Sunset Ridge Villas
Cruz Bay, St. John (USVI)
Reviews of Sunset Ridge Villas
Cruz Bay, St. John (USVI)
I am a SRV owner. I bought sight unseen when two prime winter weeks became available. Having stayed at both 5-star resorts (where one is waited on/hovered over every second) and campgrounds (where the midnight trek to the privy is a l-o-n-g hike,) I felt that this would be a comfortable alternative.
Sunset Ridge Villas have totally lived up to my expectations- and then some!. Somebody made the comment that staying here is actually more like living on St. John. So true!!! There is ample space to invite friends and family and not feel cramped. The master suite is totally private, as are the villas themselves, set with privacy walls between them. There is a full kitchen with all of the amenities that one would expect. There are three bathrooms, so nobody has to wait for one. The courtyard is great for barbecuing and looking at the views. The in-unit washer and dryer are invaluable.
Speaking of the views, they are to die for! We loved watching the boat action in the sound, and the sunsets are stunning. It's also fascinating to watch the cruise ships leaving and/or docking in Charlotte Amalie at night. Yes, you can see that far! From unit E, you can watch the car ferry come from Red Hook. You can also look "down" upon the Westin, LOL.
The pool and common area maintain that stunning view. We enjoyed sitting on the pool deck with other vacationers watching the sunset over a drink. The pool is great--- I was able to swim laps almost every day in the salt-filtrated water.
Apparently, there are now air conditioners in the master bedroom suite. In January, this was not necessary. We enjoyed having the screens open and listening to the tropical rains trickle down in the wee hours... (thinking about our friends and family back home, buried in two feet of snow.) There is a flat-screen TV in the master suite.
My only criticism is that in our units (E and C) there are queen-size beds in the master suite. For those of us who are used to king-size beds at home, this can get uncomfortable.
The world-class beaches on St. John are superb. They are sometimes crowded with cruise ship clients, and parking spots in high season are at a premium. Plan on getting to the beach early, especially on the weekend. Trunk Bay is guarded and has an underwater snorkeling park. Cinnamon Bay is beautiful, crescent-shaped and usually has good snorkeling. Both beaches have full amenities, including showers and refreshments. Other beaches are more primitive. The SRV units are each equipped with beach equipment, so you don't have to pack them, unless you are extremely picky about what you use.
Highly recommended are the National Park Service hikes--- a great way to see the gorgeous interior of St. John. Book early--- even months in advance, as these hikes fill up fast. The one we took has a shuttle ride to the top of a mountain, a hike down to the sugar mill and a deserted beach (trickier than it sounds,) and a boat ride back to town.
It's very convenient to have a car (four-wheel drive absolutely necessary.) Parking at the Villas is tight, but do-able. There are, however, other ways to get about. There is a bus that runs on Centerline Road (you would need to walk up and down the hill to get to/from it) to points unknown about every two hours. There are also the ubiquitous open-air taxis that would be happy to drive you to wherever. Fees are regulated, but understandably expensive.
Speaking of expensive... to spare you sticker shock... be forewarned that groceries are twice as expensive as on the mainland. There are two grocery stores, the Dolphin Market at the roundabout in the center of town, where parking is limited, plus the Starfish Market down the road, which is upscale and extremely expensive, but has ample parking. Plan on paying at least 50% more for gas.
Some traveling tips: the first year we visited St, John, we rented a car from a local rental company. The second time we got one at the Charlotte Amalie airport and drove to Red Hook car ferry. As much as I like to support local businesses, I have to say that the latter was much more convenient and not any more expensive, plus we got an infinitely better (safer?) vehicle. When it came time to take our son back to the airport, it would have been cheaper to take the car ferry back and forth between St. John and St. Thomas, by the time the ferry and taxi fares are paid. If you plan on traveling to St. Croix, the seaplane port is just a few paces from the Charlotte Amalie ferry which is much more convenient than the Red Hook one. This is a passenger ferry that runs erratically to and from St. John, and is ofter booked up on the weekend in season, so plan accordingly.
