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All reviews captain nick great hosts fish rum punch reef view apartments local community english harbour their lives local food outdoor shower lovely balcony pots and pans minute drive roti stingray city all inclusive hotel pineapple
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Reviewed 18 March 2017

Karoll was an excellent host and resource on our trip to Antigua. She was our second host on the island from March 4-8. She welcomed us heartily with a rum punch and lots of know-how on Antigua. We already had researched the island beforehand and wanted to see as much as possible during a weeklong visit and Karoll provided insider information for example we had already booked 2 excursions (one of which was Karoll's suggestion via e-mail before the trip) and she talked about a day-long excursion to "Bird island" which she had herself attended various times. Or when she recommended a local restaurant and reserved us a spot so we could be serenaded by a local, Antiguan band. She backed all her knowledge up with maps and brochures. The security deposit really does make sense if you are planning to book with her but you don't know what it's for. She's had damages before that didn't get paid for and when you do find yourself booking an extra excursion or something similar she can take it off from the security deposit. She also advises her guests to use a filtered water fountain she supplies for Antigua does not recycle and that can also be taken from the security deposit.
We stayed in the "Unique Seaview beach loft cottage". The english cottage style, on an island, in the middle of self-built jungle, appealed to us immediately. The detail in decorations such as island themed artwork made the stay comfortable. She also supplied sun screen, bug spray and toiletries. We didn't use them because we brought our own but that just shows what kind of considerate and foresightful host Karoll is. What really impressed us also was the water hose and bucket outside that served as a feet cleaning service to not carry sand into the houses. We had come from another airbnb before our stay with Karoll and noticed quickly that the sand was soon everywhere so this was a neat feature of the airbnb. The roofed, outdoor shower (aka "Loveshack"), the tiny house-feel, and the comfortable accommodations really made us fall in love with the cottage.
We had the pleasure to get to know Karoll personally a bit due to her outgoing nature. She has a clothes line on her property and hanging up wet clothes together can spark up a conversation. On the second night we also got to meet other guests that had stayed with Karoll several times over the years and Karol and Nick invited us to join in, enjoy drinks&each other's company.
We hope we have eliminated any doubt about staying with Karoll&Nick at St.Mary's. Really we couldn't have asked for a better host. And if we return to Antigua we'd love to stay with them again.

  • Stayed: March 2017, travelled as a couple
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Thank smithas423
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 March 2017

What a nice place to stay! The apartment has all what you need for a good holiday and the hosts - Karoll and Nick - are very helpfull in any way to make the stay really pleasant.The guesthouse is situated in a local community - a good thing - with a fine local restaurant at Chubby's and still rather close to some of the wonderful beaches on the island - to reach by car or local busses. You can buy local produced food at roadside shacks, especially on saturdays, where there also is a ecological market at nearby Jolly Harbour. We enjoyed our stay very much and will be happy to return another time.

  • Stayed: February 2017, travelled as a couple
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Thank sjhus92
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 March 2017

A good friend and I spent 8 wonderful rest and recovery days in mid-February at Reefview after leaving our jobs of many years. We stayed four nights each in the cottage and the garden apartment and loved both: The cottage has a wonderful breeze, comfortable beds, a fabulous outdoor shower surrounded with bougainvillea, and a secluded deck for morning coffee. The garden apartment is more spacious with a nice porch, games and books, but we missed the outdoor shower! For coffee snobs like myself, the cottage has a coffee grinder--usually missing in rental locations in my experience--but the apartment does not.

While we were initially dreaming of finding a place where we could roll out of bed and walk three steps to the water, that isn't really possible in Antigua unless you're in an all-inclusive hotel, which we were not interested in. Reefview is the next best thing--a 5 minute walk from a private beach which is great for lounging on, a little less great for swimming (it's quite shallow for a long way out) and good for snorkeling if you can make it through the many sea urchins and crowded sea floor (water shoes are a must for this beach, not really needed elsewhere we went). We ended up standing in the water to watch the sunset many nights and were joined by egrets and other birds who were searching for their evening meal--beautiful!

The location on the island is wonderful--close to gorgeous white sand beaches (1 mile or 10 min by local bus, including waiting for one to arrive), perfect westerly views of sunsets every evening (each was slightly different and gorgeous in its own way), and not too far from Jolly Harbour where snorkeling or other boat trips often start (on the local bus it probably took us 15-20 mins to get to Jolly Harbour, including waiting for one to arrive). Urlings (where Reefview is located) is on the opposite tip of the island from the airport, but Karoll was kind enough to pick us up on arrival and make everything easy, including an initial grocery shopping stop. While the idea of using local buses was initially intimidating, it was super easy, inexpensive, and everyone was very nice and helpful. I definitely recommend it!

This is not your typical tourist vacation spot, as you're located on the edge of a village rather than in an all-inclusive hotel -- which made it absolutely wonderful. If you're looking for lots of shopping, lots of other guests, food at your fingertips, this may not be the place for you. But if you're ready for a quiet, private and extremely beautiful spot where you can support the local businesses, gain an appreciation for the marine and wildlife on the island (from Karoll's and Nick's encyclopedic knowledge about it), and still easily reach restaurants or music spots (especially if you rent a car), this is your place.

