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Emily Friess

Member since: 2005
Call Owner
Speaks: english

Cool, Affordable Cottage w/ Awesome View for Couple or Family, From $125/night

23 Reviews
Bedrooms 3
Property type cottage
Minimum Stay 4 nights

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Coral Bay Cottage Rental Photos and Description

Cottage, 3 Bedrooms, 3 Baths, (Sleeps 2-8 on 2 levels, rent sep. or together)

Stonegarden Cottage consists of upper and lower levels which can be rented together or separately, sleeping two to eight guests.

NOTE: Regarding availability in the Lower Level - see VRBO listing # 506984 for more detailed information about the Lower Level, including an active availability calendar.

Stonegarden Cottage offers you a private retreat where you will enjoy your dream vacation on Saint John in the US Virgin Islands. Offering the privacy, comfort and views of a villa, this unique rental home beckons many of our loyal guests back year after year.

This beautiful St. John vacation rental offers a gorgeous island view and on-site nature trails, close proximity to pristine National Park Beaches and restaurants and shops of Coral Bay - the peaceful side of St. John.

The cottage nestles within a shady, tropical forest, high up the steep slopes of St. John's Bordeaux Mountain. At the foot of the mountain lies picturesque Coral Bay harbor; beyond unfolds a panorama of peninsulas, islands, beaches and glowing turquoise channels that run east as far as Virgin Gorda and the Anegada Passage. This is the view Islands Magazine chose as the top spot in the world to watch the sunrise of the new millennium.

The Upper and Lower Levels of the cottage can be rented together or separately.

Upper Level: The fully-equipped, eat-in kitchen opens out onto the deck where you will dine or just relax while gazing at one of the most beautiful views in all the Caribbean, with an ever-changing light show of turquoise water and sundrenched islands.

The living room offers sleeping accommodations for two adults or children on the comfortable queen-size sofa-bed. There is a 2nd bedroom (called the 'bunk room') with bunk bed and ample closet space. It has it's own tiled bathroom - the open shower ceiling lets in the Caribbean sun and balmy breezes.

The master bedroom with queen-size, four poster bed and private, fully tiled bath has an expansive island view. The enclosed Caribbean 'garden shower' blends traditional stonework with the tropical environment.

Walkways from the front door connect into the stone paths and trails of Guavaberry Woods.

Lower Level: For the couple looking for a combination of affordability and comfort, the Lower Level is a perfect choice. Private and quiet, this charming apartment has tasteful decor, art by Caribbean artists, stained-glass windows and beautiful views to the British Virgins.

Enjoy the comfortable amenities of a queen-size bed, private bath with shower, a fully equipped kitchenette, dining table and chairs, and comfortable reading chair and lamp. You'll especially enjoy the private dining deck with its bistro table and chairs, lovely harbor view and direct access to the trails of Guavaberry Woods. The Lower Level has its own separate entrance, driveway and parking space.

The unit was built underneath the deck of the main house and with solid cypress ceiling panels to ensure you peace and quiet. A perfect getaway for the couple looking for affordable comfort and privacy.

Onsite Nature Trails: The best of St. John's natural beauty and astonishing biodiversity lies on-site at your doorstep. A trellised archway of hanging tropical flowers greets you as you enter and walk down a short stone stairway to the front door. The large (2/3 acre) hillside property is an ecological wonderland that invites wandering -- beautiful hand-crafted stone paths and gravel trails on several different levels lead you through the lush hardwood foliage of Guavaberry Woods, where picturesque and unique ponds, a meditation garden, bridge and benches, plus gardens of orchids, frangipani, hibiscus, bouganvilla, citrus and tropical fruit trees delight the eye.

Cool Retreat: Steady tradewinds, an easterly view and the lush surrounding forest make Stonegarden Cottage a comfortable tropical getaway year-round -- cool, quiet and peaceful. After a day on blazing white sand beaches or out on the glittering sea, it is delightful to return up the mountain to your forest retreat, savor a frozen drink while enjoying the view or gaze into a lily pond while hearing the breeze rustle the treetops.

Keywords: Cottage, Stonegarden Cottage, Stonegarden Upper, Stone Garden

More Details
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
  • pets not allowed
Emily Friess (Owner)
Member since: 2005
Call Owner
Speaks: english

About Emily Friess

Raf is a native St. Johnian, who grew up in the quiet village of Coral Bay. Thia came to live on St. John in the early 90's and eventually they met and fell in love. After pursuing careers in California for fourteen years, they returned to their beloved island to live at Stonegarden Cottage from 2009 - 2014 with their two daughters, Missy and Allegra, in order for their children to be closer to their grandparents and to grow up in the wonderful community and natural environment that St. John offers.

