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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 8, 2011

My husband and I returned last fall to A House of Open Arms Villa to celebrate our 1st anniversary at the very same place we had enjoyed our honeymoon. . and we wouldn't have had it any other way! Having been married at Cinnamon Bay Beach in St. John, we had fallen in love with this amazing island that offers breathtaking beauty and several beaches to choose from which are truly right out of paradise! And how fortunate we consider ourselves to have found Catherine Perry's magical Villa, tucked away in the scenic mountains of Coral Bay, where the stars and birds are your neighbors, far away from the hubbub and commotion of a typical resort. This is the perfect spot for ROMANCE and getting away from it all while still being connected to the best of everything! Yes - there are great restaurants, shops and other such things very accessible and nearby, if that is one's choice, (and we had easy cell phone/internet access, too) but this is what one can do at home! We spent as much time as possible viewing the sunrises and sunsets from our private veranda, stargazing and relaxing in our private pool, connecting with each other in the spacious and elegant villa and planning our excursions to the beach each day! A House of Open Arms is a "lifestyle of the rich and famous" type of place, with incredible views and privacy, at a price that even a non-celebrity can afford! Everything is immaculate, spacious, elegant and well-cared for! Amenities are top-notch - you can't beat the cool sea breezes for a perfect night's rest - and let me emphasize that although you are in a very natural setting, this is by no means "roughing it." My husband and I are in our mid to late 40's and no athletes (we enjoy gentle yoga and nature walks for fitness); however we found that the pathway to/from the Villa was simply invigorating and of no strain! Also, our daily jaunt to and from the beaches along the scenic roads in our 4WD was part of the adventure that makes this place so unique! And although it's been written hundreds of times by other reviewers including ourselves, it is worth mentioning here again how wonderful Catherine is - a genuinely caring, vivacious and talented woman who is the truly heart and soul of this incredible place! We will be returning again soon!

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

After a couple of tries to get to a House of Open Arms, we finally made it, and WOW, what a vacation! This was by far the most fun we ever had on a vacation! The best part of our trip was staying at Catherine's paradise, A House of Open Arms' cottage. It is precious to say the least. We ate out only one meal; the rest made our meals on the grill and eating by candlelight every night or by sunrise each morning. We are in our mid 50's and although the driveway was a bit of a challenge (as another reviewer stated), it gives me incentive to get myself in shape for our return trip. Yes, we will be back. The road into Catherine's place is what made it so much fun, bouncing up and down, running into the neighborhood donkey or two, and then settling in for the night only to be lulled to sleep by the crickets, frogs, and night birds - I LOVED EVERY MINUTE WE WERE THERE!

YOU HAVE TO TRY THIS PLACE. Catherine is such a genuine, caring, and lovely lady. You can tell she truly wants nothing but the best for you and to make your vacation all that you have dreamed it would be. Oh, one more mention would be the welcome dinner - It was the best meal of our trip. She leaves you with homemade granola, coffee, milk, orange juice, all the soaps and bath items you would need for your stay. She would always ask us if we needed anything for our cottage, and would always ask us how our day went. To sum this trip up would be easy, PERFECT. ABSOLUTELY PERFECT!

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Ronniedawg01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 15, 2010

My partner and I stayed in the Cottage and determined that it is, by far, the most romantic and sensual place we could have ever stayed. The porch opens up over the mountain and the ocean is vast and reaching before you. The outdoor shower is a rare experience and ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL. Beautifully built, with so much attention to detail in every aspect of the cottage, including the scents of the candles and soaps and shampoos... ...Preparing food outdoors on a grill: what a "welcome" to the day...and at night...you must listen to the mountain at night!!! This place is magic, full of song and brimming with care and love. Catherine's garden is stunning! And the MOON RISES right in front of you every night!!!! Over the water and mountains! And THAT is an unbelievable gift every time. Thank you for a spectacular stay!

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank WanderTheLongWayHome
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 30, 2010

We stayed at the House of Open Arms villa and it was one of the best experiences of our life. Extremely relaxing! You may have read that the driveway is a bit steep and there’s no A/C. This is true but this is the situation for many of the homes and cottages on the island. I do kind of wish there were stairs going up next to the driveway as this was the most challenging part for me as you have to park at the top of the driveway. With that said we didn’t mind going without a few amenities so we could have one of the best views on the island. Let me say this once more “one of the best views on the island” and yes Catherine Perry was a wonderful host. We loved the private pool and sitting out on the porch enjoying the view the of Coral Bay. Viewing the bay on a moonlite night was just awesome.

For you people that require access to phone and internet, you may find that they are not always available. That was just fine with me as most of the time I was unable to check my work emails so I could not do work on our vacation.

The island roads can be challenging so make sure you rent a Jeep and drive carefully. We rented from Courtesy Rental and they were great. There’s much to do on this small island. We hiked, experienced wonderful beaches, saw many ruins, and went sailing on the Breath. We fell in love with the Donkey Diner for breakfast and we also enjoyed their pizza. The Island Blues is another nice place to eat on Coral Bay. They also have live music.

Something to remember, life on St John is a different way of life. Most people are not in a hurry to get anywhere and it’s common to find donkeys, goats or even brush in your path. You may even wonder at times if you're driving on a real road but that’s what we loved about St John. We planned on returning there in the future.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank itsmejs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 28, 2010

My wife and I just returned from 5 nights at A House of Open Arms and we could not have picked a more perfect place to celebrate her birthday. We were looking for something quiet and relaxing, and this villa exceeded all of our expectations. Incredible sunrise views, constant breezes on the veranda, a stunning full moon over the bay...what more could you ask for?

A House of Open Arms is a simple, yet very comfortable and warm, villa. For the price, you cannot get anything close to this level anywhere else on St. John. But as nice as the views and villa are, the one thing that really makes A House of Open Arms stand out from all of the other options on St. John is Catherine Perry.

We were initially hesitant about staying in a villa with the owner on-site, but Catherine's help and assistance were invaluable during the week. All of the "extras" that she includes (meeting you at the ferry dock, dinner on the first night, her knowledge of the island, etc.) were a huge bonus for us since this was our first trip to St. John. On top of that, her hospitality, her sincere kindness and her true spirit of goodness made getting to know her one of the highlights of our trip.

If you are looking for a place to escape from the stress of everyday life to one of solitude and peace, A House of Open Arms is the place for you. We could not have been any happier with our selection.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank STR1996
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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