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“Paradise” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Garden by the Sea B&B

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Garden by the Sea B&B
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PO Box 37 | Enighed, Cruz Bay 00831, St. John   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 5 Cruz Bay B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence 2014
ct.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Paradise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013 via mobile

I very really write a review, but having stayed at Garden By The Sea for the second time and again having a great time, I was prompted to write. This is a small intimate B and B on the lovely island of St. John. The rooms are all very unique, some with open air showers. What makes it so special are Mickey and Frank. I want to thank them personally for such a lovely time. They both are very knowledgable about the island and offer great suggestions on how to plan your day or where to eat. A shout out to Capt. Phil on the Wayward Sailor for a great day of sailing and snorkeling. So not only are they helpful, but Frank has a wicked sense of humor and great to talk too and Mickey is so sweet and very creative. Please buy one of her paintings or craftwork, as I did. It will constantly remind you of them and the great time at GBTS.

Stayed March 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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124 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    105
    16
    2
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (29)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Kresgeville, PA
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

Garden by the Sea provides the best accommodation on the island! My husband and I enjoyed six days at the B&B staying in the Terrace View room. This place truly lives up to the excellence guests have posted on Trip Advisor. Mickey and Frank are a dynamic duo and know how to ensure guests feel welcome, well fed, and inspired to explore what St. John has to offer. The breakfasts are fabulous every day! We looked forward to the morning planning sessions with Frank. He provides better concierge service than any hotel, resort, etc. His knowledge of the island, plus the weather/wave reports guided us to the best beach/hiking for the day. Mickey, as well, will check out excursions opportunities and offer you material from their extensive library for any question you may have. We followed their suggestions on restaurants, etc. and were not disappointed. We did not rent a car but found the walk into town pleasant and doable. All that walking seemed to justify all the eating! We also took taxis/buses during our stay...not to mention a "Frank" taxi to Cinnamon Bay which was very nice of him. A highlight of our trip was discovering Salt Pond Bay. An adventurous bus ride for only $1.00 to THE BEST beach/snorkeling, plus, the hike to Ram's Head as well as Drunk Bay were really neat! Staying at Garden by the Sea is better than any hotel. It is like having friends in a really cool place that you can visit!

Room Tip: Terrace View Room is a floor above main house with it's own balcony. Great for AM coffee! Love...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arlington, Virginia
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

What does most to make a B&B special are the people who run it. Although not the owners, Mickey and Frank, the husband and wife who run this place, could not be better at what they do. Mickey greeted us with such genuine warmth that we immediately felt welcome and Frank was equally nice and could not have been more helpful advising us each morning as how best to accomplish our day's goals. Truly five star people or maybe six. :-)

The B&B is conveniently located, at least for those who like to walk. It is perhaps 10 minutes from downtown on foot. (We regretted renting a car. We didn't need it at all in Santa Cruz, particularly since we wanted to walk at least three to five miles a day. It would have saved us considerable money had we not rented and taken a taxi or bus the few times we wanted to go any distance.) The view from the Veranda where one eats breakfast is nice, iguanas are often visible and the birds attracted to the several feeders are a nice sight at breakfast.
This is a place I would be happy to return to. I graded it down from five stars however because the room we had - the Wild Ginger Room - was on the small side, not terribly well lit and perhaps because of its size lacking in places to unpack and store one's stuff - a chest of drawers would have been a big help, but there was no very good place to put it. The bathroom, however, was large and lovely, with a shower that was more or less open air. Also the breakfast wasn't quite up to the best B&B breakfasts I have had. There was one special entry each morning, some of which I liked but others I was not so crazy about, and although there was always a fruit salad, it was predominantly apple rather than the kinds of tropical fruits that I am used to enjoying in the Caribbean. These shortcomings are small matters and while they have led me to subtract a star from what I regard as perfection, they shouldn't put others off from choosing to stay here, and I would certainly stay there again.
A few other matters. Water is scarce on St. Johns. Some places are supplied by a desalinization plant, but many places like Garden by the Sea make do with rain water they collect, store and filter. This means that one does not flush the toilet after #1 and showers are short, with the water off while one soaps up. Neither of these was a major inconvenience or indeed even a bother, but people should know what to expect. There is an inexpensive cash honor bar with the first drink on the house, and guidebooks one can borrow to plan hikes or other tours as well as a small library of a kind that is common in B&Bs of this sort - basically a place where you can read books that others have left and leave any books you have with you that you have finished and don't want to keep.
Overall one leaves Garden by the Sea with warm memories. Thanks Mickey and thanks Frank - you both do a terrific job, and it was a pleasure to stay with you.

