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“Unbelievable Paradise”

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Gibney Beach Villas
Reviewed December 1, 2011

I have a difficult time writing a good review... not because it wasn't good, but to the contrary, rather because I'd like to keep it a secret. But honesty forces me to agree with all the wonderful reviews before mine.There are no people selling things, no waterslides... it is _not_ a resort. It is a beautiful, quaint, beach house in one of the most beautiful places on the earth.

The good:
- The beach was never busy... we maybe saw 10 people in 4 days on Gibney beach.
- The beach was postcard perfect.
- The snorkeling was incredible just off the beach on a shallow reef and bank. Snorkeling tours came to the bay but stayed out beyond the swim buoys
- The groundskeeper, Israel (sp?), was very nice and helpful. He brought tree ripened bananas and freshly opened coconuts to us. I also got a great tour of the garden.
- The owner, Teri, was very nice and helpful and just great in getting us settled and helping us find snorkel rental and restaurants
- The house was just as advertised, was clean, and well cared for. We have 3 daughters (ages 9, 11, and 13) and the Garden Villa was quite sufficient for our family of 5.

Things to note;
- They have wifi, but I think it's in Teri's house and I could only get reception outside on the beach. That said, it was so spectacular that I did not care nearly as much as I thought I did when I had planned the trip.
- There are TV's for kids at night, but no channels. There is a movie rental store in the Marketplace building, but we never did catch it open (didn't try awfully hard... we were on the bech all day and it was around the Thanksgiving holiday as well). There are books and games and we probably enjoyed that more than movies anyway.
- The villa was easy to find, but there was no address. Just drive out of "town" (Cruz Bay area) on Route 20 and when we got to Hawsnest Bay (there is a sign) we finally saw a white picket fence... that was it.
- It was my first time driving on the left side. It wasn't too bad and I quickly got used to it. It helps that the traffic is all pretty slow.
- If you rent a car in St. Thomas, make sure that it is allowed to go on the ferry to St. John... some allow some don't. The ferry for cars is the "car barge". There are 2 barge services. Whichever service you choose, you need to use that service on the return trip too. To load the car barge, you back your vehicle into the yellow lined lanes and await the barge, then back onto the barge.
- Driving in St. Thomas was challenging. The roads are much more crowded and the lack of street signs made the short drive to Red Hook into quite a long drive to Red Hook.
- There were insects, and we did take insect repellent. It helped, but you basically are vacationing in a jungle so there will be bites.
- Just Beach and Arawak Expeditions in Mongoose Junction (the set of stone buildings on the edge of town as you go toward town on Route 20) rent snorkeling equipment for 6$ and 7$ per set per day.
- Parking at Mongoose Junction can be difficult. Just be prepared to park anywhere and walk. The area with shops is a lot smaller than it seems and all within an easy walk.
- We ate at different places in Cruz Bay... some were good. But don't miss driving across the island to Miss Lucy's (past Coral Bay on Friis Bay I believe). Great food.
- There are two short, easy hiking trails just past Hawksnest Bay. One goes to Peace Hill and you have a good view of Hawksnest Bay and Trunk Bay. A trail branching off of that goes down to Denis Bay. It was a nice walk and the beach had more shells. It was fun to explore a little, but there's no better beach than Gibney Beach.
- The garden house is probably 15 feet behind the Beach House which was right on the beach. The walk to the beach was literally 20 paces.

Truly an incredible experience.
Jim

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled with family
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7  Thank JimH72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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28 - 34 of 40 reviews

