check navigate-up navigate-left navigate-right expand mail svg-lightning svg-24hr

Allison Smith

Member since: 2013
Call Manager
Speaks: english

Coral Bay Eco RetreatTropical Living Off the Grid:Hike to Beach!Natural,peaceful

Sleeps3
Bedrooms 2
Bathrooms1
Half Baths1
Property type cottage
Minimum Stay 5 - 7 nights

Pay with confidence

When you book through the HomeAway checkout, your booking is backed by our Book with Confidence Guarantee™ offering comprehensive payment protection.

Learn more

Overview

Estate Emmaus Cottage Rental Photos and Description

Tropical 2BR eco-cottage;If you loved Maho Bay,you'll love this!On hiking trail!

DON'T MISS THE MOVIE ON THE 'AMMENITIES' PAGE! Coral Bay Eco-Retreat: Tropical living off-the-grid, Live simply and close to nature on beautiful St. John. If you liked Maho Bay Camp, you'll LOVE this place! A hiker's and lovers' paradise, private and remote, open-air and silence. Solar-powered, located on historic Johnny Horn Trail, a one mile hike to primo snorkeling at Waterlemon Cay and Leinster Bay. Romantic with stunning views and spacious private decks overlooking Caribbean Sea, Coral Bay and the British Virgin Islands. On the border of the Virgin Islands National Park, only half a mile to Coral Bay restaurants, bars and buses to Salt Pond or Cruz Bay. With two bedrooms (including the Love Nest and the Life's a Beach Loft), the retreat is best suited for a couple or two firends. An option is a couple and a third person such as a child over 8 years old. This allows options with sleeping arrangements and weather management options.

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/partially screened 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 solar 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, night-blooming cirrus and turpentine trees.

The deck connects through double cypress doors to the screened-in 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/spinach/basil/banana/pineapple garden and utilizes solar-warmed rainwater that is gravity-fed from a small water tower made of recycled 'drums'. For true water conservation and in keeping with old island traditions, the “dishwasher” is a dishpan/bamboo dishdrainer 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. Eight gallons of purified island drinking water (in recycled gallon jugs) 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, puffy duvet and romantic and practical mosquito netting. Cooled by the tradewinds, there are also low-wattage reading lights. The downstairs 'Love Nest', 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 'Life's a Beach' loft bedroom is screened-in and 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 indoor shower 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 a zero '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 solar-warmed), air conditioners...or even a kitchen sink! But in their place are awesome views, privacy, gentle breezes, only natural sounds 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!

More Details
Suitability:
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
  • pets considered
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Allison Smith (Property Manager)
Member since: 2013
Call Manager
Speaks: english

About Allison Smith

26 year resident of St. John, Allison offers her eco-home to fellow nature-lover guests as a haven for relaxation and rejuvenation. She built the home herself (with a little help from her friends!) over a period of 15 years during a time of minimal access to basic construction services; ie she took materials up the rigorous Johnny Horn Trail in her jeep! She's created a natural home, complete with birds that land in your hand and hopes that you'll find the same serenity as you watch the sunrise from your bed! She lives on a nearby smaller island and is readily available to help in any way. She grew up in Florida and sailed to the Virgin Islands in her own sailboat, spending six months at sea en route. She has devoted her life to that of service, first as a school counselor, then as the 'island shrink' and founder and director of the islands first non-profit organization, the People Moving Forward Foundation. Later she and her daughter founded Viva Villas, a successful property management company on St. John and Sunshine Jeep rental. Guided to create spiritual growth opportunities, she created Rejuvenation Vacations, specializing in retreats for relaxation, yoga and spiritual growth. She has taught workshops and classes on A Course in Miracles, prosperity consciousness, living an optimum life experience and coordinates retreats for individuals on St. John. She has a beautiful daughter, Angie, and five fabulous grandchildren, three of whom are on St. John.

Allison Smith purchased this cottage in 2000

Why Allison Smith chose Coral Bay

The Coral Bay Eco Retreat offers an opportunity to experience off-the-grid living in a tropical setting. The energy of the area, overlooking the VI National Park as well as bordering it provides a serene and peaceful setting with an awesome view and silence, a rare commodity in these times! At one point, it was a haven for 'rescue goats' who had been injured or abandoned, as an adjunct to the island's animal care center, hosting as many as 15 little goats in a stable built by her and her grandson. This house is like no other, unique and sweet, simple and close to nature.

