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“Great for Large Expended Family with Kids”
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Overview
Villa -
5 Bedrooms, 5 Bathrooms, Sleeps 10
St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands

Reviews from our community

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Very good - based on 30 reviews
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Reviews from our community

Date | Rating
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English first
luvstj04
St. John
Level Contributor
46 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Great for Large Expended Family with Kids”
Reviewed January 23, 2014 for a stay in May 2013
3
people found this review helpful

Our group consisted of grandparents, grandkids (ages 6&7) and teenagers (ages 19). We had a group of 10 and I felt that the villa allowed everyone to have their own space, but was perfect to enjoy as a group.
I enjoyed this villa and did not experience any of the cons previously mentioned on the last few reviews.
The pool was huge, and there were nice umbrellas for shade. The kids enjoyed spending time on the rocky beach, collecting crabs and feeding the iguanas . This villa had many areas for kids to explore.
The kitchen was well stocked, all appliances were working, IPOD was a great touch. There were beach towels, beach chairs, coolers, etc. A shower on the pool deck was a plus.
The owners were extremely helpful when reserving the villa. We tried reserving it for this summer but it was booked.
This was one of the only villas that hit all of our checklists, AC in all rooms, Big Safe Pool area, area for kids to explore, on beach/near the water, Sleeping arrangements for 10-12. We had a wonderful time at the VIDA and would rent it again and recommended to anyone.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: Big pool area on rocky beach
Traveling group: Extended Family
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Families with young children Large groups
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PeteAlb
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Nice villa for a family”
Reviewed January 14, 2014 for a stay in January 2014
2
people found this review helpful

By way of background, this was approximately our 12th visit to STJ. We always have rented villas, so I think that we have a good frame of reference. On this trip we were traveling with our four children between the ages of 18-23.

Overall, VDM was a good choice for our family. The "pros" significantly outweighed some minor "cons."

Pros:
-Very large pool area with good quality lounge chairs; we spent most of our time there.
-VDM is unique in STJ in that it is right on the water; the sound of the waves was soothing.
-The rocky "beach" provided a nice place to sit in a beach chair and watch the sunset.
-The owners recently renovated to add an outdoor, covered dining area; it's a great addition.
-The villa has a very nice outdoor sound system that worked with our iPods.
-The bedrooms are in separate pods, which provided a perfect level of privacy.
-The great room is air conditioned (as are all the bedrooms) and is nicely furnished.
-They provide plenty of beach chairs and coolers.
-The pool was clean and just the right temperature.

Some minor cons include:
-there were some minor maintenance issues (torn screens, broken window louvers, etc.).
-the bathrooms in the beach cottage are very small.
-the caretaker cottage (Hibiscus suite?) had an odd odor and was very dark; we didn't use it.
-lights in the pool and hot tub did not work.
-with three days left in our stay, the kitchen refrigerator simply stopped working. The management company brought a dorm size fridge for us to use, but it was not nearly adequate for our size group. To be fair, appliances can break at anytime and we certainly don't blame the owners or management company. Stuff just happens sometimes.

We had a very nice stay at VDM. It felt like our own little resort.

How easy was it to book the property? How easy was key pickup/access to the property?
Overall condition of the property Bedding & mattresses
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Traveling group: Other
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ehrl10
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Just Average”
Reviewed August 11, 2013 for a stay in July 2013
4
people found this review helpful

Our family of 10 adults (2 Grandparents, 4 adult children all with spouses) and 6 young kids stayed at Vida de Mar for 2 weeks in July 2013. Overall we had a very good time, but will say that we didn't fall in love with the house like many of the reviewers on here have and would likely not stay in the villa again. We've stayed at several houses on St. John, so this review in parts reflects a relative comparison to those other houses.

Pros:
-Location: Quiet and private, right on the beach (albeit a rocky beach), and a 5 minute drive to Cruz Bay.
-Set Up: The property set up allowed privacy for each couple as we all had our own bedrooms and bathrooms. The small apartment worked well for the Family with 3 kids and the extra fridge in this room came in handy for storing the large amount of food we bought at Cost U Less. The rest of the rooms were all nice (my wife commented on the high quality sheets), but the 2 cottages by the beach were a decent bit smaller than the other 2 bedrooms on the main level of the property.
-View: great view of Devers Bay and over to Dog Island and Little St. James.
-Beach Chairs: small, but really nice touch to have 10-12 beach chairs we could take to the beaches that were all in good condition. Plenty of loungers on the pool patio as well.

