Spectacular home and layout with 2 suites; pool; incredible view; close to town
Polly Hoppin and Bob Thomas
- english, french, spanish
About Polly Hoppin and Bob Thomas
We bought the property in 2015 from the couple who first built the cottage mostly by hand themselves. We fell in love with Hawksnest immediately, because it so closely re-created our previous vacations at Maho Bay, one of the Caribbean's first eco resorts: spectacular views; walking distance to the island's most beautiful beaches; surrounded by national park. But the house needed TLC. After a season of renovations in 2016, the cottage was beautifully-restored, only to be almost destroyed by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Two years later, Hawksnest Cottage is fully restored again, ready to welcome guests who appreciate the beauty of the national park and the minimal environmental footprint of green design.
Polly Hoppin and Bob Thomas purchased this Cottage in 2015
Why Polly Hoppin and Bob Thomas chose Estate Hawksnest
We have travelled many places but there is something about St. John... It is special because the National Park has made it impossible for over-development to ruin the island. The beaches are world class, the people friendly, the hiking trails varied, and the water so incredibly pleasant. Although we are not (yet) full time USVI residents, we've come back so often to this special place that it does start to feel like home to us. To be able to own a simple but elegant place on the North Shore is a dream come true.
What makes this Cottage unique
The cottage offers a unique combination of elegant comfort with open-air living, connected to nature. We've worked hard to preserve the open access to the stunning view of Hawksnest Bay, with mechanical screens to adjust for temperature and insects, and the ability to enjoy meals or drinks or reading from a variety of locations around the house or the newly expanded decks. The new infinity pool--accessed by bridge from the living room--makes it tempting never to leave, but there is so much to explore on St. John! You can rent a car if you like (most do), but we love the fact that you can walk to several beaches and that you can hop a shuttle to Cruz Bay so easily if you don't want to bother with the rental car. Simple living... and a wonderful break from your normal routines.
Check-in: 3:00 PM
Check-out: 10:00 AM
Smoking not allowed inside or outside
Pls. check with us about children before booking
Minimum age of primary renter:25
Max guests:4 (sleeps up to 4 adults)
To preserve the peacefulness of the Park and for our year-round neighbors, we ask that you not play loud music and otherwise minimize noise. Thanks!
100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date.
We've stayed in many places on St John. This is the best!!
The Hawksnest is a truly unforgettable experience.
As you turn off the North Shore Road into the driveway, you immediately feel like you are on your way to an exclusive retreat. Sure enough, when you pull into the driveway, you see your upscale cabin situated in a convenient, yet private area of Virgin Islands National Park, complete with one of the best views you will ever see.
The recent renovations Polly undertook are nothing short of amazing. Everything from the chef's kitchen, to the beautiful stonework around entry way and outdoor shower, to the hotel quality bed screams first class.
And. That. View. While the pictures are spectacular, even they don't do the view justice. My wife and I just couldn't get over it. Perched directly over Oppenheimer beach (you can actually see the villa if you are standing on Hawksnest Beach), you have a view of several beaches, off shore islands, and the sunset. Just breathtaking.
Some reviews talk about the bugs a bit. We had no issues with them. Note that there is no A/C (currently), which took some getting used to the first night, but we still slept well. Situated up on the hill, you get a nice breeze. We also were there during the hottest month of the year, so most months you will not miss the A/C at all. With screens on three sides of the house, you really feel at one with the National Park. The sounds of the National Park at night are amazing.
I mentioned previously that the Hawksnest is in a convenient location. It is a short drive into Cruz Bay (maybe 7 minutes), and within a mile of all of the world class North Shore beaches. It is probably walkable to Oppenheimer and Hawksnest, but even though we are an athletic and adventurous couple, we didn't feel the need. Rent a Jeep, it's fun.
Don't be a sucker and say in Cruz Bay - if you want the best possible St. John vacation, stay at the Hawksnest.
Lastly, I will mention that Polly was a pleasure to work with. Her communication was good, and she is a very kind and generous host.
2019 update: Irma brought another full renovation to the Hawksnest Cottage--and this time she has air conditioning in both suites if needed! We still find that ceiling fans and breezes make sleeping comfortable without A/C most months of the year.
An Amazing and Special Place!
When I first walked through the front door I was absolutely amazed by the view. The location is incredible, and really, as beautiful as the photos are, in person the views are so much more spectacular. The sunset the first night was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. Although it only takes about 10 minutes to drive into town, and there are other homes nearby, you feel completely private and at peace.
