Located directly on the historic Johnny Horn Trail (mile hike to famous snorkeling Waterlemon Cay beach!) and bordering the Virgin Islands National Park, this off-the-grid eco-retreat is an open-air home that is solar-powered, cooled by the tradewinds, sustained by tropical showers and warmed by the sun. Overlooking the Caribbean Sea, Hurricane Hole and the British Virgin Islands to Virgin Gorda, the view is stunning and the sunrises are spectacular.
Coral Bay Eco-Retreat offers the unique opportunity to be in a remote location, yet only half a mile from the heart of Coral Bay and a mile hike to the beach. It's perfect for hikers and adventurers wanting to get away from it all and experience island eco-living “off the beaten path” in a tropical setting. Experience quiet for writing, relaxing or contemplation, punctuated by the sounds of the surf, birds, tree frogs, island sheep and donkeys. One guest claimed, 'As I watched the sun go down, I felt my blood pressure do the same!' Others have called this home a treehouse, as it is surrounded by trees, has trees growing through the decks, and even has a tree growing right next to the bed!
The large open deck is nestled among the trees and is perfect for admiring the view, meditating during sunrise (we call it the Morning Show) or for star-gazing on a balmy Caribbean night. It offers a glass-top umbrella table for outdoor dining with a view, a Weber grill and a Pawley Island hammock for two for the owner's favorite sport: hammock-warming! It is accessed by 'the stairway to heaven', 44 steps up to the house, lighted by solar lights and dotted with hoop-vine and turpentine trees.
The deck connects through double cypress doors to the living room which has a large comfy sofa, old-style rocking chair, books, DVD player/screen, charging area for electronic devices and Caribbean art, mostly of Caribbean women, created by Caribbean women. Generally, a strong cell phone signal is usually available, especially for AT&T and free wireless internet..
The island-style open-air kitchen features a very busy hummingbird feeder and a coconut banana quit feeder, attracting many tiny yellow banana quits (official bird of the Virgin Islands) who land on your hand to enjoy sugar, greeting you each morning. This old-time Caribbean style kitchen has a mermaid theme with hanging island baskets and kitchen antiques collected on down-island travels including iron skillets, kettles, even an old island school bell. The porch-style kitchen overlooks a herb /aloe/papaya garden and utilizes solar-warmed rainwater that is gravity-fed from a small water tower. For true water conservation and in keeping with old island traditions, the “dishwasher” is a set of dishpans in which dishwater is saved for deck and garden plants. It has a spacious solar-powered Sunfrost frig (no freezer), a non-electronic six-burner stove and oven (no microwave), a bar-style seating area overlooking the view, dishes, bamboo and eco-cookware coffee-bean grinder and a stove-top toaster. A Stefani ceramic eco-water filter and several gallons of purified island drinking water are provided.
Two bedrooms offer fabulous views from your pillow, both with queen beds with natural cotton bedding in tropical colors, lots of pillows, a heavenly duvet and romantic and practical mosquito netting. Cooled by the tradewinds, there are also fans and low-wattage reading lights for your comfort. The downstairs open-to-nature bedroom has a private full bath, garden with island mural (created by our first guest), massage table area and deck with a tree growing bedside and a coconut shell bird feeder . The white loft bedroom is accessed by a stairway from the living room, features a Caribbean style hip roof/ceiling, boat-style awning/hatches, a modified four-poster bed and photos of St. John beaches.
Open-air bathrooms feature fixtures with water-conservation flushes, a half bath on the main-floor and an outdoor garden shower. Rain water is collected from the roof, stored in cisterns, considered precious, limited and carefully conserved. Guests are encouraged to take the St. John Eco-Challenge: take cool-water St John eco-showers (not hot), limit flushing, turn off lights, dry your hair in the breeze and leave an 'island eco-footprint, flip-flop style'!
At this eco-retreat, you are at one with nature; the perfect place for you if you're okay with walking up hills (from the driveway to the house!), up steps (44 of them to the house), love to hike and drive a rough trail in four-wheel drive. If you're not highly allergic, critter-phobic or sensitive to tropical gheckos (little lizards) or occasion flying bugs who visit this open-air home, you'll love it! Generally, the tradewinds keep mosquitoes and no-see-ums to a minimum and frogs and hermit crabs are our natural bug exterminators! Since it's off-the-grid, there are no hair dryers, microwave, dishwasher, hot water (Note: It is warm), air conditioners...or even a kitchen sink! But in their place are awesome views, privacy, gentle breezes and star-lit nights...and high speed internet! Take the St. John Eco Challenge and see how small your environmental carbon footprint can be!
If you want a great view, peace and quiet, eco-adventure and a natural setting, then Coral Bay Eco-retreat is the home for you! Must love birds!