Renting a Villa in St. Martin: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
Why am I in St. Martin two days after arriving home from Aspen? My youngest son was about to start medical school on the island and someone had to help settle him in. Because the first week of January is the busiest time of the year on the island, I couldn't find a hotel room close to the school (opposite Mullet Bay Beach close to Cupecoy) so I opted for renting the least expensive 2 - bdrm. villa I could find in the Terres Basses area (15 minutes to the school) through an agent with Villa Luxe.
The Good ■ beautiful view from the patio, across pool to island of Saba ■ blue and white French country theme (more of a charming cottage as opposed to a villa) ■ stocked for breakfasts without me asking for anything ■ the owners lived next door and were truly helpful ■ spacious bedrooms, two baths with showers, wireless for internet ■ concierge on call to problem solve and make reservations
The Bad ■ the price - it's high season although apparently it's half price come April (I wonder if it would have been cheaper to book directly through Pierres Caraibes, the local St. Martin property management) ■ AC wasn't on when we arrived and I panicked a bit before we figured out that the air conditioning could be easily adjusted even by a non-techno person like myself ■ the owner's dog.....disturbed me the first time I saw him but I got used to him and he became no bother at all ■ a little too "buggy" for me....note to self: if a bed has a mosquito netting canopy, it's not just for decor ■ at the end of the stay I was wishing it was within walking distance to a beach
The Ugly ■ no water from taps the morning after our arrival, so couldn't shower but could make coffee using bottled water...the owner came by about 11 am. explaining that the water was off on the whole French side of the island that morning and that he could play with some valves and put it on for us....but not to use the water for brushing your teeth - which I already had the night before....and definitely ugly would be how I would describe myself as I stood in my pyjamas with curlers in my hair and no makeup meeting the owner for the first time as he explanied about how the French side conserved water on Sunday mornings
The Consensus The good outweighed the bad - incredibly peaceful, tastefully decorated, well equipped, gave me a real sense of island living. Having owners in residence next door was comforting. I liked the spaciousness and tranquility of villa/cottage living as compared to a hotel and will try renting another one on my next visit - perhaps something closer to the beach though.