Mangrove Cottage: Privacy and comfort at Mangrove Cottage: Estate Zootenvaal

Rating: (Excellent)

Not sure if Estate Zootenvaal qualifies as a villa but I thought it was worth a review. My wife and I stayed here 2/22-2/29 2016. Estate Zootenvaal is four homes located one hill past Skinny Legs headed toward the East End. Three of the homes are across the street from the water and the largest in directly on the water with a private staircase to their private beach which renters of all the homes can use. We stayed in Mangrove Cottage which is a one bedroom. The cottage has been redecorated recently and is extremely nice. One large room is the living room/kitchen area. The living area has two sofas which can be opened for sleeping- good for kids. The kitchen is small but more than adequate for us. We do not cook dinner. If you want to gourmet cook this might not work for you. The bedroom has a king bed, a modern wall air conditioner which we did not use and connects directly to the bathroom which is decent size. You can also access the bathroom from the living area. There is a balcony which has water views as do all the front windows in the cottage. The yard is fenced in so kids could play in it. Donkeys hang out on the street so the fence also keeps the donkeys out. No pool. The private beach is sandy but rocky until you get out about 20 feet. We spent a few afternoons there but you will most likely want to visit the other St John beaches. Although you can see the next cottage it is far enough away so you feel very private here. We loved the location. Coral Bay center is about a three minute drive over one hill( a big hill) so you can go to Skinny Legs or Indigo Grill very easily. even if you want to drive further to Aqua Bistro or Shipwreck Landing for dinner it is an easy drive- probably 5 minutes more. Vies beach is about five minutes toward the East End- Salt Pond is further. You do have to drive over the mountain but it really isn't a long drive to Francis or Maho beaches. You are closer than if you stayed in Cruz Bay or the South Shore which we have done in the past.The entire Coral Bay experience is very different than Cruz Bay-as everyone says, much quieter and more laid back. For us the original appeal of Zootenvaal was that we wanted to try a stay in Coral Bay but not be up a road that I didn't want to drive at night and a lot of the villas are up very steep roads. There are two of us so we don't need a big villa.We went to a studio in Cruz Bay for the last five days and we still like Cruz Bay but if it is just the two of us again we will probably split our time between both places.

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