What makes this cottage unique

* Location! Located on the historic Johnny Horn Trail, on the border of the Virgin Islands National Park, you're only a half mile jeep ride or hike from the heart of Coral Bay with its shops, bars and restaurants and a mile from the beaches of the VI National Park including the famous snorkeling of Waterlemon Cay. Peaceful and quiet!

* Unique home: open air, solar-powered, gathered rain water, trees growing through the decks, birds that land in your hand!Totally sustainable.

* Massage table on site for home-based massage visits

Reviews

Exceptional! 5/5 -
(27 traveler reviews)
Coral Bay Eco RetreatTropical Living Off the Grid:Hike to Beach!Natural,peaceful
average rating of 5.0 based on 27 reviews
5

Great

  • 5 of 5

We had a wonderful trip. Allison was very thoughtful in checking up with us throughout the week. My daughter (16) and I loved being off the grid and so close to so much natural beauty. It was a cathartic trip for me. I needed it. Maybe metamorphic for her which is what I was hoping for. She has always loved animals and nature and this was a perfect place for her to experience the islands at as close as possible to its natural state. It was her first time in the islands and I am sure she will never forget it. I loved the hiking and the snorkeling...even though I had been to many of the trails and bays before...it was almost like the first time all over again when you get to show it to someone for their first time. I would love to come back again and stay here again. Maybe bring the wife next time. It was an adventure.

  • Submitted: Apr 6, 2016
  • Stayed: Mar 2016
  • Source: Vacation Rentals, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks so much for the review and your kind words. It's such a joy to share something new and wonderful and natural with those we love, especially a teenager who appreciates it! That's how I feel about sharing the retreat with my guests...such a joy! I'm glad you had a great time and I'd love to have you back any time...with wife, daughter or as a solo Rejuvenation Vacation! All the best, Allison
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0
5

Peaceful retreat

  • 5 of 5

We stayed at Concordia twice but could never spend much time on our deck and enjoy the views because of wind, heat, or bugs. At this cottage, we were comfortably outside on our deck, day and night. The views are spectacular. Rolling over in bed to watch the sunrise never got old. If you haven't been to the island before, Allyson's care and attention will make you feel at home.

  • Submitted: Jan 23, 2016
  • Stayed: Jan 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
1 0
5

can't wait to go back

  • 5 of 5

We stayed for 10 days & it was one of the best vacations we ever had. It was relaxing, great views & very peaceful. We're already talking about when we'll return.

If you are looking to get away from it all - this is the place to go! It's worth the hike to the top.

Allison had every detail thought out in the house - it was very comfortable.

We highly recommend eating at Oasis for fantastic 'comfort' food.

We would highly recommend this place!!

  • Submitted: Nov 19, 2015
  • Stayed: Oct 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0
5

Perfect eco friendly getaway

  • 5 of 5

We spent our honeymoon in the Eco retreat, and it was exactly what we wanted. We loved waking up to see the phenomenal sunrises and watching the birds from the love nest. It was also great to walk out the door and begin a hike to the Johnny Horn Trail which leads to Waterlemon Bay, an excellent and secluded snorkeling spot. The Eco Retreat surpassed our expectations. We highly recommend it to those who want to be one with nature.

  • Submitted: Oct 20, 2015
  • Stayed: Oct 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks so much D & S. I'm honored you chose the eco-retreat for the special time of starting your married lives. You were certainly determined and persistent in making it happen! The very best to both of you and many blessings on your marriage. Maybe you can return for anniversaries? I'm so happy for you. Thanks again for being here and loving the house....and bringing in your loving energy! All the best, Allison
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0
5

Unique Property with Spectacular Views

  • 5 of 5

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.

  • Submitted: Apr 22, 2015
  • Stayed: Apr 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Hi Laurie, Thanks so much for your great review. I loved that you said, "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." You're so right on and thanks for being that kind of person! As you mentioned, the power was on and off in Coral Bay while you were visiting which is why the internet connections were also on and off. The provider is also in the process of upgrading their system to a faster delivery system, so guests will find the internet access even better than before at the house. I'm sorry they were working on that while you were here, but you actually seemed relieved to NOT have to be online alot! I think one of the best things about vacay is to disconnect from those demanding devices and tune in to nature instead. Thanks, Allison
Did you find this review helpful?
3 0
Portland, Maine
5

So wonderful I'm tempted to keep it a secret

  • 5 of 5

Allison's house-not to mention Allison--are everything you could ask for if you want a peaceful, private, quiet, bright and colorful, clean, cozy, comfortable and unique retreat. It was exactly what I was looking for. It is perfectly appointed with the essentials: cooking equipment, utensils, stove, fridge, grill, coolers, drinking water supplied, basic cooking spices, guide books, maps--even an onsite massage table! I was so entranced by the birds, hammock and views that I had no use for the tv/video equipment, but it's there if you want it. Allison also provided a local cell phone, which came in handy because my carrier (Verizon) had no service there. The outdoor bed, bathroom and kitchen were my favorite things, besides the bananaquits Allison has trained to eat out of your hand.

