TCI: Villa or Condo Recommendations?

Old May 6th, 2011, 11:22 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 18
TCI: Villa or Condo Recommendations?

We are narrowing down our choices for lodging in October on Provo. Thanks to those who have replied to my other post. We are now trying to decide whether to splurge for a beachfront resort, or save a little with a condo.

I would love some feedback from anyone who has stayed at or is familiar with:

South Fleetwood (where exactly is this located; how far is it really to the oceanfront; any other comments?)

Atlantic Ocean Beach Villas (how are the beaches in this area; do you know how far the four non-beachfront villas are from the beach; how long is the walk to the marina; are there any downsides to staying at this tail end section of Grace Bay like mosquitos from the canal or bad smells by the marina)?

Other villa/condos to recommend (that are in a moderate price range)?

We've also considered spending three nights at AOBV and then three nights at one of the Grace Bay resorts to get a bit of time and activities in both areas and save on a full week's car rental. Does this sound like a hassle, or like a good idea? We pack light, and I figured we could rent a car and do some island touring on the day we check out of one and into the other...
drand is offline  
Old May 6th, 2011, 12:57 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
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They're all on the same beach (goes for miles) but around Southfleetwood and AOBV the beach is rocky and not as nice as Grace Bay Road properties.

Give an actual budget, cause don't know what moderate price range means to you.
blamona is offline  
Old May 6th, 2011, 01:14 PM
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thanks - "moderate" means $200/night for non beach front, and $300 night for beachfront, or perhaps a little higher given there are so many promotions that time of year that would overall bring our 5 night stay down to those levels. For resorts I have found OCW, RWI, Sands and even Le Vele fitting into this category for beachfront, but thought I'd see if we could save a little with a villa or condo.

I know that AOBV is by the marina, but South Fleetwood seems to be between Seven Stars and Le Vele, although set back from beachfront.

thanks again!
drand is offline  
Old May 6th, 2011, 01:16 PM
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oops - south fleetwood btwn Le Vele and Villa Renaissance.
drand is offline  
Old May 7th, 2011, 01:32 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
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Please read our trip report for our TCI trip last July and we have pictures of South Fleetwood.

We stayed at South Fleetwood in their cottage, and had a great time. The grounds were well kept by their proprietors Kit and Colin, both transplanted Canadians. Would return in a heartbeat. Its in a central location, near restaurants, and the IGA in the resort district.

The property is about 50 yards from the beach and we found the beach front there very good, and not rocky at all. If too hot we will resort back to South Fleetwood's pool.

Don't forget to check out Taylor Bay!!!
foodiechan is offline  
Old May 7th, 2011, 05:18 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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aobv nonbf are approx 5 mins walk to beach. the beach is not as wide as by resorts but is still nice & you'll have lots of privacy. we stayed in their bf house. there is some rock & some sandy entrance to water. did not have any smells from marina. there may be more bugs by the canal. you'll want bug spray at dusk & dawn anyway.
walk to marina would be 15-20 mins. all flat.
once on the beach you'll be in 10-15 mins (go left) from the best walk in snorkeling on provo - smith's reef. go in where you see a rock carin on the beach - there is a narrow path through the iron shore. then swim our 50yds & to your left to large circle of reef. some is very shallow so be careful not to touch anything with fins. there is another mini reef just off shore to the right of your beachpath.
virginia is offline  
Old Jun 1st, 2011, 02:11 PM
Join Date: Oct 2006
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I know this is old but just wanted to add some comments about AOBV. Virginia helped me when I was deciding on AOB the first year I went (2009) and this year will be our third in a row staying at AOBV. In the past, we had always wanted to go to different islands and see new sites. After AOBV and TCI, we decided we found our special place.

In front of AOBV, there are NO rocks. It is all sand until you over your head (about where the grass starts). The shore starts to get rocky about a 5 minute walk west on the beach (about where Smith's Reef starts)

Many people like to go to the Bight Reef (up by Coral Gardens resort, half hour walk or 5 minute car ride) or to Smith's Reef (about 10 minute walk west). I prefer the reef straight out in front of AOBV. Excellent snorkeling. Another great reef no one snorkels is only a two minute walk east down the beach.

The beach is narrower, but still a lot of room considering that there might be a couple of other people on the beach at the same time.

The non-oceanfront villas are one house down and across the street (dirt road cul-de-sac) from the oceanfront units. There is a smooth stone pathway you take to the beach. If you have a rolling cooler, no problem. It may take five minutes to walk it, I think probably less. I would guess it is probably the same amount of time it would take to walk from a room at a resort to the beach.

AOBV has washer/dryer to help you pack even lighter.

No smell from marina. The canal is not marshy and I have not noticed any more bugs than elsewhere.

From the non-oceanfront villas, I would guess about 5 minutes to Turtle Cove, we walk it in less than 10 minutes from the oceanfront villas.

With cars as low as $40 a day from Grace Bay Car Rentals, I would get a car for the entire stay, regardless of lodging location. Just allows you to stay flexible and not plan each day ahead of time.

