Beautiful Couples Retreat, 180-degree ocean view from huge veranda
About Karen Vahling
Karen purchased the land in 2000 and saved for 10 years before starting to build. We moved here because of the incredible natural beauty, simple life and friendly community. My partner, Jeff, helped me build the house, is very handy to have around and is a great resource for island info. The photo was taken in our driveway.
Karen Vahling purchased this Villa in 2000
Why Karen Vahling chose Estate Freemans Ground
I fell in love with St. John 20 years ago and always wanted to live here. It is the best island because it is 2/3 National Park and US territory. Coral Bay is unique and unspoiled, full of natural beauty.
What makes this Villa unique
This property is unique because it is on a large parcel of land (over 1 acre) and has an expansive view from its large deck and all windows, overlooking the USVI and BVI with development-free Coral Reef National Monument in the center of view. Stargaze at the milky way with no light pollution, fall asleep to distant waves breaking on the reef at Johnson's Bay and tree frogs peeping. Wake to doves cooing and amazing sunrises over the islands from your bed! Then hit the beaches or go kayaking in pristine waters -- kayaks are provided for you at no extra charge! If you have more than two people, there is a sofa bed. An additional king bed unit is available, with it's own separate parking and entrance, based on availability. One unit up, one down. Completely private and quiet, with solid masonry floors, walls and decks. Over sized wooded lot on a knoll overlooking the sea.
Check-in: 3:00 PM
Check-out: 10:00 AM
Smoking outside on the deck is okay.
Children not allowed
Minimum age of primary renter:26
Quiet hours outside 10 pm to 8 am
Turn a/c and things off when leaving for the day
100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date.
A little slice of paradise.
We just made our second trip to St John. Our first trip was long before the hurricanes. We loved the island the first time, but visiting after the hurricanes made us love the island even more. They have done so much work, but you can still see signs of destruction. All of the locals thanked us repeatedly for coming to their island. They made us feel special and appreciated.... when they are the special ones. They all truly love their beautiful island paradise.
Karen and Jeff were wonderful hosts and the house is lovely. It has everything you need. And, if there is something you don't have, Karen and Jeff will get it for you!
We will definitely be returning. I just hope it does not take us so long to get back!!
Thank you for an incredible vacation.
Jackie & John
Views from villa are unsurpassed, villa is spotless, housekeeper knowledgable and very helpful.
The views from the second floor villa are incredible. The sun rises over multiple British Virgin Islands with Coral Bay in the foreground. The colors of the sea and islands change as the sun moves from east to west. Variety of boats and ships pass by and through.
The villa is perfectly clean and appears to be new. The workmanship reflects attention to detail and there is no visible wear.
The trade winds are constant and seem to be perfectly aligned to the villa.
Rented jeep at ST John Car Rental in Cruz Bay. Two grocery stores in Cruz Bay, couple smaller convenience stores in Coral Bay.
Beaches seem to have lost a lot of vegetation. Trunk Bay beach is still a favorite and you can rent chairs and restrooms/showers available. Facilities at Cinnamon and Maho not back in full operation.
Holly (one of the caretakers) was extremely helpful when our flight was delayed and showed us around the villa upon arrival. She is local expert ready and willing to share all the information you might want/need.
If you want killer views, solitude, clean, modern, this is it.
Best views on the island
My husband & I stayed at Joy of Life Villa April 24-May 1st. The drive up to the Villa was magnificent, we were not sure what to expect since 4 WD was required, but soon understood why!!! It was a fun adventure & the road is in good condition. We met Jeff at the Villa & he gave us a tour, he was very pleasant & very laid back and nice. The Villa is very clean, & everything you could want from extra toiletries to paper goods & more is there. We soon met Karen who was very open & helpful and there to answer any questions. She even took a pic of us on the deck with her amazing views in the background. They are hosts who are there if you need them or not if you don’t. They were staying downstairs & we truly did not know when they were home or not, this place is sound proof it seems!
