Maybe you've been to St. John and maybe not? But over the last six plus years you have make inquiries to my two villas and I really appreciate your interest. Maybe it was schedule, maybe it was price that kept you from reserving with me. But now, it might be time to "Seize the Moment," if your price conscious that September/October would be a time to come with a 25% discount. Let's face it, it's slow season, but the beaches are great and smaller crowds at the restaurants. If it was a timing issue, than 2016 right now might be the time to book.
If, you've been to St. John before - does this picture look familiar? When was the last time you were at this beach? For some of you that have stayed on St. John you probably forgot this beach. Then for those of you that have never been to St. John, this is just one of 46 beaches for you to explore, bring a chair, drinks, lunch and enjoy the best snorkeling in the Caribbean.
For you that have inquired over the last six years, I thought I'd give you an update on what I've been up to since 2009 and the completion of Sopra Mare. Can't believe it was finished going on six years ago. How time flies.
First, in 2012 I took over full management of the villa. Honestly, I was not happy with the results from the management company nor how they treated guests which I must say at times, indifference. I knew as an owner I would do a much better job for the guests. Once this decision was made - then I hired a Villa Manager, pool service, landscape person and of course a cleaning crew they all work directly for me. All of these individuals have now been with me for more than three years without personnel turnover. That means prior to each guest arrival they know exactly what needs to be done. In many cases, keeping the same staff means guests know them and feel safe and secure when they see a familiar friendly face of one of my people.
We have continually upgraded Sopra Mare especially in 2014 when living room furniture was upgraded and a new Bose System added. All major appliances have been replaced with Maytag. This past September, we upgraded the linens and added Pacific Coast king size pillows used exclusively by Ritz Carlton. I've already received great comments from recent guests on the upgrades. This villa is ideal for honeymooners and families with small children as the second bedroom does not have an outside balcony.
Anyway, by 2013 Sopra Mare (Above The Sea) proved such a great success with guests I decided to build another villa - that being Bordo Mare (On The Sea) which was finished just in time of the first guest arrival in December of 2013. This villa is ideally suited for two couples as the bedrooms and baths are totally equal with expansive ocean views. Doors on the main floor as well as bedroom doors totally open for an obstructed ocean view.
In October both villas received solar to supplement the huge monthly electric bills I receive from Virgin Island Water and Power authority. It won't "net meter" to zero but believe it will substantially help reduce the overall energy cost. In addition, Bordo Mare main floor air conditioning was put into service and now the villa is "Fully Air Conditioned" something most villas do not offer.
When I took over management I made one change almost immediately that turned out to be funny. You know those little baskets of nuts a couple of power bars and bottle of water the management companies leave as your gift basket? Well, I never could stand them they o were cheap and really didn't add much to the guest experience.
So, I elected to go all out! Many guests arrive late at night after an exhausting travel day often with restaurants and grocery stores closed for the night. For those late arrives starting in 2013 I arranged for each party to receive a full dinner as my "welcome basket." This includes a roasted chicken, several side orders and a bottle of wine.
Anyway, about three months after beginning the late arrival dinner program I got a call around 3:15 pm from a guest that just got into the villa. The first thing he said was, "Where's my chicken dinner I've heard so much about?" We immediately ran out and got him one. Needless to say, now there's a chicken dinner awaiting every single guest!
I've just worked out an arrangement with a local restaurant where you will have up to a $50.00 complimentary gift certificate for drinks, desert or appetizer during your stay.
So you can see a lot of things have happened since 2009. I have both the highest occupancy and the more returning guests of any properties on St. John. I believe that is due to the excellent staff and over the top cleanliness of the villas.
Now would be a good time to start thinking about a 2016 stay with me. I look forward to hearing from you. Oh, by the way, the above beach picture is of Hanson's Bay.
Have a great Thanksgiving and holiday season. "I'll leave the lights on at your second home!"
Mike Mullen - Owner
One last thing - The Virgin Islands announced last month that Hotel Tax will increase from 10% to 12.5. I believe this is very unfair to my guests and therefore have elected to hold by 10% for bookings made during the remainder of 2015 for 2016.