It’s hard to believe the holidays are right around the corner, right? I overheard someone say the other day that there are only eight Saturdays between now and Christmas Eve. CRAZY right? Well, if you’re like me, you are probably prone to scrambling at the last minute through all of the stresses of the holidays and not really enjoying it until it is over 🙂 But what if you could just escape the cooler temps with all of your friends or family for a luxurious escape to your favorite place in the world? That’s St. John, right? 🙂
What if, by doing so, you would also be contributing to multiple St. John non-profit organizations without spending an extra dollar outside of your accommodation costs? If you’re intrigued, then read on. Because the President of the Island Green Living Association, Harith Wickrema, is offering his incredible home, Eco Serendib Resort and Spa, for the holidays at a discount, exclusively to News of St. John readers. And he is donating 100% of the rental fees (minus taxes and service charges) to local organizations that are doing some good here on St. John…
Ok, so I want to give you a heads up on this before we dig into it. This is one of the most ultra-luxury villas on the island of St. John. It is not just a splendid place to rest your head at night.
No, no. Included in your stay (if you choose Service Tier Three) at this eco-friendly, yet opulent, villa that sleeps up to 16 guests is butler service, a welcome dinner, a farm to table breakfast each morning prepared with ingredients from the on-site garden, daily maid service AND five-star accommodations in an absolutely incredible home. So…it isn’t necessarily a bargain basement price range. But it is the absolute lap of luxury which, in my mind, definitely outweighs those at home holiday woes.
And, every penny you spend on your stay will be distributed among the following non-profit organizations while Harith doesn’t make a dime on your Christmas week rental of his villa.
Island Green Living- Harith is the President of this incredible organization that is single-handedly responsible for ALL of our recycling efforts on St. John (aluminum cans and #1, #2 and #5 plastics). Their aluminum can recycling program has collected more than 1.9 million cans and the ReSource Depot thrift shop has spared 700,000+ lbs. of valuable preowned building & household materials the fate of wasting away in the overflowing landfills, with sales proceeds going back to fund Island Green programs. Island Green Living is also the force behind the territory’s toxic sunscreen & plastic bag bans, Ban the Burn which was instrumental in the USVI being one of only three territories in the world to meet WHO’s air quality standards, among other green initiatives.
Gifft Hill School- Gifft Hill School offers our island community an inclusive, experiential education that sees each child as an individual and inspires each to excel. They support and challenge their students to approach complex problems resourcefully, to understand and advocate for the environment, and to honor the culture and history of Caribbean peoples. GHS graduates are resilient, caring community leaders at home and abroad.
Sing St. John- The mission of Sing St. John is to provide universally accessible singing for all on St. John, fostering cultural awareness, a meaningful sense of community and resilience. Each December their St. John Recovery Choir parades the streets of Cruz Bay and Coral Bay, singing Holiday Caroles and bringing joy to the community of residents and visitors. They will also perform a holiday concert this December in Franklin Powell Sr. Park near the ferry dock!
Love City Pan Dragons- The Pan Dragons are a steel orchestra with nearly thirty members ranging in age from six to seventy! They practice once a week under the instruction of Ikema Dyer, learning current and classic soca, reggae hits a few pop songs and some of Ikema’s original music. If you are visiting St. John and you hear the sweet sounds of the steel pans echoing through town, walk towards the music. This non-profit steel orchestra will always entertain and uplift!
Ok, so a bit more about Eco Serendib Villa and Spa…
This villa sets the standard for eco-friendly luxury, set high atop Point Rendezvous with sweeping views of the Caribbean Sea and the magnificent southern coast of St. John. The home offers eight, individually designed and elegantly appointed suites. Each of which holds the look and feel of a private estate. Energy-saving, green elements, including solar power, minimize the Villa’s carbon footprint without sacrificing the guest experience.
Pillow-top Sterns and Foster mattresses with 500 thread count sheets ensure an exquisite night’s sleep. But sleeping will be the last thing on your mind with all that there is to explore and enjoy at Eco Serendib. There are two gardens on the property, a Zen garden filled with orchids and a vegetable and herb garden.
Stroll through the Zen garden for a peaceful reprieve and fill your belly and your soul with fresh herbs and veggies from the St. John soil, just steps from the kitchen. A full-service spa on site will give you moments of bliss and relaxation and the Life Fitness Gym offers the opportunity to work off those extra holiday snacks.
