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Virgin Islands Campground
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Reviewed 29 May 2014

The campground is well-maintained and clean. The staff and other campers are friendly, but also respect each other's privacy. It never once got rowdy. The cottages are perfect. We found the bed comfortable. Also they do ask you to do some cleaning upon departure, but it took us about 15 minutes and is really not a big deal. The views are simply like none other. (Trust me we spent about 5 hours at the Marriott/Morningstar Beach one day and they had nothing on these views)

With that said, our experience was average.

it is somewhat unorganized in terms of the common area... for example our food was actually thrown out a day prior to our departure from both the fridge and our cupboard. In management's defense, we never did bring this problem to them as it was so close to our departure (and gave us a good reason to watch a last sunset from Honeymoon beach). However, since this place does have so many rules/guidelines of etiquette for campers to follow we were a bit surprised and upset.

Another issue we ran into was ants in our cabin, particularly our bed. We understand this is a campground, but nobody likes to sleep with ants. The problem seemed to disappear on its own, so again we never brought it to management.

Also, as the title mentions, we did find it hard to explore the rest of USVI, particularly St. John. We chose Virgin Islands Campground for many reasons including the money saving opportunity, but I am not sure we actually saved money since there is a ferry fee ($10 round trip per person) and then one must take a taxi, or a much longer (but substantially less expensive) safari ride to their next destination. The last ferry run is 6:00pm, making it hard to go very far. For example, we left Water Island around 8am and by the time we made it to St. John, we could only stay for about 3 hours since we had to be back to catch this ferry. They say you can reserve a night ferry, but we did this once and the captain made us feel as though we were a huge inconvenience to him. Water Island is great in itself, but if you're looking for a more active sort of exploration vacation, it might be worth it to actually stay on St. Thomas or even St. John.

We did not have a particularly bad experience, but it wasn't an amazing five star experience either, it was simply average.

Room Tip: We requested cabin 6 and the view, particularly the sunrise, was amazing.
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Lakeplacidlocal
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 31 May 2014

I find it hard to believe that you can complain to the world about things that were not acceptable to you during your stay here at the Virgin islands Campground but not mention the problems you were having to the management.

Groceries being thrown out and ants in the cottage and bed. These things can be dealt with immediately or NEVER if the management doesn't know.

As for your groceries being thrown out i apologize for that and certainly would have been glad to buy you dinner and breakfast had I known. We have a new housekeeper and I just discussed this problem with him. As I told him, the error was not a big deal...the big deal is that it not happen again.. You can tell this to the world but you can't tell the management. Really? In order to improve our facility and keep it: Heaven, great spot, amazing, awesome...you pick a title from any of the reviews!!) we need to know any problems you are having so we can FIX those problems.

Ants in you cottage/bed. My gosh, this is SO easy to fix but you didn't bother to tell us?

The last ferry run is 9pm not 6pm and the first ferry is 6:45am. I am not sure why you are complaining about only 3 hours on St. John when you chose the ferries. It is very easy to do a day trip to St. John or St. Thomas and spend up to 11 hours on St. John or 13 hours on St. Thomas. You see, at 7am the traffic is slower and it is easy to get across town quickly..same with coming back in the evening. Taking the 6pm ferry means you were going thru St. Thomas during rush hour.

You were here only 6 days. Most people find lot to explore right here on Water Island and some like a day trip to St. Thomas and or St. John. Our guest who have been awarded a 10th stay free have left Water Island 1 that is ONE time in 10 stays of 7-10 days per stay.

Reviews are meant to help...how does telling everyone about you not trying to fix "your" problems help? What helps if you give us a chance to fix "your" problems. We never had that chance. Never. Your "average" experience here could have easily been an amazing 5 star experience...like SO many others. i am very sorry you opted for "average".

Sincerely,

Deborah Quade

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Reviewed 27 May 2014

My wife and I had the good fortune to stay at Water Island Campground for seven days this month. The stay was great, the owners fantastic and the fellow campers were lots of fun. I would recommend this stay to anyone. We rented a golf cart for our week and toured the island as well as spending several days at honeymoon beach. Can't wait until our return visit.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Steve G
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 31 May 2014

Thank you for your nice words...remember that you will receive a 10% discount upon your return.

