Back from St. Thomas/BVI's...any questions?

Old Nov 28th, 2000, 09:03 AM
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Back from St. Thomas/BVI's...any questions?

Hi all,

Just returned from an amazing trip to St. Thomas and the BVI's. Highlights in St. Thomas included:
1) charming Hotel 1829 whose rooms had lots of character and the chocolate souffle was to die for!
2) hair braiding!!!
3) Glady's cafe for lunch
4) shopping, shopping, shopping!

Highlights from the BVI's included:
1) sailing around Tortola/Virgin Gorda for seven days
2) dinner at the Lighthouse on V.G.
3) the BATHS at VG!!!
4) diving with Dive BVI at the coral gardens
5) Olde Yarde Inn on V.G.--wonderful accommodations
6) snorkelling
7) meeting all the friendly people in the Virgin Islands
8) eating the largest lobsters I've ever seen at Abe's on Jost Van Dyke

We had a romantic, wonderful, relaxing vacation, and I would be happy to try to answer any questions that might involve the sights we saw and things we enjoyed!
Old Nov 28th, 2000, 09:41 AM
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Abby - We're thinking of going to the BVI on our honeymoon next summer. Could you please give me more info. on the places you stayed and restaurants where you ate.(we were thinking of a private villa on a mountain or a nice place on the beach)
Also, any info. on the hurricane season there. We're going in mid-Augst, so we are concerned about hurricanes, so that may change our location.
Also any BVI you liked better? And for what reason? Thank you. Tricia
Old Nov 28th, 2000, 09:51 AM
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Our son is going to be married on St. Thomas in April 2001, at the Marriott Fisherman's Reef Resort.
We plan on doing sightseeing, sunbathing, snorkeling, etc. Do you suggest we rent a car?
Also, any suggestions on restaurants in Charlotte Amalie for "nice" dinner?
Old Nov 28th, 2000, 01:42 PM
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Hi again,

Tricia...My favorite BVI was (a tough decision!) probably Virgin Gorda. It is much less "happening" than Tortola, and hence was more relaxing for us. We visited Virgin Gorda, Tortola and Jost Van Dyke all via sailboat for seven days, then returned to Virgin Gorda to stay at the Olde Yard Inn for three more days. I loved the Olde Yard Inn as a fairly inexpensive inn (our room was $130 off season), because the atmosphere was great. It is definitely a small, intimate inn, and not a big all-inclusive water-sport type place. While we stayed there we walked ten minutes to the harbor, then picked up a taxi to the Baths, which are very cool and especially fun on a non-cruise ship day (less crowded). We ate at several good restaurants, but my favorite on Virgin Gorda was the Lighthouse, which is on Gorda Sound on the north side of the island near Bitter End Yacht Club. If you rent a villa, you will definitely have a relaxing, private trip and can rent a jeep to explore the island. I'm not sure about the hurricane seasons, so you will want to do a search on this board. Hope this helps! One thing that I should say surprised me is that (I had previously only been to the Bahamas) the islands are very lush, and the beaches are gorgeous but very spread out. In other words, if you are a sit-on-the-beach-with-a-good-book type, you might want to stay at an all-inclusive resort. Otherwise you should be able to enjoy the entire island by jeep.

Cindy--In St. Thomas we didn't have a chance to hit the beaches, so I can't really tell about the snorkeling etc. What I can say is that we stayed at Hotel 1829 in the heart of Charlotte Amalie (by the way they have a pretty good, expensive dinner menu, which was topped off with some heavenly chocolate souffle), and we walked everywhere. Taxis were everywhere, and so unless you are comfortable driving in crowded streets, and remember they drive like in Britain on the left side of the road), I would not recommend getting rental car. If you plan on exploring the entire island, however, perhaps someone could advise a good rental car company for you.