Allison was the consummate host, leading me from Cruz Bay to Coral Bay, stopping along the way to point out premium views, and then up the steep, rough hill to the house in my first-ever 4WD adventure. (I loved the drive after my virgin ascent--very proud of myself every time I conquered it.) She picked up my grocery order before meeting me, and helped me carry it up those infamous 44 steps--which, rather than a hassle, were a great way to enforce a bit of exercise, which made me feel productive and healthy on days when I otherwise just happily lazed around. On get-up-and-go days, it was lovely to be located smack dab on the Johnny Horne Trail.

Allison was also a godsend when my travel was screwed up on my way down--she was so understanding about the stress the situation created, which helped me let it go; she arranged my stop-gap accommodations in St. Thomas; and gave very helpful advice for the hours I was stuck there.

In short, if I ever return to the Virgin Islands, this is without a doubt where I will stay. I will arrange my travel dates so that I can get it, because no matter how many other great places to stay there may be, I found my home at this house.

  • Submitted: Mar 24, 2015
  • Stayed: Mar 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Dear R, Thanks so much for taking the time to write such a lovely review. I'm totally pleased that you feel you've "found your home" here at my retreat and I look forward to your return.....for a longer time! You were wonderful in the setting, soaking up the vibes and the nature, and I love it when a woman is here for a solo retreat. As you know, this is my vision for the house, as an oasis of rejuvenation and relaxation in the desert of modern living stress. You do so much good for so many people, it's a pleasure to be able to support and nurture YOU! I hope your year goes well and that you'll be going back up the Johnny Horn Trail and the 44 steps soon! All the best, Allison
Did you find this review helpful?
3 0

Map

Nearest Airport
15 Miles
St. Thomas (STT)
Nearest Barpub
0.5 Miles
Skinny Legs Bar and Grill
Nearest Ferry
7 Miles
Cruz Bay
Nearest Golf
15 Miles
St. Thomas
Nearest Restaurant
0.5 Miles
Coral Bay Oasis Pickles, Skinny Legs, Island Blues
Nearest Beach
1 Miles
Waterlemon Cay famous snorkeling beach
Car: not necessary

The Coral Bay Eco Retreat is located in Coral Bay, St. John on the border of the Virgin Islands National Park, off the historic and challenging Johnny Horn trail, about half a mile from the beautiful Emmaus Moravian Church, a mile from the beach, a few miles from an organic farm. The Trail requires an adventurous spirit and is traveled only by 4 wheel drive vehicle, horseback or hiking. Hiking up the trail takes you to the historic Annaberg Sugar ruins, the Brown Bay Trail, Leinster Bay and the snorkeling gem, Waterlemon Cay.

Hiking or driving down the trail leads to the “heart of Coral Bay” with its popular restaurants and bars that often have live entertainment and where you can hang out with friendly “locals” such as Skinny Legs, Pickles, Island Blues, Aqua Bistro and Donkey Diner. There are two Coral Bay island markets with ATM’s and two mail services and shops including the CocoLobo complex. The Vitran bus stop is at the end of the Trail and offers an opportunity to travel west to the Reef Bay Trail and on to Cruz Bay or east to Shipwreck Landing, Miss Lucy’s, yoga classes at Concordia and beautiful Salt Pond Bay…and it only cost a buck! Beware, taking that bus sometimes involves long waits as it runs on island time. If you have a jeep or are a hitch-hiker (it’s generally safe on St. John), you can also access nearby Josephine’s organic farm or the world-famous northshore beaches of St. John, less than a mile-hike away.

