Rara Avis consists of three distinct buildings – a 2-level stone great house, plus a master bedroom cabana on the left (east) and another on the right (west) side of the great house. You park above the great house and descend a stone stairway into a sheltered garden courtyard on the leeward side of the great house. The upper level of the great house contains the great room with the living, dining and kitchen areas, plus a half bath, and a laundry room. In the great room you’ll find native stonework, exposed beam cathedral ceilings, terra cotta tiled floors, bamboo furniture, and native artwork. On the south side of the great house is a 450 sq/ft tiled sun deck where the views are magnificent. Two sets of exterior stairs lead down to the two bedrooms, shared bath and deck on the lower level of the great house. The pool and its sun deck are in a garden setting in front of the west cabana. In addition to the pool’s sun deck there are four other private sun decks including two off the great house, and one off each cabana. The three buildings and the pool are connected by courtyards, gardens and walkways.
- Bedrooms: 4
- Beds: 6
- Bed Description: 2 Queens, 2 Twins convert to Kings
- Bathrooms: 3.5
- Property Location: Hart Bay
- Proximity: Beachfront
- Property Size: 2800+ sq ft
- Year Property Complete: 1997- remodel
- Beach: Hart Bay Below You
- Pool: Yes
- Pool Dimensions: Half moon shape
- Hot Tub: No
- Air Conditioning: No, A/C
- Children: Welcome
- Wifi: Yes
- Housekeeping: No
- Ipod Connectivity: Yes
- Damage Deposit: $500
- Distance To Town: 2 miles; Restaurants/nightlife: 1-2 miles; National Park beaches: 2-3 miles; Groceries: 1 mile
- Living Dining: The living and dining rooms have been artistically finished to look like the interior of a centuries old Spanish or Italian villa. They are furnished with a combination of antiques and designer furniture that blends comfort with function. From either room screened sliding glass doors open to warm breezes, a spacious deck and sweeping views of the south shore National Park. A cable 32" flat screen TV/DVD, an AM/FM stereo//CD with iPod connection and wireless internet are provided. Dine inside at the stately mahogany table seating 6 - 8, or outside on the sheltered garden patio.
- Kitchen: The complete kitchen includes a 4 burner stove and oven, refrigerator/freezer, dishwasher, microwave, blender, coffee maker, toaster and a fine selection of dinnerware, cookware, and server ware. There is a gas barbeque grill in the courtyard
- Bedroom Details: The two bedrooms cabanas (queen beds) are spacious (370 sq/ft) and each offers excellent privacy, lovely views and an intimate setting. Each cabana includes a tiled bath and a private deck or patio that is perfect for morning coffee and other quiet moments. The two guest bedrooms (twins that convert to a king) are located on the lower level of the great house and also offer romantic ocean views. The lower level guest bedrooms share a bath, and a 1/2 bath is located off the kitchen in the great house.
Rara Avis is located on an oversized lot in the southwest corner of Hart Bay, which is 1/4 mile east of Great Cruz Bay, on the south coast of St. John. The setting gives this villa an excellent degree of privacy and tranquility. Rara is the last villa on a private drive so there is no vehicle traffic or noise; the only sound you’ll hear in this villa is the music of small waves breaking on the beach below you and the music on your iPod. It is blessedly peaceful and quiet, yet only minutes from Cruz Bay. Rara is truly a place where you are indulged with the basic elements of Caribbean life – sun, sea, moonlit sky, lush vegetation and the trade winds. The house faces southeast and the sun shines on your decks from early morning to late in the afternoon. The beautiful 180 degree view sweeps from north to south and takes in most of the south coast of St John, much of which is unspoiled National Park. A short walk down a private path leads to Hart Bay Beach. This is a nice beach to walk along, or if you prefer a great area to kick back and read a good book. It’s about a 2 mile drive into the restaurants, shopping and nightlife in Cruz Bay, and about a mile to the restaurants and spa at the Westin Resort.