Let me say a bit about my standards. Five stars is a truly special place for the price and type. I would be delighted to stay there again because I couldn't imagine a better place at the price. Four stars means I was happy with my stay and would stay again, but there were a few elements that might have been improved. Three stars means that I didn't regard the place as special and I don't regret having stayed there, but if returning to the area I would look for a different place to stay. Two stars means I was quite disappointed and there were a number of deficiencies. One star means "What was I thinking when I booked? Avoid." All ratings are a matter of taste and especially with my three stars, others might like the place much more than I did.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milford, Connecticut
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2013

My Husband and I came to St.Thomas for my great grandmother's 100th birthday, but we wanted to stay in ST. Johns, so glad we did! Had a great time, so peaceful and relaxing. Although we took the ferry to ST. Thomas almost everyday, we did spend some time hanging out at the beach and had breakfast every morning with Frank and Mickey. My husband and I can honestly say this was one of the most pleasant trips we have had and it is because of Frank and Mickey's hospitality. We stayed in the Wild Ginger Room which was comfortable, clean and peaceful. If it was possible I think we could have stayed there for another week, but unfortunately we had to get back to the real world. There is no doubt in my mind that we will come back and stay at Garden by The Sea. Thank you so much Frank and Mickey for making our stay in ST. Johns a home away from home.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2013

My husband and I just returned from six nights at Garden by the Sea. Mickey and Frank (who manage the B&B six months out of the year) were great hosts, and we would definitely stay here again! The hospitality started six months before our trip with numerous emails from me to Nancy (who owns the B&B and manages it the other six months of the year) inquiring about all kinds of silly details and asking advice about activities/trip planning. Nancy was always very responsive and offered great advice on things to do, car rentals, day trips, etc.

When we arrived (late due to car troubles on St Thomas - I should have listened to Nancy's advice and rented a car on St. John rather than trying to bring one over from St. Thomas!), Mickey and Frank were there to greet us and provide us with an overview of St John including suggestions for daily itineraries, restaurants, and car rental options (we left our first broken down rental on St Thomas). Knowing that it was my husband's birthday, Mickey baked brownie cupcakes for him and served them with a candle during our first breakfast. Breakfasts each morning were delicious: french toast, blueberry pancakes, home made bread, oatmeal bake, egg bake, omlettes, and cinnamon rolls, all served with sausage or bacon and fresh fruit. Mickey and Frank also made fresh fruit smoothies for us each day, which were delicious treats to come home to after a day in the sun.

The B&B itself was comfortable. We stayed in the Wild Ginger room, which is directly below the Terrace View room. The Wild Ginger room was a comfortable size with a bench at the foot of the bed and a chair in the corner. Plenty of room for sitting around for short periods of time. I loved the open air bathroom, though we could clearly hear all conversations that the neighbors at the building next door were having (so also assumed they could clearly hear us).

The walk into town was about 10-15 minutes depending on the route. There are hills either way, though the longer route has a much more gentle climb than the shorter route.

Overall, we would recommend staying here!

Room Tip: The Garden Suite seemed to have the most privacy. The Wild Ginger is directly below the Terrace Vie...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

We had a wonderful stay at the Garden by the Sea. Mickey and Frank's attention to detail went above and beyond the call of duty (e.g., Frank dragged our bags to and from our room and drove us to the beach one day, as well as to town to catch the ferry). We stayed in the Wild Ginger Room and loved the open-air shower with plants. Breakfasts were fresh and yummy each morning and Frank was very helpful to orient us to restaurants and beaches. The location is an easy walk to town. Loved it!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge,. MA
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013

As with most all of the other reviewers, my husband and I loved staying at Garden by the Sea, a Caribbean style B & B with three rentals for travellers. We choose it because of it’s location, which is a 10 minute walk outside of Cruz Bay, St. John’s lively low key center of great restaurants and sporadic night life, and because of the great reviews on Trip Advisor. It was more wonderful than expected. We stayed in the Terrace View room, which has a small balcony overlooking the Caribbean and has the most privacy, since it is the only room located on the second floor. The breakfast served on the terrace, with extraordinary bird watching, was outstanding. There was a common living area that included a small kitchenette with a bar, refrigerator, and microwave.

Mickey and Frances, our hosts, were wonderful. They knew the ins and outs of the whole island and provided us with many interesting ideas for day trips. Mickey, an artist, and Frances, a sailor, provided insights to these aspects of island life. They go out of their way to make your stay a pleasant experience.

Garden by the Sea is about a 45-minute walk to two of the lovely north shore beaches or a short cab ride to the ones further north. For hiking, snorkeling, sailing, etc., you can walk to Cruz Bay, a center for getting to and from these other activities with transportation and equipment provided.

For those who don’t want high-end accommodations, want an environment friendly choice, and do not want to drive, this is a great option. We are making reservations to return next year and with these great reviews, we hope there will still be a room available.

In previous years, we also stayed in the Concordia Eco-tents in Coral Bay and in a studio on the water in the Rosewood Resort on Caneel Bay. The tradeoffs were obvious to us. Driving to and from Caneel Bay was difficult and once there, you needed to drive to the beaches and other activities. On the Caneel Bay side of the island, there were only a few choices for restaurants and going out at night. The Rosewood Resort, a self-contained very expensive resort, on a lovely north side beach, is not within easy walking distance to Cruz Bay and is a different type of experience. Rosewood is about double in price for water view accommodations and we did not think it was worth the extra money.

Room Tip: For most privacy, choose Terrace View Room.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
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

Address: PO Box 37 | Enighed, Cruz Bay 00831, St. John
Location: Caribbean > U.S. Virgin Islands > St. John > Cruz Bay
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 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 Bed And Breakfast
Garden By The Sea Hotel Cruz Bay
Garden By The Sea B&B St. John/Cruz Bay

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