Mainly just wanted to clear up that in front of AOBV, the beach and swimming area is pure sand.
deacon1986 is offline  
Old Jun 2nd, 2011, 05:14 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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deacon1986, a couple questions re aobv - do you rent the whole house? if not which half did you rent? if others were in other part, did you feel like you had privacy? is there still a fence with gate to separate yard from beach? when others are renting other half how is the yard divided? where exactly is the stone path from nonbf houses to the beach? do they walk down your driveway? is the dolphin gate still in place?
i love this house & it's location! i too had that urge to go someplace different each trip - until the first time i saw windows/aobv. on first arrival i walked right out to the yard, through the gate & into the sea, clothes & all.
had i known it was for sale i might have tried very very hard to buy it (would've had to sell most everything - but so worth it - oh well i'll keep dreaming)
virginia is offline  
Old Jun 2nd, 2011, 05:58 PM
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 35
The canal does not contribute to bugs--it is a salt water canal that offshoots from Sellar's Pond.
lobomago is offline  
Old Jun 3rd, 2011, 01:58 PM
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Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 18
thank you deacon1986! I appreciate your thorough information. We ultimately decided to book our stay in a beachfront suite up on Grace Bay - decided that if we were flying all the way to "the most beautiful beach in the world" that I would want to see that beach from my balcony each morning and evening, especially not really knowing if this will be a once in a lifetime trip or not. I was really torn, because the studio suite at AOBV would have cost us about $100/night in October, which is a steal, and even with the good deal we got on Grace Bay it is still only 1/2 what we'll end up paying. The beachfront villa was not available at the time we are traveling. I am sure, though, that we will drive down there and check it out while there in October. Thanks again for all of the comments and help.
drand is offline  
Old Jun 6th, 2011, 02:13 PM
Join Date: Oct 2006
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Virginia, we travel with a large group and are taking up 3 of the 6 villas this year. In past years, we had just rented the oceanfront villas, top and bottom. Before they got the villas on the other side of the street, they split the back yard up right and left for the upstairs and downstairs oceanfront villas. Now, the entire back yard is open for any of the villas, but the deck and patio area are just for the oceanfront villas.

Privacy - first year, we were only ones and no villas across the street, so it was great. Last year, several people were in villas across the street. It did cut into privacy some. For example, we love to blare Jimmy Buffet and Kenny Chesney pretty loud. But in deference to other vacationers, we kept the volume down some. However, most of the other guests explored the island(s) often and we ended up being by ourselves most of the time. We do a little exploring on Provo but mainly just like sitting out in the sun, socializing and having a beer, or two, or three... It's a tough couple of weeks but we manage to push through. We also make friends with other guests and they would join our party. On privacy, I would put it somewhere between a resort and a true private villa.

To take the stone path, you cross the dirt road (oceanfront villas are across the street and one hosue down) and walk into the oceanfront villas driveway. Dolphin gates still there! As soon as you enter the driveway, the stone path is on the left and it meanders along the left side of the property all the way to the dunes. This also helps some on privacy since the non-oceanfront guests tend to take chairs on that side of the yard and we always hang out on the right side when facing the ocean.

There is no fence to separate yard from beach, so we end up sitting on the crest of the dune just behind the vegetation line. Excellent view, nice and sandy, good wind to stay cool but not getting hit with sand being blown like can happen as you move to the water, and very close to cooler, bathroom and shade as needed. (I still remember your description of the downstairs bathroom with an oceanview. That's the room my wife and I take)

We talk about hitting the lottery and buying down there. I vote for AOBV, my buddy likes Villa Paprika down the street. If we hit the super big $$$ lottery, I know a little house in Silly Creek for about $40 million

Drand, there's not a bad place on Grace Bay and I would want oceanfront also. You do need to come down to Turtle Cove area, mainly to snorkel and to check out AOBV. I think this area is a lot better than the Bight Reef. Bight is pretty good, but so many people go to it. Down here, you may be the only ones snorkeling. If you take Lower Bight Rd (easy to see on map you get from rental company), then right on Bridge Rd (if you come to the Tiki Hut entrance and the road curves left and up a hill, you went to far), then right on Coconut Rd (dirt rd in the middle of the curve on Bridge Rd, should be first rd once you cross the small bridge over the canal) you will pass the non-oceanfront AOBV units on the right (they are really nice) and then past AOBV oceanfront units on left (yellow columns with Blue Dolphin gate). The next house past AOBV has a public beach access that runs beside it. Park and walk to beach. On the beach, turn right and go several houses down towards the resort area. There is a house with a round yellow porch and white railings. Enter water there. About 20 yards out are a bunch of coral heads. (At low tide you can make out the coral heads). Fantastic snorkeling. The best part of starting here is that due to the trade winds I guess, the current generally runs east to west. After you check this area, drift down with the current, checking out the sea grass and if you're lucky, a turtle or conch or two. When you come to AOBV (Yellow two story house very close to the water, signs at top of dune saying this is AOBV) when facing the water, go to the left side of the AOBV property and then swim straight out. You'll cross over a grass patch and then another 20-30 yards, you'll start hitting coral. Really good coral heads again, we love this snorkel site. Oh, if do come out of the water to get your bearings while at AOBV, while satnding on the beach near the top of the dunes, if you look to the left, you'll see something like a big circle in the water. Lots of small coral here and excellent snorkeling again. After you pass over the circular area still heading west, you'll come to what I call Smith's Reef proper. Good reef, a little deeper than the others but not bad. Walk back to car, cross over bridge and turn right into turtle cove marina. Park, go into Sharkbites and have some refreshments at the bar. You can sit on the deck over the water. Does not get much better.

Five more weeks, we can't wait.
deacon1986 is offline  
Old Jun 6th, 2011, 05:30 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 5,765
just taking a stab that this is the silly creek house you want
i'll split it with you 8-)

thanks tons for all the details re aobv!! by chance is a lady named Caridad still the housekeeper?

haha i can't tell you how many days we had plans that devolved into beachsitting, socializing & in our case a jello shot or 6.
virginia is offline  
Old Jun 6th, 2011, 06:02 PM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 8
That's the one, complete with its own drawbridge. When we first saw it from the main road in Chalk Sound area, we thought it was a resort.

Luz is the housekeeper now. Not sure when she started, but she is the only one since we have been renting. She is very good and one of the reasons we like going to AOBV so much. As far as I know, she lives on site in the villas across the street. That's great having instant access in case there was ever a problem.
deacon1986 is offline  
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