Our family of three stayed at a spectacular property called Gaia's Pearl in St. John, USVI. We were stumbling into a spring break vacation week, and found this gem last minute. The owner was extremely accommodating, welcoming, and helpful as we made last minute preparations. And when we finally arrived, Gaia's Pearl took our breath away!
We flew into St. Thomas, had a rental Jeep waiting for us at the airport, and then took a ferry from St. Thomas to St. John. Gaia's Pearl was only a 3-minute drive from the ferry, and we stopped at the local grocery store in Cruz Bay to stock up. Gaia's Pearl's exclusive concierge met us at the grocery store and kindly led us to the house, and gave us a tour and introduction to the many fabulous features.
Gaia's Pearl is nestled on a South by South-west facing slope. While other houses are nearby, the home, pool, and grounds feel very private. The highlight for us was the infinity pool that blends into the Caribbean Sea. The pool deck has sunny lounge chairs, and shaded dining area and couches. Ceiling fans keep the bugs away when there is a rare land breeze. It is truly idyllic, like something you would see in a luxury travel magazine. We watched the sunset over St. Thomas from the deck or in the pool almost every night. Drink in hand, stars coming out, appetizers while dinner cooked or awaited at a Cruz Bay restaurant - it was transcendent. The view overlooks several islands, with sailboats and the occasional ferry serving as pleasing distractions from our books. We swam every day and many nights under the stars.
The inside of the house feels new, modern, and light. The main kitchen, dining area, and living room are centrally located between the satellite bedrooms. Each bedroom has a king bed, an ensuite bathroom with indoor/outdoor showers, private balcony, individually controlled AC, and a TV, providing quiet and privacy for all guests. There is a large, air-conditioned common area to cook, dine, and watch TV/movies on the big flat screen. We couldn't help ourselves - watching Pirates of the Caribbean with our daughter, in the Caribbean, was a campy delight. The kitchen is very well equipped, the plates and glasses ample, and the many thoughtful touches throughout made us feel better set up than in our own home sometimes. Huge sliding glass doors and large windows give a panoramic view of the beautiful Caribbean Sea from all angles of the house. Most days we left the air-conditioning off, all the doors open, and enjoyed the beautiful breezes Contant is known for between the indoor and outdoor spaces. A stereo sound system allowed us to stream music inside and outside by the pool deck and grilling area. There is a high-end outdoor grill which is tied into the gas line, and could cook for a large group. A separate bar and chairs allows for others to keep the cook company.
Gaia's Pearl made exploring St. John carefree; they have a closet full of beach gear, chairs, snorkeling equipment, pool toys, and floating lounges, which makes it easy to enjoy trips to the beaches. An outdoor shower made clean-up easy on the way back.
Everything is accessible from Gaia's Pearl (note that a Jeep or other 4WD is a must on St. John). We snorkeled on three different beaches, swam with the turtles in Maho Bay, hiked the Reef Bay trail, pondered Taino rock art, and dined and socialized with Chef Ekaete and her husband at the Pink Corner restaurant near Coral Bay.
Near the house there is a small farm with goats and we talked with the owner whose family has been there for generations. Our daughter enjoyed hearing the goats down the road some mornings, and this added a little authenticity to our location!
We highly, highly recommend a stay at Gaia's Pearl. The owners took a chance on us as last minute renters, and their trust and good will allowed our little family to have one of the best trips we've ever had together. Caribbean blue, sea and sky, the infinity pool, the luxurious accommodations - all gave space for privacy, space for community, and the space and time to take deep, restorative breaths amid the beauty of St. John.