All in all, with a stay in the Sunset Ridge Villas you can expect comfort, independence, privacy, relaxation, spectacular venues and room for the entire family. Hope you have the opportunity to enjoy it.
Stayed 05/31/2014-06/07/14. Loved the quiet and beautiful views. HE washer and dryer in each unit. Nice pool! Very relaxing! Loved the extras---like laundry detergent, extra paper towels, beach chairs, cooler, noddles for kids, snorkeling equipment, salt and pepper, gallon of bottled water, coffee filters, two packages of coffee, and beach towels. Very pleased with resort!
This Review was updated on 3/3/2012. We just returned from two weeks at Sunset Ridge and I had to report in because the upgrades to the villas look so great.
The views are simply spectacular morning to night.
The units at Sunset Ridge are approximetely 1500 square feet (with a very private master). The private patio (with your own barbecue) allows us to have family dinners watching the sun set over the beautiful carribean waters all the way over to St. Thomas. The kitchens have been renovated and there is everything you could want to prepare meals and dine in at this beautiful site (as fantastic as the restaurants are on St. John, you will choose to eat at home many nights because of this special setting and the ease of dining on the patio).
The pool is great and it is steps away from every unit, although we head to the beach every day (we have at least eight beaches that rival for our "favorite" - St. John is just that exceptional). For us, staying as Sunset Ridge on St. John is the ideal Carribean experience.
We own at both Sunset Ridge and the Westin and our family happens to favor our unit at Sunset Ridge for it's 1500 square feet of living space, panoramic hilltop views and private outdoor patio and barbecue. (Sunset Ridge and the Westin St. John are both great, although entirely different properties.)
It is important to know that you really must have a vehicle on St. John to really appreciate the island and you must have a car to enjoy your stay at Sunset. St. John is simply fantastic for exploring and it is easy to explore (you can try a new beach every day and your drives will be full of "Ooohs and Ahhs ... look at that !!!"). Wherever you stay, make sure you have a car. The people on St. John are very welcoming so touring around is easy and worth the car rental.
If you are lucky enough to come across a week to rent or trade (finding a trade to St. John is rare), Sunset Ridge is a wonderful place to stay while on St. John.
*** Years ago the property was not cared for as it is now - please know that any dated reviews are not representative of the property as it looks and is managed now. An active Board of Trustess, a dedicated financial investment by the owners over the last 5 years, and a responsive and terrific management company have resulted in Sunset Ridge being an extraordinary value (whether renting or buying)!
We had always wanted to go to St. John and when we found this exchange and looked up the reviews, we were nervous but decided to go for it. What a charming villa! Two buildings with a courtyard separating them one is the main house with a kitchen, living room, dining area, washer dryer and half bath and upstairs was a huge open bedroom with a queen and two twins and full bath. In the other building was the master suite with a large tiled bedroom huge vanity and large shower. There are only 6 villas and they all have million dollar views of Cruz Bay. A nice size pool to share and very private. We were more than pleasantly surprised when we arrived. Apparently they are under new management and have upgraded the villas...very nice job! We would highly recommend and may come back with the rest of the family next time.
We have owned at Sunset Ridge for over 10 years. It has seen its ups and downs over the years, but it is now in a serious upswing. The owners association has charged us for special assessments for needed improvements and has taken a proactive role in polishing up this gem of a property. Everyone who stays here agrees that the views from Sunset Ridge are absolutely gorgeous! St. John is a one-of-a-kind destination, and the timeshare options are either Westin or Sunset Ridge. Try trading into Westin with II or RCI...just about impossible! Sunset Ridge is even a very tough trade with RCI...Log on and try it, Resort ID #3870!