Cons
-Bugs: this is our first time staying this close to the water and the no-see-ums were noticeably worse than higher elevation houses we've stayed at in years past during the same time of year. We were able to convince Catered To to have someone come out and spray a couple days into our stay and we did experience an improvement after that.
-Iguana poop: at first we were excited to see the many iguanas on the property, but after a couple days of iguana poop building up on the pool deck and on the walkways to the rooms, we realized they were much more nuisance than cool island novelty. The gardener came twice during our visit and cleaned the poop while he was there, but it just wasn't enough to handle the volume of iguanas on the property (you can easily count 20 at any one time sitting on the tree tops that are level with the pool deck)
-Small great room: because of the bugs, it was difficult to spend time outside after dusk, so the whole family ended up spending a lot of time in the great room. For a 5 bedroom house, it's a really small common space.
-Lack of outdoor shade: we've really enjoyed the outdoor rooms of previous houses we've stayed at on St. John where you can be outside, but not baking in the sun. Vida de Mar doesn't have any spaces like this, all outdoor space is exposed to the sun.
-Low water pressure in kitchen: the really low water pressure in the kitchen made doing dishes difficult and appeared to impact the dishwasher as well, unless we ran it on the heavy duty setting, it didn't do a good job. Water pressure varied throughout the property, with some rooms having very strong pressure and others very weak.
-Internet: the property has wifi, but it's really spotty and slow. Additionally, it doesn't reach to the bedrooms (even next to the great room). If you want to completely disconnect, this may not be a concern for you, but for those of us who like to check their email once or twice a day, this was a big annoyance.

How easy was it to book the property? How easy was key pickup/access to the property?
Overall condition of the property Bedding & mattresses
Kitchen & utensils Bathroom cleanliness
Other facilities & amenities Service
Liked best: Beach access
Liked least: Small, uncomfortable great room; no shaded outdoor space
Traveling group: Extended Family
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   No.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management Response
Aug 10, 2013
While we are happy to know that these guests found many things to enjoy about Vida de Mar, we are sorry that the villa may not have lived up to their expectations.

We would like to mention that this particular group reserved the villa with 16 guests although the villa is intended to sleep a maximum of 10 guests. This fact was mentioned prior to confirming the rental however the guests insisted that they would be fine in the space. Therefore it was not surprising that the living quarters may have been too small for the group.

We are also sorry that the guests felt that there was not enough shade in the outdoor areas. The villa does have a pergola covering the outside dining area, as well as several umbrellas and trees that around the pool area that provide shade throughout the day. The lack of adequate coverage may also be the result of the exceptionally large group staying at the villa. This may also have applied to the problem with the water pressure. Most villas on St. John have just one water pump providing water to all areas of a villa. The water pressure can fluctuate at any time based upon the number of showers running at any one time.

While the villa also offers internet service the distance between the various buildings on the villa does limit how far a solid internet signal can travel, and the signal is strongest near the modem located in the great room. One of the challenges that we on St. John must live with is that the services on the island are not always to the standard the one may expect stateside.

We would also like to mention that the presence of iguanas and insects are not unique to Vida De Mar, and are for better or worse a fact of life on St. John. While the villa is on a regular extermination schedule it is impossible to control them at all times, therefore whenever insects are reported between scheduled exterminator visits we will always send someone out immediately to assist with the problem.

We are very appreciative of the fact that our villa has a wonderful rental history and loyal clientele, and we appreciate any feedback that we receive. We are also very happy to have the opportunity to address any questions or concerns guests may have prior to reserving Vida De Mar. We are just sorry that these particular guests’ expectations were not completely satisfied.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alabama
Reviewed July 23, 2012 for a stay in June 2012
2
people found this review helpful

Value Rooms
Location Cleanliness
Check in / front desk Service
Would I recommend this vacation rental to my best friend?  
Recommended for:
Luxury-minded travelers
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Texas
Reviewed May 21, 2012 for a stay in April 2012
1
person found this review helpful

Value Rooms
Location Cleanliness
Check in / front desk Service
Would I recommend this vacation rental to my best friend?  
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
NM
Reviewed April 26, 2012 for a stay in March 2012

Value Rooms
Location Cleanliness
Check in / front desk Service
Would I recommend this vacation rental to my best friend?  
Recommended for:
A romantic getaway Older travelers
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
MO
Reviewed January 19, 2012 for a stay in December 2011

Value Rooms
Location Cleanliness
Check in / front desk Service
Would I recommend this vacation rental to my best friend?  
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
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