Vehicle Information A 4 Wheel Drive vehicle is needed for travel on St John
Rates, Printing Errors, Changes and Omissions: Caribbean Villas is not responsible for printing errors and inadvertent omissions. All rates and villa details are subject to change without prior notice.
PHONE SERVICE/CELL PHONES: Local phone service is interrupted regularly and in spite of our efforts to reinstate service it can some times take weeks. AT&T is the only cell service we find operates efficiently on the island. If you do not have AT&T we strongly suggest you bring a pay as you go AT&T cell phone with you as we do not provide cell phones should the local phone service be interrupted.
Internet Service: The internet service is subject to frequent interruption. We cannot guarantee internet quality or speed. Renters might find it convenient to travel with a cellular carrier MiFi – a couple of examples are AT&T and Virgin Mobile. There will be no refunds due to the internet not working.
Pool Floats: Pool floats are not guaranteed with your villa rental. If you want access to them, please bring them with you.
After making your villa/condo booking with us, you have 7 days to send us your rental deposit and guest contract. Payment is by check, personal check is fine. Your sending us payment on your villa rental becomes a binding agreement; it constitutes your acceptance and agreement to these terms, conditions, limitations and restrictions as mentioned in our Payment and Cancellation Polices section on this page. If you have any problems or questions with any of this information, please be sure to call us for discussion and explanation before you send us your villa rental deposit monies and contract.
PAYMENTS: Caribbean Villas requires 50% down within 7 days of making your reservation by check only. Failure to make this payment subjects your reservation to automatic cancellation. The balance of your reservation including the tax/service charge and security deposit where applicable; is due 60 days prior to arrival. If traveling during the Christmas/New Years time period the balance including the tax/service charge is due 120 days prior to arrival. Rates are based on Cash Prices – Payment is by check only. To pay with a visa/mastercard there is a 3% service fee. Please make the checks payable to Caribbean Villas and mail them to 89 Mussey Rd., Suite 103, Scarborough, ME 04074.
CANCELLATION POLICY: All cancellations and any requests for changes to your reservation (such as date changes or changes in the number in your party) must be made IN WRITING, and faxed, emailed or mailed to us promptly. Once Caribbean Villas has received your deposit, if you cancel/change your reservation 120 days or more prior to arrival, there is a 20% penalty off the total room charge. If you cancel/change your reservation 60-120 days prior to arrival, there is a 50% penalty off the total room charge. If you cancel/change within 60 days of arrival, there is a 100% penalty off the total room charge. Christmas/New Years and President weeks are non-refundable.
Cancellation Policy for the following villas ~ Caneel Trailside Cottage, Francis Bay Estates, Sunset Beach, Terrahawk, La Bella Vita, Colibri, Vista Caribe, Cruz Views #1 and Croix Vista. These villas are non-refundable/non-changeable, for any reason, once payment is received.
Trip Cancellation Insurance: Caribbean Villas recommends CSA Travel Protection: http://www.csatravelprotection.com/?aff=71027664
Please note: If we do not have your arrival information 60 days prior to your check-in, there will be a $50 charge applied to your security deposit.
PASSPORT REQUIREMENTS: If you are a U.S. Citizen traveling to the U.S. Virgin Islands (St. John, St. Thomas, St. Croix) you will need Proof of Citizenship; this is a Photo ID and a birth certificate with a raised seal (photo copies are not allowed). *For further information: http://www.travel.state.gov * Please note: If you are traveling to the U.S. Virgin Islands (St. John, St. Thomas, St. Croix) and are planning to do any day trips/day sails to the British Virgin Island or any other Caribbean country you will need a valid U.S. Passport
MAID SERVICE: Our homes/condos do not include maid service. Maid Service may be arranged at an additional cost. Towels, linens, beach towels and paper products are provided for your entire stay. Any additional supplies will need to be purchased by the guest.
