Chris and Harriett Bast

Speaks german, english
Bedrooms 3
Property type villa
Minimum Stay 5 nights

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Chris and Harriett Bast

Speaks german, english
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Gift Hill Villa Rental Photos and Description

Villa, 3 Bedrooms, 3 Private Baths, Plus loft (Sleeps 1 to 8)

Cielo Vista (Heavenly View) is a modern hilltop villa, of white stucco and Caribbean blue roof and shutters. The interior is pristine clean white plaster with rich mahogony wood trim and special Mexican tile flooring. When people come to Cielo Vista their first reaction is awe of the views and appreciation of the cleanliness and architecture. The central Great Room with its vaulted two story space with loft and catwalk is the hub. There are three private bed suites with their own beautiful baths and special showers. There is a sleeping loft/ reading nook in the Great Room connected to an elevated balcony with even more expansive vistas. The modern, full kitchen is well laid out for efficiency and company. The large enclosed outdoor veranda with its proximity to the pool is a place of easy comfort, viewing, reading, and visiting. The pool is private and inviting, surrounded by a deck affording sunbathing, sunset viewing, and morning coffee venue, And always, there is the view.

Cielo Vista can easily accommodate 4 couples in privacy and comfort yet provide for group gatherings for meals, drinks, and conversation in the Great Room, screened-in veranda, and pool deck. The bed suites are all separated so the villa can be a cozy bed room for the single couple as well. The Garden Suite, the third bedroom, was originally conceived by the owners as an independent apartment for visiting family. As such it has its own full kitchen with dinette, separate outside entrance, TV sitting area, screened-in porch, canopied patio and sun deck. Occupants of the Garden Suite can join the group via a short brick garden walk along the side of the pool. The Garden Suite is used when villa guest groups are larger than six and is included in the quoted price. This suite is never rented separately when the villa is rented by guests. However when the owners are in residence and the villa is not leased they rent this suite out separately under the name of ' St John Apartment with View'

More Details
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters
  • Singles
  • wheelchair inaccessible
  • non smoking only
  • Low Allergen Environment
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • pets not allowed
Chris and Harriett Bast (Property Manager)
Advertiser since 2012
Speaks german, english

About Chris and Harriett Bast

Chris and Harriett Bast were married in the autumn of their lives on tiny Henley Cay just off Caneel Bay in 2010. This was the joyful, improbable union of two recent retirees,a Southern belle from Charleston,SC and an Upstate NY contractor. Chris is a West Pointer with a tour of duty in VN. He started his company with his childhood sweetheart, his deceased wife-Nancy.. It was she who chose the site, selected the name and did much of the physical work of the building. We dedicate this to Nancy with love

Chris and Harriett Bast purchased this villa in 2005

Why Chris and Harriett Bast chose Gift Hill

We had been stymied in our 3 year search for just the right property on St John.during the real estate boom in the early 2000's

We had made many offers but were always 2nd bidder or too late. Returning stateside after one especially frustrating trip during which we had tendered two unsuccessful proposals we received an urgent phone call from our realtor which needed an immediate response. A property was about to be listed and already offers were queuing up. We would have to bid 'sight unseen' if we wished to be in the hunt. We bid based on trust and and the agent's detailed description-- An unbelievably great view, nice neighborhood, buildable lot, well treed, convenient location, good assess roads, quiet surrounds, great topography, ample space, and immediate availability. Obviously we were the successful bidder. We hurriedly returned to St John with 3 days of grace if we wanted to withdraw our bid. There was no need-It was love at 1st sight.

What makes this villa unique

Many St John locations can boast of great views but CV has one of the best. In the dark of night the vista continues. No featureless black seascape here. The lights of St Thomas twinkle in the distance. We can watch the the big cruise ships as they steam in from or out to sea from Charlotte Amalie. On clear days we can see the PR islands of Vieques and Culebras. But the best is the spectacular sunsets from the deck or balcony as we review the day.

All rooms have the great view, proximity to the pool, and easy transparent access to the outdoors. The Great Room, a two story, vaulted space with catwalk and loft, houses the functions as a group -visiting/cooking/ TV/ games, etc. The bed suites with their own verandas are get-away spots for reading or napping with privacy. The bathrooms are spacious with special showers which feel like you're outdoors. Originally the villa was built with a large open veranda tying all the areas together around the pool. To reduce the suns rays in late afternoon a special rollup screen was installed in front of the Great Room. This proved so successful that they entire veranda was screened in with overhead fans and comfy cushioned chairs. This room has become a focal point in the villa. It mimics the outdoor living spaces of Charleston, SC.

The pool is central to the villa. The surrounding deck is great for private sunbathing, It is often cool at night for cocktails and visits as the twinkling lights of St Thomas emerge after the sunset. Morning coffee or crossword puzzle are done there also.

