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“Wonderful place to stay in paradise!”

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Virgin Islands Campground
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 29 January 2014

Comfortable cabin, beautiful views, great hosts and fun to meet other guests from around the country. Deborah and Paul were very helpful in providing information to make our stay relaxing and fun. No need to go to Hawaii again now that we have found this treasure in the Caribbean. Definitely recommend reserving a golf cart from Rachel before your arrival, the walks to the beach aren’t bad, but you need the cart to see the whole island. The snorkel trip by Capitan Karl was one of the most relaxing we’ve been on.

Room Tip: No air conditioning.. remember this is "camping". The breeze and fans keep you comfortabl...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank georgiagrandma58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
deborahquade, Public Relations Manager at Virgin Islands Campground, responded to this reviewResponded 2 February 2014

Dear Georgia Grandma,

Thanks so much for the nice review. We appreciate you taking out time in your busy day to help spread the word about our campground.

Hope you will return and take advantage of the 10% guests receive when they book directly thru us on their return visit.

Sincerely,

Deborah and Paul

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Reviewed 23 January 2014

My husband and I went to the Virgin Islands for our honeymoon and spent half of our trip camping at Cinnamon Bay (St. John) and the other half at the Virgin Islands Campground (Water Island). We loved it so much on Water Island we were saying how we should have stayed there the whole time. Paul and Deborah have really got a wonderful place for travelers seeking a relaxing vacation. Their hospitality is like none I have ever experienced. From the moment you are picked up at the ferry dock you will feel like they truly want you to have a wonderful time there. For our trip we were looking for some place that was quiet near a beach where we could just relax. Water Island is very small so if you are looking for nightlife or lots of island activity this is not where you want to go. I recommend it for those who are looking for relaxation and time away from all the hustle and bustle. Their property is set on top of a hill with wonderful views of the ocean and a short walk down a trail right to the beach. We really enjoyed every aspect of their campground. Since we had been camping in our tent for the first half of the week at Cinnamon Bay, Paul and Deborah's place was more like luxury camping for us. We loved the wood framed tents with screened windows they have built. I have been to the Virgin Islands many times because I have a relative who lives there. However, this was our honeymoon so we decided to check out other places. Even though we have somewhere to stay in the islands we definitely want to go back to this (upscale) campground in the future.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank christie l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
deborahquade, Public Relations Manager at Virgin Islands Campground, responded to this reviewResponded 25 January 2014

You guys wrote such a nice review...we're sorry you were not with us the whole time, too. Anyway, we are certainly glad you spent some time with us and we are looking forward to your return...you will receive a 10% discount as returning guests!!

Good luck to you both.

Sincerely.

Deborah and Paul

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Reviewed 20 January 2014

I got back from Afghanistan in September 2013 and surprised my wife by booking this vacation in advance for our 10th anniversary. The owners, Debra and Paul, were happy to reserve us a week at their campground on Water Island at a reasonable price and even gave us a military discount. We had never been to the Virgin Islands before, or done "eco-camping", but the experience was great. You can't really talk about *just* the campground though, so I'll talk about the rest of Water Island first.

Some background: Water Island is a small island south of St. Thomas that houses dozens of half-million and million dollar plus houses all over the island. You can only get to Water Island by ferry as a tourist, unless you know somebody on the island who has their own dinghy or boat. The island ferry takes you to Crown Bay Marina, which is a 20 minute walk or an overpriced 5 minute taxi ride away from the airport. The ferry ran regularly every hour or so during business hours (more or less) during the week we were there, and had some more limited hours on the weekend.

Water Island itself has only a few roads and paths which criss-cross the island. You can supposedly rent a bike ($35/day) to ride around the island, but unless you're juicing like Lance Armstrong, you're going to have some tired thighs going up and down those steep hills. I recommend either walking around (free) or renting a golf cart ($30/day) from one of the local businesses. You could walk around the entire island in a couple of hours, if that. But we spent a week there and were completely content with hanging out on the beach (more on that in a minute), doing tourist stuff on St. Thomas, and chatting/cooking with the other campers. The only real walking we did around the island was to the remains of the old WWII Navy base at one end of the island and back.

