A House of Open Arms has a history of extremely satisfied and happy guests. Many have returned to visit again. I am grateful for the reviews my guests leave on TripAdvisor, and appreciate their kind words.
"Another satisfied customer - House of Open Arms is a wonderful choice in St. John"
My husband and I are repeat visitors to a House of Open Arms and just love the location on the quiet lovely Coral Bay side of the island, with its beautiful vistas, peacefulness, and well-appointed villa. Catherine Perry is a wonderful on-sight proprietor - helpful when questions or requests come up, but not in the least bit intrusive. HOOA is a great choice if you are looking for a compromise between the independence and privacy of renting your own place on and staying at an inn. Would strongly recommend.
"Look no further for your Luxury Villa in Paradise"
We just returned from an 8 night stay at A House of Open Arms. My husband and myself do alot of traveling and I am always looking for the very best of the best. I did find it in A House of Open Arms. Catherine is an absolute gem. From the time I made the reservation, she began helping us plan the perfect vacation. From sending me a fabulous book all about the island, to helping me receive a discount at a rental car agency, meeting us at the ferry and driving us to pick up our jeep. She then led us to the grocery store and then to the villa. I felt like I was truly in paradise after arriving. The view is honestly breathtaking!!! Catherine cooked us the best meal we had all week the first evening as a welcome gift after a long travel day. We ate the meal in candlelight on our private deck. She also provided homeade granola, milk, sugar, coffee, and orange juice for breakfast. The villa is even more beautiful that the pictures on her web-site. The villa was spotless and had everything needed for a extremely comfortable stay. Did I mention the private pool??? I hesitate speaking so fondly about the House of Open Arms, because I always want their to be a spot for us every year. But, I am so blessed that I found the reviews on this site, or I would have not found this perfect slice of heaven. Thanks again Catherine and we will see you next year!
I cannot say enough about our recent stay at House of Open Arms. Yes, St. John is a wonderful island but our House of Open Arms made it even better. My wife and I stayed in the villa and it was perfect! We are very picky when it comes to choosing accommodations when we travel and the villa was quaint, comfortable, clean - everything!
With this being our first visit to St. John, we were greatly appreciative of Catherine's help with beach ideas and directions around the island. She is a delightful host and is very accommodating. In addition, we were very pleased with our decision to stay on the Coral Bay side of the island.
I would highly recommend staying at the House of Open Arms and in fact are trying to plan a trip back!
"A House of Open Arms is aptly named"
We stayed at the villa the last week of January. Catherine is the consummate host. Her property is very special (as is she). Do not miss getting to know this lovely lady. 4 wheel drive is a necessity and well worth it to experience this lovely place.(tho we always rent 4 wheel on St John). Road to villa is bumpy but we laughd every time. The moon was full the first few nights and we enjoyed our first night dinner she made for us in the candlelight and moonlight. This is the place to rejuvenate your relationship with your significant other and simply relax and enjoy the sounds of the water below, the birds that will prompt you to feed them the sugar, incredible sunrises,and a view that doesn't stop. This is as good as it gets on St John. Catherine is available to answer any questions or help you learn more about the island, yet you are not aware of her being on property unless you are looking for her. We love St John and plan to return...this is a place not to be missed.
"World's Best Innkeeper"
We had a lovely time at House of Open Arms. Catherine Perry is a wonderful human being -- smart, insightful, caring and also a good business woman who looks out for her property and guests in unusually devoted ways. We rented the villa (rather than the cottage) and were very pleased by the phenomenal view, the quality of the furnishings, the hummingbirds and banana keets in our little private garden, the privacy etc. And on top of it all, Catherine gives watercolor lessons (and is talented as both a teacher and an artist). She knows massage therapists and private chefs and the best restaurants, beaches, snorkels....
The road to the villa is a bit difficult - as many in St John are. So this is not a place for the elderly or faint-of-heart. But, if you are not in those categories and want a chance to simply feel great about being alive in this world, House of Open Arms is for you!
My husband and I had the amazing opportunity to stay at A House of Open Arms for our honeymoon. As I read other reviews, I feel like there is no way to express how helpful Catherine has been or how amazing her place truly is. Catherine sent us a huge book on St. John before we made the trip, which we used every day while on the island. It led to some of our favorite snorkels and hikes of our trip. Catherine gave us good advice on where to rent a jeep (you will need one if you plan on getting to a lot of snorkeling places and A House of Open Arms). The people at the rental company were so helpful and kind. Catherine met us at the ferry dock with big hugs for both of us. She led us through town to get us settled. She was always willing to give advice or tell us more about great opportunities on the island. At the same time, we felt like we had a lot of privacy in the cottage/on the property. The dinner she made us on the first day was fresh, local, and amazing. You will be spoiled!
The cottage has everything you need (we ate all breakfasts there, made sack lunches, and cooked most dinners on the grill). She's supplied you with pots, pans, dishes, a toaster, a blender (we loved this), napkins, basic fridge stuff, WONDERFUL granola, coffee, and a great cooking area (see our pictures...there is a fridge inside the cottage). We sat and ate all of our breakfasts and dinners out on the porch listening to the waves and birds. Catherine has really thought of everything and has a great selection of books, music, bug stuff (though we did not experience ANY bugs), fans, and basic bathroom items for you. We loved that the whole cottage and property was off the grid and ran off of solar energy (she mentioned that she was going to go on the grid this summer just for certain days). We did our best to live with a minimum impact as we were there, which supports the lifestyle we have at home. The whole island is beautiful and we cannot wait to go back.
