a 3 minute drive (or hilly walk) brings you to the Bluebeard Beach Resort where they have a pool bar (maybe in the high season only?), a full service restaurant and calm beach. We spent a great day here as well. There are other restaurants in the immediate area, the next closest being Iggy's where the food is ok, but they always have something going on at night.
The accommodations were perfect. Leah and Gunnar (hosts) really thought of everything. They provide beach chairs, a beach bag, snorkel gear, cooler, coffee, little snacks, water, and guide books and have an open door policy to provide you with further recommendations for your trip. They offer free wifi - we didn't bring a laptop but will the next time I go. Verizon Wireless works terribly on island. The living area is small, but we expected that because the pictures represent very well. We did not feel like we were on top of each other. The bed was comfortable and the bathroom was all we needed. Not to mention the semi-private patio with chairs - sitting there was a perfect way to start and end a day!
A couple of things I strongly recommend:
~Rent a car. The site seeing you experience is well worth learning how to drive on the left.
~Stop to get breakfast items and other little things. The refrigerator is small but we were able to fit a lot of beverages, yogurts, cheese and other snacks. It makes for a leisurely morning. The hosts provide sugar, sweetener and coffeemate, but if you prefer milk for your morning coffee, pick that up as well.
~If you're water guzzlers like us, pick up more. The hosts provided more than I expected but we still went through 1 1/2 cases of water during the 7 days there.
~There are 3 dogs and a cat on-site. If you're not animal lovers, you may not like how friendly the animals are. We loved them.
I plan to stay at Villa Marbella again and strongly recommend it to those looking for an alternative to the crowds at a resort.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.