Emily Friess purchased this cottage in 2005

Why Emily Friess chose Coral Bay

Buying property on St. John allowed us to pursue our dream of returning to St. John with our children. It took us almost 4 years to bring that dream to fruition, and renting Stonegarden Cottage to travelers in the meantime helped us save the funds necessary for the move. Now that we're back on the mainland, it's great fun to help travelers with accommodations, while lending a hand with travel advice and suggestions for what to do on the island.

What makes this cottage unique

Stonegarden Cottage is a unique, mountainside retreat for nature lovers, with a gorgeous view of Coral Bay Harbor and extensive nature trails throughout the surrounding property. The cottage is quiet, safe and private, yet close to Coral Bay village and the VI national park beaches. Cooling tradewinds keep the cottage comfortable all year round. You can enjoy a hike up Bordeaux Mountain from the cottage, just one of many hikes nearby; the cottage is easily accessible from a smooth, paved road.


based on 23 traveler reviews

Cool, Affordable Cottage w/ Awesome View for Couple or Family, From $125/night
average rating of 4.9130435 based on 23 reviews

Great villa in great location with fantastic views!

  • 5 of 5

My wife and I were married on St John 15 years ago and actually lived in Coral Bay for a couple of years so we know the island well. We returned to STJ for our 15th anniversary with some friends and we were very happy with Stonegarden Cottage. High enough on the mountain to get fantastic breezes that made sleeping a joy even in June with no A/C on yet very easy access off a paved well maintained road. The property managers Emily and Anthony were great and made everything seamless from booking to departing. Among the many things that we enjoyed about the villa is the fact that Emily is wise enough to realize that all the little things add up and it was so nice to find she leaves all the forgettable items from previous guest like bug spray, sun screen, dish soap, minor first aid, shampoo......All of which cost $$$ on island and are so easy to forget to bring. Great place that We highly recommend!

  • Submitted: Jun 15, 2016
  • Stayed: May 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Excellent rental cottage

  • 5 of 5

We were very pleased with our rental of Stonegarden Cottage. The property was immaculate and had everything we needed. The cooler, beach chairs, water bottles etc. were very helpful for beach outings. The books about St John were also helpful. Emily, who greeted us, was very eager to assist but frankly the cottage met all of our needs. One evening there was a rain storm and I let Emily know that a tree had fallen onto the road, creating a hazard. After we had returned from a morning hike, the tree had been removed. These guys have their act together. We would love to return to St. John, and I don't know how we could find a better cottage.

  • Submitted: Apr 11, 2016
  • Stayed: Mar 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Atlanta, GA

First time but not the last, I hope!

  • 5 of 5

We ( parents plus college age daughters) had a wonderful vacation on St. John and our only regret was that we didn't spend enough time at the Stonegarden Cottage! It is a great "base" from which to explore the island and a wonderful place to return to each afternoon. Ate breakfast at "home" and packed picnic lunches daily , for we struck out in a different direction each day. ( Thanks for the cooler, towels, chairs.) The living space and the amazing view from the porch are just as pictured. It is a drive from Cruz Bay but we all agreed we were pleased to be closer to Coral Bay. Don't miss the Ram Head hike and snorkeling at Salt Pond Bay!

Would definitely return to both St. John and to Stonegarden Cottage!!

  • Submitted: Feb 13, 2016
  • Stayed: Jan 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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NW Indiana

Second trip even better than the first!

