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Stunning North Shore Cottage Inside National Park - Walk to Nearby Beaches

Bedrooms 1
Property type house
Minimum Stay 5 - 6 nights


About the property

House, 1 Bedroom, 1 Bath, Close to beach (Sleeps 2)

THE HAWKS NEST is a finely crafted and recently restored (winter 2017) Caribbean cottage with an ideal and unique location on private property inside the borders of the U.S. Virgin Islands National Park. The North Shore beaches of Hawksnest, Gibney/Oppenheimer, Denis Bay, Jumbie and Trunk Bay are all within a 10-15 minute walk, or a quick drive, depending on which beach you choose. Denis Bay requires no walking along the North Shore road; a trail leads there from Peace Hill, directly across from our driveway. For more activity, the tennis courts, spa, beaches & restaurants of the world-famous Caneel Bay Resort are also nearby, and Cruz Bay is a ten minute drive (or a quick shuttle hop from the Peace Hill parking lot at the foot of our driveway).

The Hawks Nest has just undergone substantial restoration, consistent with its Caribbean cottage roots. Ecologically-oriented architect Doug White has made sure that the cottage retains its open air feel, but screens can be drawn if needed. Guests will enjoy a new kitchen and bath, spectacular new outdoor stone shower, and expanded bedroom and decks. The home meets the rigorous standards of St. John's Island Green Living Association for low impact design and use of sustainable materials.

Perched 97-feet above Hawksnest Bay, the cottage looks across the water to the beautiful Caneel Bay penninsula and further west to the sunset over St. Thomas and other outer-islands. The green hills of the national park frame the spectacular view--no houses in sight. For breakfast, raise the mechanical screens and enjoy the open air intimacy with the sights and sounds of nature; people who loved Maho Bay Camps, as we did, will be in heaven here! Choose a different North Shore beach every day, or hop on an open air taxi to take you to the starting points for wonderful national park hikes. For dinner, try the restaurants of Cruz Bay (10 minute drive) or Coral Bay, or enjoy a different sunset every night from the screened dining porch. In the evening, enjoy the sparkling lights of St. Thomas and often a bright moonset over the water, from a custom King poster bed in the master suite, which also includes a dressing area, a newly-renovated bathroom and al fresco stone shower.

The Hawks Nest location gives guests the option, and savings, of not renting a car, though if you choose this option you should enjoy walking! The National Park/North Shore road is a 5-minute walk down the hillside dirt road that leads to the Hawks Nest driveway. Taxi-vans run along the Park road during the day; it's a quick ride to many of the North Shore beaches and just 10 minutes to Cruz Bay, with its galleries, shops and restaurants. In the other direction, the rest of the spectacular North Shore unfolds. Most guests choose to rent a car to be able to more easily explore the island, and, if so, you should reserve a small 4-wheel drive vehicle on St. John. Our little driveway is steep, but wide enough to turn a jeep around.


Please e-mail your desired schedule.

Keywords: The Hawks Nest Cottage, Private Home, North Shore, St. John, Inside the U.S. Virgin Islands National Park, Walk to Beaches, Ecological design

More Details

Polly Hoppin and Bob Thomas
Member since: 2008
Speaks: english, spanish
Response time:
Within 12 hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
September 13, 2017

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 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, it is now a beautifully-restored Caribbean cottage. We love sharing it with people who appreciate the beauty of the national park and the minimal environmental footprint of green design.

Polly Hoppin and Bob Thomas purchased this house in 2015

Why Polly Hoppin and Bob Thomas chose USVI/St. John

We have travelled many places but there is something about St. John... It is so special because of the fact that 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 house 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. 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 great break from your normal routines.


