The Eco Retreat is a special place. We wanted privacy, nature, charm, creature comforts and a bit of adventure. The Retreat provided all of that and more.
The views are spectacular. Allison, our very accommodating owner, did everything possible to make our stay pleasant, including picking up our groceries from Star Market. She is extremely responsive to questions and requests and a pleasure to deal with. She even keeps a cell phone at the house in case your service doesn’t work.
Both beds are extremely comfortable with nice linens, and the open-air bedroom is like no other place you will rest your head. You wake up to birdsong and a Caribbean sunrise. The kitchen has everything you need to cook, but it's not the type of home where you will want to prepare complex meals that involve many pans and serving dishes. Use the time you save washing dishes by hand to sit on the deck! We cooked big breakfasts and packed lunches and ate out the other evenings. Coral Bay has great restaurants, including Indigo Grill, Skinny Legs, Pickles and Aqua Bistro.
Some considerations. You definitely need a four-wheel drive jeep to get up to the house and then you climb 45 steps. Your water is heated by the sun, so it's warm, not hot. (We found it refreshing after a long day.) We always had electricity from the solar panels, but we were careful to only use what we needed. The power went out a few times on St. John but not for us! You should be the kind of person who laughs and grabs the camera when a gecko invades your space, and love having banana quits eat sugar from your hand and hummingbirds zoom by your head. All of this added to the appeal of the house for us.
We were there in the dry season. You may or may not find the mosquitoes to be a problem. My daughter had multiple bites, I had some and my other friend had none. My daughter may have been bitten on the beaches and in the woods as we saw no mosquitoes or flying insects at the house, probably due to the constant breeze. She started using OFF Botanical Lotion (plant-based ingredient found in eucalyptus plants) and that seemed to help.
I loved being off the grid. I have Verizon so my phone never worked anywhere on St. John. The internet wasn’t always reliable (a function of the island). I adjusted immediately and left the real world behind. I highly recommend you do the same, and start by renting Allison’s retreat.