HURRICANE CANCELLATIONS: Hurricane season is from June 1-November 30. Caribbean Villas highly recommends that your purchase trip cancellation insurance. This insurance will cover you in case of a natural disaster (please verify all terms and conditions with the insurance company). If you do not purchase insurance and if a hurricane is threatening St. John and we advise you not to travel, we will hold your balance on account for a future stay at the property reserved. We will not hold your balance on account if the hurricane is not a threat to St. John and you are unable to travel because of canceled flights. If you are currently on St. John and a hurricane is threatening the island and we ask that you depart the island early, we will hold your balance on account for a future stay at the same property.
EXCEPTIONS: This policy does not cover Delfina, Reefside Villa, Sunset Beach, Francis Bay Estates, Terrahawk, Vista Caribe, Croix Vista, Cruz Views #1, Villa Rendezvous and La Bella Vita. Though we ask them to adhere to this policy final decisions will be made by the island managers.
HOTEL TAX/SERVICE CHARGE: If traveling to St. John, a 12.5% hotel tax and 5% service charge will be added to your reservation. (When the hotel tax changes all reservations are subject to the tax increase.)
DAMAGE DEPOSITS (Security Deposit): Our Villas and Condos for the island of St. John all require a damage deposit. The deposit is $500-$1500 depending on the property reserved. In most cases this deposit may be applied to a Visa or MasterCard. Our consultants will advise you at the time of booking which policy applies to your rental home. The security deposits are fully refundable within 60 days of your departure, provided there is no breakage, damage, missing items, no charges incurred before, during or after your stay, still outstanding. All normal utilities (except long-distance phone calls or careless or extremely excessive use of your villa’s water supply) are included in your rental price. You hereby agree to pay Caribbean Villas on behalf of the owner of your villa the cleaning or replacement costs for all damages to personal property or to the real estate, which may occur as a result of your occupancy, excluding normal wear and tear. Locked pantries and closets are reserved for the use of the villa owner and are not included in this rental. You as a Guest agree to take all reasonable steps to ensure that your family and other guests in your party adhere to the rules and regulations affecting your villa. All villas are privately owned, so decor, colors and inventories will of course vary. All villas are fully furnished, including an ample supply of bed linens and towels for Guests’ use. Rearranging of furniture or removing any items from the villa is prohibited.
LIABILITY: Caribbean Villas, is acting hereunder as an agent for accommodations, and assumes no liability for property loss or damages, nor liability for injury, accident, delay, or irregularity which may be occasioned either by reason of defect in any vehicle or the acts of any company or persons engaged in conveying passengers to or from their villa. Transportation (airlines, ferries, charter vessels, rental cars and taxis) is supplied by providers who operate independently of Caribbean Villas. We assume no responsibility, therefore, for any loss, injury, or damage to person or property because of the acts of those providers. Furthermore, guests are responsible for their villa during occupancy, and must lock villa windows and doors securely at all times when not on the premises, and must exercise care in securing all personal property. Guests must observe all cautions as given in our blue guest book and/or by your local contact. All Caribbean Villa’s properties are privately owned. The Owner and Caribbean Villas reserve the right to refuse service to anyone at their complete discretion. Any and all disputes will be subject to jurisdiction only in the USVI.
COMPLAINTS AND MAINTENANCE: Caribbean Villas shall make every effort to keep all villas and their inventories in good working order. In case of a maintenance problem, they will strive to repair the problem as soon as possible after being notified. However, no refund or rate adjustment shall be made for unforseen failures such as the supply of electricity, water, pool filtration systems, air conditioning, television/cable service, internet access, appliances, etc. Due to wild fluctuations in our island electrical service and the lack of trained technicians here, we cannot guarantee that hot tubs at villas will operate correctly at all times, and no rebates will be given due to hot tub malfunctions. It is the Guest’s obligation to report any problem or damage IMMEDIATELY to us, regardless of the hour. No refunds will be considered unless problems are reported and reviewed by our staff during your stay on island.
CONSTRUCTION NOISE: Due to the amount of new villa construction on St. John, it is a possibility that construction may occur near your villa rental. Any construction and the possibility of new construction is outside the control of Caribbean Villas.