The lot (which includes Karoll and Nick's house, the two-story apartment building and the cottage) is compact but filled with tropical plants and flowers, shells and whimsy, and gives the feeling of being in the middle of a totally private garden. Karoll's decorating touch matches my aesthetic perfectly, and everything we looked for was available (even in the small cottage, which had a remarkably well-appointed kitchen.) Karoll's help booking tables at restaurants, giving tips for everything from how to catch up-and-coming music stars to how to reach English Harbour by local bus, and her friendly conversation were an added bonus and made us feel perfectly at home and prepared for everything we wanted to try. I've been to Antigua before and stayed at Jolly Beach, near English Harbour and in Dickinson's Bay but this location and experience were far superior to any of those because of the personal touch.

I hope we'll be back before too long!!

Room Tip: The penthouse apartment likely has the best view, the cottage probably wouldn't work well for more than 2 people.
  • Stayed: February 2017, travelled with friends
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2  Thank CharlotteCarrboro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 February 2017

We are a family of 4 and have just spent a week at Karoll and Nick's little piece of paradise. From the moment we arrived we felt part of the family. Both were gracious and charming hosts and nothing was too much trouble. They are wonderful conservationalists and are passionate about the flora and fauna of the island, their garden and menagerie of rescue animals. Karol, our destination management specialist knew every restaurant, beach and local character. She is a wealth of experience and information about everything on the island and her mission is for you to get the most out of your time on the island. Never intrusive, caring and forever thoughtful, let her guide you....you will not regret it. She offers a most discerning concierge experience and we enjoyed all her recommendations. We have a combined 50 year experience in tourism and appreciate her service. Thank you.

Room Tip: Cottage for rustic charm, apartments for views and space
  • Stayed: February 2017, travelled with family
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2  Thank GaylieMac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 February 2017

My friend and I stayed 8 nights at Nick and Karoll's -- first in the cottage and then in the first floor apartment. Both were charming in their own ways, and we enjoyed them both. The cottage would be perfect for a couple but worked well for us too, with the extra bed Karoll set up upstairs, a cozy but well-appointed kitchen, the delightful private garden spot for coffee, the outdoor shower. Some travelers might want to know that only a curtain separates the bathroom from the kitchen - not a problem for us. A family of four was happily settled in when we left. The apartment was also delightful -- lots of light, nicely decorated, great kitchen, porch where the resident cats and dogs often joined us for coffee. It is also stocked with tons of games and books for both pleasure reading and learning about Antigua's history, flora, fauna, etc. On that front, Karoll and Nick also provide a wealth of information, as well as great insiders' tips on where to go and what to do, including to avoid running into crowds from cruise ships that show up almost daily in St John's.

The apartments are within view of the sea and a short walk to a private, west-facing beach -- fantastic views of Montserrat and the sunset. We snorkeled a little from that beach, but it wasn't the best for that or swimming -- very shallow and tricky to get out to where it's deep enough to snorkel (lots of sea urchins and coral -- good water shoes are a must). But it was great for lounging and reading, and I think if we'd walked just a little farther down the beach, the snorkeling would have been better. This wasn't a problem at all, though, as we easily explored several western beaches using local transport (buses that you flag down on the main road). Each had a slightly different character. It's hard to pick a favorite. Some travelers might prefer to have a car to explore more widely, but we did just fine, including a day spent at English Harbour, all on local transport. None of the beaches we visited was good for snorkeling - you need to get on a boat to get to Cades Reef and other good spots. We did that twice and loved it.

Also very near the apartments is a not-to-be-missed local restaurant, Chappy's, where we ate (and drank the good local beer) several times -- great fresh seafood and good company. Food and drink on Antigua is generally pretty pricy (given that everything needs to be flown in), but Chappy's was definitely not. We cooked at home several nights but also enjoyed good meals, snacks and cocktails (including the ubiquitous rum punch - yum) at Jacquie O's, OJ's, Catherine's Cafe at Pigeon Beach, others. Maybe the best meal was the lobster grilled on the beach during our snorkeling adventure with Creole Cruises. I want another of those right now. :)

Karoll and Nick were fantastic hosts, fun and as helpful as could be, including picking us up from the airport and taking us to the big grocery story in St John's to stock up; giving us all the information we could want on options for expeditions, and arranging them; checking in frequently to see if we needed anything; even sharing a final sunset cocktail on the roof of their own house. Antigua is clearly very special to them, and their love of this beautiful place was infectious! We are grateful to have had this unique experience, at a price that was much more affordable than seems to be usual for Antigua. There's a good chance we'll be back -- lots more to explore and do that we didn't get to.

Room Tip: It's probably good to be forewarned that the cottage is quite cozy, but charming.
  • Stayed: February 2017, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Merrill W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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