The cottage has new renovations and is very clean and well maintained. I loved the outdoor shower, very nice appliances and assortment of supplies, and the entire vibe of the home. It is very open (as in NO windows - just screens), but between the ceiling fans and the breeze that came through the temperature was generally comfortable. It did get quite warm in the afternoons, but was otherwise comfortable. I was worried about the lack of an air conditioner, but it proved not to be an issue.
I would gladly stay here again and would highly recommend this location to anyone who wants a peaceful, quiet place to stay and doesn't mind being immersed in nature. I would recommend renting a car (the drive up to the cabin is very steep - I'm in decent shape and it wore me out walking up the hill). If you do not rent a car, I'd recommend having the property management company stock groceries.
Just some tips I learned in the week I was there:
The cottage does not have an air conditioner - between the ceiling fans and breeze it's comfortable though. If you are sensitive to heat, I'd take that into consideration.
You are practically one with nature at this place. Bugs do occasionally come in. Some of them are quite large. Be prepared to see some interesting insects. Also, if you have pollen allergies, make sure you bring plenty of allergy medication - its extremely expensive on the island and selection is very limited at the markets.
The forest critters (frogs, lizards) are quite noisy, especially at night. You may want to consider bringing some ear plugs just in case. I could not find a single store on the island that sold ear plugs.
I highly recommend visiting Gibney Beach just down the hill to the east. There was hardly anyone there each time we went and the snorkeling was great with the reefs close to the shore. Jumbie Beach is nice too, just to the east. In town, my favorite restaurants were De Coal Pot and The Fish Trap.
Just book the cottage - its worth it.
2019 update: Among other changes post-Irma, silent air conditioners are available in bedrooms if needed.
Elegantly restored; views and location as stunning as ever
Full disclosure: this review is from family! This trip was our first time staying in the house after the extensive renovations which were completed in early February, 2017. (Keep in mind the Feb. 2017 renovation date as you look at the reviews of the cottage--the house is no longer rustic!) We were as blown away by the view as we have been before--the stunning color of the hills, water and sand during the day, and the sunsets and moonsets at night. We were as appreciative of the location as ever--so close to the most beautiful beaches on the island yet only a few minutes from town. We still loved the open-air feel of the house, with breezes and sounds of waves and birds reminding us of the national park surrounding us. But our experience of living in the house was so different than before the renovations: the ability to lower mechanical screens at dusk or if there's been rain; being able to cook while looking out at the incredible view with all new appliances; meals in the new dining area; sleeping so well in the King poster bed (high-end hotel-grade mattress is a big improvement!) re-positioned since the renovations to face the view; closing the barn doors between the bedroom and living room for privacy; the gorgeous outdoor stone shower (replacing a wobbly wooden platform!) and many other treats. Having been to St. John over twenty times, there's nowhere else that we would rather be.
This review describes our first round of renovations; Irma required another round, and then some. The good news is that she is even more beautiful, rebuilt with sustainably harvested Santa Maria wood and a lot of love!
Ideal location, perfect cottage!
A very special place! Beautiful views, the sound of the surf, lovely spaces inside and out. Perfect for nature lovers ! We will be back.
Perfect Secluded Getaway!
We stayed at Hawksnest for Two and we could not have been more pleased with our choice. From the beginning the owner was super responsive - gave us great options - and we had zero issues during the whole rental process. Their concierge met us at the ferry dock as promised, secured our car rental at a better on-line rate and brought us there to pick up the car. (This is important - because a rough start can get your vacation off on the wrong foot!) The home was well maintained and the view was stunning. We enjoyed coffee every morning and sunsets at night after amazing days at the beach. I HIGHLY recommend a rental car. Toting a cooler, beach bag and chairs (provided) down the driveway would have been tough. We had one day that was completely rained out and the movies and music were the perfect alternative. The kitchen has everything you need to cook meals if that is how you want to do it. We cannot wait to go back! Only minor negative was no dryer for suits and towels - the cloths lines were great as long as we got things inside before any rain during the night.
Post hurricane Irma update! The Cottage does now have a washer and dryer.
The cottage sits in the middle of the famous Virgin Islands National Park, with its spectacular white sand beaches, and abundant snorkling and hiking adventures. Gibney/Oppenheimer, Denis Bay and Jumby beaches are within an easy walk of the cottage; Hawksnest and Trunk Bay are over a hill or two. We are ten minutes by car from Cruz Bay, St. John's main town, with ferry landing, restaurants, shops and laid-back feel. A 30 minute drive along the North Shore road--past Jumby, Trunk, Cinammon, and Great Maho Bay beaches, and up and over the mountain, takes you to bohemian Coral Bay, with several fun restaurants and shops. Coral Bay is also the jumping off point for the remote East End, Salt Pond Bay and Lameshur Bay. On booking, we will share our favorite activities, collected over 20 years of happy returns to this spectacular island.