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Fay Sep 28th, 2000 02:56 PM

Bolongo Bay
Planning a trip to St. Thomas next spring. Have been advised to go all inclusive on St. Thomas as restaurants are very expensive. Among package deals, only the Bolongo Bay and the Wyndham offer all inclusive. Leaning toward Bolongo because it's smaller and closer to nightlife. Would appreciate feedback on all inclusive vs. european plan and on the Bolongo resort.

Karen Sep 28th, 2000 04:42 PM

Not sure who told that restaurants are expensive ... but some are but many are moderate priced and resonable!!! You might want to consider a condo with cooking facilities and eat breakfast. lunch and snacks in but go out for dinner rather than do the all-inclusive. Marriott (both the Reef and MorningStar - 5 restaurants to choose from on property) also offers an all-inclusive option if you are interested! I don't see Bolongo as closer to nitelife as Sugar Bay is not too far from Red Hook, the ferry dock and some party places - and it would be a less expensive taxi ride or shorter drive! Bolongo is low rise while Sugar Bay is hirise and you will want to travel to places with nicer beaches especially on St. John! I think that if you are "out" for the day, and the USVI is not a place where you stay holded up in your resort, the all-inclusive option might be a deterent! But, then if you enjoy the included alcohol, it might be a definate advantage!!!

ali Feb 15th, 2002 09:43 AM

I don't know if it's true and haven't been there, but Bolonga got a really bad review by someone-- apparently they use "special" toilet water- some kind of gray sludge that's a mix of salt water and I don't know what else to conserve water. It sounded really gross so I tossed that out of my choices of places to stay. I haven't been yet, but have picked the Marriott Frenchman's/Morningstar.

steve Apr 4th, 2002 03:41 PM

We stayed at the Bolongo Bay and it was the worst experience of our travels. Very run down and rude people.

chazz Apr 5th, 2002 05:10 AM

I don't agree with the advice of going all-inclusive on St. Thomas. There are lots of restaurants in various price ranges. We stayed in a condo (Crystal Cove), cooked many of our meals, and found reasonably priced restaurants.<BR><BR>We ate at Iggy's, which I believe is the less expensive restaurant at Bolongo, and enjoyed it. We walked around the resort a bit and it seemed like a fun place - lots of recreational activities for the guests, decent pool, a catamaran for daysails. The beach is nice and relatively private, although there are some rocks where you walk into the water.<BR><BR>Everyone we encountered at Bolongo treated us very cordially, even though we weren't staying there.<BR><BR>I also read the post about the toilet water - I wonder if anyone else who has stayed there can confirm this?<BR><BR><BR>

Beachy Apr 5th, 2002 12:15 PM

I live very close to Bolongo. It's not fancy but you'll be right on the beach, unlike Sugar Bay which has a teeny little beach. The water you're talking about is called "gray water" which is runoff water or possibly salt water. Bolongo is smaller so it doesn't have its own osmosis plant to change salt water into fresh water so "gray water" is used for flushing & groundskeeping. I'm quite sure you were planning to drink out of the toilet.<BR><BR>I used to be assistant manager at Morning Star Beach Resort. It's a very nice resort but also pricier than either the Windham Sugar Bay or Bolongo. It's on the beach & has 5 buildings. It's considered the luxury end of Frenchman's Reef. Personally I prefer the beach at Bolongo to Morning Star.<BR><BR>Restaurant prices vary widely. If you're near Havensight during the day (that's where the cruise ships dock), go to Delly Deck for breakfast or lunch or across the street to Shipwreck for burgers. Delly Deck or Shipwreck are known for great hamburgers. If you're at Red Hook, Duffy's is great for lunch & a fun (though loud) place at night & is not expensive. Across from Duffy's, look for Molly Malone's for a great American or Irish breakfast & also for lunch & dinner.<BR><BR>One of the best beaches is Sapphire Beach & there are condos available for rent. I much prefer Sapphire to Magen's Bay.