The 2nd floor balcony provides an elevated cafe and hammock-enjoy.

Why HomeAway

Bedrooms 3
Property type villa
Minimum Stay 5 nights
Pay with confidence
Pay with confidence
Guaranteed, secure, with no booking fees
Add vacation protection services to your booking
Three services to protect your trip:
Protect your payments in case you need to cancel.
Guarantee the rental meets your expectations
Ensure you're prepared in case of accidental damage.



based on 10 traveler reviews

Write a Review
Cielo Vista, Breathtaking panoramic views from every room/deck
average rating of 5.0 based on 10 reviews
Cielo Vista, Breathtaking panoramic views from every room/deck
Gift Hill St John
Gainesville, Florida

Absolutely Wonderful

  • 5 of 5
We have rented many times on St. John and this was THE BEST, a perfect home unless you are in the $8,000+ a week budget crowd. You can trust the photos of Cielo Vista, if I had any criticism; the photos don’t do the home justice as it is even nicer.
The location on Gift Hill is perfect, out of town but close enough to scoot to Cruz Bay for dinner or supplies. The Star Fish Market and St. John Market are as close as a short hop to the store back home
Lots of outdoor living space, who wants to be indoors in the Caribbean? We ate and lounged on the enclosed terrace. It is all screened for mosquito control but the screens are a roll down or roll sideways type that keep an outdoor feeling, no bars blocking you view. . The breezes flow through the home; we used ceiling fans and never considered AC.
The pool is generous for 8 people including 3 children, it never seemed small. There are surrounding side decks and outdoor furniture. The view is nothing short of spectacular at sunset. We sipped gin & tonics each evening while watching the lights of St. Thomas. One evening we all saw the elusive “Green Flash” as the sun settled into the western sea.
The house is well furnished including the kitchen. Our experienced has been house cleaning folks will pick up the products vacationers cannot take with them. With Cielo Vista we discovered many things were left for our use such as spices, olive oil, a variety of bottles of alcohol etc. No opened food packages but many things we could use and forgot to bring. It really helped make Cielo Vista feel like home rather than an extended hotel suite. We tried to follow suit when leaving.
The home has 2 full, equal masters. A loft above the main living area but it is more than just a “loft” as there is a lot of living space plus a runway to a large private deck. This could work out for sharing couples who want some privacy from time to time.
Below is an efficiency apt. that is nicely done with a comfortable bed, fans and AC, TV, WiFi and a screened sitting area plus a generous sized bath. We, the parents, decided to go to the apartment and we just loved the space and the privacy we needed from time to time.
I found the various web sites overwhelming but the homework paid off as we all loved Cielo Vista. If this home fits your need and budget forget all the others, just book it, you will not be sorry, this may be as close to heaven as we’ll ever get on earth.
  • Submitted: Jul 29, 2014
  • Stayed: Jul 2014
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: So glad that you enjoyed your stay at beautiful Cielo Vista. Cielo Vista opens her arms wide to embrace her guest! Hope you will come gain again.

Harriett and Chris
Cielo Vista, Breathtaking panoramic views from every room/deck
Gift Hill St John

Amazing Family Vacation

  • 5 of 5
We loved Cielo Vista! First time on the island and we could not have been treated better. Denise met us at the ferry and escorted us to the car rental and then took us to the fabulous retreat on Gift Hill. The house was incredible, lovely views and everything you could need to have a great vacation. Cielo Vista is located perfectly - a short ride from town yet convenient to all the amazing beaches. Kids loved the pool and the upper deck with the views. We will come again and definitely stay Cielo Vista. Thank you Harriet and Chris - and thank you Denise!
  • Submitted: Apr 24, 2014
  • Stayed: Apr 2014
  • Source: HomeAway
Cielo Vista, Breathtaking panoramic views from every room/deck
Gift Hill St John

Cielo Vista - Perfect

  • 5 of 5
This was our first visit to St. John and Cielo Vista. We found Cielo Vista to be absolutely perfect. The location is ideal, perched on the hillside overlooking the town of Cruz Bay, with panoramic views of the harbor and St Thomas in the distance. The villa is just a few minutes from Cruz Bay and is in an ideal location from which to explore St. John.

The villa is beautifully decorated and we found it to be very well equipped throughout. The design is spectacular with views from literally everywhere in the house. We really enjoyed breakfast and dinner in the outdoor dining area overlooking the pool and deck. We loved returning to the villa after a day of snorkeling or touring the island, relaxing on the deck and enjoying the pool. The grand finale everyday was watching the fabulous sunsets from the deck, and then seeing the lights come on after dusk across the bay on St Thomas.