ENTRY INTO VILLA: Caribbean Villas or its staff may enter your villa to perform any repairs as necessary. If your villa is on the market for sale, we reserve the right to allow the villa to be shown, but only by advance appointment made with Guest. We will make every effort to schedule such brief showings at a time convenient to you, to respect your privacy, and not interrupt your vacation.
SUBSTITUTION: Caribbean Villas reserves the right to substitute comparable or better accommodations without liability, should the villa reserved be sold, out of order, double booked or be deemed substandard by us for any reason. If comparable accommodations are not available, Guest may receive a complete refund of all pro rated rent and Hotel Tax/Service Charge paid for the original villa.
CAPACITY OF VILLAS: The total number of persons allowed in the villa at any one time is restricted to the number of persons scheduled and paid for (based on two persons per bedroom). Should a group misrepresent themselves, they will not be allowed entry into the villa. Exceptions to this term are made only by management, prior to your arrival dates and for infants under 2 yrs old; if sleeping in a baby crib and not occupying one of the villa’s beds.
QUIET ENJOYMENT AND PARTIES: Caribbean Villas wishes to maintain a family atmosphere for the quiet enjoyment of Guests. We rent to family groups and responsible adults only; absolutely NO house parties or functions such as weddings are allowed at the villas. Guests shall be sufficiently quiet and peaceful, so as not to disturb other residents of the neighborhood.
RATES AND PRINTING ERRORS: Caribbean Villas is not responsible for printing errors and inadvertent omissions. All rates and villa details are subject to change without prior notice.
CHECK IN TIME: St. John – 3:00 p.m. and forward. CHECK-OUT TIME: 10:00 a.m. sharp. PETS: No pets of any kind are allowed in or on the villa premises. A pet or evidence of a pet found on the villa premises will cause immediate eviction and forfeiture of Guest’s entire rent and deposit.
ARRIVALS: For St. John there is one complimentary arrival that brings the arriving guests to the vehicle rental to pick up their reserved vehicle and then escorts the party to their villa. For 8pm -12 midnight arrivals there is a $50 check-in fee. You may schedule additional arrivals as needed for $75 per arrival. Please note: If we do not have your arrival information 60 days prior to your check-in, there will be a $50 charge applied to your security deposit.
CABLE TELEVISION: For St. John, most of the homes have expanded cable, with a few exceptions. Occasionally there is a problem with the cable television service. Caribbean Villas does not have any control over the cable service and repairs are currently taking between 8-14 days to complete.
PHONE SERVICE: ALL LONG DISTANCE PHONE CALLS ARE RESTRICED. We ask all guests to use a calling card to make long distance phone calls.Local calls are free. Occasionally there is a problem with the telephone lines for the villa and condo rentals. Caribbean Villas does not have any control over the telephone company and repairs are currently taking up to 30 days to complete. Rapture and Kalorama only have cell phone service.
CELL PHONE USAGE ALONG THE NORTH SHORE: If you use your cell phone on the north side of the island there is a good chance you will pick up the cell tower on Tortola (British Virgin Islands). If this happens you will be charged for an international call on your cell phone plan.
DRUGS AND HAZARDOUS MATERIALS: Guests and members of his party shall not use or permit to be brought into any villa and illegal substances, inflammable fluids (e.g., gasoline, kerosene, naphtha or benzene), or other explosives or articles deemed hazardous to life, limb or property.
VILLA, SAFE AND GATE KEYS: Caribbean Villas shall charge Guests $175 for each set of lost or mishandled keys; gate remote controls will be charged at replacement cost. Guest is required to follow all instructions precisely on where to leave your villa keys and gate remote controls when you depart–call if you are unsure!
CONSERVING ELECTRICITY: Due to the cost of electricity doubling, the air-conditioning in our villas/condos will not be turned on when you are checked into your property. At check-in, our staff will be happy to show you how to turn the systems on and off, should you decide to use the air-conditioning. We are requesting that you turn the air-conditioning off in all rooms when not at the villa. It does not take long to cool a room down when you return to the villa. We understand this is your vacation and we want it to be enjoyable and relaxing. Anything you are willing to do will be appreciated in conserving your electrical usage.