Sunset Ridge offers the guest a very affordable way to stay on this great island. The 2BR units are very spacious, and provide the basics a traveler would need. It is a great sampling of island living...laid back and surrounded by natures beauty. The units do not have air-conditioning which some people think is a major turn-off. We own weeks 26 and 27, and surprisingly, the high altitude mountain breezes at night really cool the units. We are wrapping up our 2009 trip and we did not sweat any night. As an exercise, look up the average night-time temps of the VI, then add 1000 feet and strong Caribbean breezes. Please note this resort is not for the pampered traveler: there may be some bugs, there may be some stains, or there might be something broken. Many times, guests themselves have to adjust their behaviors to control the bugs or other island situations. For example, in a tropical setting, you cannot leave exposed food, crumbs, even water droplets out on the counter. Even so, a small bottle of Terro ($4) solved our ant problem in 1 day. The bedding is newer. The cookware is very nice. The plates and silverware may not all match, but really, does that matter? There is a microwave, full size fridge, and full size range. The furniture is actually just about all from the Westin after their recent renovations. All units have a washer/dryer. The main pool has just been resurfaced and provides a perfect gathering area for guests. The pool deck offers beautiful views of St. Thomas. We absolutely love watching the 4th of July fireworks over Cruz Bay from the pool deck. If you have never had to look down to see fireworks, you have to try it in this island paradise.
We are owners at Sunset and spend a second week at the Westin each year. After the carnival like atmosphere of the Westin, Sunset Ridge is a welcome retreat. We have a spacious 2 story villa witha private terrace and a master suite in a separate single story building. The pool is completely refurbished and clean - we spent all week swimming with the pool virtually to ourselves. The views are spectacular and evenings on the patios are breezy and lovely. Sunset Ridge is more like living on St. John rather than just vacationing.
To update: We never filed our deed with the USVI until May of 2007. We had no problem and have the recorded deed in our possession. I really don't understand why the reviewer in 8/06 had a problem
If you love St. John or have been wanting to go - here is a good place to stay at a mimimum cost. The units are clean, has all you need & view is beautiful. We rent a car for about $350 - $500 for the week - cost depends what month you are there. We have always been able to rent one.
The beaches are some of the most beautiful in the Caribbean and I have sailed & traveled many Caribbean islands. The island is 3/4 national park & it is a magical island. Sunset Ridge is at the top of a mountain - with beautiful views.
There is a nice size pool. Each unit has a sitting pool, good size rooms, washer/dryer, microwave, full fridge and more. The units are private and its great to sit out at night and look at a gazillion stars.
The town of Cruz Bay is 5 minutes away or you can go to beaches all day long. Or hop a ferry to BVI's. The Westin and other most places to stay on the island are very expensive - much more plush than Sunset Ridge - but you will pay for it.
Sunset Ridge is a good place to stay without having to spend a lot. Our whole family goes at least once a year and we take lots of friends too! We love it.
we had a wonderful time because it was our first trip to st. john but there were several things to consider when staying at this resort that we didn't know. you are not staying close to the beach, you are up in the hills, so to be able to get to all the beaches on st. john you need to rent a car at $100. per day and that is IF a car is available. the villas are somewhat sparce and a tad ratty although the best thing about this property is the spectacular views. i think we'll try the westin next time because of the rental car expense but we'll deffinately visit st. john again. it's just a gorgeous island with the most beautiful beaches!
Tried to buy a week , no deed avail or title, somebody owes a lot of taxes. I got burned big time!
I am a current owner of two weeks (willing to buy more from fellow owners).
First, I have to comment on the review a former owner posted a couple of years back. Our water is stored in cisterns which collect rainwater. Effluent water is sewage and not very clear and smells like sewage (even from a distance). All the inside and outside taps are cistern water. Everyone on island drinks bottled water because cistern water tastes a little off. It also needs clorinization when used in a pool. I think he was a little confused.
All summer (the dry season), we get a 3,000 gallon water truck delivery at 9 AM every day, it costs $250 per load. I've seen the budget, we pay a fortune for water and I've personally seen them refill the jacuzzi's with it.
Staying at Sunset Ridge is like having your own condo on St. John. You hear roosters crowing in the morning. We have "island air conditioning" from being up so high on a hill, you leave the windows open and by midnight, you need a blanket.