Photos

Rates & Availability

Estate Emmaus Cottage Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Manager accepts payment in:
USD
Convert Currency
Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event
 
Summer 2016 special
May 21 2016 - Aug 31 2016
5 night minimum stay
$150
 
 
Watch the weather month
Sep 1 2016 - Sep 30 2016
5 night minimum stay
$125
 
 
Fall Discounted Season 2016
Oct 1 2016 - Oct 31 2016
5 night minimum stay
$150
 
 
pre season/Thanksgiving
Nov 1 2016 - Dec 20 2016
5 night minimum stay
$200
 
 
December 2016 Holidays Season
Dec 21 2016 - Jan 2 2017
7 night minimum stay
$275
 
 
escape the cold 2017
Jan 3 2017 - Mar 31 2017
5 night minimum stay
$250
 
 
spring
Apr 1 2017 - Apr 30 2017
5 night minimum stay
$225
 
 
2017 off season
May 1 2017 - Nov 30 2017
5 night minimum stay
$175
 
 
pre winter
Dec 1 2017 - Dec 15 2017
5 night minimum stay
$200
 
 
2017 holiday season
Dec 16 2017 - Dec 31 2017
7 night minimum stay
$275
 
 
My Standard Rate
5 night minimum stay
$125
 

Additional information about rental rates

Tax Rate 12.5%

There's a fully refundable $500 security deposit for first-time bookings. I send a request a week or two before your arrival and refund it promptly after your departure, assuming everything is okay at the retreat.
I'm willing to work out different payment terms; 50% payment at booking and balance due 60 days before arrival. Creative financing is okay too if you need to do something different.
Rates are subject to change until reservation is confirmed.
Rates listed are for 1-2 guests, extra fee for thrid person in order to be sustainable with resources.
Five-seven night minimum throughout the year and 7 night minimum during winter holidays.

Manager's Cancellation Policy

100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date.
Enter dates for accurate pricing
Send a Message
Available arrival
Available stay (no arrival)
Unavailable

Amenities

Estate Emmaus Cottage Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • cottage
Meals:
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 692 sq. ft.
Location Type:
  • Mountain View ...
  • Ocean View ...
  • Rural ...
  • Water View ...
Theme:
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Budget
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Tourist Attractions
General:
  • Internet ...
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking ...
  • Telephone ...
  • Towels Provided
Kitchen:
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Kitchen
  • Oven ...
  • Pantry Items
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Stove ...
  • Toaster ...
Dining:
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 4 people
Bathrooms:
  • 1 Bathroom
  • 1 Half Bath
  • 'Master' Bathroom - toilet , shower , Part of the 'master suite', water conserving fixtures
    Main level bathroom - toilet , outdoor shower , Half bath on main level; separate outdoor/garden shower
Bedrooms:
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 3
  • 'Love Nest' Bedroom - 1 queen , Open air,mosquito net,adjacent bathroom,tree & birds by bed
    'Life's A Beach' Loft Bedroom - 1 queen , Custom-built bed, view of the BVI from pillow,steps from LR,
  • THE LOVE NEST includes suite of custom queen bedroom area with deck, overlooking Caribbean Sea, bright Caribbean organic cotton linens, lightweight comforter, lots of pillows, a tree growing through deck beside bed with coconut bird feeder, private bath with shower, bedroom garden, massage table and linens, bright Caribbean art, mural and painting on recycled linoleum, collage. Located on separate level with steps down from kitchen and open-air setting, mosquito net, reading light and fan. Views of sunrise and sea without having to lift your head! THE LIFES A BEACH LOFT features a custom queen bed, photography of St. John beaches by St. John photographers, a custom queen bed with bright Caribbean organic cotton linens, lots of pillows and views of the BVI, the sunrise and the sea without lifting your head! Accessed from the living room up steps lined with Caribbean artwork, open air, shutters, mosquito net, reading light, fan, safe.
Entertainment:
  • Books
  • DVD Player
  • Video Library ...
Outside:
  • Balcony ...
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • Water Sports Gear ...
Suitability:
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters ...
  • children welcome ...
  • non smoking only
  • pets considered
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Onsite Services:
  • Concierge
  • Massage
Attractions:
  • bay/sound
  • churches
  • duty free shops
  • festivals
  • forests
  • reefs
  • restaurants
  • ruins
Leisure Activities:
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • eco tourism
  • horseback riding
  • horseshoes
  • paddle boating
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • massage therapist
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • basketball court
  • cycling
  • deepsea fishing
  • equestrian events
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • hiking
  • mountain climbing
  • sailing
  • scuba diving or snorkeling
  • snorkeling
  • sound/bay fishing
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • wind-surfing
Notes:
Although this is a two-bedroom home, it is requested that a maximum of two guests enjoy the home, primarily because it is off-the-grid and in terms of sustainability of rainwater and solar power, more than two guests is too much on the eco-system of the property. It is ideal for two people who want separate areas as well as a romantic setting with extra space for both guests to have their own space as well as the intimacy of the Love Nest or the Loft.

Partner Offers