The Estate Villa is an amazing property
St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
The Estate Villa has 10 bedrooms and can sleep 20 guests, or even 24 guests if you choose to use 4 single rollaway beds. Overlooking Charlotte Amalie and its harbor, and just a five-minute drive from town, The Estate Villa, in the early island days, was the gracious home of a U.S. Ambassador. Built in 1960, it has simple, historic charm.
Lots of outdoor space
Two separate houses, plus a two-bedroom cottage, are all surrounded by the expansive 1.6 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, including lofty mature trees such as mango, papaya, breadfruit, bamboo and towering palms. In the center of it all is the generous pool, complete with slide, outdoor shower, gas grill and a wet bar. A private tennis court is just down from the pool deck, and has a basketball net at one end to afford sports with a view!
Comfort & privacy
The wonderfully landscaped grounds provide a perfect environment for a private stroll. The Estate Villa is a stately, historic property, with lots of character and many island stories. It has been enjoyed by the Kennedys, Jimmy Carter, Harrison Ford and the Governor of the Virgin Islands, among others. Although the Estate Villa is comfortable rather than luxurious, with its grand island history, its spacious grounds, and lots of room for larger groups, bountiful amenities and many quaint and quiet nooks to enjoy, it is the perfect island getaway for families and groups, big or small.
All guests at the Estate will have complete use of both the Main House and Upper Villa (plus the Cottage, if your group totals 17 persons or more). The two houses include two full kitchens and lots of room for everyone's comfort and privacy. THE ESTATE VILLA IS ALSO AVAILABLE FOR WEDDINGS, PARTIES or LARGE GATHERINGS! (Note: maximum 100 guests at any wedding, reception, party or group gathering - this maximum will be strictly enforced).
Agents can be invaluable.
Using a Travel Agent
One huge advantage in choosing RentaVilla.com over other villa rental companies (yes, there are lots of them!) is that we are happy to work with your travel agent. This is because we know that these travel professionals provide an invaluable service to you, our clients. However, because this service is with no additional cost to you, we stipulate that we will work directly with your travel agent OR you, but not both. It can be frustrating and confusing to all concerned if your agent arranges a rental with us and then you call us directly with additional questions and requests. Let your agent do it all for you. That way you have the privilege of using the travel agent's expertise, our considerable knowledge of destinations and properties, and you have the simplicity of getting to work with only one person! They will be able to keep all the details straight and give you a full, complete itinerary before you travel. Meanwhile you are giving your business to a professional in your local community. What could be better?
If you don't have an ongoing relationship with a good travel agent yet, ask your friends for references and go and interview a couple of them. This person is likely joining your team for the rest of your life, and you need to make sure you love doing business with him or her! Ask them how they can help you put together your next vacation, what their expertise is, where they have personally traveled, and get to know them a little.
You may ask what a good travel agent can do for you:
First of all, they sit down and get to know you - your likes, dislikes, abilities, interests, budget, schedule, special needs, dreams and desires. Then they take this knowledge and work to match you with what they know – about travel! Look for someone who is energetic, reliable, and loves to travel themselves. They will be motivated to update their education about travel and all the latest changes to the industry. And they should be someone that you feel is a good communicator. That way you understand each other, and they get excited when they put a holiday together for you.
A good travel agent will book your flights, arrange ground transportation, book your villa, tours, car rental, supply maps and guides, travel tips, luggage tags, and more. They will even arrange special celebratory dinners, parties, meetings and the like. And if you have special need of equipment such as a wheelchair, bicycle, stroller, etc., just ask. They most likely have a contact that can provide just what you need when you need it.
If you're the kind of a person who loves to "surf the net" and has the time to do it, you may not want a travel agent. You may enjoy the itinerary planning so much you want to do it yourself. You're the person who decides to work directly with us. You can find all of our properties on our website, and then if you want to speak directly to someone who has seen the area and most likely the exact property you are looking at, give us a call. We're great people to talk to, and have all the details on each property at our fingertips. We're here for you and want you to have the time of your life!
Emmanuel and his niece.
Dear Travelers and Friends,
Thanks for the wonderful feedback you send us when you return from your trips. Your comments help us and the property owners maintain high standards and at the same time, work to improve the quality of our service to you.
On the European front, we are happy to see that many people are already booking for 2008, which promises to be another fabulous year for travel! For those who are planning to spend Christmas in the Tropics, now is your last chance to find that ideal villa.
Have a wonderful summer and keep on traveling!
Emmanuel de Ricard, President
Seattle on a beautiful summer evening.