  • 5 of 5

Don't hesitate to book Stonegarden Cottage! This was our second time to St. John, but the first with my parents and my kids. Stonegarden was perfect for our family as my parents stayed downstairs while the girls, my husband and I stayed upstairs. It is true that the breezes keep things comfortable in the cottage. All of the screens are intact so bugs were not a problem. The grounds are lovely and the walking paths are an advantage over the last cottage we stayed at. The girls loved exploring them and finding birds, lizards, insects, and identifying the many different plants and trees. The cottage was very clean and the kitchen had everything we needed. There were plenty of beach towels, chairs, and different sized coolers, as well as snorkel gear which we didn't use because we had brought our own. The grill was brand new and we used it once to grill steaks which were just as good as the great meals we enjoyed out the other nights at all of the favorite places: Aqua Bistro, Miss Lucy's, Shipwrecks, Skinny Legs, and Vie's. Thom and Jackie clearly take care of the property as if it were their own, and their love for the island is clear. I appreciated how they interacted with my girls and listened to all of their stories about their adventures on the island. They were very accommodating with our arrival and even helped us with a late checkout. The property is not hard to get to as compared to other properties, but is high enough to be quiet and peaceful with "better than the picture" views. This part of the island really is the perfect home base to hit all of the best, quiet beaches for snorkeling. (Waterlemon, Brown Bay, Lameshur, Vie's, Trunk Bay, and Salt will see it all!) Don't forget the Reef Bay Hike-there's nothing like it! My five-year-old daughter did the whole thing and was never carried! You will not be sorry if you choose St. John and Stonegarden Cottage for your next vacation!

  • Submitted: May 28, 2015
  • Stayed: Mar 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Dear Erica, Thanks for taking the time to write us a fabulous review, we are absolutely delighted that you loved our cottage, the grounds, the managers, and the location so much. It sounds like you had the perfect family vacation in our cottage, which accommodated all your family's needs, while enjoying the best of what St. John has to offer. All the best to you, and we hope you'll come visit again soon! Thia & Raf Muilenburg Owners, Stonegarden Cottage
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Wonderful Family Vacation Place

  • 5 of 5

We stayed for five nights at Stonegarden Cottage. From the beginning, it was a wonderful place for our family to stay on St. John. The hosts, Thom and Jackie, were very helpful and accomodating for our first visit to the island. The Cottage receives cool mountain breezes and has an amazing view. It comes with a fully equipped kitchen and the outdoor grill was brand new. We found it very relaxing to cook and eat all our meals at the Cottage. Our first stop after picking up the rental Jeep was Starfish Market to buy food in Cruz Bay. We loved the beautiful grounds of the Cottage. Our son caught lizards and a crab. We used the beach towels, chairs, and cooler provided by Stonegarden for our daily snorkeling trips to the beach. We snorkeled Maho bay twice (sea turtles), Trunk Bay (arrived before 9 am to beat the crowds), Princess Bay (mangrove snorkeling), and Waterlemon Cay (the 0.1 mile snorkey was not difficult). Stonegarden Cottage is very conveniently located for Maho, Princess, and Waterlemon. The Cottage beds are comfortable, and the bathrooms have a unique tropical feel with lots of plants and shells. At night, we enjoyed playing games and watching videos that are in Stonegarden. One night we even had a goofy concert with the musical instruments. We loved staying in quieter Coral Bay. Relative to Cruz Bay, Stonegarden Cottage offers a very relaxed Caribbean getaway.

  • Submitted: Apr 23, 2015
  • Stayed: Apr 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you for your detailed review of Stonegarden Cottage! It sounds like you really enjoyed everything the house has to offer - from being so close to the national park beaches and the quieter side of the island, cooking and eating comfortably at home, to the peaceful surroundings. We're so glad you had a relaxing and enjoyable vacation, and we hope you'll make it back someday soon! Warm wishes, Thia Muilenburg Owner
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Loved it - Again!

  • 5 of 5

We loved Stonegarden Cottage so much we almost didn’t post a review because wanted to keep it a secret. This was our second year renting this cottage (the upper level) and it was even better than the first year. We’ve already reserved it again for next year.

Frequent visitors to St John eventually learn that Coral Bay is the best place to stay if you like a laid-back vacation. No hotels, no casinos, no traffic, no worries. You’re close to the north shore beaches but also close to the east end of St John which is much less developed than Cruz Bay at the west end. The pace is slower but the basic necessities are all there including great markets, restaurants and friendly people everywhere.

Stonegarden Cottage is located about a quarter mile up Bordeaux Mountain above Coral Bay. The pictures of the view on the website don’t really do justice to what you actually see. Coral Bay looks much closer and you can watch the boat traffic going in and out of the harbor. But it’s also high enough, about 500’ above sea level, to see over the east end of St John across the Sir Francis Drake Channel to the British Virgin Islands. Quite a view, especially on a starry night.

