Author: Buzz (---.triad.rr.com)
Date: 10-09-04 22:23
After spending a week at Zoni Beach House, I can say that it was one of the best vacations that I've had. ZBH sits on a small hill just above Zoni Beach, and has it's own private beach access. It's not close to town, but that's the reason to stay there. Just get a rental from Jerry's Jeeps, and you'll make it out there with little problem. When you finally arrive, you'll see what I mean. The beach itself is pristine, the only thing made by man are footprints in the sand. Flamenco Beach enjoys more publicity, but Zoni is far nicer, and with far fewer visitors. Most folks seemed to ride out, park in the lot, take a look, and leave. This gives you an almost private beach. There are folks that use it as a clothing optional beach because of this. There's plenty of room for those that wear and those that bare. My wife and I did a little of both, with no permanent damage.
ZBH has a kitchen, and you can cook most meals. It does lack an oven, but has a gas range with an attachable flat iron for grilling or frying (I used it to toast my buttered Pan de Agua in the mornings). There's a gas grill outside should you want to cook steaks, etc. If you aren't into cooking, and my wife and I weren't, it's not that far to drive back into town, perhaps 15-20 minutes tops. You are on the the other side of Culebra, but you're not isolated. After all, the island is only something like 4 miles wide by 8 miles long. I've had more problems getting to a restaurant from an interstate exit.
ZBH has a/c in one of the bedrooms, but we never used it. The trade winds that came through kept us cool enough. The water supply is a rain water cistern, and while I can't say for a fact that the tap water is perfectly safe, I did use it to brush my teeth, and make coffee, with no ill effects. Only the shower has hot water, but we really didn't need it for anything else. I usually didn't even use it when showering. If the idea of using rain water concerns you, consider this; the town of Dewey had no water for three days while we were on the island. We could flush the toilet, and perform personal hygiene without a hitch. You'll be given two gallons of drinking water when you arrive, if that runs out, just stop by Colmado Genisis on the way into town and grab a couple more. We only used two gallons of purified water during our week.
For other amenities, there's a small television with a VCR, and a few movies. I'd suggest that you check into renting at the local video store for a broader selection. Local television is limited to a PBS station from Saint Thomas, and a couple of channels from Puerto Rico that are in Spanish. If you really want to channel surf, this isn't the place. There are a few books on the shelf that you might find interesting, and I also suggest that you bring your own reading material. This is a superb place to read a book, I got through two that I'd had for months. If you still run out of things to read, check with the caretakers downstairs, they should have an ample supply. Beach towels and chairs are provided for your use, and there are chairs on the upstairs balcony should you prefer to remain at the house.
There isn't a direct telephone line into where the renters stay, but there is one downstairs, and there is almost always someone around to take a message. My wife and I used our cellular phone for what few calls that we made. There's a tower over on Saint Thomas that we could pick up for our Alltel service. We had good reception back to the mainland.
ZBH is a nice, and relaxing place to stay for a week. Trish and Chuck, the caretakers, live downstairs, and are wonderful. They can answer most questions that you'll have, and if they can't, they'll find someone that can.
Perhaps I can sum it up this way. Late one night I stood on the balcony and watched a cruise liner make the crossing over to Saint Thomas. I made a mental comparison of the type of vacation onboard versus what I was doing. The people on that cruise paid good money for what they thought was the Caribbean. My wife and I on the other hand lived it.