Sincerely,

Deborah and Paul

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Reviewed 10 May 2014

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.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank Anne W
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 May 2014

Just thank you. Gosh, I don't have your words...wish I did. You had already written nice words to us...and now this.

Thank You..

Sincerely,

Deborah

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Reviewed 27 April 2014

As a solo female traveler just wanting to escape the city and relax in the sun and sand - this place was PERFECT! I didn't meet the owners since they were away, however Deborah sent me an email the day after I booked my reservation with all the helpful tips and necessary info for where to eat, water taxi schedule etc which was awesome. Sean was running the place while I was there and I can't say enough good things. He was such a wealth of information, enthusiasm, and worked tirelessly to make sure everyone at the campground was having the best vacation possible. He showed me the best snorkeling spots, gave a tour of the fort, helped me arrange a sailing day trip (Cheers to Captains Lloyd and Jeff!) and introduced me around to the locals. I felt totally at ease and safe among this community of laid-back, generous, happy islanders. The accomodations were spotless and comfortable. I stayed in one of the cabins and loved going to sleep to the breeze off the water and waking up to the sunrise. If you're a runner - bring your sneaks cause there are some fun hills for a challenging morning workout! One of my favorite things was cooking dinners in the communal kitchen space. What better place to meet new people and share stories than over homemade food, rum, and a pristine ocean view? I loved every minute of this vacation and will definitely be back!

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled solo
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Thank MinnowLH
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 4 May 2014

We are so glad you had a good time and look forward to your return...as you know a 10% returning guest discount will be available to you this time.

Thank you for taking time to write such a nice review...it is some important to us and to our campground. We appreciate all the nice words about Sean...it has been such a pleasure going away and feel "not missed". Really, thank you

Sincerely,

Deb and Paul

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Reviewed 24 April 2014

From the moment Sean picked us up at the ferry dock to the moment he dropped us back off, our stay on Water Island at the campground was pure bliss. After a long, cold Chicago winter I needed a laid back escape that would deliver warm sunshine, cold beer, and a beautiful beach. My stay at the campground provided SO much more than that!
We stayed in the suite, which really felt like our own beach house with a million dollar view! It had everything we needed, even beach towels. We slept with the windows open every night, drifting off to sleep with the sounds of the outdoors carried in by a 70 degree breeze. The cabins would be a little more like camping, because they are more open, but either way you can't go wrong. Next time I want to stay in a cabin, though. They are so cute and cozy!
Sean was the man in charge while we were there (the owners were away) and he quickly became more like family. He was always around to answer questions, provide suggestions, and do whatever he could to make sure we had the best vacation possible. And he did! Without Sean, it would have been a different experience. He even went snorkeling with us and speared a huge trigger right off the beach! Great experience. Thanks, Sean!
We rented a golf cart, which I highly recommend. I was pleased that the terrain was steep (even walking up to the suite) so that I could burn off some of the Painkillers I had consumed at the beach, but driving around the island in the golf cart was great! And fyi they
drive on the other side.
I feel like I could go on and on about the campground and the island. It was so amazingly beautiful, the locals became fast friends, and we can't wait to get back! I would recommend the campground to anyone who wants to escape the common and get back in touch with what's real. It is simple, beautiful, and the perfect place to disconnect, make new friends, and take a deep breath. I came home rejuvenated. And, of course, planning my next trip to Water Island. Cheers!

  • Stayed: April 2014
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Thank BeachGirlinChiTown
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 26 April 2014

Honestly, I think we should not bother coming back...the reviews have been the best ever since we left. We knew we were in good hands with Sean and Mike, but really, had no idea how they would excel with out us. We are so happy.

We a sorry we missed your stay, but so glad you had a great time. We hope our paths will cross some day.

Til then.

Sincerely,

Paul and Deb

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