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“Great House Villa, Sandy Ground Estates”

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Sandy Ground Estates
Reviewed June 3, 2013

What joy to arrive to a paradise! We were two married couples, one enjoying their 40th wedding anniversary and we, who invited our friends of the past 30 years, were so excited to be there! My husband and I were in celebration of our 75th birthdays. This trip to Jost Van Dyke and staying at the Great House Villa was a birthday gift fro. Our daughter.
The Great House is so fantastic, with 3 separate sections, which are joined together by two decks. The deck with the pool and lounges is five steps be.ow the upper deck which has a great open patio with outdoor dining table, with access to the kitchen and den. The lower deck leads to a beautiful living area with cathedral ceiling and lovely bedroom with four poster bed.
This section has a total of three bedrooms.
The master suite has a glorious view of Tortola, Sandy Cay and Sandy Spit. It has 8 windows that swing out, held by various hinges to enjoy the breeze that caresses your body day and night.
We were amazed at the fact that this Great House has five bedrooms and a loft.
The gardens and the view of the open sea is spectacular.
When I arrived I was so taken with the beauty that I had tears of joy.
We have lived in Europe and traveled to every country in Western Europe, as well as Russia, Israel and Egypt. We have visited counties all over the world, such as China and have lived in South America and Nigeria, where our two children were born.
Last year we visited our friends in Brazil.
The reason that I mention these travels is that Jost Van Dyle was every bit as interesting, charming, rustic, challenging, peaceful as visiting and living in the other countries mentioned above.
The advantage for us was the peace, the sound of the waves rushing against he shore, the flora, and the friendly people.
For us, who, even though advanced age, are active in outdoor sports, hiking, swimming, sailing, kayaking, skiing a d working out, the challenges of the access to the house and beach and restaurants was not at all difficult. We loved the 40 minute hike to Foxys Taboo and to Bubbly Pool.
As for our friends, it was challenging, so they were mostly content to lounge around the pool, read, photograph the flora and the seas, have leisurely gourmet meals that we prepared.
For any age, if you want fulfillment in adventure, with rides in a dinghy, hiking narrow and rocky paths to ger to the main road, sailing in the Pico Sailboat, kayaking, exploring the nearby small islands, snorkeling and swimming in the pristine waters of Jost Van Dyke, go for it.
Saga, the caretaker, is fantastic. He is there for you to drive you from the dock where the water taxi leaves you at Sandy Ground Estates. He has a small jeep to drive up and down the rather steep road to the house. He is there to advise on places to go, assist with the boats, and will surprise you with a pineapple, eggplants from the garden, bananas and a plethora of papayas. We had so much fun talking with Saga about the island...make sure to plan some time talking with him. He even took his machete and cut us some coconuts...we sipped coconut milk, made rum drinks with fresh coconut cream, chewed on fresh coconut!
The beach is a five minute walk, on a narrow, stony path, but as you are descending, you will enjoy the "dance of the white Butterflies", depending upon the season.
The beach is white smooth sand, however, the ocean floor is rocky, so best to swim at high tide.
For smooth sand beach floor, take dinghy or kayak to Sandy Spit, Sandy Cay or White Bay or Great Harbour.
Foxys Tamarind is a must...Saga took us there for lunch, we met Foxy who made up a song about the city from which we came.
You will also be able to take a ferry to Tortola, and also enjoy the vacationers on the catamarans, yachts and sailboats.
I cried tears of joy on arrival and tears when we left...a paradise, no noise, with the exception of birds at night, gentle breezes and the rush of the waves.
The owners are fantastic, Katherine Hempel a delight to work with long distance. Bobby's market was great...make sure you order enough food.

Room Tip: Master bedroom with huge king size bed, two huge closets a dressing area, stone floor bath with ston...
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Elaine R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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11 - 17 of 22 reviews

Reviewed July 25, 2012

I stayed for a month and it is very difficult to come and go, VERY STEEP and ROCKY, if you want to get a taxi you need to walk up a goat path from hell which takes about 15 minutes! Very nice private beach but difficult to get to with the steep rocky paths! This house was ok but would not stay there again, to high up. I certainly got my share of exercise! Closest restaurant is half hour walk all other places need a taxi! Really love the island, very friendly people! Best advise is taking the water taxi when you come and go!

