I'm 56 and don't camp so when my son and his girlfriend wanted to do a high school spring break trip but not a resort, we decided to try this campground on Water Island. We were there just last month in April 2014 for a week. I don't think there is anything like it in the US. Trying to watch our budget and trying to be on a raw vegetarian diet, I brought a lot of groceries from home, yes, Michigan, and my food processor for blended veggies. The grocery store at the marina is pretty good for fresh produce but is more expensive than the US. Getting to the camp was super easy. Water Island is mostly residential and easy to walk from east to west or rent a golf cart and get around in that from camp to beach, otherwise it's a lovely nature path and takes 10-15 minutes. The island is steep and hilly so you'll get your butt shaped up if you walk everywhere! Hiking sandals with some tread like Keen's work great, better than flip flops. Heidi's Grill serves tasty food. The camp itself is high on a hill, the cabins are well built and offer protection from wind and rain and most bugs. I had a fan blowing on me all night to keep any mosquitoes at bay. Most cabins seem to have stellar views. Little geckos are everywhere, be warned, but they are harmless and eat the bugs. Sleeping was, as advertised, very comfortable; nice clean sheets, bath towels and beach towels were in the cabin on arrival. The community kitchen had a cupboard with our number on it and provided useful utensils, knives, silverware, plates, glasses etc. Pots, pans, strainers and other bowls, etc. were stocked. The wind is constantly blowing and blows through the dining area, it diverts the water right out of the faucet as it's quite high above the sink making washing dishes a little awkward sometimes. Also the drinking water filtration filters 1 gallon an hour which is pretty slow so we bought some bottled water and schlepped it over on the ferry. The camp has a huge stock of snorkeling gear for a charge. There are two large refrigerators to store everybody's stuff -- suggest bringing some tape and a marker if you're worried. One thing that would have made the kitchen experience easier would be to have a way to use my food processor on a counter top with an electrical outlet. The outlets were nestled between the refrigerators and not conducive to doing my food processing right there but it worked well in our cabin. If you're coming here, I suggest asking if a specific utensil, kitchen equipment is already there before going don't assume. No toaster or microwave for example. Each cabin has a large cooler you can store food, drinks in. A long counter with shelves underneath that is very handy for preparing light snacks or meals. I made a lot of salads and brought nuts, seeds, celery, carrots, nut butters, avocados, fruit from home. The manager Shawn is a character, great sense of humor and was very sincere in making our stay exceptional. One day he scored some fresh-caught lobster and cooked them for everyone. On our last day he climbed a tree for fresh coconuts for us. People rise at dawn and go to bed fairly early around ten, the camp is quiet and the whole island seems quite safe. One of our guests brought their 7 month old baby and were doing fine. Another young woman was traveling alone. Seems like the perfect place if you were a writer or artist and wanted a great quiet but people-friendly place a little off the beaten path but also close to night life and culture in St. Thomas. The toilets are like a camper toilets and do have an unusual odor but again, this is not a hotel.The toilet and shower area is enclosed and kept clean. The water is not super hot but the weather was so warm, I didn't mind. The bath is stocked with hair blow dryer, extra lotions and bug spray, first aid stuff, cleaning supplies. There's an old WWII fort that we had fun exploring. It's easy to get back to St. Thomas and go shopping too. We hit on a very cool Rastafarian Vegetarian Restaurant and the Barefoot Buddah VERY cool vegetarian restaurant with a wonderful boutique. I hope these details are helpful -- Water Island is a very safe place so if you have teenagers you can feel relaxed letting them go to the beach by themselves. Many campers did day-trips to St. John for the national park there and other snorkeling beaches and attractions. If you take the time to get the bus the locals use, it's way cheaper than using taxis. We mostly decompressed on the world-class Honeymoon beach. I'd say this camp is for people who want something real, close to nature, low-key and not commercial, you get in with the locals pretty quickly or you can keep to yourself. If you can't do the community cooking and bathing thing, the camp does have a really nice apartment which I got a tour of. The Wi-Fi and computer does work and it's in a nice enclosed lounge. All in all, we had an absolutely amazing and fun time. We saw a live conch, a sea turtle, crabs, exotic fish, lizards, hummingbirds, the occasional harmless snake. The sunrises and sunsets are breath-taking, and the stars at night are amazing. I'd definitely go back.
- 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