Our vacation was a month ago and I still find myself daydreaming about the place.
First, I tried to carefully follow the "planning your visit" section Deborah provides on their website http://www.virginislandscampground.com. She explains to give them a call ahead of time so they know when to pick you up at the marina on Water Island. Sure enough this went off without a hitch. Paul gave us a quick tour of the island and when we got to the campground Deborah greeted us with a big smile and a delicious cocktail.
We found our cottage to be charming. The big king size bed was great. So many details have been carefully thought out. We had cottage #6 and felt it was sufficiently secluded. The sound of the ocean was soothing and the breeze kept us cool. We did find some geckos and a few ants in our cottage, the millipede stayed outside. My husband got a kick out of saying hello to the resident gecko. A lone mother hen and her chicks were fun to watch. We also enjoyed the many hummingbirds that came to the feeder at the pavilion. And check out the community of hermit crabs. All of these creatures only added to the natural culture that flourishes throughout Water Island.
Meal preparations were never a problem. Everyone was good about picking up after themselves. There were people from all over the country and even from Europe. People from all walks of life, older and younger, professors to custodians, we enjoyed socializing with all of them. This was a highlight of our stay. The only con I can think of is if the campground gets bigger they will need larger Pavilion space.
Water Island is hilly. Very hilly. I would recommend splurging on the golf cart. After spending all day on the beach, enjoying a delicious fish taco and several drinks at Heidi's, you aren't going to want to break a sweat walking back up to the campground. Beside, we enjoyed tooling around Water Island. Driving up to the fort at sunset is memorable, especially when there are a few cruise ships sailing into it.
I would also recommend planning meals. We did not sufficiently think about this and counted on purchasing everything once we got to St. Thomas. After traveling all day we got to Crown Bay Marina needing buy food for the night and next morning. We spent a lot of money that first night. Next time we will pack a suitcase with some food. You are able to purchase food at Gourmet Gallery which is convenient but extraordinarily expensive. Pueblo's is less expensive but not as convenient.
We went to Charlotte Amalie for one day to purchase sandals and did not feel the need to return.
I had read a review suggesting not to cram too many things in. It was a great recommendation. The food and drinks Heidi's and Dingy's on the beach were delicious. Thankfully there is an ATM machine at Dingy's which we needed several times. Drinks don't come free. We thoroughly enjoyed Honeymoon Beach and did a lot of snorkeling. Swimming with sea turtles and beautiful fish was an amazing experience. If you plan on snorkeling, I do recommend splurging on bringing your own snorkel gear, you will not regret it.
We did the Buck Island sail with Capt. Carl. It was reasonably priced, the snorkeling was amazing, the captain is a Water Island old timer, and it was a great time.
Finally, listening to Paul tell his and Deborah's story of their life's work, building the campground, as well as other adventures, makes you admire even more the effort taken to build the campground into the success it enjoys. Oh, and I can't forget Sean who was always scouting for what needed to be done or what a guest wanted.
Like many other reviewers, we hope to make this vacation experience a regular occurrence. Once bitten...
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Introducing the concept of Upscale Camping! A handful of roomy tent-cabins feature ocean view terraces and all the comforts of home. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Virgin Islands Campground Hotel St. Thomas