We had originally planned to go around and visit every beach on Water Island, but Honeymoon Beach was so perfect that we only bothered to visit one other (Limestone). Honeymoon Beach looked like it belonged in a Sandals resort commercial. It was only a few hundred yards long, but the water was crystal clear; a small collection of picturesque sailboats was anchored a hundred yards or so off shore; and beach chairs and dining tables with umbrellas were in plentiful supply, along with a volleyball net and some rope swings for kids. On the beach, we had a choice of two outdoor bar-and-grill restaurants - Heidi's and Dinghy's. We actually preferred Dinghy's as their burgers were amazing, but both had similar offerings. Expect to pay tourist prices for food and booze - $10 for a big burger, $4-5 for a simple drink, $6-8 for a frozen or special concoction. The prices are no worse than what you'd pay on St. Thomas.

One side of the beach was reserved for the boats full of tourists that would visit the beach, and the other side had snorkeling and some crazy Iron Man water jet invention that could make you fly on jets of water 25 feet in the air. Canoes and kayaks and snorkel gear were all available for rent, and the usual tourist prices. I think personal watercraft were $30/hour and snorkel gear was $15/hour, although the campground was nice enough to put a huge box of snorkel gear out for campers to use for free. Despite literal boatloads of tourists showing up to Honeymoon a few times a day and leaving a few hours later, it never really felt crowded. It was like having a beautiful beach that only you and a few dozen people knew about. We spent at least half of our time on Honeymoon and I consider every minute to have been totally worth it.

The only other beach we spent time on was Limestone beach, which was very pretty, but had a number of rocks near the shore which seemed to make it less than ideal for casual swimming, so we admired the view and then just went back to Honeymoon. We really were happy enough with Honeymoon that we didn't want to go anywhere else.

Ok onto the actual campground. The first thing you should know about this campground is that you need to bring your own food from the main island (St. Thomas). Unless you want to eat bar food morning, noon and night, you will be cooking on the campground's grills and storing food in their refrigerators. So we recommend that you go from the airport right to either the Pueblo supermarket (which is kind of like a cut rate CostCo or Sam's) or the Gourmet Gallery (which is kind of like a small even-more-expensive Whole Foods) at the Crown Bay Marina before you get on the Water Island ferry. Remember that you're on an island, so you pay island prices (e.g. a gallon of milk is like $9). The campground will send somebody to meet you at the dock with a truck if you tell them in advance so you don't have to haul your groceries and luggage the half mile uphill to the campground from the ferry dock.

The campground itself is located on a steep incline - which is fun to try to walk up when you're completely blitzed - and affords a pretty amazing view of the ocean, St. Thomas, and some smaller islands further out to sea. At the top of the camp is the main house where the owners live. The main house has a small room available to everybody that contains a laptop with internet access, a TV with Direct TV with access to 500 channels of reality television that will melt your brain and remind you why you're on vacation, and a couch for lounging indoors if you have second degree sunburns because you fell asleep on the beach again.

Outside the media room is a small hot tub that feels perfect for two people and really uncomfortable for more than two people unless you have no concept of personal space or you're from Japan or something.

Down the stairs from the media room and hot tub is the restroom and shower area. The owners are either the cleanest people we've ever met, or have hired somebody with obsessive compulsive disorder, because this area was literally never dirty, even though there were 15 people staying at the camp at one point during our trip. There are two shower stalls, two toilets, and two sinks, along with a box of fresh towels and rags that anyone can take if needs be. Remember that this is an eco-camp, with the emphasis on ECO, so the showers were chain-pulled and unheated, and the toilets were pint-flush and you couldn't put TP in them (it went in the trash can next to them). The sinks had giant, clean mirrors, and there were manual timer electric lights everywhere in the camp, so you could use the bathroom at night with no problems.

Downstairs and outside of the shower area was the communal dining facility. This is where all the campers passed through on their ways in and out of the bathroom, or to the fridge, or to the media room - so people walked through here all the time. The dining area had two big picnic tables, two refrigerators and freezers, a big gas range, a small grill, cupboards full of plates/glasses/silverware for each camping cabin, a sink, coffeemaker, and the usual amenities. We agreed with the other campers when we first got to the camp that we would put all of our food on a certain shelf, and nobody ate our food. In fact, a lot of campers wouldn't finish all of their food by the end of their stay, so a whole part of the refrigerator was just "up for grabs" to anyone who wanted it.