Stayed: March 2012, traveled with family
3  Thank Karen C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 23, 2012

1 - Location is unbelievable. Just a magical place. quiet, isolated, gorgeous. The beach is the most wonderful I have ever had the good fortune to vacation on, and we had it to ourselves. My kids are still talking about it.

2 - Loblolly treee house - in serious need of upkeep. The kitchen in particular is functional, but not much else. It's the caribbean, after all. Bugs, critters, ect - the cabinets are old, haven't been painted in who knows how long, the doors don't shut properly, so the critters can and do access. We washed most everything before we used it, because the place was superficially clean - but the place needed to be powerwashed, repainted, ect ect. We dealt with it - but needs to be "redone". Old appliances, not terribly clean. My wife is still talking about it.

3 - It was very reasonably priced. You get what you pay for - I realize that!

My advice - definitely go there! You won't regret the long trek - it's all that the pictures show and more. But try another cottage until this one gets a much needed facelift. Bottom line - my kids and I were in heaven. My wife (truly NOT a clean freak, but not happy to have to wash all the pots and dishes before we used them either) was not happy about the dirt and grime, which appeared to be largely a result of deferred maintenance and time.

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled with family
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2  Thank jwix
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 28, 2012

We stayed for 8 nights on Jost Van Dyke at the Great House Villa. We think Sandy Ground is the most rustic, beautiful, quiet Caribbean vacation spot we've ever visited. There are only seven houses in the "development" and all seemed to be linked by paths rather than roads. We arrived by water taxi, with a week's worth of groceries, and were met by the Great House's caretaker who brought us up to the house in a jeep. If you like a Caribbean setting that is as natural as possible, you will find this house to be magnificent. Three buildings are linked by a terrace with beautiful views of the BVI. You are not roughing it by any means, as there is a pool (I believe the only one at Sandy Ground) and a flat-screen with games, as well as wifi. The house comes with a small boston whaler so you can explore the area by boat--a huge bonus. Without a boat, you have to rent a car or take taxis into the towns on JVD. We visited plenty of beach bars/ restaurants on the island, but we didn't have step in a car all week.

We have previously rented homes in Las Terenas, Vieques, and Rincon prior to visiting Jost and this place is our ideal. It was very private, yet we could venture out to civilization when we wanted to. I found it painful to leave!

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank Patricia H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 29, 2010

We stayed for about 10 days at the Loblolly Tree House and had an amazing time. I would recommend the private boat on your arrival so you don't have to hike the goat path with your food/provisions for the week, but take the public ferry on the way back to Tortola. Nadine and Leroy are very helpful if you need them or they will leave you alone if you want the privacy. Be ready to hike if you want to go any where. The islands is all hills, so if you want to hike to Great Harbor or White Bay, it's going to be a tough one b/c of the hills. We rented a jeep from Abe's for the week. Abe's and Nicee are very nice and will take care of you. They also have the best Lobster and ribs on the island! Make sure you stop by Foxy's and have a bananawacker, my wife loved them! Stop by the skuba shop and tell Sean and Collin I said hi, they will take good care of you. If you see the waves are up, take the hike to the bubbly pool on the north shore, it's pretty cool to experience. Also make sure you take a day trip to White Bay, and get a painkiller from the Soggy Dollar. The weekends get pretty crowded if you are into crowds. All in all it was a fun trip, but very relaxing as there is not a lot of things to do but relax! Everynight we sat on our terrace watching the boats go by and turned out the lights and gazed at the stars. One tip, make sure you bring good bug spray, the no-see-em's can get pretty bad at night. We hope to go back some day!

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Moses525
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 2, 2010

We recently stayed at the newly rebuilt Sounion II villa on Sandy Ground Estates, Jost Van Dyke. Put pretty simply, you can't beat this place in terms of the location and privacy. Sandy Ground is a 17 acre estate on the eastern end of Jost Van Dyke. On the estate are 8 villas nicely spread among a lush and tropical hillside with a very private sandy, shady beach with a great reef for snorkeling.

