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Reviewed March 17, 2011

If you want a cushy hotel with air conditioning, HDTV flat screens, and high speed internet connection, this is not the place for you. If you care about the environment, love to hear jungle noises at night, want to be away from the malls and closer to the land, this is the place for you. Ginger is doing amazing work in keeping these villas as sustainable as possible. She collects rain water, uses cisterns and solar water heating systems, composts, takes care of the beautiful trees and jungle that help shade and cool the houses, recycles, and much more. And you, the traveler, get to live and breathe the clean soft air of northwest St Croix, visit the incredibly beautiful beaches, eat delicious local food (check out the farmer's market), visit mountain organic farms (go to Virgin Islands Farm Institute), kayak, snorkel, sleep - all with the knowledge that while you are having a blissful time you are also not destroying the ecosystem. This place is far more comfortable and private than some other eco cottages on other islands in the Caribbean which are far too close together to feel privacy.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank Thoxy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 10, 2011

First of all the Ginger is very nice person .The place is far away from civilization and you have to get back to room before dark because there are not street light. It's complete dark and the drive there have many curves and the narrow. You have be very careful when driving. There are no phone reception so if something happen while you out there forget about calling for help. I like the outdoors but this was ridiculous. The trees need to be trimmed and the road needs to be fix ASAP. I thought I would have to pay for the rental car after that crap. Our room was not what the picture look like. We found the place not well kept or clean. The windows are not even windows, we was scared for our safety. We did not even spend a single night there; we left and went to a hotel. If you are looking for something to camping this is great for you. This place could a wonderful place, but it needs some major changes.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Beauty_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 14, 2011

We stayed a week and loved this place. It is north of Fredrriksted between Butler Bay and Ham's Bay, not within walking distance of town. We stayed in "Ginger Thomas", and it was very nice. We had a view of the sea from the deck, and the trade winds kept the bugs away as we star gazed at night. The serenade of tree frogs was so relaxing to sleep to.

This is not a resort, and you won't find mints on your pillow. You will find privacy, solitude, no cell signal, and nature. This is an environmentally friendly property, so you will interact with nature. We ate papayas and grapefruit off of the trees, and loved to wander the grounds to bird watch.

Ginger and her staff are very attentive, and any time we asked a question, they went out of their way to help us.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Gennaker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 1, 2011

Northside Valley, St Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

Northside Valley, named after one of the many old plantation estates of St Croix, is actually on the uppermost part of west coast beach road, Rte. 68. It’s six miles north of Fredriksted, well past the reach of cell phone signals. Northside Valley’s owner, Ginger Vandeveer and her visiting family member, Leah, did everything to make our stay pleasant. And they were up against a few odds. Our eco-cottage, the Ginger Thomas (named, not after the owner, but St Croix’s ubiquitous yellow-flowering bush,) had just been completely renovated. We were its first guests. Everything was brand new, renewed or new-looking, but there were a few ‘opening night’ glitches. We made a list. The list was addressed. Northside Valley’s eco-cottages were a little hard to find at first. A month earlier the owner sent us a map with directions from the airport, which is on the south central side of the island, to Northside Valley. The map helped very much. Still, the entrance did not announce itself as the small oval signage was nestled in the bushes and the dirt road entry appeared suddenly on the right. From then on we used a peach-orange cement-block house just past Butler Bay, on the ocean’s edge, on the left, as our reminder of Northside’s entrance, which was directly across the road. Cottages appeared one by one up the narrow bougainvillea-lined bumpy car path. Whether called cottages or villas, we felt the former held a truer description. The cottages were basic and minimally outfitted. Ours had two bedrooms with a common bath and walk-in closet, full but spare kitchen, and a full cottage-length breezeway that mirrored the roomy outdoor deck. Screened and fan-cooled, we felt like we always had one foot out into the dry rain forest (an oxymoron to be sure). It was laid back. The western views to the sea were there, but the vegetation dominated the scene. Through the quiet we heard the breaking waves, low and underscoring the ever-present cooing of morning doves. Iridescent, black-crested hummingbirds flitted from flower to flower while vireos and thrashers scrambled through the canopy of mostly palm, banana and flamboyant trees. We hoped for coqui at night, but they were oddly absent until the last nights when finally came a hard rain. Instead, crickets had the strongest presence in the forest while sleeping. Friendly geckos and skinks tried to keep the forest bugs at bay, but this being a tropical forest and even though we were the first guests in the renovated Ginger Thomas cottage, the usual island creepy-crawlers occasionally graced the floors and walls. But we knew we were not going to be in an hermetically-sealed environment and dealt with it accordingly. We also knew in advance there would be no clocks, air-conditioners, televisions, radios, land or cell phone services. There would be no internet or data services, save at the owner’s Main House deck and gazebo. There would be no pools, no saunas, spas or outdoor night-lighting. But that’s why we chose these accommodations; we were trying to disconnect from things. St. Croix is in a water-crisis; conservation is foremost here, except at the bigger monied-resorts scattered on the island. The resorts and the wealthy enclaves were juxtaposed against a thriving patois-speaking population. This segregation was mostly blurred as we traveled around the island, except for the multi-millionaire-dominated East End and when the cruise ships came into Fredriksted twice during our stay. It was then we saw well-heeled tourists completely at odds with blighted streets and dreadlocks. At Northside Valley, the accommodations were unpretentious. They blended in with their environment. Great care went into choosing the essentials. We needed a car: for food to stock the kitchen, for trips to the beaches or for reaching interesting sights on St Croix. But by being removed, Northside was quiet, restful and very green and colorful. There were a few cats roaming the grounds and very, very distant barking dogs on a distant farm at times, but what Northside no longer has is a sweet, older dog named Tan-tan (after an island tree). He passed away the morning after our arrival, already having befriended us, sleeping on our front deck the night before. Tan-tan’s passing caused great sadness among his owners, staff and guests alike.

