U.S. Virgin Islands Journals

Week split on St. Thomas & St. John

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A December 2002 trip to U.S. Virgin Islands by Harry Potter

Marriott on the cliffs Photo, U.S. Virgin Islands, Caribbean More Photos
Quote: The first week in December was the perfect time to visit the U.S. Virgin Islands: the weather was cold back home, but it was just before high season down south, so airfare and hotels were reasonably priced and it wasn't too crowded. We split our week between St. Thomas and St. John.

Week split on St. Thomas & St. John

Overview

View of St. Thomas from the airplane Photo, U.S. Virgin Islands, Caribbean
Quote:
Arriving at the airport and being greeted with a welcome drink of Cruzan rum punch (St. Thomas). Renting a jeep so we could beach hop--each beach has something special to offer and we were glad to have the flexibility of the jeep to be able to drive and see several of them (St. John). Simultaneously sunbathing, having drinks, and sitting on barstools in the water at the pool bar at the Marriott (St. Thomas). Sharing private, romantic moments at night in the dimly lit Jacuzzi at the Morningstar Hotel (St. Thomas). Having to hike a half hour down to the nude beach in a dress and high heels (St. John). Snorkeling and wondering at the marvelous underwater crea...Read More

Marriott Frenchman''s Reef

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Hotel

Marriott on the cliffs Photo, U.S. Virgin Islands, Caribbean
Quote:
The Marriott Frenchman''s Reef and Morning Star Beach Resort are adjacent cliffside hotels connected by a free shuttle service or a five-minute walk along an oceanfront path. Though the location is less than 10 minutes by taxi or water shuttle from the main town, Charlotte Amalie, it feels quite isolated from other parts of the island. You could easily spend your vacation just on these properties as there are pools, Jacuzzis, a beach, tennis courts, health club, restaurants, bars, food store, business services, and daily events. We stayed at Frenchman''s Reef and as soon as we walked through the lobby and viewed the ocean and pool, we were transcended into a relaxing state so easily obtained in ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 30, 2002

Westin - St. John

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Hotel

Our spacious room at the Westin Photo, U.S. Virgin Islands, Caribbean
Quote:
Caneel Bay and the Westin are the two most luxurious resorts on St. John and, having stopped into Caneel Bay to compare, we were glad to have stayed at the Westin. The Westin has spacious landscape, multiple facilities, lovely rooms, and exceptional service. The reception area is large, brightly lit, breezy from the open entrances and, when we were there, just starting to be decorated for Christmas. We rented a jeep from a desk in the reception area--it couldn''t have been easier. We told them how long we wanted to rent it, signed the papers, and walked to the hotel parking lot to get the car. The rate included fuel (no need to bring it back full) and no extra charges. When we were finished with...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 30, 2002

Lime Inn

Restaurant

Sign at the entrance Photo, U.S. Virgin Islands, Caribbean
Quote:
We wandered up and down the small streets of Cruz Bay until we stumbled upon Lime Inn. On Wednesday nights, Lime Inn's special is all-you-can-eat Peel 'n' Eat Shrimp, and as luck would have it, it was a Wednesday night. After passing through the open-air Ficus Bar, we reached the dining area, where we were greeted by the good-humored owner, Rich, who has been here since 1984. Rich is very friendly with his staff and patrons, and later had no qualms about questioning why I was taking notes; when I told him, he jokingly asked me not to dock his restaurant rating because of the white plastic chairs, but I told him not to worry, as the chairs matched the casual, alfresco atmosphere. There is a separ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 31, 2002

Tavern on the Beach

Restaurant

Sign for Tavern on the Beach at reception Photo, U.S. Virgin Islands, Caribbean
Quote:
At the Marriott on St. Thomas, their versions of the famous NYC restaurants are called Tavern on the Beach and Windows on the Harbour (not to be mistaken with Tavern on the Waterfront, another restaurant on St. Thomas). Tavern on the Beach, located in the Morningstar Hotel, is a five-star, open-air restaurant that overlooks the ocean. Since there is an open view, the soothing sound of the ocean waves rolling in accompanied our dinner. We sat for dinner as late as they would allow, and so at 9:30pm, the ocean was pitch black and the restaurant almost empty. The only downside to our late dining hour was that they had sold out of the specials, which included the chef's sushi roll and the scallop s...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 30, 2002

