So many people don't know how St John used to be... but his stunning little cottage on the far side of St John is a reminder of sweet old St John, of fish fries and guitars on the beach, and a sense that the real busy, busy world is on another galaxy. With five beaches to walk to--beaches no one knows about--this is the the most romantic spot in the world. We went to Miss Lucy's three different nights, for jazz and steel pan, and otherwise just admired each other and our genius at finding Mary's hideaway. Sometimes we sat on the front porch and communed with their perfect flowering garden, at other times we wrote on the back porch. Once I heard a donkey call out. Total silence. Total peace. A. dream for a Honeymoon, or just a need to ESCAPE.
If you are looking for tranquility this is the place for you! Cottage had all the amenities you'll need for the perfect vacation. Beautifully decorated inside and out, magnificent gardens and five exquisite beaches within minutes. Mary, the homeowner was a pleasure to work with. Made you feel right at home. Absolutely would recommend!!!
My family of 4 (2 young children) had a great stay at Fiddlewood cottage.
If like us you would like to stay in a quieter place than the buzzing St Cruz bay to fully experience St John, you should definitely consider a stay in the Salt Pond area.
Salt Pond is in a more remote part of the island and we actually found it to be much more enjoyable than St Cruz: the beach is every bit as good as its more famous sisters on the North Shore (that's actually where we had the greatest snorkeling), its calm water is ideal for kids, and the area also provides great hiking opportunities (Ram Head trail for example).
Fiddlewood is a charming and well-appointed cottage, and what makes it so enjoyable is its proximity with nature... there is a nice view over a pond, beautiful flowers and trees around the cottage and every night you'll go to sleep listening to the sounds of birds and frogs.
Mary was a great host, very responsive and accommodating to any request, but discreet if you'd rather enjoy the cottage alone with your family...
Overall, there is not much that we would change about our stay in St John and Fiddlewood cottage and we left St John with the feeling of having truly experienced it.
We just spent five days in Fiddlewood Cottage, what a magical location. My husband and I enjoyed every minute of our stay and fell in love with the Coral Bay side of St. John. Whether we were enjoying morning coffee or eating dinner, we loved sitting on the deck over looking Salt Pond. The kitchen was well provisioned with everything we needed to cook; in fact we ate in most nights. Not only does Mary keep the cottage meticulously clean, the cottage is beautifully decorated and so comfortable. The proximity to great hiking trails, beaches and restaurants in Coral Bay could not be better. Thanks again to Mary and Les - we thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Fiddlewood Cottage!
Fiddlewood Cottage is a wonderful retreat. I had met my cousin, Jimmy, and his wife, Lorna, in Seattle for the long flight(s) to St. Thomas. They came from Anchorage, AK, so deserve some kind of a travel award. We are all “mature” folk, so needed some R&R after the long trip, and from life in general. Well, we came to the right place. We arrived to a fruit plate, snacks, and wine. We sat on the covered deck overlooking Mandal Pond and a hillside that is part of the Virgin Islands National Park. We soaked in the warmth and the quiet. Oh, the quiet. Over the next few days we walked to Salt Pond Bay and Drunk Bay (don’t miss the “beach sculptures”). We drove to nearby Little Lameshur Bay to swim. Mary had thought of every detail: beach towels, chairs, coolers, picnic supplies, snorkel gear, sunscreen, etc. And rum (oh, yeah!). It is a 45 min. drive into Cruz Bay, and we made the drive a few times. But mostly we chose to stay “home” or nearby. The wifi is strong, so we could stay connected with our families. This was important to us. And, although the cottage has only one bedroom, we found it comfortably appointed for a third person. At night we opened out the sleeper sofa in the living room, where I slept well (and fell in love with one of the pillows). The landscaping is lovely – including exotic vanda orchids on the south side deck, and herbs to use in cooking. I could go on. I highly recommend this cottage. By Rae Ellen Lee.
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Fiddlewood is a wonderful cottage tucked next to the national forest, within walking distance to 3 beaches, including Salt Pond, It is well equipped with almost everything you will need for a great vacation; beach-chairs, fins and well equipped kitchen. You'll need a car because it is off the beaten path.
Mary is a wonderful host and has knowledge galore of the island
This was our second visit to here and will be back.
I planned a last minute Christmas holiday to the USVI and upon doing some hurried research, realized that staying in St. John was a must. In general, St. John is known to have pricer accommodations, but having only two days to find a place, there really was only one extremely overpriced choice that would have been too large for my needs and in the crowded area of Cruz Bay, Chocolate Hole. I was advised upon arrival, that Chocolate Hole had a reputation for being named such....for reasons you may guess if you had a dirty mind. In the literal sense, involving a body of water and why it may be dirty. So I was extra relieved to not have paid $700 per night to stay in a luxury villa in Chocolate Hole ;) Beyond the fact that I was excited to get one and ONLY one, last minute 'Yes' response to all the numerous privately operated villas I could find online....I was beyond lucky to arrive to a gracious host, a beautiful vacation home, and to find myself in what I considered the most ideal location on the island. About the host: Mary took the time to wait for our ferry to arrive from St. Thomas. We actually saw her waiting for us as our ferry was about to dock, as my friend and I were saying to amuse ourselves, "Wouldn't it be funny, if that was our host?". Because Mary looked just as I had imagined her on the phone; a beautiful kind spirited woman with long wavy cool blonde hair. And turns out, it was her! She let me ride in her car, while my friend followed, to point out sights along the ride to the cottage. We passed along many of her friends and neighbors, as everyone knows each other here, and it was a lovely thing to see. It's about a half hour or a bit longer of a ride that goes north and clockwise all along St. John until you get to the southeastern part of the island, where Google Maps labels it 'Mandal', near Kiddle Point. The property was beautiful and secluded; it reminded me of a one room cottage with a wrap around porch, and the bedroom felt like an extension of the cottage that felt at one with the porch, so although it was inside, it felt outdoorsy, because of the wrap around windows. When you wake in the mornings, light and nature fills the room. The couch was also very comfy to sleep on! It is very picturesque and quiet, with art from Mary's husband, who is an artist, and decorations that suit the cottage, along with well manicured plants, trees, and flowers enveloping the home. There is a tv with cable (if you're into that), along with wifi, and the porch overlooking the lake is the kind of thing I imagine when I think of growing old and having coffee in the morning :P Super ideal for a couple who doesn't mind doing the slow, quiet type thing. Great little local stores and restaurants within a few minutes drive and multiple bays that seem popular with locals and family friendly. Great AM hike to see sunrise along Ram's Head, per Mary's suggestion. There's also access to the back entry (so where most people would finish, not enter) to the hike to see the sugar plantation ruins and petroglyphs. It takes a little bit of sleuthing, but easy to find once you start driving west from the cottage and things start looking off-road. Also, if the weather is right, and if you're a diver you would find this out with a little googling, the ocean area near the cottage, the SE waters of St. John, apparently have amazing diving that many divers don't get to see, because the dive operators won't waste their time boating all the way to that part of the island (because they leave from Cruz Bay) unless they know it's the right season and waters aren't choppy. Last, but not least, Mary made an exception for my super well behaved little dog to stay with us in her home. All in all, such a great, lucky experience!
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