Down from the outside dining area was the main path down to the road, and off of the path were smaller paths to the individual cabins. Our cabin was on stilts, with a large mosquito net skirt wrapped all around the underside. (At one point I dropped my wedding ring through a crack in the floor and had to go outside and duck under the net to grab it, so don't worry if you do something similarly dumb.) Inside the cabin was a queen sized bed with fresh linens, a futon, coffee table, counter space with some advertisements of local attractions, boxes to store things in, an open porch with patio furniture outside the mosquito screens, a big box fan, and tarps that could be lowered all around the cabin if a storm came through. The campground is relatively high up on a hill on an island, so it can get very windy (and therefore noisy) sometimes, but most days it was a nice sea breeze that helped blow some of the heat away. The fan helped us sleep at night because it was about 75 degrees at night (compared with 85 or so during the day - this was January btw). We slept in the cabin, but didn't do much else because we had so much more fun being on the beach or up in the outdoor dining area.

By far our favorite part of this campground was the sense of community you immediately got when you met other couples and families. Most people were on a staggered schedule, so several families were there to show you around when you first got to the campground, and you would be around to greet the newcomers as they came in throughout the week. We made some very good friends on this trip and spent long hours drinking, playing travel-sized board games (definitely bring a few with you!), and talking about our different lives. We met couples and families from Canada, Germany and the USA and I hope to see them again when we return.

I'm giving the VI Campground 5 out of 5 stars because my wife and I had an absolute blast. I want to go back with our kids this time, now that I know that the place is family friendly. Water Island is a great place to relax, and the campground makes it even better. I would recommend this place to either couples or families who are looking for the closest thing to a private island that they are going to get without being millionaires. We will definitely be going back next year.

Room Tip: The suite is actually part of the main house (through the media room), all other rooms are in the ou...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank UpstateMissy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
deborahquade, Director of Sales at Virgin Islands Campground, responded to this reviewResponded 25 January 2014

If you want to know about everything connected to Water Island, please read this review.

Holy Smokes...you darn near wrote a book. I think this review will be very helpful to many and I certainly appreciate your time.

Once again, thank you both for your service.

Sincerely,

Deborah and Paul

p.s. I don't have the gift to write, as you can tell!

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Reviewed 13 January 2014

VI Campgrounds is an amazing place to get away from it all. We stayed in a tent cabin, and truly enjoyed our experience. The cabins are clean, and well kept. We were thinking about staying in the suite, but I'm glad we didn't. It was also a nice space, but the cabins were great. And they provided for a much more fun experience. It's exactly what we needed to disconnect from our fast paced lives.

Keep in mind, it is on the windy side of the island, so it can be tough during storms, but they quickly pass. Also, you must bring bug spray. We missed this point and paid for it by day 2.

Travel back and forth from the main island of St. Thomas can be difficult with the time restrictions and it also gets expensive. We originally tried to do too much, but once we decided to just stay on the island, explore and relax, we had a wonderful time. Honeymoon Beach is beautiful for relaxing or swimming. We saw lots of fish, stingray and even a few sea turtles. Also, the beach has great food at Heidi's Honeymoon Grill. They are incredibly friendly, and seriously their food is AMAZING! They also sponsor movie night on the beach. They put up a big sheet screen, set up lots of chairs and bring food for great prices. The experience is free, and unforgettable. This is a MUST DO.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank BKO734
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
deborahquade, Front Office Manager at Virgin Islands Campground, responded to this reviewResponded 17 January 2014

Thanks for writing a review...says you stayed here in June...hum...I'm sorry but I haven't placed you...as you know you will receive a 10% discount if your return, and let me know it was you who took the time. Much appreciated.

Sincerely,

Deborah and Paul

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Reviewed 9 January 2014

The Virgin Island Campground on Water Island was an excellent place to stay during our visit to St Thomas. The location was excellent, a short walk to both Honeymoon Beach where you could relax on the sand all day, or to Limestone Bay for some excellent snorkeling. The views from the campground were amazing especially from the communal dinning area which made for excellent breakfasts and dinners. The hosts, Deborah, Paul, and Sean, were extremely nice and accommodating. We had originally planned on traveling to a few other islands in the area for the week, but found that we were actually most content staying just on Water Island. Everything you need is there for a relaxing beach vacation in the Virgin Islands.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Dave F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
deborahquade, Manager at Virgin Islands Campground, responded to this reviewResponded 11 January 2014

Thank you so much for your review...we really appreciate hearing how much people enjoy Virgin Islands Campground and Water Island...it keeps us going!!