SMOKING: All Villas are non-smoking. Guests may be fined up to $150 for smoking violations.
GARBAGE REMOVAL: Guests are responsible for removal of all trash from their villa. A $75 fee will be applied to guest’s security deposit if rental agent is required to remove trash left behind. There are numerous dumpsters throughout the island for your use.
CABLE/INTERNET/TELEPHONE/ELECTRICITY: In the Virgin Islands these services may be interrupted. If an interruption occurs the rental manager will report the problem but we have no control over service repairs. There will be no rental refunds due to the interruption of these services. Internet Service: The internet service is subject to frequent interruption. We cannot guarantee internet quality or speed. Renters might find it convenient to travel with a cellular carrier MiFi – a couple of examples are AT&T and Virgin Mobile.
- In Season Prices
Dec. 16, 2017 – April 13, 2018
$3950/wk for 2-6 people * $4370/wk 7-8
Christmas/ New Years (Dec 16 to Jan 6)
Rates are based on 2 people per bedroom
- Off Season Pricing
April 15, 2017 – Dec. 15, 2017
$1925/wk for 2-4 people * $2310/wk 5-6 * $2625/wk 7-8
Thanksgiving- Off Season Rates Apply
Rates are based on 2 people per bedroom
- Hotel Tax/Service Charge
12.5% Hotel tax/5% Service Charge
- Damage Deposit
Caribbean Villa Comments
- Caribbean Villas Comments:
In the mid 1990s the original great house of Rara was demolished and a new stone house was built and completed in 1997. A skilled artisan was imported to St. John to give the house the aged look of a centuries old villa in Tuscany. It's an alluring concept – a European style villa on a beautiful waterfront site on St. John – and it certainly works well for Rara. At night, with the great house doors open and the soft glow of the valence lighting, you could well imagine yourself on the coast of Italy or Spain. In 1991 we wrote that Rara Avis is "located in an unusually quiet and private seaside setting where shimmering moonlight, warm trade winds, mesmerizing views and the background sounds of breaking surf weave a totally relaxing almost magical atmosphere." What was true in 1991 is just as true in 2015; the passage of time has not spoiled either the setting or the villa. Rara is proof of the maxim that great real estate is defined by "location, location, location." If you love the concept of being immersed in sun, sea, sky, flora and peace and quiet, then this is your place in the sun. This setting will massage you and relax you to such an extent that you may never want to go home. Located below Le Lapin and Dolphin Run, Rara is strongly recommended for honeymooners and other lovers (this is a very romantic villa), multiple couples, and families with beach kids.
* Rara Avis has a resident outdoor cat that visits the property
- Guest Comments:
- Awesome..just awesome!! Thank you - we will be returning to Rara Avis!
- We had a wonderful time! The house was perfect for our family! Loved the views and breezes over Hart Bay!
- Everything was perfect, thank you so much! Though Rara Avis may not be the newest property, we found that it had an intimacy with the water and an openness to the sky and sun that gave us much peace and relaxation. We all loved it!
- Thank you for all of your assistance with our rental of Rara Avis. The home was great and we were pleasantly surprised that Rara had done some painting, new bedding etc. This was our 14 trip to St John and rental with you and Rara Avis is clearly one of the best locations on the island.
- We had a great time and enjoyed our second stint in Rara Avis. All things being equal, we plan to reserve a week in late April '13 for another stay on Hart Bay.
- Just a quick comment to let you know that we had a most amazing time in St. John this last week! We were there for my daughter’s wedding and it was just spectacular! The Villa served us well to keep us calm and serene during this hectic time. We would highly recommend this Villa to anyone looking for a peaceful, soothing and comfortable Villa with privacy and views to die for! Everyone there in St. John was most helpful and accommodating. Thank you for your time and effort; you are a very professional group and the transaction was smooth and as expected!