Historical Traveller Reviews of Island View Hotel
Brilliant views, relaxed atmospehere, great staff!
Nestled in the hills of St. Thomas, this unique style hotel provides a comfortable atmosphere and breathtaking views while making you feel right at home. The owner and staff cater to your every need and were always friendly.
New york boys
Myself and five other business partners stayed here for four nights. It was the BEST place I have ever stayed! To put it to the point, I felt like I never left home. The family that owns the Island view now, go out of their way to make sure you feel right at home. The view is one of a kind, and I am going to spend my honeymoon there. So for all the negative critics out there who for some reason thought that the Island view did'nt provide excellent service, you really have no idea what you're talking about!! Ron and Beth, thank you so much for turning a business trip, into a great vacation. Steve, from Digital Entertainment.
Disregard old reviews - Fantastic place to explore the islands
Ownership changed three months prior to our booking, so any reviews that you read prior to summer of 2006 should be ignored. This is not a resort with all its trappings and it may not be the perfect place for kids. If you want that, go to the Marriot Frenchmans Reef which is the perfect resort on St Thomas.
This property feels like you are staying with friends. There is a centeral patio overlooking the bay where the cruise ships dock. Our room had a patio that had the same great view. The owners interact with all the guests and at the end of a long day of exploring, you can relax on the patio and share your adventures with them and the rest of the guests while you have a personally cooked dinner overlooking the bay. You get a lot of personal attention here and its genuine - not sanitized like the hotel chains.
Breakfast is bread, cereal and juice, nothing fancy. With the higher prices for all food items of the island, that will still save a ton off your expenses. You can order off their menu for breakfast, luch and dinner if you like. and the owners cook it themselves. There is a pool and hot-tub but the point of this guest house isnt to linger around all day- its a base to explore the island and come back too. My wife and I enjoy exploring and rarely go to resorts. Since I work with a non profit in Puerto Rico, I get to go island hopping Take it from experience - get a Jeep (not an economy car) and go down every poossible road to unmarked beaches and hideouts. Ferry to St John and hang on the beutiful beaches and hike some of the trails. When you are all done, you can go back "home" to the property.
There is a free wi-fi in the patio so you can use your laptop or wi-fi phone. That means you can get some work done as well. The owners will even run you to the airport if necessary!
I go to St Thomas at least once a year on business, and this is the kind of place I like for an extended stay. We stayed 6 nights and would definitely go back again.
Nice and Affordable
My boyfriend and I went to St. Thomas last year (2006) to celebrate Valentine's Day, as we usually do. We were on a budget so I did my research before going, and made reservations at Island View Guest House. When we got there, the staff was very helpful and friendly. It's not a luxury hotel (far from it) but it has everything that you need, a nice clean bed, clean bathrooms (not directly in the rooms: either shared or private) and a wonderful view of St. Thomas and the pier. The continental breakfast, is not really a continental breakfast, it consist of toast/bagel, juice, or cereal...if you want something warm you have the option to buy. They cook every night, so you have the option to stay in and have dinner there with the other guests and the owner, or go into town. Now in order to be able to see everything that there is to see you really should try and rent a car...it will help a LOT in the end b/c you will be spending a lot of money on taxis or buses, or mopeds, etc. Having a vehicle available is key in St. Thomas b/c it will get you to the beaches, shopping, to the ferrys, just anywhere and everywhere...NOTE: if you are comming from the US, they do drive on the opposite side from us, so it might take some time to get used to the driving there, so be careful. Another Tip: is to keep away from the inner city, there are a lot of rasta men (long braided hair with the colorful cap) that will mug you or whatever (tip we got from some people who live there) There are very nice, humble locals who are always willing to help and are just there to make a living. Make sure that you catch the Ferry to St. John and you go to the beaches there, they are some of the most beautiful beaches we have ever seen.
back in time
i felt as is if i was ernest hemmingway going to bimini. it was absolutely magnificent and the owners as well as the personnel were helpful, courteous,and friendly. Everyone was eager to assist us in any way they could. The tone of this entire experience is defined by the absolutely beautiful p[anoramic view of Charlotte Amalie complimented by the "honor bar". Thankfully, there was always chalk so that I could always "notch" my favorite beverage. This was truly a wonderful time and would sing its praises toall. Everything was easily accessible due to the fact that this utopia is located in the mountain near all main roads as well as "shortcuts" to other wonderful retreats such as Megans Bayand others which I'll not mention. In closing, I cannot say enough about the meals which were personally prepared by the owner. Simply stated, this experience was unequaled by any other. Words cannot describe the aura and ambiance. You must experience this by simply being there.
