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All reviewshomemade granolacatherine perryhurricane holeoutdoor showercoral baysteep drivewayskinny legswatching the sunriseendless viewsdinner preparedlittle slice of heavencottage villakindest persongracious hospitalityfrench press coffeeslept with the windows openwheel drive
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Reviewed January 12, 2009

We spent six wonderful nights at the Cottage at the HOOA and enjoyed every minute. The cottage is quiet and secluded, and the view is spectacular in every direction. The photos on the website give a hint of the beautiful view, but the reality is even better. We loved going to sleep to the sound of the ocean and waking up to see the hummingbirds and bananaquits coming to the feeders on the private deck. The cottage was stocked with everything one could need to be comfortable. There is a frig, an outdoor cooking area, and a full set of pans and dishes, but to be honest we didn't cook much because there are several great restaurants on the East side of St. John (we loved Sweet Plantains for the excellent food, and Miss Lucy's for the tables right by the ocean). The Cottage has a wonderful covered deck facing the ocean, and we lounged on it for hours every afternoon. We found we didn't miss air conditioning at all, as the cottage is set up to allow the ocean breezes flow through.

I have to reiterate what other guests have said about Catherine's amazing hospitality. We had travel delays on our way into St. John, but Catherine called our rental car company and convinced them to stay open until we could arrive to pick up our car. She met us at the ferry deck, led us to the rental car company, and then led the way back to the HOOA. After a stressful travel day, we were so grateful not to have to worry about finding our way in an unfamiliar place. The first night at the HOOA Catherine cooked a delicious dinner for us when we returned to HOAA, and she had stocked the frig with everything we needed for breakfast the next day. About 10 minutes into our stay at the HOOA, we had forgotten all our worries and we honestly didn't think of them again until we left the island.

Catherine also had great advice about how to spend our time on the island. She had wonderful suggestions about where- and when-- to snorkel and hike, and it really helped us make the most of every day we spent in St. John.

Our stay at the Cottage really was our most relaxing and romantic vacation ever. We felt the price was extremely reasonable for such a beautiful, private location. As soon as we came home, we called Catherine to book our next trip.

  • Stayed: December 2008, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank KandARaleigh_NC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 31, 2008

My wife and I just returned from the best getaway ever. I poured over every St John website to find the perfect accommodation to celebrate our 20th anniversary. We feel so fortunate with our choice... the Cottage at Open Arms was more than we could have ever hoped for.
Catherine, the designer and owner, is a wonderful woman with a quiet, deep spirit of giving. She was so gracious throughout the week. From the romantic welcome dinner after our long trip from San Diego to local secrets and stories, she was an unexpected highlight to our quiet time in St John. She has an inspirational personal story, and her artistic expression showed in everything that she created on her property.
We spent our days discovering the many beaches and snorkeling every cay we could find. Maho Bay became our home base for relaxing in the sun, which was just a short drive over the hill to the north shore. At Catherine's suggestion, the "drowned pirates" that we found (and created) at Drunk Bay made for a fun memory too.
After days of blue waters and changing skies, we always rushed back home to disappear into our little cottage world. A little wine, the endless ocean view from our deck chairs, some sugar for our ever-present finches... it was just us and the sounds of the night.
We usually book at the resorts, but we are so glad we chose Open Arms instead. This was such a better value, so private and beautiful, and we loved the freedom to create every day exactly as we wanted it.
Our only regret is that we only had a week here before the long trip back home. Neither one of us have felt so immediately at home and relaxed like we did this week. We came with high expectations, and glad to report that St John's beauty, the peace of Open Arms, and the sunny days made for the perfect anniversary getaway.
The remaining challenge is deciding when we can come back, and this time we will bring our four kids with us back to enjoy the House of Open Arms.

  • Stayed: December 2008, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank dannichole
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 17, 2008

Every now and then in life you find something, someone, or someplace that is very special. Betty and I found all three on our vacation this year on St John Island.

If you are considering a vacation at, A House of Open Arms, this is the beginning of a wonderful blessing. I’m always asked, “How did you find this place?” I believe this is just where God wanted Betty and me to be on this particular week of our life. I’m not sure that I would have found it, otherwise. It was certainly a blessing for us.

You will find reviews on Trip Advisor, that speak of the wonderful views from the porch, the colorful birds, the extensive beautiful gardens, the enjoyable dinner Catherine prepares for her guest on the night of their arrival, the comfortable bed, the beautiful white sandy beaches and clear water, the friendly people that live on the island, and let me add, this is one of the most beautiful place we’ve vacationed.

We rented the Villa and for the money, we enjoyed the extra space with a separate bedroom, living area and full kitchen. Everything was perfect and met or exceeded our expectations.

In closing, I would like you to know that if it wasn’t for Catherine’s faith and trust in God, A House of Open Arms would most likely not exist, and this vacation your about to enjoy would not take place. Also I’d like to say, that her love for people and a very big heart, are most definitely responsible for her success. She is a lovely spirit. You’re going to enjoy, getting to know her.

Will we be back? You bet! We’ve already made our reservations.

Thank You! Catherine, Betty and I really enjoyed the time we spent together, your beautiful villa and isle of St John. Definitely, Five Stars!

God bless and keep you till we meet again,
Bill and Betty, Conyers, GA

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank BillandBetty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 1, 2008

What a magnificent place to stay. My husband and I stayed in the villa in May to celebrate our anniversary. We could not have been happier with our decision to stay at A House of Open Arms. From the moment we arrived on the ferry dock, and met Catherine, who greeted us with the warmest smile, we knew we had made the right choice.

A House of Open Arms is located on the quieter side of St. John, but is still only a short drive to the beautiful beaches, hiking trails, and the town of Cruz Bay.

The views from A House of Open Arms are breathtaking, and the gardens on the property are lovely. The villa is beautifully decorated, and has all of the amenities that you need. It is private, and we felt very comfortable sleeping with the doors and windows open. Catherine has taken such care to create this wonderful paradise. We were truly able to relax and leave all of our worries behind during our stay. We really enjoyed spending our mornings and evenings on the porch; taking in the views of Hurricane Hole and watching the birds eating sugar and playing in the bird bath.

Catherine goes above and beyond for her guests. She made everything so easy, and does whatever she can to make sure that you will enjoy your visit. From meeting her guests at the ferry dock, to serving a wonderful dinner and bottle of wine the first night of your stay, I can't say enough about her hospitality. Every morning, we enjoyed the delicious homemade granola before heading out for a day of adventure. We spent our evenings making dinner at the villa, relaxing, and enjoying a restful nights sleep to prepare for the next day.

We can't wait to return to the villa, and would recommend A House of Open Arms to everyone we know. What a memorable visit to St. John.

Doug and Amy, Baltimore, MD.

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank dbellin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 14, 2008

My husband and I stayed here for 10 days (in the Cottage). We traveled with my sister and her husband (they stayed in the Villa). The entire property is lovely -- no detail is overlooked. As others have said, and I heartily agree, the view is gorgeous, the granola, coffee, orange juice, and wine is delicious, the birds happy and sweet-sounding, the surround-sound waves and wind delightful. What makes this place unbeatable is the ambience, the spirit, the way Catherine Perry (the owner) nurtures and honors the land and her guests.

If you are looking for a quiet spot where you can still hear yourself think, where you can enjoy living in the outdoors and experiencing weather and the environment as it really is (rather than hidden by the sounds and staleness of airconditioning), where you can relax in comfort, where you can feel like the person you are renting from is giving you an amazing gift, then this is the place for you.

Thank you, Catherine.

Carolyn
Charlottesville, VA

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled with family
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2  Thank Closetnurse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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