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“Virgin Islands Campground - Highly Recommended”

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Virgin Islands Campground
Certificate of Excellence
Bozeman, Montana
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Virgin Islands Campground - Highly Recommended”
Reviewed 14 May 2010

We spent 4 days in May at Vigrin Islands Campground.

Paul and Deborah were on vacation when we were there but the folks running the place in their absence were great.

The whole atmosphere of the campground is relaxing and low key. The views from the cabin were fantastic.

Recommendations from our visit:
- Go to Pirates Cove on Water Island on Friday night for the pizza (they'll give you directions)
- Have dinner on Sat night at Honeymoon Beach
- Snorkeling in the calm bay to the left below the campground was good (saw a big barracuda too)
- Zora's in St Thomas makes excellent custom made sandals (but expensive!)
- Ask the locals how to ride the Safari bus on St Thomas. You can get around for only $1 which is much cheaper than the taxis.
- Buy fruit at the Gourmet Gallery but go across and to the right down the street to Pueblo for the rest of your groceries (much cheaper!!)

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank AdventuresOutfitting
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Boston
Level Contributor
2 reviews
Reviewed 17 March 2010

Our favorite vacation is sailing. however, this year the mate wanted a lazy vacation with, especially, minimal travel. also, we prefer the simple, noncorporate, old, undeveloped caribbean, insofar as it can still be found. this led us to Water Island Campground, and it turned out to be exactly what we wanted.

we took a nonstop BOS-STT flight on 3/6. As usual we had carryon only, except the sailing gear was replaced with light food items that would be relatively expensive in the ilons, like our favorite coffee, cereal, bread, dried fruits, etc. as has happened to me before, some usair employee told me my bag was too big. however i was able to explain that a soft duffel adjusts to the space available. taxi to crown bay marina was 5-10 min, and we had plenty of time to visit the "gourmet gallery" for liquids and perishables and have a drink at Tickles, which is a decent pub/restaurant. as agreed, we called Paul at the CG to confirm that we were taking the 2:00 WI ferry, which docks right at Tickles. the ferry ride was also 5-10 min, and Paul was there to take us to the CG. the minimal travel goal was achieved, big time!!

upon arrival, Deborah gave us the tour. our tent/cabin had a beautiful ocean view and had all the necessary linens and towels, a cooler, 2 beach chairs, etc. we had a cabinet with dishes, glasses, cups, silverware etc in the common cooking area, the "pavillion", and space in one of the refrigerators. there is a picnic table, stove, a grill, a sink, and a great view.

the CG is very eco-friendly. the tap water is collected rainwater, with a filter unit available in the pavillion. there is a bathhouse with 2 composting toilets and 2 solar-heated showers. the solar-heated hot tub was next to our cabin. the cabins have both AC and DC from solar panels. there are 6 cabins. the DC came in handy Tu night when a transformer blew and there was no AC on the ilon.

i'd been a little apprehensive about sharing a bathroom, but it was absolutely no problem. i think i had to wait for a vacancy once in the entire week. there was light-moderate bug activity and we forgot bug spray, but there was some in the bathhouse.

Deborah also explained about the two nearby beaches, honeymoon and limestone, the good walks, and the various activities.

one of the best things about the CG is the extremely friendly atmosphere. Deborah and Paul will do anything they can for you. our fellow campers were uniformly nice, and it was great getting to know them, cooking along with them and sharing the picnic table. you can help yourself to food left by departing campers, and we really enjoyed Tim and Patty's penne :)

we didn't have the best weather. from arrival to monday morning it was cloudy and rainy, and slowly improved, with fri back to what i consider normal. so we went to the beaches in the sunny periods and walked in the cloudy periods. honeymoon is a really beautiful sandy beach on the west side of the ilon, with heidi's grill and joes bar. it is a short walk from the CG down a moderately steep path along which you might see a land tortoise or an iguana. to either side, away from the swim area, is fair snorkeling. a turtle or 2 live between the floating swim platform and the shore, and i spent a lot of time watching them. "The Cat" brings a load of people some days, but it's not too intrusive. otoh, i heard the mariott sometimes brings in 150, which would be horrible.

limestone beach is also a short walk down a path to the east side, facing a small reef. there is a narrow sandy region, perfectly OK for lying or sitting. there should be great snorkeling, but i wasn't able to find it. the view is excellent. we ended up sort of alternating beaches. our aim was to relax, and we spent most of the sunny time on the beach.

i heard that the best snorkeling is at spratt bay, but the local property owners have put a gate on the road and tried to block the area around the gate. some of the campers who took the long way around were asked to leave, so we didn't bother.

there is an old fort a decent walk away which is not much to see but which is on a high point with great views, and a lot of birds flying around the cliffs.

it's easy to get to st john via "safari bus" from crown bay to red hook and ferry to hike and swim. we didn't go but some other campers did and were very happy with the trip.