A Personal Touch
As the title suggests this place offers a personal touch. We stayed at Island view for 4 nights and the stay was more than just memorable. The family that owns the place really made our stay comfortable. I loved the concept of the bar here it was on an Honor based system. The view from the verandah was breathtaking. The hotel is perched up on top of a hill and provides a panoramic view of the city and the harbor. The best is if you get up early in the morning to see the huge cruise liners dock. The rooms are comfortable, not lavish. As far as the food is concerned you should look at eating out. The Breakfast is nice and simple. There is a library full of books and DVD’s. You can even ask the family for a DVD player if you want. All in All if you are looking for a nice tucked away place and want to go easy on you pocket this is the place to be in. The pool and the Jacuzzi here is clean and well maintained. Hats off to the family for running this place so well.
Have stayed at island view 5 times
from A TripAdvisor Member
If you want to stay in a place with a resort type atmosphere, don't stay here. If you want to get a feel of the true St. Thomas off the beaten path, then there is Island View. What keeps me coming back to this beautiful, but simple, guesthouse is the people. Mike and Bonnie always make me feel like I am in my second home, and everything from the honor bar to the nightly conversations on the veranda is so layed back. I have enjoyed the variety of different guests that I have met at Island View over the years (many of whom have also been to Island View before), and as I listen to their experiences, I find that it helps me keep the things in my own life in perspective. I'll be back in the Fall.
Inexpensive, but disappointing
We stayed at the Island View Guesthouse with another couple. While the price was right, our stay was kind of disappointing. The rooms weren't filthy, but I didn't feel like they were terribly clean, either. The hot tub was not in working condition and when we notified the woman working at the front desk of the hot tub problem, she didn't appear to do anything to rectify the situation. She was perfectly nice about it, but being nice to me doesn't go very far if you aren't going to try to fix what's broken. We were there 7 days and the hot tub was never fixed. I know these seem like petty complaints, but I guess we expected a little more after reading the reviews here. On my next trip, I will look to stay elsewhere.
We had a terrific stay at the Island View. I'm so surprised at the negative reveiws. We arrived in the evening after 24 hours of travel with our two kids. We were so tired that we could not even think about going out to eat so Bonnie and Michael heated each of us up a filling plate of chicken and sides for only $4 each!
We had the large suite which was perfect for our family, large and with a great view. The pool was small but our kids enjoyed it immensely. The view from the breakfast area is beautiful and we enjoyed the honor bar. I would definitely go back there again. Everyone was friendly and helpful.
Not Pleased--is an understatement!!
from A TripAdvisor Member
I was a little hesitant to come forward with my concerns, but after seeing that we were not the only people let down by what the Island View shows online, puts me at ease. Honestly, I have never stayed at a place that I felt so uncomfortable to date. The people that were staying in the hotel were not short term guests there to enjoy the island, but rather long term renters who used the hotel for lord knows what. My husband and I returned from a night in Charlotte Amalie, only to find one of their "tenants" passed out in the common bar area--needless to say we could not even enjoy the only redeeming quality of that place--it's view! I personally witnessed, not one, but two local men, check in and out within a span of two hours. As far as the owners, I did find Bonnie to be quite pleasant. Michael, however, was overbearing and intrusive. He made it difficult to leave the room without getting stuck in a 30 min conversation. He has the people skills of a rock. You can find a much more pleasant stay at the Wyndham (5-star resort) for just 40-50 dollars more. It's much safer-- and there is a lot to be said for that when you are vacation!
Top Local Tips for Charlotte Amalie
You can take the ferry to St. John for $20 round trip. I highly recommend spending a day there. The beaches are beautiful, as is the 30 minute boat ride there. The island is mostly a national park and is great for sight seeing. Be sure to take the open air jeep tour through the park and to the top for some great photo opportunities.
SUN BLOCK BECAUSE IT IS SUMMER TIME
Getting around is difficult, the taxi's are expensive and they charge you what they feel like, we went to same place twice and paid two different prices each time. Ask how much before you get in. Renting a car can be an adventure. We did not get a rental, but our friend did and it proved to be a bit difficult. The roads have no signs and they are very curvy and steep. The owners of where we stayed drove us places if they could because the taxi's are too expensive, but if you have too, make sure you ask how much before you go for the ride because the taxi's don't have meters.