We told Catherine we would tell all of our friends about her place and we will continue to do so! We've stayed at a lot of homes on vacation, but this truly was one of the best. We just hope you don't end up taking our days when we make the trip back!
"The Best Part of Our Vacation"
After a couple of tries to get to a House of Open Arms, we finally made it, and WOW, what a vacation! This was by far the most fun we ever had on a vacation! The best part of our trip was staying at Catherine's paradise, A House of Open Arms' cottage. It is precious to say the least. We ate out only one meal; the rest made our meals on the grill and eating by candlelight every night or by sunrise each morning. We are in our mid 50's and although the driveway was a bit of a challenge (as another reviewer stated), it gives me incentive to get myself in shape for our return trip. Yes, we will be back. The road into Catherine's place is what made it so much fun, bouncing up and down, running into the neighborhood donkey or two, and then settling in for the night only to be lulled to sleep by the crickets, frogs, and night birds - I LOVED EVERY MINUTE WE WERE THERE!
YOU HAVE TO TRY THIS PLACE. Catherine is such a genuine, caring, and lovely lady. You can tell she truly wants nothing but the best for you and to make your vacation all that you have dreamed it would be. Oh, one more mention would be the welcome dinner - It was the best meal of our trip. She leaves you with homemade granola, coffee, milk, orange juice, all the soaps and bath items you would need for your stay. She would always ask us if we needed anything for our cottage, and would always ask us how our day went. To sum this trip up would be easy, PERFECT. ABSOLUTELY PERFECT!
"Moon Risings, Intimiate Spaces, Wonderful Smells: The Cottage is the Romance Capital of the Island"
My partner and I stayed in the Cottage and determined that it is, by far, the most romantic and sensual place we could have ever stayed. The porch opens up over the mountain and the ocean is vast and reaching before you. The outdoor shower is a rare experience and ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL. Beautifully built, with so much attention to detail in every aspect of the cottage, including the scents of the candles and soaps and shampoos....
Preparing food outdoors on a grill: what a "welcome" to the day...and at night...you must listen to the mountain at night!!! This place is magic, full of song and brimming with care and love. Catherine's garden is stunning! And the MOON RISES right in front of you every night!!!! Over the water and mountains! And THAT is an unbelievable gift every time. Thank you for a spectacular stay!
"Immensely enjoyable. Gracious host."
Catherine is the sole owner and proprietor of this meticulously-run establishment. She began building this delightful gem in 2003 and lives as a resident artist in the studio perched at the top-most level of the structure. Should you choose to visit and experience the work of her heart and hands, you will enter into a space that is truly a labor of love.
Indeed, I think her motivations are about as pure as any human might hope to entertain. Her outlook and faith are based on a foundation of Christian values and in a deep belief in a world created in mercy and grace, hope and love. She possesses a caretaker’s heart and welcomes all guests in a spirit of genuine hospitality as she opens her home to both the weary and the adventurous.
The views and the gentle quiet are real. The breezes and sounds are calming and unadulterated. Civilization lives nearby but is entirely unobtrusive unless a few rooftops in the distance mar your idea of a getaway. Décor is near perfect, highlighted with examples of her handmade sconces and watercolor art. It’s a solar-powered eco-haven that I find particularly satisfying.
I am presently writing on my laptop from the Cottage studio at the bottom of this trio of residences, so you are hearing about Open Arms as I experience it. It is a warm morning in the August sun, but here under the shade of the roof, the breezes are cool and refreshing. The lack of an air conditioner seems to be of no consequence. The hideaway is completely stocked and some initial complementary wine and grub was generously provided. Small stores are a few minutes away.
Of course the beaches on St. John are well-known and still spectacular. Crowds or isolation are both available depending on day and time. Hikes and the park are well worth the trip, but the real treat is right out your back door. Meals at sunset and conversation muffled by birds and surf and moving air are exquisite. The natural setting helps me reconnect with things I have long since forgotten or have taken for granted. Of special note, the outdoor shower is plenty private and allows views from a beautifully designed stone enclosure while enjoying the sun and fresh air as you towel off. Taking a few moments to relish in this particular activity has made this stay uniquely freeing and has lightened my load a bit more each time I wash unnecessary cares away and allow them to drift off into the wind and out to sea.
I know in your search for a getaway you will weigh the unseen against your hope for finding something beyond your expectations. You are reading these reviews in your attempt to improve your odds. Please then be assured that this home and the person who breathes life into it embody the essence you are seeking. I do encourage you to support her in this endeavor and to take a chance at discovering a new secret sanctuary while it still exists. I highly recommend this one.
"Believe what you have read!!!"
Because this is such a wonderful special place to stay, with the most kind caring and thoughtful lady Catherine taking care of her beautiful properties- don't delay - BOOK !!!
Catherine helped us above and beyond the call of duty when my husband lost his driving license!!! Also this honest lady posted our i pod station back to us when we left it behind - we hadnt even realised where we had left it!!!
Catherine had a dream and turned it into reality lets all hope she continues with her beautiful dreams
Thankyou for helping to make our honeymoon PERFECT!!!