We've also stayed at the Loblolly Villa on Sandy Ground Estates twice. It's wonderful too but Sounion II beats all the villas hands down. It has 230 degree views of Tortola, Sandy Spit and a direct view of Sandy Cay. There are numerous places on the spacious decks and in the gardens to relax, dine, read, meditate, etc. The villa itself is extremely well equipped with modern appliances for cooking. Though it was just the two of us staying there, the way the bedrooms are separated makes this place ideal for two couples who still want some privacy. One of the bedrooms is down in the garden with it's own private sun terrace and bathroom. It's even equipped with it's own small fridge and coffee maker so you don't have to disturb others in the villa. The upstairs bedroom has an incredible bulls-eye view of Sandy Cay from the bed, an amazing sunrise spot. There's a great little desk area (internet equipped if you choose to bring your lap top) that also looks directly toward Sandy Cay. Great spot for writing! The living room is really open with a vaulted ceiling full of great architectural detail and fine craftsmanship. There are doors and windows everywhere which we kept open pretty much the entire time we were there with the exception of a couple blowing rains. Again, the views are just stunning from everywhere in this villa.

Down a short garden path from the villa sits a pergola which is yet another great place to just hang out, have a cocktail, meditate, practice yoga or watch the boats go by. The beach is a short 3 minute stroll down through a garden path. It's not really a swimming beach. More of a snorkeling beach. The beach itself is well equipped with hammocks, loungers and white sand.

Sandy Ground is pretty removed from all the bars and restaurants and requires a good hike or taxi ride (or rent a dinghy as we did to explore) to get to them. Foxy's Taboo is about a 20 minute easy walk and it has pretty good food. We did leave the estate a few times to explore the Bubbly Pool and White Bay (a great hike for fit folks or a $15-30 taxi ride) but mostly we just wanted to hang out at this dream location. It's amazing how fast the days tick by when you're doing a whole lot of nothin'. Nine days didn't feel long enough.

The caretakers, Nadine and Leroy, are as helpful as you want them to be. They're incredibly respectful of privacy but are willing to make your experience smooth and easy. Leroy is full of plant and island knowledge and is always happy to oblige our multitude of questions.

The original and current owners of the estate obviously had incredible foresight in keeping this place very natural and not too built up. If you're looking to get away from it all, enjoy amazing views in a private location, I highly recommend this well crafted villa.

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank seekFun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 14, 2007

My husband and I just returned from the Loblolly Tree House at the Sandy Grounds Estates. If you want a total private vacation, this is the place for you!!
JVD is a wonderful, quiet little island. We sat in the sun, read our books, played cards, drank and eat. We walked and walked and walked!!
We went to the Bubbly pool, met some nice people, (hi tammy and jeremey!) went to the top of JVD and saw a wonderful sunset.
We did not rent anything (boat, car, dinghy) I will say, if you are not in good, physical shape I would not rent from here. The walk to the main road is a pretty good hike. Then when you get to the road, you either go down hill to Foxy's Taboo (one of our favorites to eat and drink!!) or up, up, up the two hills to get to Little Harbor.
That being said, who couldn't use a little exercise on their vacation! My husband and I would look at it this way: A nice hike equals an excuse to drink and eat without guilt!!!
(When we were done walking, we did take a taxi)
Nadine and Leroy where very helpful in answering all our questions. Left us totally alone and we where very lucky, no other houses were rented that week, we had the private beach all to ourselves!! Who could ask for anything better!!
We ate at Sidney's Peace and Love, Foxy's, Corsair's, Foxy's Taboo, a few others. Every single thing we ate was delicious!! The pain killers........yum!!! Who had the best? We thought Soggy Dollar.
This is the place to come to destress, to take a moment with life and realize how good it can be.

  • Stayed: December 2007, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank trrmht
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sandy Ground Estates

Address: Jost Van Dyke
Location: Caribbean > British Virgin Islands > Jost Van Dyke
Amenities:
Beach Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly)
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Jost Van Dyke
Price Range: $1,400 - $1,950 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Sandy Ground Estates, perfectly situated on Jost Van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands, this unique location offers an experience like no other: glorious weather, azure waters, brilliant beaches, fascinating flora and fauna, awe-inspiring coral reefs and activities almost too numerous to mention. Jost Van Dyke is the smallest of the four main islands of the British Virgin Islands with Sandy Ground Estates, made up of six villas, occupying the eastern end of the island overlooking picturesque Sandy Spit, Sandy and Diamond Cays and only minutes walk from a sandy white beach you can call your own. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Sandy Ground Estates Hotel Jost Van Dyke
Sandy Ground Estates Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands

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