An Epicurean Theater kitchen with professional grade appliances with seating for seven will allow you to witness the creation of great meals by a hired chef or the culinarian in your travel group. And the elegant dining table for 16 is absolutely surrounded by the sights of Fish Bay with Caribbean Blues as far as the eye can see while you enjoy your farm to table meals.
A spacious terrace with sweeping views hosts a pool, hot tub, barbeque, dining table and comfortable seating and lounging areas.
And, you can enjoy all of this over the holidays while also giving back to St. John. Win, win, right?
Ok, let’s get into the details. First, there are two tiers of service to opt for when booking Eco Serendib for either seven or ten nights. Service Tier Two includes the following:
- Eco Serendib signature arrival for group with pianist on the grand piano, lemongrass tea, champagne, hors d’oeuvres and cold towelettes to ease you after a long day of travel.
- Orientation- showing and demonstrating how things work in each of the rooms and the villa. the grand tour if you will 🙂
- Daily refresher maid service (making beds, cleaning the bathroom and emptying trash).
- Concierge service for activities, dining reservations and more is available upon request at no additional cost during pre-determined hours via telephone.
And Service Tier Three is as follows:
- “At your service” Butler style assistance: Professional staff available from 7am to 7pm each day.
- “At your service” includes:
- Meet and greet upon arrival at the villa
- Eco Serendib signature arrival (see above)
- Luggage placed in each room.
- Villa Orientation (see above)
- Snacks and beverages prepared for you from 7AM-7PM. (Provisioning costs additional)
- Pool towel and beverage service
- Twice daily maid service in common areas
- Complimentary morning coffee service
- Complimentary made-to-order gourmet breakfast, (no provisioning costs with this meal service under the VERY GREEN HOLIDAY promotion).
- Prepare & pack picnic lunch when needed (provisioning costs additional)
- Welcome Dinner with a professional chef (no provisioning costs no provisioning costs with this meal service under the VERY GREEN HOLIDAY promotion).
- Beach towels and beach chairs prepared
- Tidy dining table and kitchen in the morning and afternoon (lunch)
- Wash dishes and clean the kitchen sink
- Kitchen oven cleaned upon request or mid-week if used and needed
- Clean barbecue
- Pack pool toys and dry off pool towels each evening
- Personal laundry at the villa or coordinate two day laundry/dry cleaning service
- Coordinate grocery shopping/provisioning
- Organize daily maid service, evening turndown service
- Daily refresher maid service to include making beds, cleaning the bathroom, sweeping and mopping floors, emptying trash and general straightening.
- Your host, also known as assistant/butler/inn keeper (one staff member), will be available to you between the hours of 7 am – 12 pm and 2pm – 7 pm, and at other times via telephone. A go to person for all of your needs!
- Bell staff member available the day of arrival and departure for help with your luggage.
Talk about not having to lift a finger throughout your entire stay! Literally the only job you have during your time at Eco Serendib will be to relax on the beach, have a cocktail by the pool and enjoy some amazing meals without having to fight the restaurant holiday traffic. What a dream! To whoever of you books this package: Please take me with you 🙂
Alright, now the costs. The regular cost for Service Tier Two is $8,200 per night plus a 15% facility fee and 12.5% VI Hotel Tax. And the cost for Service Tier Three with ALL of the bells and whistles is $10,900 per night plus the above applicable fees and taxes. HOWEVER, the exclusive discount for News of St. John readers is $900 per night. Bringing those nightly costs down to $7,300 or $10,000 per night, respectively.
As mentioned above, I totally get that this may be out of many peoples’ price ranges and this deal is probably not for everyone (myself included 🙂 ). However, if eight couples (total 16 guest) were to indulge themselves in a Holiday retreat, the cost would only be $912.50 per night per couple (Tier Two) or $1,250 per night per couple (Tier Three). Which, as far as villa rentals on St. John during the holidays are concerned, this actually isn’t too bad! Especially considering the level of luxury and add-ons involved!
And everything you spend towards your stay, outside of the above-mentioned service fees and hotel taxes, will go back to the community of St. John instead of into someone’s bank account.
So, if you have been pondering a luxurious holiday escape with some friends and/or family this winter, act now! Eco Serendib Villa and Spa is available for either a minimum seven-night stay between December 11, 2022, and January 5, 2023. Take a closer look at the website for more details or contact Harith directly to book your stay via email or phone (215-620-8809). And don’t forget to mention News of St. John to get your $900 nightly discount for your holiday stay!
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