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A Look Into The U.S. Virgin Islands:

Each with a character all its own, the three islands that make up the United States Virgin Islands entice with a cornucopia of Caribbean charm. From the Danish influence in St. Croix to shopping galore in St. Thomas and Mother Nature at her finest in St. John, USVI is paradise found. “Consumers are focused on value more now than ever,” said Beverly Nicholson-Doty, tourism commissioner, “USVI is an affordable destination that offers variety, as travelers can island-hop between St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas.”

To encourage stays at the islands’ small hotels, the Department of Tourism has introduced the “Inntimate Treasures ‘package that includes USD 50.00 in activity coupons, USD 50.00 dining certificate, USVI-branded gift bag and bottle of Cruzan Rum.

St Croix

The largest of the three islands, St. Croix is chockablock with pastel-colored buildings, rolling hills and the historic towns of Christiansted and Frederiksted. 

On the waterfront, Hotel Caravelle marries European elegance with Caribbean charm in forty-three rooms and the Rumrummer’s restaurant. Beachfront and elegant, Buccaneer is a historic 138-room resort boasting eight tennis courts, spa and golf course. The best beaches are on the western shore including Rainbow Beach with clear waters and footprint-perfect sand. On the weekends, Dorsch Beach is packed with Crucians who bring sound systems that rock with reggae and soca.

For golfers, the Carambola Club hosts the annual LPGA Golf Tournament. St. George Village Botanical Gardens is inviting on a sunny afternoon and for art lovers, Caribbean Museum Center is a must-see.

A day trip to Buck Island Reef National Monument is family-friendly with Big Beard's Adventure Tours. Open-air in a jeep with Tan Tan Tours explores the island shore-to-shore.

To toast the sunset, Comanche Mill Yacht-less Club stirs and shakes Cruzan Rum cocktails named after famous yachts. With Asian-inspired d├ęcor, Galangal is new on the restaurant scene and creating a buzz with a delectable almond-crusted tilapia. For jazz fans, Blue Moon dishes up live bands on Wednesdays and Fridays.

St. Thomas

The port town of Charlotte Amalie shines with gourmet dining, sizzling nightlife, views of the Caribbean Sea from 1,500 feet above sea level and duty-free shopping galore. (USD 1600.00 duty-free allowance is allowed surpassing the USD 800.00 limit on other islands)
Setting the gold standard for luxury, 180-room Ritz-Carlton entices with four eateries including the acclaimed Bleuwater, spa and private catamaran. The ‘Romance: No Planning Required’ package – USD 594.00 per night with  minimum five nights– includes ocean view suite, breakfast for two , USD 100.00 daily resort credit, bottle of bubbly and Club Level access . For the ultimate in pampering, fifty-five suites on the Club Level come with concierge service and a telescope for stargazing

Carved into a mountaintop, Wyndham Sugar Bay Resort is one-stop-shopping with three pools, four tennis courts and six restaurants. Minutes from an 18-hole golf course, the resort is rated AAA Three-Diamond with 300 rooms and seven suites

 For the wee ones, Butterfly Farm enchants with sightings of newborns taking their first flights at sunrise– and for the grown-ups, Havensight is a mega-mall with more than a hundred stores. At Coki Point, Coral World Marine Park has an underwater observatory tower and 80,000-gallon coral reef tank. For aerial photographs, Skyride to Paradise Point glides 700 feet above sea level. Magen’s Bay beach is all about swimming while Sapphire Beach attracts windsurfers and jet skiers and Secret Harbour is for the snorkelers in the crowd. 

For delectable mango ice cream pie, Petit Pump Room is the go-to-spot while the Hubbly Bubbly Hookah Lounge sparkles with belly dancing and fruit-flavored tobacco blends.

A ferry ride from Charlotte Amalie, Water Island is a quiet retreat with no traffic and a population of two hundred. Movies are shown Monday nights on Honeymoon Beach where the Pizza Boat delivers to locals and visitors alike.

St. John

Small and scenic, St. John is the smallest of the trio. Untouched by mass tourism and with two-thirds designated a National Park, St. John appeals to those who want a hassle-free holiday. Offshore, Coral Reef National Monument showcases submerged reefs and sea-grass beds.

Sitting pretty on Great Cruz Bay, 320-room Westin St. John comes with Starwood amenities including a spa, Kids Club, tennis courts and shopping promenade.

Inside the National Park, Caneel Bay has been artfully designed to blend in with the natural landscape.  Surrounded by seven beaches, the resort has 166 rooms with picture windows for sublime views. The famous ‘Cottage 7’ hosts celebrities and political figures who covet its privacy and four-poster beds.

Activities in the Virgin Islands National Park include bird watching, tours of the Annaberg Sugar Mill, snorkeling and evening nature talks. In the heart of the park, Maho Bay Camps are tent-cottages built on platforms with an eco-astute Trash to Treasures Art Center that recycles trash into fine art.

For snorkeling, the Underwater Trail at Trunk Bay is legendary. On the less traveled southeast corner, Concordia Preserve is a natural salt pond with solar-powered eco-tents rentable to the adventurous. And for the ultimate R & R, a yam and pumpkin peel at the Drift Away Day Spa will remind you why you booked a vacation in the first place.

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