Estate Hawksnest House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 3:00 PM
  • /
  • Check-out: 10:00 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 2
  • Min. age of primary renter: 25
  • Not suitable for children
  • Parties/events not allowed
  • Pets not allowed
  • Non smoking only ...
  • If you need to cancel, and we are able to re-book the property for your dates, we will issue you a full refund minus a 10% administrative fee.
  • 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!
Location Type:
  • Beach View ...
  • Mountain View ...
  • Near The Ocean ...
  • Ocean View ...
  • Water View ...
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Hair Dryer
  • Internet ...
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking ...
  • Telephone ...
  • Towels Provided
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 2 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Bathroom 1 -
  • Renovations include new bathroom with rugged stone walls and access to beautiful stone shower al fresco. Vanity in sapele.
  • 1 Bedroom, Sleeps 2
  • Custom made King sized bed in sapele, two closets and custom dressers, high ceiling with ceiling fan, custom ceramic sconces.The bed faces the stunning view over Hawksnest Bay. Opens onto the deck, with quiet table and chairs for two.
  • Books ...
  • DVD Player ...
  • Television ...
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Lawn / Garden ...
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Onsite Services:
  • Concierge
  • health/beauty spa
  • restaurants
  • ruins
Leisure Activities:
  • beachcombing
  • boating
  • eco tourism
  • scenic drives
  • shelling
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • Babysitter
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundromat
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • hiking
  • kayaking
  • sailing
  • scuba diving or snorkeling
  • snorkeling
  • snorkeling/diving
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • wind-surfing
A greeter will meet guests at the Cruz Bay ferry dock and introduce you to St. John and to the Hawksnest; s/he and the Cimmaron team will be available throughout your stay for any assistance you may need.


Wonderful! 4.9/5 -
(16 traveler reviews)

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Stunning North Shore Cottage Inside National Park - Walk to Nearby Beaches
average rating of 4.9375 based on 16 reviews
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Unforgettable View!!

  • 5 of 5

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.

  • Submitted: Jul 25, 2017
  • Stayed: Jun 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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1 0
Mississippi, USA


  • 5 of 5

We've stayed in many places on St John. This is the best!!

  • Submitted: Jul 17, 2017
  • Stayed: Jul 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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0 1

Elegantly restored; views and location as stunning as ever

  • 5 of 5

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.

  • Submitted: Jun 5, 2017
  • Stayed: Feb 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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2 0
Fort Lauderdale, Florida

An Amazing and Special Place!

  • 5 of 5

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.

  • Submitted: May 19, 2017
  • Stayed: May 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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3 0
Williamstown, MA, USA

Ideal location, perfect cottage!

  • 5 of 5

A very special place! Beautiful views, the sound of the surf, lovely spaces inside and out. Perfect for nature lovers ! We will be back.

  • Submitted: Feb 17, 2017
  • Stayed: Feb 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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1 1
Wading River, New York

Secluded Get-away

  • 5 of 5

My husband and I look to St. John to escape the frozen New York winters. The Hawksnest is perfect for us. The views of the sea and the islands are spectacular...arriving in the evening, as we enter we see the night lights of Tortolla and are thrilled to begin our St. John vacation. The home is set on the side of a mountain, so we always rent a car which we pick up at the airport in St. Thomas and transport over on the car ferry. The cottage is rustic, but that is part of the charm. The banana quits are sharing their space and make the stay magical for nature lovers. While the cottage is quiet (except for bird talk) it is close to the best beaches St. John has to offer...our favorite is Oppenheimer. We don't cook there, but everything one might need is available. We often drive to Coral Bay or Cruz Bay for dinner, lots of options, but beware of wandering donkeys in the Coral Bay Area, they can appear around any curve. We love St. John and have been going there for many years. This is our home away from home...if you are looking for a peaceful vacation for two, and love can't do better than the Hawksnest.

  • Submitted: Aug 27, 2016
  • Stayed: Jan 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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The house sits in the middle of the famous Virgin Islands National Park, so spectacular beaches are nearby (several within walking distance). We are only a short drive from Cruz Bay with its restaurants and laid-back feel. Caneel Bay Resort, with watersports, tennis and restaurants is less than 10 minutes by car.


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Damage Deposit $100

The hotel tax rate of 12.5% goes into effect in January, 2016.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • Canceled bookings will not receive a refund