Reviewed November 18, 2011

Wow! We just returned from the most amazing vacation at the Gibney Beach Cottage. This beautifully decorated cottage is only steps from a quiet beach with turquoise waters that isn't frequented much due to limited parking for the public. The cottage was spotless when we arrived and a nice basket of goodies was awaiting us upon our arrival. The kitchen is well equipped. Lots of towels, quality bedding, very comfortable mattress, outdoor shower, flat screen TV with plenty of DVDs, books, gas grill, wifi...there is nothing lacking here. Teri, the owner, lives on site and is a wealth of knowledge about St. John, it's restaurants, shops and things to do. She was there when we needed her yet very respectful of our privacy. The white, fine sand beach is gorgeous and there are beach chairs, hammock, kayaks, swim floaties all there for your use. Great snorkeling in the bay. The cottages are backed by a tropical fruit garden which provides a green buffer to the rest of the world. We found we had the beach to ourselves in the morning and also by 4 PM in the afternoon. We loved it here and found it to be very peaceful and relaxing. There is so much to do on St. John but we found ourselves often staying put at Gibney Beach because the best the island has to offer it right there. It's a splurge but one well worth saving up for. So start your Gibney Cottage fund now. We will never stay elsewhere on the island as long as these cottages are available for rent. You will not be disapointed.

Room Tip: Snorkel on the right side of the bay, when facing the ocean, in front of the yellow house. Be respe...
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  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank seedlady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 26, 2011

Ok, so I am only writing this because I promised Terri that we would. This was such an amazing vacation that I don't really want anyone to know about it! We rented both villas with my husband and I taking the Beach cottage and my kids and mom in the Garden Cottage. Terri was amazing, we had the most perfect vacation that I can imagine and I will be forever grateful to Terri for letting us rent the places for two weeks.
Rest, relax, drink lots of rum and drift away on the beach. nothing pretentious and nothing was wanting. We will be back!!!

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled with family
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3  Thank Amanda42139
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2011

Three friends and I had a "girls week" at the Gibney Beach Villas. Yes, you should be envious, but do something about it! This was the most amazing trip and I live on a beach in real life. Every day was full on snoozing in the hammock, swimming in the warm, clear, placid waters, watching pelicans catch their meals, kayaking around the bay and blender drinks on the beach. Yes, we did some hiking in the NP, too, which was amazing, but mostly the quiet relaxation was the best.
Terry does her utmost to maintain that quiet and privacy. While she was very responsive to our needs, she really gave us our privacy. And she made sure we knew things going on in Cruz Bay and around the island. She was a fount of knowledge about the local area and everyone we talked to in town knew her and spoke highly of her, as well. If you get the chance, ask her to direct you to Josephine's farm for fresh, organic fruits and veggies.
Israel, the jack-of-all-trades on the property is a true gem! From pointing out huge iguanas for the more animal-centric of us to bringing up fresh baskets of fruit and chopping open coconuts for us. However, his obvious love of life and happy , infectious spirit really made our trip special.

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled with friends
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4  Thank RBDeb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 11, 2011

This was the most beautiful place we've ever stayed at. We woke up to the beach right at our doorstep every morning. If you get the chance to stay on STJ you must stay here. The convenience of being right on the beach is well worth the extra money.

  • Stayed: June 2011
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3  Thank Runsforpeace
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 9, 2011

We have been to St John about 10X, and we have stayed almost everywhere, renting houses, Caneel Bay, The Westin, Gallows Point and Gibney Villas a few times when we were lucky enough for it to be available. For us it is the BEST place to stay on the island. You can not get a location like that anywhere else. When you wake up and can walk out to one of the prettiest beaches on the island and have it practically to yourself, you feel that you must be somewhere half way around the world not only a few hours away from NY. The house has everything you need with comfortable romantic beds and local art. Added luxuries of private chefs and massages are only a phone call away and the owner Terri knows is soo helpful and knows all the scoop of what’s going on the island and what restaurants to go to.

Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
6  Thank NYFam5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 9, 2010

Put this on your "got to do before I die" list. The small cottage is directly on the beach! We snorkeled everyday with turtles-champagne breakfasts on the porch-star gazing at night. Our 7 year old son kayaked everyday! This is the most amazing place I have ever stayed. Not a fancy cottage, but everything you need with your own private beach and hammock! Amazing!

Stayed: August 2010, traveled with family
1  Thank Hamil99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Gibney Beach Villas

Address: | P.O. Box 1160, 00831, St. John
Location: Caribbean > U.S. Virgin Islands > St. John
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 32 Specialty Lodging in St. John
Number of rooms: 2
Also Known As:
Gibney Beach Villas Hotel St. John
Gibney Beach Villas St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands

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