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Reviewed 2 December 2011

For my money, this may be the most relaxing place on Earth. I spent the better part of a week sleeping a few feet from the beach (camping), sharing stories with fellow travelers and making drinks at the honor bar. Paradise.

If it's service you're after, you've come to the wrong place. If it's pampering you're after, you've come to the wrong place. If you're after anything more than the simplest accommodations, you've come to the wrong place.

I camped and I think that is the way to do it. The cabins didn't look any nicer than my tent and were less private. We used the simple, shared kitchen (as well as dining out). That was great. Bathrooms were fine. Not sure I took a fresh water shower the whole time I was there.

The best part was the people. Not the hosts (I barely talked to Ivan), but the guests. Really interesting people. Great stories. Great sprits. Great hospitality. We all took turns playing bartender, telling stories and playing guitars. A dream.

Listen, a part of me is perfectly happily seeing this place get mediocre reviews. I want to keep it a secret. But I also want it to thrive, so I have to be honest: Ivan's is heaven on Earth for the right person. The people giving it negative views weren't a good match. That's fine. But don't blame it on Ivan's: it's one of the "real" places left in the world.

Room Tip: Camp. Bring you're own gear and head toward's Soggy's for some the best spots.
  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled with friends
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19  Thank thinkjeffthink
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 April 2011

Ivan's is the perfect place in paradise. A spot for anyone that love the peacefulness of life. The staff, rooms, food etc. Is excellent.
I've read some negative comments , but when I got there I found a totally different atmosphere. With all the distractions in life, Ivan's is totally the place to stay on Jost.

  • Stayed: March 2011
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5  Thank Tikihut79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 November 2010

Someone commented about Ivan's having the worst service. Well, Ivan's is best enjoyed if you drop the 'serve me' notion at the ferry dock. There are other accommodations that have the service angle covered on Jost. Ivan's is more 'communal' in it's approach to getting your personal needs met. Serve Thyself is the motto here, and while you're at it try serving someone else while you're there, especially Ivan. I'm sure he will be grateful. What a lovely place.

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled solo
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10  Thank MissBrown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 August 2010

This past weekend we were lucky enough to be on Jost. Met some friends, missed the last ferry back to Tortola, was told, "no problem, mon, Ivans still has rooms". Made the trek to Ivans,( our friends had made reservations over 2 months previously). No one was there, they called the number and after a short wait, Ivan's daughters came over from the beach party they were at. Ivan was out of town. The daughters were very irritated at having to come to us, our friends told them they had reservations, they said they knew nothing about it. We asked if we could get a room also. Their Visa machine was down, they said if we didn't have enough cash, they wouldn't help us. Tried to explain that they already had our friends visa info but they got more and more irritated and rude. The next thing we know they disappear. Hearing a boat leave, they had locked all of the rooms and LEFT US STRANDED!!!!! Since it is low season, all other hotels are closed. We had NO SHELTER, NO FOOD, NO WATER and were stranded. Had to spend the night on their beach with nothing. HORRIBLE! Would warn everyone about this atrocious place !

4  Thank luvmybullys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 June 2010

Last June we traveled to St. John with friends and extended family (our 10th trip down in 12 years). Had a great villa but knew that we'd want to take a side trip to Jost. Having done the ferry experience before from STJ and only getting about 5 1/2 hours on island, I decided that we would extend our stay at Ivans camprground and do an overnight, returning to STJ the next afternoon.

Because Ivans is so inexpensive I had no problem shelling out $$ for the villa bedroom that would go unused one night.

We had very few expectations and had seen Ivans on a previous visit so we knew generally what to expect and decided to stay in a cabin for $55.

The cabins are brightly painted, and ours had an overhead light, mini fridge, fan, built in shelving, a mirror and a king size platform bed.

It also sported a fabulous little front porch with a clothesline and a few chairs. The cabin was situated 10 feet from the beach.

The accomodations were perfectly comfortable and adequate. We didn't use the kitchen and ate out at the other restaurants on island while we were there.

I am a long time visitor to the US and BVI's so I slip easily into island time when there. My usual high maintenance standards I live by at home seem to melt away when I set foot in the VI's. This mindset is essential if you want to enjoy yourself at Ivans.

We rented a car, which made life a bit easier, especially going into town for meals. We're lazy like that. I suppose you COULD walk. But it was hot and I was happy to drive. Like I said, I'm lazy like that.

There are VERY limited grocery options on Jost, but a little on loine research will reveal that Bobby's on Tortola will happily deliver groceries to the ferry dock for no extra charge and they are extremely reasonable price wise.

Showers were OK and in line with many bathrooms in the VI. Bring shower shoes.

Bathrooms were OK. Again like many in the VI.

People were great. We hit Foxy's BBQ for dinner. $28 -- all you can eat in one pass. Excellent food. We have eaten at Foxy's many times for lunch (on day trips) so a dinner there was a new experience. We loved it.

Christines bakery in town is great for breakfast breads and bakery treats.

Ali Babba's was great for breakfast. Apparentyl Ivan meets his buddies for coffee there in the mornings. It was good to listen to the banter over a Carib and eggs.

Ivan's beach is lovely and quiet. Plenty of shade and seagrape to tuck into if you want to get out of the sun. Decent beach chairs. Some patched up with bits oven woven material.

Overall we found it to be refreshingly simple and a back to basics approach. I think it is an excellent value for the money as long as you are in the right frame of mind before you go.

Jost is home to only a few hundred people. we have found everyone to be kind and helpful if they sense the same from you. West Indian manners are a must. Greeting with a "Good morning/afternoon/night" before asking a question is preferrred and will earn you points and immediate assistance. Thisis true throughout the US and BVI's.

We liked it so much for one night that we're headed back this December and will stay in the same cabin again for a week.

Because of our previous overnight experience and the fact that we are staying longer this time, I plan to bring a few items along to make life more comfortable in the spartan surroundings:

netbook
extension cord for iPhone and other digital paraphenalia (i like to be off the grid but I can't go cold turkey!)
my own padlock
febreeze and some bounce dryer sheets (keeps things fresh)
extra clothespins and my own rope so I can hang things out to dry.
bungee cord (hey-- you never know what you need a bungee for!)
our own sheets (bought at a goodwill store for sheap that we don't mind leaving behind)
Candles (citronella and scented)
Our own towels (bath and beach) and washcloths

With a little extra planning I'm expecting that we will spend a perfectly comfortable and extremely inexpensive Jost vacation.

To be sure, Ivans is not for everyone (as has been mentioned several times) but if you are looking for an inexpensive get-away-from-it-all experience then I suggest you give Ivans a try.

I'll happily post another review in December.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank GromitVA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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