A difficult review to write. Chateau Margot, was awesome but the experience we had with checking-in was quite the opposite. If I were to rate each separately, I would give Chateau Margot an "Excellent" and the management/check-in experience would receive a "Fair" as it did not meet our expectations. Overall, I will rate our stay here as "Great". Here is my review for each:
Our family of 4 stayed in Chateau Margot 6/21-6/28, 2014, we chose this villa because it has 3 additional private bedroom suites...6 bedrooms total. The previous 2 years we had friends join us and we wanted to have that option again this year...as it turned out, it was just our family! The driveway to Chateau Margot definitely requires a 4-wheel drive vehicle...this is the first time we have stayed at a villa with a driveway where we felt it was "easier" to drive in reverse when leaving! The description and photos in the listing are pretty accurate...grand villa and furnishings, spectacular view, beautiful landscaping and total privacy! The great room's furniture was very comfortable and our family of 4 had plenty of room to lounge and watch movies at night...it could feel cramped if you had 12 in your group and some would have to sit on dining chairs. The TV, DVD and CD players all worked great. There are no curtains on the sliding glass doors so when we would return after our day outing, the room was pretty hot. We would immediately open all the doors but if there wasn't a good breeze coming in through the screens, it would remain warm. The kitchen was spacious and had 2 of everything...would be perfect if you did have a large group...and all top of the line appliances! The greeter left us an envelope from the USVI Travel and Tourism Department with 4 restaurant $50 coupons so...this trip we ate out every night except for 1 night when we grilled. I cannot comment on how well all the kitchen gadgets worked but I can report...the grill worked wonderfully! We enjoyed breakfast each morning in the screened-in dining nook off the kitchen with wonderful breezes! We had use of the 3 bedrooms in the great house, they are on the upper level and have individual a/c controls...we feel a/c is a necessity to enjoy a good night's sleep in June and the a/c worked fantastic! I think the villa would work great for a family with young children although we did find it odd that the only access to the bedrooms was by going outside and reentering the villa...maybe this was so the stairway to the bedrooms could be locked at night? The master bedroom bed was very comfortable and the master bath was HUGE and also had a/c which was awesome! Personally, if I had built this home, I would have made the master bath smaller and would have added a 3rd bathroom for the 3rd bedroom. Luckily, our teenage son and daughter managed sharing the Jack-n-Jill bathroom without any fights! They both said their beds and rooms were comfortable. The linens were high quality designer brand and all of the bath and beach towels seemed to be brand new. The other 3 bedrooms were locked off so I cannot comment on their size or comfort. The pool was a nice size and had all day sun. It was refreshing after a day at the beach and used every day. The pool floats were really nice but what we each enjoyed most was jumping into the 13 foot deep end of the pool! The pool deck has plenty of comfortable seating areas all around...sun and shade can be found at any time during the day. There are several sizes and types of coolers and 12 beach chairs in great condition. We had no cell phone service (Sprint) at the villa...this our teenagers did not like but at least we did have great wireless internet connection! The sound of tree frogs and water fountains made for a relaxing and peaceful end to a day. We really like the Bordeaux Mountain location and the "quieter" Coral Bay side of St. John.
Now for our villa check-in experience which did not meet the expectations we had from our past 3 trips to St. John. Previous stays have been in 2010 at Luminaria, 2012 at Acqua Blu and 2013 at Drake's View...each also considered Luxury Villas. This was our first time to rent a villa through Island Getaways. Our villa check-in experience was more of a big inconvenience for us. Kathy McLaughlin was off island so she appointed us a villa greeter. We had been staying with friends on St. Thomas for a few nights before heading to St. John and the greeter knew this. She asked us if we would come over on the noon ferry so she could show us the villa because she had several other villa guests arriving later that afternoon and it would help her out. We said sure...this meant we had to leave St. Thomas before having lunch with our friends as planned but we could be flexible to help out. We arrived on St. John and were fortunate that our jeep rental was available for us to pick-up early. We followed our greeter to the villa where we knew the cleaning crew would still be cleaning...a group of 12 had just checked out that morning. We were given a very quick tour and were able to drop-off our luggage...the cleaning crew of only 2 ladies seemed overwhelmed and not happy the greeter had brought us by there. We were aware check-in wasn't until 3 pm so we were prepared to make the 20 minute trek back to Cruz Bay for lunch and shopping at Starfish. By that time, it is just about 3 pm so we head back to the villa. We weren't really surprised to see the cleaning ladies still there at 3:10 pm when we pulled into the drive and not wanting to have to leave again, we asked can we bring our groceries in and sit out by the pool...we will stay out of the way...they said yes. Well, at 5 pm they come ask me for a favor: Would I please take the towels out of the 2 dryers when dry and put the other pool towels and sheets in to dry? And take the rug out of the washer when done? We are anxious for them to leave so I say yes. Now we have just enough time to quickly freshen up before making another trip into Cruz Bay for Saturday evening mass. We return to the villa a little after 8 pm and I have the pleasure of folding towels and sheets from the previous guests! While unpacking I notice, the only fresh cut flowers out were those in a vase on the kitchen counter and in the refrigerator around the "Welcome" items...none in any of the other rooms, not even in a vase on the dining table! This has been a nice touch in the previous villas we have rented and I guess I assumed we would have fresh cut flowers through this villa also. Halfway into our week stay, we received a call from Island Getaways to inform us someone would be coming over to check the clothes dryer and I was asked how we liked the villa. Of course I share our check-in experience with her and was told Kathy wanted to talk with us. Kathy got on the phone and I told her all about our check-in experience. She was already aware of our experience and apologized...explained that the cleaning ladies were new crew and should have called for more help when it was just the 2 of them. Also apologized for them asking me to finish the laundry. She said they should have taken it with them when they were having problems with the drier getting all the towels dried. She also said that she hoped we enjoyed the "Welcome" items left and the restaurant coupons we were given at check-in. Yes, both "Welcome" gifts were appreciated but this was not the villa check-in experience or follow-up by a management company we expect from a luxury rental...especially when these "Welcome" gifts are given to all their villa guests and the fact that it took 4 days to hear from them and only then because they were calling to inform us of a worker coming by. I realize we unfortunately were in the midst of extenuating circumstances and that this is not how Island Getaways normally conducts business but it does leave an impression that is hard to forget.
Feel free to PM me if you would like more info ~ Jo