Why not bring your family and spend a week or two in Seattle? There's so much to see and do, and when the weather is nice (July and August are best) it's one of the world's most beautiful cities! Nestled on Puget Sound and surrounded by mountains and lakes, the mild weather and ample moisture truly make it "The Emerald City". One of the friendliest places you can travel with kids, there's a wide variety of activities that the whole family will enjoy.
Choices include boat tours and ferry and float plane rides to adjacent islands, Indian longhouse exhibits with authentic salmon dinners, world-renowned Woodland Park Zoo, performing arts including Seattle Opera, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Seattle Symphony, as well as ongoing live stage productions. The Seattle Center, site of the 1964 World's Fair, is home to the Space Needle, Science Pavilion, Experience Music Project, International Fountain, The Children's Museum, and many other exhibits and activities. Discover the Ballard Locks where ships and pleasure boats move from the saltwater up into the lakes, and watch underwater as the salmon do the same. Pike Place Public Market is a bustling landmark to entice you with local crafts, art, fresh flowers, farmer's produce, and the famous "flying fish". Downtown shopping is fun and diverse. We're known for Starbuck's and microbreweries, so restaurants and pubs abound. For sports fans, the Mariners baseball, Seahawks football, and Supersonics basketball keep you entertained. The Floating Bridge, Bellevue, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle Aquarium, Pioneer Square, Museum of Aviation, and much more awaits you.
Mt. Rainier National Park
When you stay in a Seattle RentaVilla.com home, all this awaits you as well as beautiful Vancouver and Victoria, in nearby British Columbia, only two hours away. Mount Rainier stands tall in the Cascade Range, overlooking the city with breathtaking beauty and beckoning you to visit several nearby National Parks. For those who would like to travel in the U.S. this summer, bring your family to our hometown for a very special holiday!
The alluring Casa Sintra
Lisbon Coast, Portugal
You will be pleasantly delighted with this attractive two story contemporary home set in the peaceful, tranquil countryside only three kilometers from the charming town of Sintra. You will enjoy expansive views of the surrounding hills as you take advantage of the wonderful private swimming pool and tennis courts provided for your outdoor pleasure. Encircling the tennis courts are beautiful shrubbery and flowers which add to the romantic ambiance of the area. Also made available for the guests is a glassed barbecue area off the pool which leads to a game room. The home is very comfortably furnished, inviting you to relax and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere the area affords.
"Casa Sintra was LOVELY! The compound and the plantings were so well thought out with entertainment being top of mind. The rooms spacious with tasteful decor. The owner let us in and was delightful, gave us suggestions on restaurants, showed us the beaches and where to buy food. We didn't want to leave! It was a perfect home for teenagers as well as anyone who loves games (pool, tennis, foozball etc.). I would HIGHLY recommend this to your clients!) What a FABULOUS trip!"
- BC, San Diego, CA.
Doesn't everybody love chocolate?
Chocolate Belgian Waffles with Brandied Orange Syrup
Belgian waffles have a larger, more exaggerated honeycombed grid than standard waffles, which makes for a dramatic pooling of sweet syrups or sauces. Here is a chocolate version to be served with a warm Brandied Orange Syrup that is really special for after-theatre or after-movie dessert gatherings.
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ cup Dutch cocoa powder
1 Tbsp baking powder
6 Tbsp granulated sugar
pinch of salt
½ cup unsalted butter, melted
1 ¼ cups milk
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
Preheat the Belgian waffle iron to medium-high or according to manufacturer's instructions. In a bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, sugar and salt.
In another bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk or electric mixer until thick and foamy, about 2 minutes. Add the butter, milk, and vanilla extract. Add dry ingredients and beat until smooth, by hand. Do not overmix.
Brush the waffle iron grids with oil or melted butter. For each waffle pour about 2/3 to 1 cup of batter onto the grid, depending on the size of your iron. Close the lid and bake until the waffle is crisp and well browned, about 4 minutes. Remove from the iron with a fork to protect your fingers. Serve immediately, or cool completely on racks, store in plastic bags, and freeze for up to 2 months. When ready to use, heat in toaster.
Yields 6-8 waffles.
Brandied Orange Syrup
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup frozen orange juice concentrate
¼ cup water
¼ cup good quality brandy or cognac
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
In a medium saucepan, combine all the ingredients and bring to a boil, stirring with a whisk. Reduce for 1-2 minutes, or until thickened. Remove from heat. Serve warm or chilled. For a more pronounced brandy flavor, stir in an extra tablespoon before serving.
For a little laugh
This looks familiar!
Newsletter Editor: Kathy Hayes