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“Off season disappointment” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Ivan's Stress Free Guest House & Campground

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Ivan's Stress Free Guest House & Campground
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White Bay, VG1160, Jost Van Dyke   |  
Hotel amenities
West Des Moines, Iowa US
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
“Off season disappointment”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2011

We (me, husband & 2 teenage boys) had been really looking forward to staying a couple nights at Ivan's campground, and ended up being disappointed. We spent our vacation hopping around the USVIs and BVIs, and included 2 nights on Jost, where we had reserved one of the cabins. We kept low expectations and a good sense of humor about it -- we knew it was going to be low on luxury, but were excited about it anyway.

What we didn't expect was that Ivan's was basically shut down because business had been slow. No food was being served at all, the "honor bar" was locked except for a few hours in the afternoon when Charlene was there, and there just wasn't much going on. We walked into Great Harbour a couple times for food, and also down to Soggy Dollar Bar, which we enjoyed.

The cabin itself was about what we expected -- pretty bare-bones. We didn't much breeze coming through, so it got kinda stuffy at night. We ended up taking our sheets and pillows and sleeping on the lounge chairs out on the beach. Our first night there, we were the only ones staying at the campground. The 2nd night, a couple other people were there.

Bug spray? Bring it. Bring a lot and the strongest stuff you can get.

The bar has a lot of charm, and many interesting things on the walls -- made me wish we were there when some of the fun was happening. I know a lot of places close down in Aug-Sept-Oct; I just didn't expect it in early July. The other end of White Bay was hopping during the day with a lot of boats in, so it wasn't too hard for us to walk down there for food and drink.

The beach itself -- gorgeous. Truly one of the best beaches I've been on. It's hard to be too unhappy when you have beauty like this in front of you.

Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
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33 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
New York City
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2011

We just got back from staying 7 glorious nights at Ivan's Guest House at White Bay & we are already planning our return trip! I'm reluctant to share my favorite place with the world, but I want Ivan's to flourish, too.

We were so sad to leave and really had an amazing time! I had stayed in a tent on the campground in 2009 with a group of friends and had an amazing time, but this time I wanted to have more creature comforts like our own bathroom, shower, kitchen, fridge, etc. I couldn't wait to go back & made this recent trip with my boyfriend. We looked at pics of the guest house on their vrbo site: http://www.vrbo.com/304310 and http://www.ivansstressfreeguesthouse.com/

We called the number on the vrbo site and reserved with the lovely & friendly Darlene. The pretty white guest house sits about 20 feet up a hill right behind the bar and restaurant. It faces White Bay. They are finishing up the newer guest houses up the hill slightly, behind the current guest house.

The 1 BR guest house apartment is spacious, bright, clean, well appointed. The bedroom has a queen & a twin bed with a big bathroom with a shower. The living room has a comfy spring futon couch that doubles as a full size bed. The kitchen is large, equipped with a stove/oven, microwave, mid-sized fridge, coffee maker, pots, pans, utensils and a dining table for 4. The kitchen opens up into the living area & there is a seating 'bar' with 2 bar stools. The living area has the futon couch, a TV, a boom box stereo that plays CDs and the radio, a coffee table.

There are fans throughout the apartment and A/C in the bedroom. The floors are tile and the ceilings are high. There is a huge balcony with an incredible view of Ivan's bar, restaurant and White Bay. There's a table and plenty of chairs. You'll want to spend a lot of time admiring the stunning view here. We cooked pasta and kept a bunch of food & beer in the fridge. You'll want to either buy bottled water or bring your own Brita pitcher for safe drinking water. We didn't get sick at all drinking the filtered tap water.

There is also a Studio apartment for rent downstairs. It's smaller, with a full size bed, 2 tables, a microwave, small fridge, coffee maker, small TV & some forks, knives, mugs. It has a large balcony with a table and some chairs to hang out on that also has an amazing view of White Bay. It's much smaller than the 1 BR balcony but it's great too! You will most likely want to hang out at the water's edge on the beach anyway.

It's a great place to stay & chill out enjoying Ivan's Stress Free Bar & restaurant & White Bay. We spent the whole time lolling about in the turquoise water, snorkeling right in front of Ivan's, and hanging out in Ivan's Stress Free Bar chatting with Darlene, Charlene, Tena, Ivan and all the campers and visitors.

The restaurant at Ivan's is excellent. They serve all kinds of deliciousness, from Garlic Shrimp with pasta, Mahi Mahi, conch fritters, etc. The portions are huge and scrumptious. They have a Thursday night $25 BBQ that is incredibly delicious: bbq chicken, ribs, fish, rice, cole slaw, various salads, corn bread, corn on the cob. YUM! There's also live music by Ivan's cousin, Ruben Chinnery.

Ivan's is also very close to Soggy Dollar bar, home of the yummy & famous Painkiller drink. We spent many hours and lots of dollars chilling out over there. You can walk to Great Harbour to 'downtown' where Foxy's, Corsair's, etc is. Or you can take a taxi...

****It's very important to bring a ton of strong sun block, Solarcaine for sun burns, extra strong bug spray & good walking shoes. We brought OFF! bug spray and still got eaten alive by mosquitoes, sand fleas and no-see-ums. Apparently the best thing to use is DEET 100%, as toxic as it may be, or maybe try lemon eucalyptus & mosquito nets...

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Boston
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2011

Ivan's isn't for everyone. It's camping. It's also camping in the Caribbean, so don't expect your local KOA. Bring your own supplies. . .soap, shampoo, coffee, bug spray,water, and remember you are on "Island Time".
We rented a cabin from Ivan, which is basically a bed and a mini refrigerator in a small hut. Like everyone else, though, we're here for the spectacular beach, great local bars, and some pretty cool people. You're here for the beach, not the room.
Once the day trippers leave, JVD comes into its own. Ivan's is a great place to stay if you're not on your yacht (or don't have one) and want a base to explore Foxy's , The Soggy Dollar, and a host of other cool bars and restaurants after the crowds have headed back to their resorts on Tortola and St Thomas. (JVD is a small island, so if you're eating out you should reserve and order your food ahead of time).
We rented a car . . you don't have to, but it made it easier if you run out of basics, or even just want to explore the island. (Check out the Bubble Pool on the North side of the Island ).
We may trade up to the Guest House next time, although the tent sites are directly on the beach and looked tempting!
Just one word of warning . . If you are high maintenance you are in the wrong place!

Room Tip: Check out the Bubble Pool on the North Side
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
north beach, nj
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2011

We arrived at Ivan's and it truly is a stress free place. Feeling stressed, grab a cocktail and jump in the crystal clear Caribbean water. The cabins are very simple and are equipped with a mini fridge and fan. It is great to hear the gentle waves on the shore at night. The cabin was pretty buggy so bring some spray. We will definitly be back but will probably camp out because it is less expensive and you can be right on the beach. The beachfront cabins cost more but do not improve the view. All in all, White Bay and Ivan's is a true gem of the BVI's. We met Ivan and he is a total sweetheart.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ivan's Stress Free Guest House & Campground

Address: White Bay, VG1160, Jost Van Dyke
Location: Caribbean > British Virgin Islands > Jost Van Dyke
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 6 B&Bs / Inns in Jost Van Dyke
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A stress free retreat, overlooking the pristine waters, and white sand beach. The perfect place to enjoy life in the slow lane. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Ivan's Stress Free Guest House & Campground Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands

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