The Beach Estate Guest Comments

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Dear Debbie and Don,

Brent and I have been back in California for one week now, but we’re still basking in the glow of our wonderful Saint John vacation thanks to you two lovely people. This trip was our sixth vacation on Saint John, in celebration of our 35th wedding anniversary, and it was by far the best experience that we’ve ever had on the island. Brent and I both agree that staying in your lovely villas made all of the difference. I know that I told you that this past year had been a very difficult one due to my father’s struggle with several devastating health issues and his ultimate passing. Brent and I were both very close to my dad. The soothingly beautiful environments that you’ve created at each of the villas where we were able to stay, particularly at the Beach Estate, gently rejuvenated our entire beings. It’s difficult to put into words how blessed we both feel to have been able to have this special vacation experience. We also want to also thank you for your gracious manner and how welcome you made us feel by sharing personal time with us. You are truly exceptional people.

Even though we’re back at home, we’re both delighted that we’ve continued to bring some of your artistry home with us and are excitedly awaiting the shipment of the sconces that we purchased from your studio. Brent also wanted me to let you know of the impact that you’ve had on him in the area of landscape design. This past week he has been enjoying visiting local plant nurseries, making purchases, and then artistically placing the lovely plants around the exterior and interior of our home in “Donald Schnell style.”

We hope to see you again in the future. Until we meet again, we wish you many blessings.

Sheila & Brent Carlson

P.S. Please thank Frank, Abby, and Eric for their wonderful care of us and their part in making our time on Saint John so special.


Mr. and Mrs. Schnell,

We can't thank you enough for everything that you've done for us and for our friends. None of us can stop talking about what a phenomenal time we had in St. John. Chris and I were really beginning to wonder if a wedding was ever going to materialize, and then to end up getting married in paradise surrounded by our best friends is still amazing to us! This was a trip that can never be topped. We just celebrated our one month anniversary drinking champagne out of our new glasses, too. New Orleans is home and its nice to be back but we definitely feel that we left a piece of our heart in St. John. Thanks again for the kindness and hospitality that you showed us and we hope that we can make it back there soon.

Lisa and Chris D'Antoni Beach Estate/Beach Villa 12/8/07 to 12/21/07


We wanted to thank you for such a great place to stay. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves at the house and St. John is a great place. We will be back someday for sure...

...Again thanks for everything. Eric was very helpful and we greatly appreciated your assistance in getting us the car, reservations to Virgin Gorda, taxis, etc. It was a pleasure dealing with "real" people rather than some rental outfit. We will be sure and recommend your properties when we can.

It is a tough Monday coming back to work -- cold and gloomy here. I keep thinking of the sand and water and the great balcony view we had.

Patty and Jeff Buhr


To Don and his staff:

As we look at our pictures of the Beach Estate, we're trying to plan a family vacation as soon as we can all get together. Our trip was fantastic - and your Web Site needs to be nominated for beauty in locations. It certainly portrayed exactly how our Villa was. We had been cautioned to be a little wary of Internet locales and had even heard a few scary stories from acquaintances. We had nothing to worry about, the villa accommodations and surroundings were displayed beautifully in actuality as well as on the site. Again, we are certainly looking forward to a return visit.

P. S. - The dock at the water looks gorgeous and a great place for morning coffee.

Sharon and Ed Neckel


Hello to all (Donald, Deborah, Kevin, Eric and staff)!

We returned last week end to the cold and snowy wilds of Vermont! OH how we miss those wonderfully warm days on your beautiful island!!! It is indeed a beautiful place to be! We also would like to thank you all for the wonderful hospitality and accommodations! From the prearranging to the personal service at the ferry with Kevin, Eric signing us in, and Deborah's warm welcome to the island! And of course Donald's calls, visits and assistance with dinner reservations!!! It made everything seem so personalized!

We loved the villa! We felt that we were in heaven with the tastefully decorated rooms, the little extras (we love having the beach chairs there), the view of the harbor and St Thomas at night- and oh yes- not to forget our friends the iguana!!! St John is a definite return!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

With our teaching positions and our daughter starting grad school next year- we will not be returning next year- but we really want to return the year after! It was Jim and my 50th birthdays and what a way to go! We told Peter that we need to return in 2 years for his 50th!!!!! We enjoyed the beaches, swimming, snorkeling, restaurants and food and the whole atmosphere of the island! It was nice to be in Cruz Bay and then to return to the solitude of the villa!

