Today’s story is near and dear to my heart, and one that I have been eager to share with you for quite some time. Today I’d like to introduce you to Bogie’s Villa.
Over the past two years, I’ve been asked quite often about my experience during Hurricane Irma. People are curious where I hunkered down, who I was with and, obviously, how we fared. I haven’t shared much publicly, but today I have a bit of a story to tell.
I “hurricaned” (which is now a verb for many of us) with four of my very best friends. I was with my boyfriend Mike, and three of our friends – Chris and Shawna Dudek (owners of St. John Car Rental) and Basil Bsisu. Basil owns Bogie’s Villa with his wife KC. The five of us and five dogs hunkered down in a lower level studio apartment at Chris and Shawna’s home. It was built like a concrete bunker. We had a few scares, but we were safe throughout the storm.
Basil and KC purchased Bogie’s Villa in July 2017, just two months before Hurricane Irma. At the time of their purchase, Bogie’s was a collection of long-term apartments that housed the former owner and a handful of residents. Basil and KC chose to remain in their rented apartment down the street so not to displace any of the tenants. I remember how excited they were to become homeowners on St. John. And we were all so happy for them.
Then Hurricane Irma blew through.
The morning after Hurricane Irma was tense. Basil, Mike and I did not immediately know how our homes fared. Once we determined it was safe to leave the house and traverse the roads, Mike, Chris, Shawna and I set off on foot to town while Basil made the trek from Contant (the neighborhood above the basketball courts) all the way up Gifft Hill to check on his apartment and Bogie’s.
Mike and I were fortunate in that our apartment fared very well. Basil, we soon learned, lost nearly everything. Bogie’s was destroyed as was the apartment he and his wife KC lived in. We were all devastated. It’s hard to put into words how you feel when you watch someone you care about so deeply go through one of the toughest moments of his life. Heartbroken doesn’t quite describe it.
KC is a special woman. She is an amazing friend and an amazing wife. She’s resilient, and when she sets her mind to something, she gets it done. When the majority of the people on St. John were working to evacuate in the days following Irma, KC was doing everything she could to return to her home. (She happened to be off island visiting family when Irma hit.) And because of her strong will and tenacity, KC was able to get back to St. John one week later, with almost all the supplies Basil requested, despite the fact that our airport and seaports were closed.
KC and Basil spent the following 18 months working tirelessly with Mr. Gregson Simon to repair Bogie’s Villa. The damage was so severe that the US Virgin Island government used images of it in their television ads highlighting the disaster. KC and Basil have put their heart and soul into creating a comfortable space for both residents and guests. From doing a lot of the demo themselves, creating the design for Tektite, installing kitchen cabinets, and learning countless lessons from the pros, they wore a lot of hats throughout the rebuilding phase, and I am so happy to announce that they welcomed their first guests back in March.
Bogie’s Villa has been converted into four vacation rentals that span between two buildings. (KC and Basil live on site in a fifth unit, and another long-term couple occupies the sixth unit.) The location is great – right on Gifft Hill Road – and it’s an easy drive into town and also to the North Shore beaches. It’s a great location for exploring all St. John has to offer from Cruz Bay to Coral Bay and all the hiking and beaches in between. Bogie’s has been renovated top to bottom with lots of concrete, (so it’s strong as heck!), and it even has a brand new pool! And even better, due to it’s location atop Gifft Hill, you get spectacular sunset views from all rooms and from the pool. And you know me, I love a good sunset view!
Now just take a moment to picture yourself relaxing in a brand new pool with a spectacular sunset in the sky… It can happen over at Bogie’s!
As I mentioned, Bogie’s has four vacation rentals, all of which were named after some of St. John’s best dive sites. (Basil is also a dive instructor at Low Key Watersports and has been since he and KC moved to the island in 2015.)
French Cap, the penthouse, is situated on the highest point on property, and it provides the widest views directly across Pillsbury Sound over Thatch Cay to St. Thomas, and to the north all the way to Great Tobago. The unit has two bedrooms and one bathroom. It has a brand new kitchen, vaulted ceilings – which make it feel extra spacious – and an expansive, private deck. French Cap can be rented as a one or two bedroom unit.
Cow Rock is a two bedroom, two bath apartment and is the largest of all the units at Bogie’s Villa. It has a master king bedroom with ensuite, a queen bedroom with a separate bathroom, and A/C in the bedrooms. It also has a brand new kitchen and a fantastic, private deck. It’s an ideal space for a family or two couples.
Calf Rock studio has beautiful views directly across Pillsbury Sound over Thatch Cay to St. Thomas from the shared pool deck, or even as you lift your head in the morning.This large studio provides a queen bed, and a kitchenette complete with a full size refrigerator, hot plate, toaster oven and coffee maker. It’s perfect for a single person or a couple looking to relax. There is also a sofa and smart TV for streaming, and a high top table for dining.
Tektite studio is island tiny living at its finest. This well thought out studio, located on the pool deck, provides a custom queen storage bed, kitchenette and wet room-style bath. This small space is wonderful for a single person or close couple who are looking to get out and explore, but want a comfortable and clean space to lay their head at night. And like all the units at Bogie’s, guests have access to the shared pool, as well as poolside seating.
And for those of you interested in checking out the views from Bogie’s, they even have a webcam! You can see it out at www.bogiesvilla.com/webcam
Rates for Bogie’s Villa range from $100 to $350 a night and vary depending on unit and time of year. They’re currently offering discounted rates for October, so perhaps a last minute St. John vacation is in your future!
So the next time you’re looking for a vacation rental on St. John, please be sure to check out Bogie’s Villa. You can learn more and see additional pics at www.bogiesvilla.com. You can also follow them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bogiesvillas.