Sincerely,

Deb, Paul and Sean

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Reviewed 7 January 2014

This is a beautiful spot for a getaway. You can see by the description that this is camping only in the nominal sense, that is, you share the bathhouse and cooking area with the other guests, but the cabins are nicer than any small hotel, comfortable and clean.

The camp is on the windward side of the island, which means there was always a wonderful breeze blowing through the cabin. Heavenly. A short walk to Honeymoon beach for sunning and snorkeling - saw a sea turtle twice and fish every day.

If you want some adventure there are trips to Buck Island and the Ferry to St. Thomas, but we were content to stay at the beach, the pavilion, teh hot tub, and our cabin. There were great people to meet - campers from various parts of the US and Europe, Deborah and Paul, the owners, and Sean - the all around adviser, fixer, and wealth of Island info.

Met a couple there who visiting the place for the 10th time, which says a lot about how attractive the place is. (And their visit was free!) Highly recommended for a great place to get away from everything and relax.

Room Tip: We had cabin 5, which was wonderful, but they all seem equally nice.
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank DrBill-NYC-CT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
deborahquade, Owner at Virgin Islands Campground, responded to this reviewResponded 11 January 2014

Bill and Missy,

Thanks so much for taking the time to write a nice and detailed review...Also, thanks for entertaining most all of Water Island...Sean really enjoyed the jam sessions...We hope our paths will meet again.

Sincerely,

Deb, Paul and Sean

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Reviewed 5 January 2014

This was our 10th visit to Virgin Islands campground, and it was as magical and wonderful as the first time we visited 6 years ago (and yes -- it was FREE!!!). Deb and Paul have continued to be gracious and wonderful hosts at their relaxing and stunningly beautiful property, where you will never get tired of the views from your cottage or the pavilion. Relax in the hammock, enjoy time cooking with other campers, or just retreat to your ocean-view porch for a quiet evening. The entire property is at your disposal, and has been kept immaculately clean, user-friendly, and stocked with everything you need to make your "glamping" experience unforgettable.

During the day, relax on honeymoon beach where Heidi and her team will gladly cook you some of the best food you've ever tasted. Saturday night dinner was especially a treat. The sea turtles were swimming all around the water while we were there, and the snorkeling right off the beach is superb.

The free stay is a testament to Deb and Paul's continued commitment to their guests (as is the 10 percent off for returners). They take such pride in offering their guests clean accommodations, thoughtful suggestions for day trips if you want them, and consistently friendly advice on what to do while you are on the island.

It is a privilege to stay at Virgin Islands Campground, and I promise you (as all these reviews agree), it will be the most relaxing and rejuvenating vacation you will ever have. We travel a lot, but have always found our way back to this slice of paradise, and you will not regret one minute of your decision as you are falling asleep to the sounds of the ocean and the gentle breeze that wisps through the cottage.

Thank you Deb and Paul for this wonderful gift of relaxation, friendship and kindness. We will see you again very soon!

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank MITCHonthgo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
deborahquade, Director of Sales at Virgin Islands Campground, responded to this reviewResponded 9 January 2014

Mitch Mitch Mitch....Paul cried when I read to him your review...we really appreciate you taking the time....I was thinking on asking you to write a review during one of your snow days ( I hope you've had a bunch)...but you beat me to it.

Looking forward to seeing you and Dave again soon...

Much love and mutual admiration.

Deb and Paul

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Additional Information about Virgin Islands Campground

Address: 64 Water Isle, 00802-7803, St. Thomas
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > U.S. Virgin Islands > St. Thomas > Water Island
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Speciality Lodging in Water Island
Price Range: £114 - £205 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Virgin Islands Campground 2*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
An Eco Sensitive resort with self-contained canvas eco cottages, each with an ocean view terrance. We are located in the St. Thomas Harbor, on a pristine 500-acre island, Water Island, which has regular ferry service (10 min. boat ride) to St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands. Each cabin has pillow top mattresses, all 100% cotton linens (including beach towels), an outdoor cooking pavilion with an ocean view and the property is only 5 minute walk to the beach. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Virgin Islands Campground Hotel St. Thomas

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