What’s close? What’s nearby? What’s farther away from Northside? Very close was the Caledonia Rainforest accessed a mile or so to the south or north. Coral and tidal pools, ditto, as the ocean was basically at the entrance of Northside. There was one swimming beach a quarter mile to the north. The rest, Butler Bay, Rainbow and Sunset beaches, were minutes to the south on Rte. 68 before you reach Fredriksted. That town’s beach and Sandy Point were 10-25 minutes away, respectively. It was an hour or more to reach the beaches north and east of Christiansted: we liked Cane Bay and Cramer’s, respectively. When not cooking ‘at home’, we went to Coconuts and Sunset Grille, again on Rte. 68 a few minutes south of Northside. Both were great for kicking back and sunsets, though Sunset Grille was the pricier of the two. Also splendid was Villa Morales just outside the main part of Fredriksted just before the Whim Plantation. It did Puerto Rican food well and was reasonably priced. Nearby were K-mart and a large super market, Plaza Extra, at 20-25 minutes both on Centerline Road. You will not believe the incredible low price of liquor at these stores. Plaza Extra had the larger selection. Smaller bodegas and ‘mom and pop’ stores were closer to Northside by several minutes, but with the expected limited offerings. The major plantation house museums are between two and twenty minutes away. The Cruzan Rum tour was 20 minutes away. The airport, off Rte 66, was 25 minutes away. Farther away was Christiansted. It was 40-60 minutes away depending on the time of day and traffic--yes, St. Croix has traffic jams with only two main east/west roads, one of which has all the commerce. Buck Island sailing concessionaires leave out of Christiansted and Green Cay Marina. Northside recommended the Terero II out of Green Cay, so we went with them even though it was an extra 20 minutes past Christiansted. The 42’ Terero II trimaran used sail power helmed by Captain Heinz and family; they were great. As we found out, no matter where we chose to stay on St. Croix we were to be either nearby or far away from the island’s offerings. The fact that Northside Valley offered peace, quiet and isolation turned out to be the deciding factor for us.

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank nypuck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 19, 2010

We spent a week in early December on St. Croix, myself, my husband and our 9 and 10 year boys. We stayed in the villa Nita's Fancy on St.Croix. With 2 bedrooms, a kitchen, and living area we had plenty of space, and a nice patio for stargazing at night...no light pollution here! The outdoor shower was very handy. My kids loved watching the geckos, hermit crabs and birds around our villa. They weren't quite strong enough swimmers to tackle the rocky beach right off the property, but it was a great beach for exploring, with a cool little tidal "bath" that we swam in. Right down the road from the property are nice swimming beaches though, and there are great snorkeling beaches for younger kids just south of Frederiksted, only a 10-15 ride away. We travelled all over the island during our stay, and our favorite beaches for the kids were on the west side. We checked out many of the resorts on the island as well, and we feel that Northside Valley was a great value. We didn't miss TV, cell phones or internet one bit! The villas are open air, so you get to fall asleep and wake to the chorus of insect, birds, etc. It is very peaceful. There are some bugs that find their way inside, mainly millipedes in the early part of the evening, but that is to be expected in a setting like this. We almost felt like we were camping, only with a cute villa instead of a tent! Ginger was great, she taught us about many of the native flora found on the grounds and showed us the fruit trees that were in season that we could pick from, and advised us on the best beaches for the kids. We took all of her recommedations regarding rental car company, Buck Island Charter (we went on the Teroro II), etc. and they all worked out very well. Frederiksted is more limited in terms of restaurants, etc. compared to Christiansted on the other side of the island, but be sure to go to Rhythms at Rainbow Beach, right down the road from Northside, at sunset.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled with family
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Thank OceanSprings_MSHeidi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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