The vehicle was also great and nice to have arranged ahead of time- thanks for that as well! Mongoose Junction was so tastefully done and we enjoyed visiting your studio, having breakfast there a few times and of course browsing and shopping! We went on a sunset cruise and had a great ride with Captain Rusty!!! We did have a wonderful sunset that night!!! So fortunate!

The trip to Jost Van Dyke, visit to Foxy's and the Soggy Dollar bar was also a treat! Snorkeling near Sandy Spit was beautiful. That was a great tour for the day! The best snorkeling was at Salt water Pond- we drove out there twice! It was my first time snorkeling and how incredible!

Pam and Peter have travel to many places from Hawaii, Tahiti, The southern islands of the Caribbean, Bermuda and Costa Rica and they said this was probably the best for water, the fish, coral and sea turtles!!!!

You and your island have so much to offer- you are so fortunate to live in a little peace of heaven! Enjoy! And please keep in touch from time to time! This was an experience that is now an embrazened memory. And yes we have wall paper on our computer of the picture that you had on the web inside the dining room looking out - so that we can be there any time that we want to - at least visually! Take care and many thanks again!!!

Charlotte, Jim, Peter and Pam


My husband and I were fortunate to have stayed at the Beach Estate for 12 days when we were married on St John. Our experience was first rate in every possible way. Donald was calm and helpful throughout the reservation and travel process, and facilitated a more relaxed trip. The villa is first rate, and we are presently trying to plan a trip back for our upcoming fifth anniversary. We do stateside vacation rentals a couple times a year, but none compare to our St John stay. Maybe I can take one of his FABULOUS art lamps home this time :-)
Thanks for everything,
The McCaulleys


Dear Donald and Deborah,
I cannot express in words the beauty of your villa. The veiw,the decor,and the location was perfect!!!! I felt like I was at home instead of at a hotel. Having traveled almost all of the Caribbean islands,St John is still my favorite.Now I have a new favorite on St. John, The Beach Estate. I will be back. Donald, thank you so much for the bottle of Vino Nobile from Avignonesi.That is true hospitality. This is a definite 5 star villa. Donald's astistic essence is revealed throughout his villa.The detail is amazing. I wish I was still there.



Dear Donald and Deborah,

We had the pleasure of staying at the Beach Estate for 11 nights and words cannot explain the beauty of the house and the property. When we (group of 8) arrived at the Estate we could not believe our eyes. The house was more than what we expected. The pictures posted do not fully capture just how beautiful the Estate is. I absolutely loved the landscaping lights (A Donald Schnell original) that lit up the property during the night. The views are absolutely amazing especially watching the sunset behind St. Thomas. I have stayed on St. John before and loved it, but staying at the Beach Estate made it a whole new experience and my love for St. John has grown even stronger.
We enjoyed lounging in the pool, snorkeling in the bay and taking little naps while listening to the water softly hit the shore. The hot tub during the evening hours with the beautifully lit landscaping was a perfect way to end the day.
Thank you for everything. There is not one thing that you could have done to make our stay better. You were so friendly and accommodating in so many ways. The champagne toast we all shared on our last night is unforgettable. Donald you truly made our stay feel personalized.
I am so glad that I made sure to make time to visit you at your studio. Your art is just amazing!
We hope to be able to take a trip to St. John next year and we would definitely stay at the Beach Estate again as I could not imagine a more beautiful place in the world.

Ron and Tracy Geils


Dear Donald,
It was very hard to leave paradise on Saturday. The house was gorgeous and laid out perfectly for us and our 5 adult children... we could retreat to the privacy of our upstairs suite in the evenings and leave the young folks to enjoy the rest of the house and grounds. The location was ideal and being able to snorkel and dive right from the beachfront at the house was incredible. The open design of the house was also very much to my liking... we had great breezes and with the fans were able to enjoy hearing the delightful night and water sounds without ever needing to turn on an AC.

Of course, all the stone, ceramic, tile, and wood work in the house made it a beautiful indoor setting, and one that flowed so naturally to the outside terraces, pools beachfront and water. It truly was the best of both worlds.

We've already had several requests for information about the house from friends who have seen the pictures we posted on our facebook.

Thank you for creating such a beautiful place- our family certainly felt thankful to be there together for Thanksgiving.



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Artistic Villas™ owned & created by famous St. John artist Donald Schnell
Contact us at 800 253-7107 or via email

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