The managers of the house, Thom and Jackie, couldn’t have been nicer or more helpful. The place was spotless when we arrived after a long day of travel and Jackie had even put together a bouquet of flowers hand-picked from the nearby gardens to greet us when we got there. The owners are also very nice. We’ve known Thia for years now but finally got to meet Raf on this trip because he happened to be on island.

If you happen to rent the cottage and like to read, be sure to find the copy of “Adrift on a Sea of Blue Light” written by Raf’s dad Peter. It’s in the bookcase to the left of the front door. You’ll love it as much as you love Stonegarden Cottage.

  • Submitted: Mar 26, 2015
  • Stayed: Feb 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: We are delighted to read your detailed review of the Upper Level of Stonegarden Cottage, and very happy that you've chosen to return for a third time next year. The cottage's great location and view, as well as the level of care by the managers seem to be a perfect fit for you. Personally, I certainly love having you as guests, and am glad that you're happy with us too! Thia Muilenburg, Owner
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Available right out your door is access to Bordeaux Mt. Trail, which you can hike to from Stonegarden Cottage. This national park trail leads you to some of the more remote beaches in the VI National Park (Lameshur, Reef Bay; There is a library of guide books and trail maps available for your use right in the unit, as well as a guest information book with directions on finding the best beaches and hiking trails on the island.


Rates & Availability

Coral Bay Cottage Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event
Low Season - Upper Level 2016
Apr 15 2016 - Dec 14 2016
4 night minimum stay
High Season - Upper '16-'17
Dec 15 2016 - Apr 14 2017
4 night minimum stay
Low Season - Upper 2107
Apr 15 2017 - Dec 14 2017
4 night minimum stay
My Standard Rate
4 night minimum stay

Additional information about rental rates

Refundable damage deposit $300
Tax Rate 12.5%

Additional Low Season Rates 2016:
Lower Level (sleeps 2) - $950/week - $150/night
Whole House (sleeps 2-8) - $2450/week - $385/night

Additional High Season Rates 2016-17:
Lower Level (sleeps 2) - $1300/week - $200/night
Whole House (sleeps 2-8) - $3050/week - $485/night

Additional Low Season Rates 2017:
Lower Level (sleeps 2) - $1000/week - $160/night
Whole House (sleeps 2-8) - $2650/week - $415/night

Holidays: Please inquire.

12% VI hotel tax & 5% booking fee.

Rates & availability subject to change; confirm w/ owner.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

Please ask the owner or check their rental agreement when booking the property.
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Coral Bay Cottage Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • cottage
  • Guests provide their own meals
Location Type:
  • Ocean View ...
  • Family
  • Romantic
  • Air Conditioning ...
  • Clothes Dryer ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Room
  • Parking
  • Parking Off Street ...
  • Telephone
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Wireless Internet
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Ice Maker
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Stove ...
  • Toaster
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 6 people
  • 3 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 2 - toilet , shower , Upper Level
    Bathroom 3 - toilet , shower , Upper Level
    Bathroom 1 - toilet , shower , Lower Level
  • Upper level bathrooms have screened openings in the ceiling to let in the Caribbean sun and balmy breezes. They are fully tiled, and the master has a beautiful garden lined with stone walls. Both are adorned with stained glass windows designed and built by the owner.
  • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 8
  • Bedroom 2 - 1 queen , Master Bedoom
    Bedroom 3 - 1 bunk bed , Bunk Room
    Bedroom 1 - 1 queen , Lower Level Studio
  • 1 Queen size Bed in Upper Level (1), 2 Child Beds in Upper Level (2 bunks), 1 Queen sized sleeper-sofa in Upper Level living room, 1 Queen size Bed in Lower Level (1); Kids air-mattress can comfortably accommodate 2 small children; one single air-mattress
  • Books
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player
  • Games
  • Music Library
  • Satellite / Cable
  • Video Library ...
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Lawn / Garden
  • Outdoor Grill
  • 2 garden chairs
  • 4 beach chairs
  • children welcome ...
  • non smoking only
  • pets not allowed
  • museums
  • restaurants
Leisure Activities:
  • boating
  • horseback riding
  • horseshoes
  • miniature golf
  • shelling
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • fitness center
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • fishing
  • hiking
  • parasailing
  • sailing
  • snorkeling/diving
  • surfing
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • water skiing
  • wind-surfing
Filtered Drinking Water, Beach Towels, Beach Chairs, Umbrella and Coolers, Child Safe Deck Railings; nature trails, beautiful stonework, tropical fruit trees and flowers.

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