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by Jose Kevo
July 8, 2002
Estate Concordia Studios capture the magic and vistas of the area while providing all the creature comforts from home at an upscale, affordable level. There are eight units which come with fully equipped kitchens, furnishings and decorations, private bathrooms, and ceiling fans. They're somewhat larger than Maho's Harmony models and the expansive windows and french doors leading onto elevated deck patios create an uncontainable feeling of wide-open space from within.
The studios are perched hillside and centrally located around the registration/administration center which also contains a small general store. The swimming pool, laundry and pay phones are also in this area. Just as at Maho Bay, everything is connected by a wooden walkway and stairs system with directive markers placed along the railings. These also lead to the eco-tents and guests would be foolish not to amble around the bend as yes, the views can and do get even better than what's seen from decks!
As with the eco-tents, guests must have access to their own rental transportation for navigating about the island - including the 45-minute drive to/from Cruz Bay where you can easily pick-up all the necessary groceries and supplies. If you're looking to get out of an evening, the nearby settlement of Coral Bay is about a 10-minute drive away. However, the coastal road is dotted with restaurants and eateries.
There are two models of studios. Loft duplexes come with additional beds, a second bathroom and can sleep up to six people. Their decks are wrap-around and all have ocean views. They're priced at $190 per night double occupancy during the winter season with additional guests paying $25, or $150 during the summer season with additional guests pay $15. If splitting the cost 6 ways during the off-season, that's $35 a night; too good to pass up!
Studios can accommodate three people and are $135/$150 double occupancy with a partial or full ocean view during the winter. Rates drop to $95/$125 during the summer season. Additional guests also each pay $25/$15 per night.
From journal Keeping The Island Virgin At Maho Bay
Their basic lay-out design is the same with a combined kitchen/sitting room with futon, ground floor bedroom and deck. Where they differ is these eco-tents include a small loft that can sleep two additional people, and each unit comes with its own bathroom facilities including a composting toilet and hand-pump shower using stored rain water. Electricity is wind and solar driven.
An added twist - guests are encouraged to throw food scraps and biodegradable waste off the decks for the volunteer maintenance crew; a variety of crabs who faithfully patrol the hillside.
With such success and interest of these fully self-sustaining lodgings, it presents endless possibilities for future development of the 90-some cays (pranced keys) which make up the Virgin Islands since they're basically uninhabitable from the lack of water and utilities. Take time to have one of the staff fully explain the ecological features and show you what's working hard below while you're relaxing above.
Concordia Estate's terrain is much more arid. And with the lack of dense vegetation, guests will have clear views along the coast leading up to Ram Head point and overlooking Salt Pond Bay; one of the best snorkeling sites on the island. Strangely enough, the entire area had a "Cape Cod" feel to it, but there was no denying "Caribbean", or that this was ideal for a romantic, uninterrupted get-away.
Guests have access to the main but limited facilities at adjoining Concordia Studios including swimming pool, laundry, pay phones and a small general store. There are no rentals of snorkel gear and other water sports equipment, or organized activities which enhance the private, secluded feeling. Concordia guests will also need to have their own rental transportation for navigating about the island.
There are currently 12 eco-tents with plans to build more thanks to popularity. They rent for $110-$120 a night double occupancy during the winter season with prices rising by $10 for the month of February. Rates are $85 during the summer season. Additional guests are $25 for winter and $15 for summer.