I hadn’t intended to issue a newsletter until all repairs were complete, but I thought I’d update everyone on what’s happening and if you’re interested in participating in the recovery.
First, every single deposit refund request has been issued through January for all guests. Oh, it took me a little time as not only was I in the midst of IRMA but ordering materials and furniture took a lot of time. Also, money was really short and in several instances, I had to split refunds into two payments and sent a little note when to expect the remaining, less than 50%, balance.
As of this past weekend all refunds through January were issued. Unlike others, I didn’t do what a number of individuals owners and management companies have done, by taking 10% or 20% cancellation fee. Nor, did I like others, force guests to rebook or not receive a full refund.
I gotta say, I got “trashed” on Trip Advisor by two individuals that had never stayed with me before and they were fearful I wouldn’t issue a full refund. Guess I can’t blame them for being uneasy. And, in fairness to them, some individuals and management companies have “buried” their heads and not address refunds which I believe is totally unfair. At the minimum, they should at least contact potential guests and explain what’s happening with their money and when they should expect a refund.
Anyway, as I posted on Trip Advisor when all refunds were made that’s now a problem for other guests but not mine for those that haven’t received their money back as I’ve fully refunded.
Many of you know, I’m always a person of my word and although times for me have been extremely difficult at no time would I ever have considered or denied a total refund to any guest. Enough said!
Both Sopra Mare and Bordo Mare will be completely repaired by Christmas and I expect full power by then, if not earlier. Currently, the power companies are working on the villa road installing new poles. There wasn’t one single power pole on the island that wasn’t cut in half or fallen by 45 degrees.
In my case, I was very fortunate as I lost large oceanfront doors and about three windows with some furniture. Truthfully, I had intended to replace most Sopra Mare furniture in 2018 but IRMA made that decision for me a year early and new stuff is arriving. All materials will hit the island either December 8th or 15th from Tropical Shipping Miami and repairs won’t take long. Water damage required more work both getting everything totally clean and repainting a number of rooms.
Now, if you past guests want to help, or for that fact, never evers, he’s your chance. I am offering both Bordo Mare and Sopra Mare for a flat $1,600/week base rate for January only. - Saturday to Saturday.
But there are several stipulations. It has to be two couples, no kids and you have to agree to volunteer at something for three days you’re there. Hey, that doesn’t mean eight hours a day, just some time; maybe three or four hours. That could be clearing hiking trails, handing out food, taking applications for FEMA or simply volunteering to walk the dogs at ACC. Doesn’t make any difference, but you gotta promise me you’ll do something for three days and let me know afterward about your experience. And, of course, send pictures of your smiling faces participating for future newsletters and my Facebook Page.
By the way, I have a standing offer to me of $750/day each villa. I have turned it down as this is my small way of doing my part for the island with your help.
Also note, Mikey, my ten-year, longtime island friend and his eight year old son will be staying in the lower room at Sopra Mare – now labeled a “hurricane safe room” during your stay. He lost his entire home and everything else to IRMA and has been staying at the villas since September 6th without either power or water. You’ll never know he’s down below you as he’s extremely quiet, soft spoken and honest. He will leave from the lower level without you aware, or infringe on your privacy.
So, if this is your “cup of tea” to volunteer, here’s your chance to add a little bit to bring St. John back to its glory. Let me know either by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me (972) 679-9937.
Have a Great Thanksgiving. I know especially this year, I have a lot to be thankful for.
But everyone on island just calls me “Mulley”