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Just Back from Virgin Gorda and St. John

Landing in Virgin Gorda

In the early morning hours, my colleague, Kate and I were whisked away on another adventure together. We flew JetBlue down to San Juan, before hopping on a 1-hour Cape Air flight to Virgin Gorda. Once we were flying over the Virgin Islands, we were glued to the windows. The opportunity to see all the islands, both large and small, and to pick out which ones we knew and which ones we wanted to know, made the flight so worth it. The experience fueled the feeling that we were going somewhere special, far flung, and relatively exclusive. This was especially felt once the wheels touched down on the dirt runway in Spanish Town. We disembarked, floated through the sleepy customs office, and began our trip.

Even after a full day of travel, we immediately wanted to explore. We headed to one of the main attractions on the island, the infamous “Baths.” It is a National Park comprised of a sandy beach area with large granite boulders that create sheltered, private swimming pools. It was such a unique experience and better than anything I had seen in pictures. I could only imagine how much fun it would be to spend the day there and enjoy the local restaurant at the top of the trail.

CocoMaya

That evening, we enjoyed dinner at CocoMaya, which was right up the road from The Baths. It was a great beach side restaurant, with a sophisticated aesthetic and creative, fresh asian-mexican-fusion menu. The restaurant was relatively full with guests, both large and small parties, locals and tourists, celebrating occasions, singing karaoke and  just enjoying time together. By the time we got home, we were exhausted, yet excited to see what the island had in store for us the next day.

We enjoyed a quick breakfast by the waterfront in Leverick Bay. We watched as marina guests disembarked their sailboats to provision and explore. 

Afterwards, we headed through the mountains over to Leverick Bay for our first villa tours.  The ride over was precarious, but gorgeous. We zipped along steep twisting turns, all the while on the left hand side of the road. It was such a pleasure to see almost the entire coast of the island, along with other neighboring islands.

Leverick Bay

Leverick Bay

Leverick and Mahoe Bay 

We toured four villas ranging in size from four to five bedrooms, all in the Leverick Bay area. Each villa was unique in style, and nearly all offered impressive ocean views. Some villas are still in the process of coming back from the hurricanes two years ago. However, the ocean was teeming with sailboats cruising between the islands. This was a happy sight. Guests remain interested in visiting the area and bringing their business to the island. 

We then headed over to Mahoe Bay to view more properties. Each led down to a gorgeous sandy beach. One, in fact, was directly on the beach (VG SAN). The villas in Mahoe Bay were simply more impressive and a bit more modern. Guests who would prefer to stay put and have easy access to a sandy beach will love this area. VG BLU, a three bedroom in Mahoe Bay was another favorite. 

VG SAN

VG SAN

Nail Bay

Hog Heaven, a scenic barbeque spot, is located on one of the highest peaks of the island. After a delicious lunch, we toured villas primarily in the Nail Bay area. The homes we saw were absolutely delightful. Villa VIJ ISP was a super cute two bedroom island villa with panoramic views to the Northwest. The deck has comfortable loungers and gentle breezes wafting through. Additionally, you can see the Nail Bay Sportsclub and Sugarcane restaurant from this villa.

Just a stones’ throw away, the Nail Bay Sportsclub offers a pool, gym, tennis, and squash courts. Plus, parents enjoy a cocktail while children entertain themselves at the playground. Moreover, their new, fabulous restaurant, Sugarcane, has incredible sunset views! This complex adds such great value to the villas in this area.

Our last evening on VG was spent in a very casual restaurant in “downtown” Spanish Town, The Bath & Turtle. There was live music and most of the tables were full. While we enjoyed dinner, we struck up a conversation with the table next to us. It turned out to be the Executive Chef of CocoMaya’s as well as his Sous Chef. It was nice to know that the restaurant was not just an easy tourist spot given the location, but also a favorite among locals.

The Bath & Turtle

The Bath & Turtle

St. John

Early the next morning, we headed down to the docks to meet our water taxi to St John. We chose to take a direct route from Virgin Gorda to St John to get a “lay of the land” by water. Boy, was this the way to go! The trip was about an hour and a half or so through the islands. Kate and I were able to get a better understanding of the proximity of the islands. Plus, our captain was helpful in pointing out areas of interest as we passed by.

When we landed in Cruz Bay, we decided to skip lunch and go straight into villa tours. Three of the villas were located in the Peter Bay area, while the last nine bedroom villa was in Cruz Bay. They were all perfect for large family reunions or fun group getaways. 

That night we enjoyed dinner at a new hotspot in Cruz Bay called Longboard. It offered a delicious, fun fresh Baja-Caribbean style menu. Well worth the visit! 

The following day we toured in a few different regions: Cruz Bay, Chocolate Hole, Rendezvous Bay, Catherineberg, and Peter Bay. Each villa had its own character and lovely ocean view. Refreshing! It’s always nice to have a large variety of products to work. The breadth helps to find the perfect villa for each unique client. It was also a joy to have the chance to see villas in different areas. Because of that, we understand the island that much more. 

The Longboard

The Longboard

Favorite Villas

Villa CT BEA, a four bedroom in Chocolate Hole, was one of my favorites. It was tucked away in a private neighborhood, right on the water, with Eastern facing views. While still a bit “older,” it was well-maintained and surrounded by natural features – traditional Virgin Island stone walls (with shells embedded amongst the stones), hard woods, lush gardens surrounding the villa, and a lily pond just off of the kitchen. 

Another favorite was CT ARD, This villa was was probably my number one pick. It was the most modern and pristine, out of the group that we saw. It had a large pool, deck, and outdoor cabana area. The rooms inside were spacious and well decorated. 

CT BEA

CT BEA

Maho Beach

Maho Bay

Maho Bay

After a long day, we went out to Coral Bay for lunch. Coral Bay is a very sweet community of shops, restaurants and local residential areas. It was a nice respite from the commercial downtown area of Cruz Bay, most frequented by tourists. On the way back, we stopped at Maho Beach for a quick dip. The area was rife with sea life. Just a couple yards off the beach, groups of snorkelers would pop up and proclaim “there’s a sea turtle over here! Did you see the one that just swam right by us!”

Fish jumped right at the shoreline. Pelicans and other sea birds patrolled the beach overhead before diving headfirst for dinner. Sting rays littered the sea floor. Imagine having a pair of goggles! It was so incredible to experience such a gorgeous beach. It bursts with marine life, all at your fingertips. I can’t wait to come back and explore even more of St John.

 

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