The owners' association has spent a lot of money in capital repairs the last few years. New appliances, exterior painting, etc. The interiors still need painting, I understand that is in the plan for 2006 after roof repairs. The association still has to spend constantly, the sun at 18 degrees latitude destroys quickly. It's not perfect and the maids are lazy at times too. When we arrive, we usually sweep the place and courtyard ourselves, hopefully someday that will be addressed. But no island in the Carribean is nicer and that's why you come here.
Look at the prices to rent a house and you will begin to really understand why you rarely see a Sunset Ridge unit for sale, and usually they are over $10,000/week when you do. Look for yourself in the St. John MLS.
As to crime, I feel bad for the reviewer who was robbed, I understand that the perpetrator was finally caught. Ironically, the St. John PD K-9 Squad consists of one policeman who now lives 300 feet down the road from the Villas with his Police Dog. You must pass his Police SUV to get to the Villas.
Read the online version of the VI Daily News. Weeks go by between anything happening on St. John, it's as safe as you get in the Carribean. With only 3,000 residents, the cops know the troublemakers and keep them in line.
In summary, this is a nice way to experience the island as residents, not resort guests who miss truly seeing the flavor of carribean life.
i stayed at sunset ridge last june,yes it is hard to find but when you do its worth,everyone is on island time which means slow. the units were clean ,not fancy i had no problems with staff,i have been to st johns before and it is busy ,this is quiet and off the beaten path.buy your own food and enjoy the view. charlie
We were lucky enough to get a trade here thru RCI in November (2004). There are only 6 units here and they are huge! There are 2 buildings and a large outside patio in between. You not only have your own private plunge pool on the patio but there is a very large lap pool (with mini-waterfall) with a view to die for. Don't forget to bring binoculars. You definitely need a 4WD to get there as it is on one of the highest points of the island. SSRV is not easy to find. A few signs would certainly help, especially for first timers. There are a few maintenance issues but there are so many positives that outweigh the negatives. Many of the owners here own multiple weeks and rarely exchange them. We have been to many Caribbean islands and St. John is our favorite (so far)!
I've stayed at Sunset Ridge twice, in 2003, and 2001. I bought a week on the resale market and look forward to going back. The island, which is 2/3 National Park is the main attraction. The villa is a home with a view and a pool. You won't find a bar on site, nor live music. Very spacious unit (1800 square feet) with private master suite across the courtyard. Only 6 units in the resort. The road up to the villas is an eye opener the first time you drive it. (Steep in spots) It's very expensive to rent on St. John (unless you tent camp it) You drink bottled water on St. Johns, and drive on the left. The beaches, snorkeling, diving, hobi cat sailing, etc are as good as it gets. Dining in Cruz Bay offers something for everyone. If you can trade into St. Johns, do it! The Westin is quite a bit fancier, but really spendy.
I am a former owner at this resort and found it to be poorly maintained. The management was also aloof. The view is spectacular but the units need major refurbishment. Linens were old and furniture cushions were ripped and worn out. Patio furniture was pitted and the barbecue grill needed to be replaced. In response to user skpope, the over chlorinated jacuzzi was most likely to compensate for the effluent water from the outside villa faucet being used by staff about midweek to refill the jacuzzi. Needless to say, we did not go in the jacuzzi again during our stay. Gross!!!! Did I forget to mention the ant infestation. With appropriate repairs the overall appeal of the resort might improve.
This place is a disaster. Very poor quality, filthy dirty, hateful staff, broken appliances, no air conditioning, over-chlorined jacuzzis, what could be worse? Try getting burglarized in the middle of the night and having $2500 worth of cameras and cash stolen....right from the bedroom where you were sleeping! A better option would have been to rent a car in St John and sleep in it for the entire week. Avoid this place like the plague unless you want to risk getting your throat slit in the middle of the night - absolutely ZERO security at Sunset Ridge.