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Lack of privacy in rental

Indianapolis...
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73 posts
19 reviews
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Lack of privacy in rental

We recently stayed in a owner operated vila in St. John and I was somewhat aghast to find that there were no curtains and really inadequate to none for door locks, as well. Although we survived our stay, I can't say that I slept well the entire time we were there. I want to know if this is typical or unusual for these private vilas on the island? Not sure I would want to go through this again, should we decide to revisit the island.

Smithfield, Rhode...
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1. Re: Lack of privacy in rental

Do you mean the owner lived on site?

We have rented many villas over the years and have always felt very safe and all doors locked and sliding glass doors, (or any doors for that matter), had locks.

Personally, I would never stay @ owner occupied property, I like my privacy when I vacation.

There are many, many gorgeous villas on St. John, all with curtains & locked doors, so I think your experience was unusual.

Hope you give another villa a chance.

Sandy

Germantown, MD
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51 posts
2 reviews
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2. Re: Lack of privacy in rental

This is not normal at all for St. John villas. If you prefer total privacy like we do, ask the villa owners how close their neighbors are or if they can look down on or into their house.

Edited: 8:43 am, January 18, 2014
Minneapolis
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568 posts
4 reviews
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3. Re: Lack of privacy in rental

Every villa I have rented has had door locks, but in some cases the owners were in the habit of "hiding" the key in an obvious place, so they clearly weren't too concerned about intruders. I've stayed in villas that had no curtains on the windows. These were villas that had no visible neighbors and no visibility to the road, so privacy wasn't a concern. However, no curtains on the bedroom window does mean no defense against the morning sun, so if you want to sleep past dawn it's a problem.

So add "curtains and door locks" to the list of questions to ask about a prospective rental. You might think these things would go without saying, but I used to think that about screens on the windows too.

Ohio
Destination Expert
for Cruz Bay
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6,125 posts
6 reviews
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4. Re: Lack of privacy in rental

I have to agree that this is unusual. I double check my doors and windows before going to bed at home. Just because I go to paradise, doesn't mean I'm less vigilant. I close and deadbolt all the doors and any windows that can be easily accessed from the ground, get closed and locked too. I never leave the villa with just the sliding screen doors locked (I can open those with a credit card or nail file).

As far as curtains on windows (especially in bedrooms), that is something I ask before renting. I have to have complete darkness to sleep and don't want to get up at 5AM when the sun comes up! I also recommend earplugs unless you are a heavy sleeper (roosters who don't know how to tell time and start crowing about 3:30 & on occasion barking dogs.......)

Virginia
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248 posts
52 reviews
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5. Re: Lack of privacy in rental

I've been researching a ton of villas for our stay in May. I saw quite a number of villas that either had no curtains at all or only sheers.

Miami Beach, Florida
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382 posts
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6. Re: Lack of privacy in rental

I have stayed in all kinds of villas on St. John, some private, some owner occupied. I like both. On my first stay the home next to us was robbed, so I never felt safe even with locks on the doors. The last villa I stayed at had no locks, and actually the owner's home had no real doors. I was never worried about the owner stealing from me, and I felt protected by having an owner there. You have to read all the reviews of the villa before you book and look at each picture very critically, and don't feel bad about asking any questions you have before you book. Don't let this experience stop you from going back (but choose a different villa obviously).

Ohio
Destination Expert
for Cruz Bay
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6,125 posts
6 reviews
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7. Re: Lack of privacy in rental

Ok, I'm going to throw another fly in the ointment here as far as privacy/curtains in bedrooms. This may seem odd to most of you wanting a view of the ocean from your pillow.... Well, we sleep in the bed, then we get up and go to the kitchen for coffee and then the deck to enjoy our coffee & the view. When we are having cocktails, it's on the deck, not in the bedroom. I can think of three places where I closed the outside storm shutters to the bedroom so I could have complete darkness (also helps with the roosters at 3am), and didn't feel like we were missing out. Just something to consider......

north carolina
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413 posts
5 reviews
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8. Re: Lack of privacy in rental

I'm a scaredy cat so that would bother me. Also, the no curtains thing is a no no. You have helped me so much... Never thought about asking those 2 questions before renting a villa. I will from now on. Tx.

Indianapolis...
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73 posts
19 reviews
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9. Re: Lack of privacy in rental

I am glad I was able to help alert visitors to the possibility of finding themselves in the same situation. I never thought about the possibility either prior to arriving and then you are stuck. Otherwise, accommodations were fine. Besides being terrified, particularly the first night, of intruders, I just kept thinking how nice plantation shutters would look on the windows as well as offering privacy. Even a cheap pull down shade wouldn't cost much to install and mean so much. I can't understand why any landlords wouldn't install secure locks for their guests. You want to hope that everyone is honest and there are never robberies, or worse, but in the world we live in, better safe than sorry, in my opinion. On vacation, who wants to have any worries? You're there to relax, right?

Minneapolis
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568 posts
4 reviews
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10. Re: Lack of privacy in rental

I once rented a cabin on The North Shore (northern Minnesota). There were 8 or 10 cabins at this particular place. We stopped at the office to check in, then the owner escorted us to our cabin. There were half a dozen key rings on a nail behind the desk, and I noticed that she just grabbed one at random without even looking at it. When I asked her about that, she said, "Oh, they're all the same lock. We wouldn't even bother with locks, but folks from The Cities seem to like it better when they have a key."

That said, I agree with you that all rental properties should have locks.