The kitchen is very well equipped & everything is in working order. The bathroom is great too with extra items in drawers such as insect repellant & sunscreen which helped. The bedroom was great too, with a large closet & many drawers, the king size bed was really comfy. The dining area/family room was very nice & well equipped. There are 2 tv’s which work but we actually never once turned them on, with the view there just wasn’t any interest in tv!! So about that view.... we’ve stayed in STJ in Coral Bay many times in the last 17 years & have never had such amazing views or such an expansive outdoor deck area. The breezes flowed constantly. We thoroughly enjoyed the deck space & watching the sky every day & night, we were there during a full moon & it was beyond mesmerizing. Every detail is well thought out here, from comfortable deck furnishings to solar lanterns to the beach chairs which were in excellent condition. I cannot say enough about how wonderful this stay was & how genuine, friendly & down to earth both Karen & Jeff are. We cannot wait to return!!!
We just returned from a 10-day stay at Joy of Life Villa and can't imagine having a better vacation. Joy of Life has the most amazing view, and it's worth rising early to enjoy the sunrise, which is different everyday. The constant sea breeze kept us comfortable at any time of the day or night. There's lots to do on St. John, but we were just as happy to hang out on the deck enjoying the sun, the breeze, and the view. Karen and Jeff were perfect hosts--friendly and fun to talk to, with great suggestions of their favorite things to do and see on the island, but also happy to step back and leave us to design our own vacation. We loved being on the quiet side of the island, but the drive along North Shore Road into Cruz Bay is as pretty as any place we've been in the Caribbean. You have your pick of beaches and lots of hiking trails that were just the right length! Of course there is evident damage from the hurricanes, but the green has come back and the amazing blues of the Caribbean waters never left. We were hesitant to visit St. John so soon after the storms, but we have no regrets!
Gorgeous Pamoramic View
My husband and I spent a full nine days at Joy of Life and enjoyed every minute of it. There are many things that make this property special, starting with the view. From the deck relaxing in the very comfortable outdoor furniture, you can see 180 degrees overlooking beautiful Coral Bay, the incredible British Virgin Islands, and then out to sea. My husband and I have traveled to many of the Caribbean Islands and stayed in wonderful accommodations, and we both agreed that this view tops them all.
Karen and Jeff are amazing hosts who cater to your every need. They are also simply wonderful people! The people of Coral Bay are second to none. Everyone is so welcoming and happy that you are there…and you never feel like an outsider.
The house was perfect for our needs. We often find the interior furniture in many rental houses can be uncomfortable and this is not the case at Joy of Life. Whether there was rain, wanting to take a break from the sun, or a quiet evening inside, there is a very comfortable couch and chaise lounge to curl up on. The king size bed is also very comfortable. Finally, the kitchen is also well equipped if you want to skip the restaurants and cook…which we did on a few nights because the view was so gorgeous and they have a great quality new bbq.
Many restaurants are now open after the hurricanes and we enjoyed The Terrace and Extra Virgin Bistro in Cruz Bay as well Margarita Phil’s, a new Mexican restaurant, was fun with very good food and service. In Coral Bay, the new Wok on the Beach was very tasty and has a nice view. Oasis Beach Bar, also great food with a view…and be sure not to miss the banana pudding. Pickles was great for Breakfast and the open mic night with dinner was terrific! Finally, no visit to Coral Bay would be complete if you did not visit Skinny Legs…lots of fun and a real local experience with great local music.
Be sure to take in the hiking...especially Ram's Head Trail which is not far from the house and not to be missed.
As you can tell, we loved our time in St. John discovering all that it has to offer. This was our first visit…and yes you could tell that the island got a haircut from the hurricanes but the beauty remains and the beaches are still incredible.
I would highly recommend Joy of Life and St. John to all of our friends and family…and to you!
Jill and Daryl
Post Irma and Maria- Beautiful!!!
Irma and Maria could not destroy this island paradise's beauty. The water, the flowers, the mountains, the sand, the oceans, are still there and still amaze and awe us. So did Joy of Life Villa. Everything was perfect! The photos on the website are even more beautiful when you are setting on the deck every morning watching the sunrise show. Everything you need is there and if it isn't the owners, Karen and Jeff, will see that you have it. Worth the price and right now there are no crowds. Go Go Go
About 2/3 of St. John is Virgin Islands National Park, with world-class white sand beaches, snorkeling, and hiking through lush green forests overlooking the Caribbean and Atlantic seas. Don't miss the best snorkeling at Waterlemon Cay, the tranquil beach at Maho Bay and a hike to petroglyphs on the Reef Bay Trail. Or, just relax on our deck and let the day slide by watching the sailboats and stargazing on clear, tropical nights.