Jennifer Delia Jun 7th, 2002 07:56 AM

Fay-<BR><BR>I wanted to take the time to feedback on Bolongo Bay - all inclusive on St. Thomas - (food, drink, water sports) and give thumbs up. Some things to keep in mind - we were travelling as a family - my husband, our daughter - myself - It was very important to me that the destination be not only accomodating for adults but also children - I have been many a place where you feel like a three headed monster for bringing your munckin along. We found that without a doubt the Doumeng family's location not only accomodates kids but makes them feel welcome and part of the action. The Activities/Sports Director Sergio had many things to do beyond just swimming -nature hikes, coral painting for souveniers, wave running, limbo contests - sandcastle contests -etc.(And this is only covers the kids!) <BR><BR>Please do not misunderstand me and get the picture that the place was overrun with families and kids - not so - we found a great balance of honeymooners, couples vacationing, some families with kids - all enjoying the hospitality of the resort. <BR><BR>A word on Bolongo's beach - it is absolutely great for seashell searching - walking, bathing, waverunnering out past Charlotte Amalie, windsurfing etc. It does not have the unbelievable clarity and underwater life of Maegans or Sapphire. BUT! I must say that we did not intend on snorkelling every day 100% of the time. We were able to get all our snorkelling in via the included all day Heavenly Days catamaran cruise to St. John (offered as part of the all inclusive package) and a couple of trips to Koki beach/Maegans bay. BUT! on those trips those beaches was VERY crowded - not necessarily serene. This was a bit of a shock after enjoying the privacy of Bolongo's beach. Further, included in Bolongo's all-inclusive package is a scuba lesson -we did not participate as our daughter was too young but every person who came back from the lesson/optional hour dive raved about the majesty of it all. Again - the offerings of Bolongo outstrip the beach issue. <BR><BR>About Bolongo's rooms - Spartan but completely do-able. I have stayed at MANY hotels/resorts from 5 star to motel sixes and the truth I find here is that (A)sometimes even the most expensive places have mediocre rooms due to age of property (Ritz Carlton Phoenix AZ comes to mind) (B) we were only in our room to sleep from 11.00pm to 7.30am. It is a tropical location - there will be rust etc in bathrooms as the humidity wreaks havoc. I would rather the resort continue to offer inexpensive options with great service than drop a ton of cash into fancy rooms that you (hopefully) spend no time in - passing the cost to the customer. <BR><BR>The food! (and drink) was great - we found ourselves pretending we were college students - swim up to the bar, grab a drink ...sleep under the umbrellas etc. The Beach House's dinner fare was delicious - we opted for lobster twice out of 6 nights and honestly - the plate comes out with not a half a lobster split per standard restaurant offering but with the WHOLE thing. My cholesterol skyrocketed. I have not expereinced a different all-inclusive offering but it seems that many (food wise) are buffets etc and may leave much to be desired - this is not the case here. Delicious all around. <BR><BR>Finally - to close - the only advice I would give a prospective traveller is to (A) bring a passport to take advantage of possible excursions to Tortola BVI (day sails) (B) think about renting a car for a couple of days. We used taxis and although they are "negotiable" in some cases they still add up. Vertina the activities director can help onsite with that. Further - make sure to pump the staff for suggestions on what to do/see around St. Thomas given the time of year/season. They have great ideas and are always happy to suggest something. <BR>

Jennifer Delia Jun 7th, 2002 08:01 AM

As a side note on Bolongo's toilet water supply - apparently they use (only for toilets) a type of treated seawater (this taken from a response from a respondant upon another board who works in the industry in STT.) - we just stayed there 05/02 and I couldn't even notice the difference in the water. I looked specifically as I had read this as well on the boards. I can only imagine that as the condition of the seawater changes with the seasons/weather there may or may not be a change in the quality of the water processed. Nevertheless - this was not an issue for us.

WildBill Jun 7th, 2002 01:10 PM

Have to disagree a little with Jennifer about the number of Children at Bolongo. Went to Iggy's for Happy Hour on a Friday night and the place was literally over-run with children. More children than adults from what I could see. Iggy's had good drinks and apps but couldn't stand it long enough to have dinner. Several other people who weren't staying there also came in for a drink, looked at the dinner menu, looked at the kids singing (LOUDLY) karaoke songs and also hit the road. Staff was really nice, but there were a ton of kids running all over Iggy's.

Jennifer Delia Jun 9th, 2002 08:35 AM

Bill -<BR>Was this recently?<BR>(meaning within the last month?)<BR>While we were there the owners children scheduled a fieldtrip for their fifth/fouth grade class out on the Heavenly Days Catamaran - I do know they wound up at Iggies singing (quite loudly)Kareoke. I do agree that it was a sight to see - possibly this was an isolated incident?<BR><BR>On a side note - Bolongo does host a group of underprivledged children during the low season (june-Aug) - takes them out to the resort and teaches them to swim (strange that this is not ingrained in the kids already) feeds them - does fun activities as school is out. From conversations with the staff the kids enjoy greatly the opportunity to get out and are not problematic for the guests. I was impressed with the active part the resort takes in the community.<BR>

WildBill Jun 9th, 2002 03:16 PM

This was the Friday before Memorial Day. I got the impression from the waitstaff that this was pretty common.

jennifer delia Jun 9th, 2002 08:20 PM

Yep - that was the same night of their field trip. I am so sorry that this was the impression that you left with regarding Bolongo. I can most certainly tell you that this was NOT common for our stay - they in fact had the kareoke specially for the kids. We left that next day (saturday - how funny - we were probably in the place as you looked around.)<BR><BR>Thanks for clarifying...

cdt Jun 10th, 2002 04:47 AM

We went to Iggy's a few months ago for drinks and dinner and there were hardly any children around (we were staying elsewhere). Our dinners were delicious and reasonably priced, esp. by STT standards.<BR>

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