Windows on the Harbour

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Restaurant

Windows on the Harbour Photo, St. Thomas, Barbados
Quote:
The upscale restaurant at the Frenchman's Reef is called Windows on the Harbour and across the harbor is the main town of Charlotte Amalie. Tables are placed against the large windows to provide an unobstructed view of the wide harbor. Windows on the Harbour serves dinner until 10pm and we arrived at 9:20pm without a reservation which we clearly didn't need. At that time, the spacious split-level dining rooms were almost empty and we were given a corner table against a stone wall. There is the impression of a classy decor with the white tablecloths and napkins along with the wood armchairs and their red cushions. The dark multi-colored rug was woven with nautical designs and brass lamps with ...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on January 10, 2003

Windows on the Harbour
Marriott Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star, 5 Estate Bakkeroe
St. Thomas
(340) 776-8500

Skinny Legs Bar and Grill

Restaurant | "Skinny Legs"

Skinny Legs Bar and Grill Photo, St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands
Quote:
This place was supposedly named after the legs of its owners, Doug Sica and Moe Chabuz, but we didn't see them to verify this rumor. The restaurant is located in the back of a market, on the side of the road, just before the intersection of where Route 10 hits Route 107 in Coral Bay. This open-air restaurant is just off the beach and offers a lovely view of the mountains. The decor is beachy, including the surfboard menu that hangs from a rafter, and there are also several sandals hanging like wind chimes and a board of fish. We sat on the deck with wood square tables and white plastic chairs. There is also a separate section with green plastic chairs, but no one was sitting in this section. Even tho...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 13, 2003

Skinny Legs Bar and Grill
Coral Bay
St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands
(340) 779-4982

St. John North Shore Beaches

Attraction | "St. John North Beaches"

St. John North Shore Beaches Photo, St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands
Quote:
St. John reports 39 beaches. We decided renting a jeep was the best way to see the notable ones. Armed with our driving map, we drove north through Cruz Bay.Our first stop was Caneel Bay. The gate to Caneel Bay Resort is not marked well, and at first we weren't sure that we had found it. Caneel Bay consists of seven beaches, but if you are not a guest at Caneel Bay, you must access six of those beaches by water. We walked down the path to the resort and stopped just long enough to take a couple photos of the public beach before we walked back to our jeep to continue beach-hopping.Hawksnest Bay is a few minutes' drive from Caneel Bay Resort. It is lovely wit...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 13, 2003

St. John North Shore Beaches
Along North Shore Road (route 10)
St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands

Salomon Beach

Attraction | "Nude Beach - Salomon Beach"

Salomon Beach Photo, St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands
Quote:
Though I wrote an excerpt on St. John's North Beaches, I did not include Salomon Beach there as it deserves an entry of its own. One of my guidebooks mentioned this beach as a good snorkeling beach, but it failed to mention it is also a nude beach, nor did it provide any information on how to get there which is an excursion on its own.Let me preface this by saying, the strap on my beach sandals had broken the day before, so I was wearing my heeled sandals which I didn't think would be a problem since I planned to take them off once we got on the sand. Second, I was wearing a sundress over my bikini, and third, I was carrying a fairly heavy beach bag with towels, books, food, and such, planning for ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 13, 2003

Salomon Beach
Route 20
Cruz Bay, St. John 00830
+1 340 776 6201

Annaberg Plantation

Attraction

Annaberg Plantation Photo, St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands
Quote:
Our ticket for entrance to Trunk Bay gave us complimentary admission to visit the Annaberg Sugar Mill in Leinster Bay, otherwise it is a $4 entrance fee. We were given a laminated map at the start, which was great since it rained periodically while we were exploring this fully outdoor site. It took us about a half hour to leisurely walk the quarter mile around the ruins and read the signs explaining the process of sugar production. Annaberg was an active sugar producing factory in the 1780s and also produced rum and molasses. There are 18 numbered signs, each with a drawing and a paragraph or more description of that step in the process. The 18 signs are: 1) Slave quarters--one of the cabins...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 13, 2003

Annaberg Plantation
Off Route 20 (North Shore Road)
Annaberg, St. John 00831
+1 340 776 6201