the cabin has a book of possible activities and recommended vendors. we wanted to go sailing so we called Karl, [--], who has the 37' ketch "Vandor". as i described above, it was a fantastic trip on Tu and Karl has my highest recommendation. Karl says he gets 99% of his biz from the cruise ships and he seemed to appreciate that we were sailors. Karl and mate Katie handled the boat effortlessly. my mate was on her best behavior and didn't critique his sail trim. a big plus for me was that he has masks with corrective lenses. again, i got a personal snorkeling tour from Katie, while other boats of the same size had 10-20 passengers.

the laptop in the "communications room" has no printer, but Deborah was happy to let us print our boarding passes in their house. then sat 3/13 Paul took us and our friends from Atlanta to the ferry dock, and we were off for a 1 1/2 hr delay and return to stormy, rainy boston.

if we do another land-based vacation, there's a very good chance we'll return to Water I. i can't imagine a better case of minimal travel from boston but real caribbean character.

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank tomke3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Santa Claus, IN
1 review
Reviewed 7 March 2010

What a great new experience Paul & Debbie provided for us at their Campground on Water Island. The tents {more like small cottages} are perched high on the hill overlooking St. Thomas with great views of the water & sunrise.. They were very clean and comfortable. The service provided was great. Paul picked us up at the ferry dock and provided us with transportation when we needed it at no cost. The majority of transportation on the island is golf carts with very few vehicles on the island. We had 2 over 30 year old sons with us and we were worried that they might be bored, since there are no shops, restaurants and commercial establishments on the island. The highlignt for them was Honeymoon Beach which was only a short walk from the campground. We also enjoyed relaxing at Honeymoon beach and enjoyed Joe's Beach Bar and Heidi's Grill for food. We went to the Dinner on the beach on Saturday night and had a great meal.
There are only 7 tents at the Campground and it was nice to meet the other people from other places. You have a common community area for cooking and people gathered and shared their experiences of the day.
We really enjoyed getting away from all the tourist at St. Thomas and relaxing on Water Island at the Virgin Island Campgrounds. We will be back.

  • Stayed February 2010
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Helpful?
Thank ArnoldsSantaClaus_IN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
Reviewed 28 February 2010

The water island campground was a very wonderful,enjoyable and unforgetable place to stay.It was well managed and very clean.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank venuslasvegas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington, DC
1 review
Reviewed 6 February 2010

Debbie and Paul: Thank you for a great Caribbean vacation. The New York Times had it right! Your Virgin Islands Campground is a great facility: outstanding ocean views, cozy cabins, clean bathroom facilities and what a treat to be able to see everyday three types of hummingbirds feeding on many hibiscus plants in full bloom! The eco-conscious windpower and composting were truly educational features four our family. The local Honeymoon Beach sunset was also a great experience. Your campground afforded easy access to other Virgin Islands vistas including the breathtaking British Virgin Gourda gigantic rock formations, Caneel and Cinnamon Bays among others. We enjoyed very much the crystal clear waters of the Virgin Islands. Again, thank you very much for a great Caribbean experience - the entire family thoroughly enjoyed our stay. We look forward to another visit. Elizabeth, Richard, Kara Sines and Carolina Manlapaz.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Giac0metti
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
new mexico
1 review
Reviewed 2 February 2010

It was quite a nice stay at this glam-campground. Everything was kept spotless! The host and hostess were very accommodating and even furnished us with rum punch drinks and on another day, Margaritas! The beach was a pleasant walk away and very nice. Good snorkeling. Never had to wait to use facilities. Plenty of food storage available. The ferry is an easy walk if not loaded with stuff. Host picks you up if you request. The food is VERY expensive, and limited variety on St Thomas. If you check a bag... fill it with staples and some canned goods... it is worth the 20 bucks. All the cabins were very comfortable and quite private. A very relaxing get away if you are hankering to R&R.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank cheaptrips49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Louisville
1 review
Reviewed 31 December 2009

My new wife and I loved our stay. After a few nights at a major resort on St. Thomas, we were ready for a change of pace--and we found it here. Our experience began with a friendly smile greeting us as we got off the ferry on Water Island. After a quick 'tour' of the campground and our cabin, we were happily on our own to enjoy the view, relax in the ocean breeze, and explore the island. In contrast to expensive meals on the resort, my wife and I enjoyed cooking for ourselves (in an open-air 'kitchen' with the best view ever). Definitely take the time to stock up on groceries on St. Thomas before you head to Water Island--makes for an inexpensive and fun food option in the USVI.

We were fortunate to be on Water Island for the 4th of July. It was a blast. From the little parade of decorated trucks and golf carts to the great eats at Heidi's grill on Honeymoon beach, it was small town america meets Carribean--and we loved it.

I would recommend staying here as long as you can--perhaps for your whole stay in the USVI. Day trips to St. Thomas and St. John are quite doable--and probably still musts. Water Island was a joy to explore and is now a unique and treasured memory for my wife and I.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank rcshannon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Virgin Islands Campground

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:2 star — Virgin Islands Campground 2*
Number of rooms: 7
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

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