The only other two restaurants we ate at were Glady's Cafe (excellent lunch spot where the ladies sang complimentary Frank Sinatra while we ate!) and Herve's, which was an upscale restaurant right next door to our hotel, which was also quite good! Have fun!
Old Jan 7th, 2001, 06:12 PM
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Hi Abby, It sounds like you had an absolutely wonderful trip. I am beginning to plan a dive trip to St. Thomas and Tortola in November. Could you tell me where I would find the best diving and whether you would recommend diving off of some of the other islands.
Thank you, Michele
Old Jan 8th, 2001, 08:15 AM
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My boyfriend and I will be sailing the BVI for 7 days/nights with a flexible itinerary. We would like to eat some nice dinners out at restaurants. Good food, romantic atmosphere, and easily accessible from our boat are our only requirements. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Old Jan 9th, 2001, 10:23 AM
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I've heard mixed reviews about the Long Bay Beach Resort. Fodor's give it a star but elsewhere people say its not so great. Any input from anyone?
Old Jan 9th, 2001, 10:41 AM
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Got a full thread here with a couple of different things going on ... and yesterday, in the middle of a long response, I got bumped and lost it all. Grrrrrrrrrr!
Have loads of info about STT restaurants and STJ restuarants are an option too since it is just a quick ferry ride from Red Hook!
In FrenchTown there is the new Chickie's where we had a delightful dinner in December and she is expanding to a jazz club some nites and room with a billards (or pool - don't remember which) table too. Also you might want to Craig and Sally's - great wine list but I enjoy Alexander's, Austrian with great veal dishes and wonderful desserts! Liter dining you might want to try Epirney behind Alexander's or even the Point (think that's the new name of the Chart House!). Someone told me that Betsy's (in the tent and home cooking) is good too!! Right in Town, there is Virgilio's for Italian and on Gov't Hill next to 1829, is Herve's (if he opens the doors for you and it is a great view!) and Marisol, brand new to the scene and excellent. The Inn at BlackBeard's is another option. The Terrace has great views! On the East End, I enjoy the Cafe at the Ritz, Secret Harbour's Blue Moon Cafe and Cafe Wahoo (Red Hook by the ferry dock). Driving is not that big of a hassle really. If you want to take a vehicle on the car ferry to St. John, make sure your agency permits it. I enjoy Geraldinne and Al at and find them very helpful - they pick you up at the airport and drop you off for departure!! Only the right turns are taxing and I love it when there is someone in front of me so I can follow!! LOL Really I regret not having done it for many years. But, back to restaurants. I like the Tavern right at MorningStar watching the cruise ships leave and it is good also! If you look for the Restaurant Guide, it give good information for about 60 different restaurants on STT/STJ. Dining wiht Andre, Cafe Wahoo and Chateau Bordeaux are my favoirtes there but liter I enjoy Morgan's Mango and don't care much for Lime Inn and some of the others that people rave about!! Oh! I haven't been to 1829 in a couple of years because with the competition there are just better choices. But those souffles for dessert with that view is worth it just for that.
Old Jan 9th, 2001, 10:56 AM
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okay ... so far!!
Snorkling is good at Sapphire and at Coki Beach, a popular spot, my favorite is Secret Harbour ... and a great restaurant there for lunch so you can make it a day! Diving I would use His Friday trip to the Rhone fills quickly and at his site he has a schedule of each's months dives and trips. Excellent ... And many of the pristine beaches on St. John offer wonderful snorkling. I would skip Trunk as it is just too overused and head to some of the other beaches ... Hawksnest, Honeymoon, so many to list!!

Now, what do I address next ...
Long Bay Beach Resort ... I am NOT a fan!! I find it way overpriced and not in the group of "upscale" that they like to think they are. Large rooms, tho, but the beach especially in the winter months is unswimmable. Rough and Rocky and I mean rough!! We had to pay to shuttle to Smuggler's (or rent a vehicle) or take a very long hot hot walk to take a swim! Not my idea of fun! It fell short in many of the amenities that one would expect at a beachfront resort as well! But then, you do see some pretty attractive prices and specials to attract people andif you are willing to put up with the shortcomings, so be it. I much prefer many of the other islands than Tortola (do like Frenchman's Cay tho on Tortola) and you might want to check for her BVI reports/pictures/etc.

Yes, August is hurricane time ... but the peak is end of Sept to early October ... but no guarantees of course!! Usually they are later in the season but get the trip insurance when you book!! Well worth it - in case!! We have only been blown out twice in many many years of traveling in October so it doesn't happen often!!

Please feel free to contact me or ask away ... and I will be happy to suppliment Abby's answers if necessary and answer any questions!!
Old Jan 14th, 2001, 11:38 AM
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we are heading over to st. thomas on tuesday. know anything about the bolongo bay beach club? would love any responses... any other must see or must dos....

Old Jan 15th, 2001, 10:24 AM
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How is St. Thomas (i.e. activities, crowds, weather)in mid November?
Old Jan 15th, 2001, 12:11 PM
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My husband and two other couples are planning to charter a sailboat and sail the BVI's in late April/early May. Our first planning meeting is tonight. Thinking of starting from Tortola. As far as the charter goes, I have heard great things about "The Moorings" but they seemed to be priced higher than the other companies. Any suggestions?
Old Jan 15th, 2001, 12:57 PM
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We just returned from a charter with TMM--check them out. In addition, Stardust (Sunsail)and Tradewinds are worth a look. Also, you may want to go to www.TravelTalkOnline and go to the BVI board--lots of good info there!
Old Jan 15th, 2001, 01:00 PM
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We just returned from a BVI charter--an Athena 38 catamaran through TMM. Check out TMM, Stardust (Sunsail) and Tradewinds--I hear good things about all of them and their boats looked good too. I think that sail-on-line has listings for charters through individual charter boat owners also. Check out and go to the BVI board--lots of good info there!
Old Mar 23rd, 2001, 05:19 AM
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I was wondering if you had a chance to see either Nail bay resort or Mango BAy resort on Virgin Gorda.

We are trying to decide between the two
Old Mar 23rd, 2001, 08:18 AM
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Don't miss Cuzzin's for great West Indian food- Was there in Feb.- The conch was fabulous- 1829 had great atmosphere and service, but the food was mediocre at best... Try Sib's on the mountain for casual good food and fun!

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