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Rara Avis is a waterfront villa that is located on an oversized lot in Hart Bay, which is a bay with a small beach on the south coast of St. John. Rara is the last villa on a private drive and it sits in the middle of an oversized lot, so it is blessedly peaceful and quiet without even a whisper of vehicle traffic or other noise. As Rara’s website states, this home 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.' Although Rara enjoys an excellent degree of privacy and tranquility, you are less than 3 miles from Cruz Bay. The beautiful 180 degree view takes in the entire south coast of St John, much of which is unspoiled National Park. Rara Avis faces south and the sun hits your decks from early in the morning to late in the afternoon. A short hike down a private path leads to the 83-degree, crystal clear waters of Hart Beach, where on a calm day you’ll enjoy some good snorkeling or swimming.
Rara consists of three distinct buildings – a 2-level stone house, plus two bedroom cabanas on both sides of the great house. Courtyards, gardens and walkways connect the three buildings and the pool. 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. A 450 sq/ft tiled sun deck with magnificent views runs along the waterfront side of the great house. The two bedrooms and the deck on the lower level are accessed by two sets of exterior stairs on either side of the great house. 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 bedroom cabana.
The two bedrooms cabanas are spacious (370 sq/ft) with queen beds, excellent privacy, lovely views and an intimate setting. Each cabana includes a tiled bath and a private deck or patio. 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 fourth half bath is located off the kitchen in the great house
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. You can dine inside at the stately mahogany table seating 6 - 8, or outside on the sheltered garden patio.
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.
The two bedrooms cabanas are spacious (370 sq/ft) with queen beds, excellent privacy, lovely views and an intimate setting. Each cabana includes a tiled bath and a private deck or patio. 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 fourth bath is located off the kitchen in the great house...moreless
Off Season (2-4 person rate) Apr 11 - Dec 11, 2015 7 night min stay
Rates are based on 4 guests; add $55 per night, per additional guest
In Season (2-6 person rate) Dec 12 - Dec 18, 2015 7 night min stay
Rates are based on 6 guests; add $60 per night, per additional guest
Christmas/New Years Dec 19 - Jan 3, 2016 7 night min stay
In Season (2-6 person rate) Jan 4 - Apr 8, 2016 7 night min stay
Rates are based on 6 guests; add $60 per night, per additional guest
Additional information about rental rates
WEEKLY RENTAL RATES BASED ON # OF PEOPLE PER SEASON:
IN SEASON: Dec 12, 2015 - April 8, 2016
$3950/wk for 2-6 guests, $4370/wk for 7-8
CHRISTMAS/NEW YEARS: $5224/wk for 2-8
OFF SEASON: April 11, 2015 - Dec 11, 2015
$1925/wk for 2-4 persons, $2310/wk for 5-6, $2625/wk for 7-8
THANKSGIVING - Off Season rates apply
10% hotel tax/5% service charge
$500 Damage Deposit
50% due within 7 days of booking, Final payment due 60 days prior to arrival. Final payment for Christmas/New Years reservations is due 120 days prior to arrival.
Payment is by check.
We never ask for payment by wire transfer.
Terms and Conditions and Cancellation Policy sent with confirmation.
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About: We are a family from Connecticut and we have had a home on St. John for more than 25 years. We were the first to build on Hart Bay and we had lots of land to choose from, so we bought the finest lot on the water. We built the first Rara Avis, which I call Rara v.1, and Hurricane Marilyn came roaring in and Rara v.1 vanished in the wind. But we love this island and this land too much to walk away, so in 1997 we built Rara v.2, which is a bigger, stronger and much more beautiful version of Rara v.1. We have traveled extensively in Spain and Italy and we love the aged look of European homes, so we imported a skilled artisan to St. John to give the new Rara 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 lights, you could well imagine yourself on the coast of Italy or Spain. Twenty-five years and four children later, we’re still in love, with our island, our land and with the Tuscan villa we built here,with the memories we’ve shared here, and with each other. If you ask us why, the answer is easy - like the poet laureate of St. John said – “there is magic here” There really is, so spend a week or two at Rara, and you'll agree.
Why Hart Bay: We bought our land in Hart Bay before the real estate boom so we had plenty of choices for fine properties. This particular location was just more appealing than any other location we looked at. We wanted a waterfront lot where you could walk down to a small beach for beach walks and swimming and snorkeling, and over the years we have seen a lot of rays and colorful fish on snorkel expeditions in Hart Bay. Where else can you snorkel until you’re tired and then walk back to your villa and sit on your deck with a cold drink and look out at the places you were just mingling with the tropical fishes. We also love the way this location constantly invigorates and refreshes you. You are surrounded by and immersed in the elements of nature – the sun, the sights, sounds and smell of the sea, moonlight on the bay, lush vegetation, the constant music of gentle surf and the refreshing trade winds blowing off the water. For a family of New Englanders who spend a lot of time indoors, this is where we come to appreciate the simple, but glorious, wonders of Mother Nature. After enduring a long winter, a week or two in Rara Avis is a totally revitalizing and energizing experience. There’s nothing quite like it.
The Unique Benefits at this Villa: The uniqueness of Rara all stems from this location on Hart Bay. When you spend time here you can’t fail to be renewed, re-energized and invigorated from the subtle but constant forces of nature that envelop you and massage you. For anyone who spends a lot of time within four walls, this villa, this location on Hart Bay, and this island, will reboot your spirit