Cielo vista exceeded our expectations, and we can't wait to return. Chris and Harriet - thank you for sharing your wonderful home with us!
  • Submitted: Oct 2, 2013
  • Stayed: Aug 2013
  • Source: HomeAway
Cielo Vista, Breathtaking panoramic views from every room/deck
Gift Hill St John

Perfect Stay in Paradise

  • 5 of 5
We couldn't have asked for more...Cielo Vista was absolutely the perfect place to celebrate our 10 year anniversary. We arrived after the car rental closed, so the property manager Denise, not only picked us up from the ferry dock, but stopped at the store so we could have some food before she came the next morning to our jeep rental in town. We appreciated the welcoming special touches that she provided, and the quick overview of the home.

We loved the perfectly clean, beautifully decorated and fully equipped villa. Even though the villa has a tenant who lives below Cielo Vista, you are totally secluded and feel as though you are alone.
The home is so uniquely designed where the two bedrooms are on opposite ends of the home. It would be great for two couples. The shower was amazing, we loved the outdoor feel with the awesome views.

The location high on the mountain side delivers breathtaking views of St. Thomas in the distance. Very private pool /deck to soak up the warm, bronzing sun. We really liked the location alot. Although the sharp curves up the mountain are a bit intimidating, (make sure your jeep doesnt have semi bald tires like ours did) we thought the location was ideal because you could get to the beaches easy enough, and a very short drive to town, with fabulous views, and privacy. The villa has everything you need.
The bed & pillows were quite comfortable and after a couple of nights we started getting used to the loud frogs chirping in the night. We would highly recommend this Villa to family and friends, and we hope to return as well. Thank-you Harriett for sharing your beautiful comfortable villa with us.
  • Submitted: Mar 8, 2013
  • Stayed: Dec 2012
  • Source: HomeAway
Cielo Vista, Breathtaking panoramic views from every room/deck
Gift Hill St John
Charlton, New York


  • 5 of 5
We vacationed at Cielo Vista this past October. This was our second visit to St. John and we had a wonderul time both times that we stayed at Cielo Vista. The accommodations are spectacular -- along with the view. The location of this beautiful and well cared for home is the best; atop the winding roads of St. John - looking over to the beautiful sight of St. Thomas; which is lovely and most beautful when lit up at night. Each bedroom is private and spacious with each having a private bath. The living room and kitchen area is open to the screened-in porch - which leads right to the steps into your own personal in-ground salt water pool!! We spent many hours enjoying the pool and admiring the view. We enjoyed delicious food which we prepared in the spacious and well-supplied kitchen -- out on the screened in porch which has a dining table and the spectacular view once again!!. The beaches of St. John are gorgeous and we enjoyed visiting many. Cielo Vista is a lovely home with a perfect view; which makes for a most lovely and relaxing and perfect vacation. We would most surely go again!!
  • Submitted: Dec 6, 2012
  • Stayed: Sep 2012
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Recommended for:  Girls Getaway, Families with Teenagers, Families with Young Children, Romantic Getaway
Cielo Vista, Breathtaking panoramic views from every room/deck
Gift Hill St John
Kinderhook, NY

Truly paradise, we are never more relaxed than we are at Cielo Vista

  • 5 of 5
My wife and I honeymooned at Cielo Vista in 2007 and have returned every year since to celebrate our anniversary. We love our time on St John and Cielo Vista is the perfect place to stay. The house is amazing, the bedrooms are set up like private master suits at each end of the house both with some of the best views in the Caribbean. One our favorite parts about Cielo Vista is waking up every morning to the beautiful view from the bedroom and hearing the bananaquits feeding from feeder on the railing by the pool. The villa has everything you will need to make your stay on the island truly wonderful, whether you enjoy a relaxing day at the pool admiring the view or exploring the island with easy access from the centrally located Villa. The villa and Island are both breath taking! We look forward to our return every year.
  • Submitted: Dec 1, 2012
  • Stayed: Jul 2012
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Recommended for:  Adventure Seekers, Girls Getaway, Tourists without a Car, Sightseeing, Families with Teenagers, Romantic Getaway
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Nearest Ferry
1 Miles
Cruz Bay
Nearest Beach
1 Miles
Cruz Bay
Nearest Barpub
1 Miles
Cruz Bay
Nearest Restaurant
1 Miles
Cruz Bay
Car: recommended

St John does not have the run-away commercialism of so many beautiful subtropical Caribbean islands. Over 2/3 of the island has been set aside as a National Park. As such the beaches remain close to pristine with easy access for snorkeling and other water sports. All the beaches have 'swim or wade to' reefs supporting schools of colorful fish.

Day trips to the British Virgin islands are easy to arrange in downtown Cruz Bay with ferry service to these differing islands.

Sometimes on rainy days the south side of the island is still clear. Try Salt Pond near Rams Head should you have some rain, (Think of the cisterns)

Waterlemon Bay almost always has turtles and rays for the viewing. It is worth the hike (20 minutes).

Wednesday nights at Mongoose Junction the local musicians jam. Great fun.

Sunday afternoon there is music at the Beach Bar in Cruz Bay. Bring a beach chair.

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Availability & Rates

Availability & Rates


Gift Hill Villa Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
Per property
Rental rates quoted in:
Convert Currency
Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event
Low Season
Apr 27 2014 - Dec 14 2014
5 night minimum stay

Additional information about rental rates

Property Damage Protection $49
Tax Rate 10.0%
Notes Low $2800.00 High $3000.00
Please call owner for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. These weeks will require a 7 night minimum.
No Pets
No Children under 6

*2014 LOW SEASON: April 27 - December 14;
1-2 people $2,700;
2-4 people $3,150;
4-6 people $3,500;
*Contact owner for Thanksgiv

Cancellation Policy

100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date.
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Gift Hill Villa Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • villa
Forms of Payment:
  • accept credit card
  • Catering available
Location Type:
  • Mountain ...
  • Near The Ocean ...
  • Rural ...
  • Ocean View
  • Water View
  • Romantic
  • Family
  • Free Local Calls
  • Iron & Board
  • Thermos Bottle
  • Parking Off Street
  • Activities Guide
  • Alarm Clock
  • Ceiling Fans
  • Hair Dryer
  • Local Activities Guide
  • Local Maps
  • Paper Towels
  • Local Restaurant Guide
  • Basic Soaps
  • Toilet Paper
  • Washing Machine
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Telephone
  • Linens Provided
  • Wireless Internet
  • Parking
  • Internet
  • Towels Provided
  • Air Conditioning ...
  • Stove
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Kitchen
  • Blender
  • Lobster Pot
  • Pantry Items
  • Stove
  • Grill
  • 4 Ring Stove
  • Coffee Maker
  • Toaster
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Refrigerator
  • Freezer
  • Oven
  • Microwave
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 8 people
  • 3 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 3 - toilet , shower , Extra Large with view of Pillsbury Sound
    Bathroom 2 - toilet , shower , Extra Large w/view of Pillsbury Sound
    Bathroom 1 - toilet , shower , Extra Large w/view of Pillsbury Sound
  • Each bathroom is very spacious with an open window and spectacular view of Pillsbury Sound. Please review photos.
  • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 8
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 queen , Private Bath
    Bedroom 2 - 1 queen , Private Bath
    Loft - 1 sleep sofa /futon , Exceptionally comfortable bed by Front Gate
    Bedroom 3 - 1 queen , Third Bedroom private bath and studio apartment
  • Three bedroom suites each with a large private bath and a private entrance. Additional sleeping space in loft on a Front Gate portable bed. Loft is perfect for children or teenagers. The loft does not have a private bathroom but there is private access to a bathroom. Third bedroom is located in the garden apartment which is just a few steps from villa.
  • Books
  • Books for Adults
  • Games for Kids
  • Music Library
  • Video Library
  • DVD Player
  • Television
  • Satellite / Cable
  • VCR
  • Radio
  • Lawn / Garden
  • Balcony
  • Beach Chairs
  • Beach Towels
  • Binoculars
  • Large Cooler
  • Small Cooler
  • Raft
  • Yard
  • Outdoor Furniture
  • Deck Furniture
  • Porch Furniture
  • Wood Deck
  • Outdoor Grill Gas
  • Porch / Veranda
  • Screen Porch / Veranda
  • 4 garden chairs
  • 6 beach chairs
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters
  • Singles
  • wheelchair inaccessible
  • non smoking only
  • Low Allergen Environment
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • pets not allowed
Pool / Spa:
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Private Pool
  • bay/sound
  • churches
  • duty free shops
  • forests
  • library
  • marina
  • museums
  • rain forests
  • coin laundry
  • reefs
  • restaurants
  • ruins
  • festivals
Leisure Activities:
  • eco tourism
  • walking
  • horseback riding
  • whale watching
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • gambling casinos
  • paddle boating
  • sight seeing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundromat
  • Babysitter
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
  • fitness center
  • ATM/bank
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • basketball court
  • deepsea fishing
  • snorkeling
  • sound/bay fishing
  • surf fishing
  • hiking
  • jet skiing
  • mountain climbing
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • scuba diving or snorkeling
  • surfing
  • wind-surfing
  • water skiing
  • mountaineering
  • paragliding
  • sailing
  • fishing
In the event of a power outage, you are protected by Cielo Vista's generator that comes on immediately without intervention from the tenant and without interruption in your power service. We love children but due to the open access to the pool we have implemented an age limit of 5. No pets. Maid service can be arranged if ordered prior to visit. Maid service is at the expense of the guest.
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