St. Thomas, USVI Trip Report w/ Pic Link

Old May 25th, 2005, 03:02 PM
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KVR
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St. Thomas, USVI Trip Report w/ Pic Link

Wyndham Sugar Bay Resort and Spa
5-15-05 to 5-21-05

Check-in

We came in from the airport with several others guests staying at the hotel. There was one person checking everybody in, so about a 20 minute wait. The wait consisted of patrons squabbling over room location and furnishings. Staff seemed friendly otherwise. As advised, we signed up for the "Wyndham By Request" prior to coming to the Island. Didn't help with check-in or room selection. We also purchased the AI plan and after seeing the prices for food and drink at the hotel and at some of the places we went off property, was glad we did. The bell man placed our luggage on a golf cart and took us to our room.

Room

The put us Building E, Room 503. This had to be the smallest room I've ever been in next to a Motel 6. It had a king bed that took up the entire room with a dresser on the side which held the TV. Bath area was galley style with sink/vanity on one side and closet on the other side. At the end was the bath with tub/shower combo and toilet. A small frig was under the vanity. The room did have a nice size balcony with table and chairs, but the view was horrible. Just the top of the next building over. I advised the bell man this room was not acceptable. He replied I probably didn't pay for the nicer rooms and left. I returned to the front desk and inquired if there was any other rooms available with a better view. There would be no complimentary upgrades or upgrades for being a Wyndham By Request member. However, I did pay for a garden view so I at least expected that. She had a room with the view of the pool area and gardens, but I would have to forfeit the king bed for 2 double beds. We could live with that so we moved to Building A, Room 108. Ran into another bell man on the way back to the first room and asked if he would help us move our luggage. No problem. This room was much bigger in order to accommodate the two beds. Also had a second vanity/sink in the bathroom as well as in the dressing area and a small dry bar area with coffee maker and frig. The view was much better. We could see the pool area, duck pond, Turtle Rock Bar, the Grill and Mangrove buffet as well as part of the beach and ocean. This room location was probably the best to get to everything. Right next to the elevator and the steps to the pool or just a short walk to the lobby.

Pool/Jacuzzi/Beach

Loved the pool area. The 3 interconnecting pools with waterfalls were very pretty. Reminded me of the pool area at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas. The water temp was fine. One pool was set up for volleyball, the other for basketball, the third with the waterfalls for relaxing. Would have like a swim-up bar, but it wasn't too far to go to the bar. The beach area was down a short path. The beach is not very wide, but pretty deep. Lots of chairs by the pool and beach. No problem getting a chair and no chair saving was necessary. The hotel didn't seem crowded while we were there. The beach is rocky, but go down by the water sports area and no problem getting in. We didn't use water shoes, but others might want to. The ocean floor contains lots of sea grass and seaweed. Not ideal for swimming, but excellent for snorkeling. Go out around the rocks and there are various kinds of fish everywhere. It was like swimming in an aquarium. This beach had the best snorkeling of any others that we went to. Bring bug spray as there were several biting gnats in the evening. The Jacuzzi was big and relaxing. The water temp was very hot. Hotter than I would draw a bath at home, but got used to it. Couldn't stay in too long though.

Food

We mainly ate at the Mangrove buffet. We enjoyed the food. The fresh salads were very good. We always found something we liked and enjoyed the casual atmosphere. We ate at the Manor House once for dinner. The salad bar there was disappointing. Just a bowl of mixed greens and salad dressing. We both ordered the rib eyes with tarragon sauce. The rib eyes were good, but we could have done with out the tarragon sauce. If you don't go AI dinner prices ranged from $21 to $26. We both agreed that the Mangrove buffet was better, and that making reservations for the Manor House was inconvenient to our schedule. The Manor House also served a buffet breakfast with omelet/fried egg station. It was good. Ate at the pool grill twice. Had hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken sandwich and nachos with cheese, salsa and guacamole. It was basic, but tasty. We felt the service at all the restaurants and bar were good. Never had a problem with staff being unfriendly. We did notice that we needed to address them first with a "good morning" or "good evening" and they would respond accordingly and be quite friendly. If not, I can see how people would think they were rude or aloof.

Tours

We booked two tours through the Tour Desk; Island Tours of St. Thomas and St. John. Both were well organized and well worth it. A little too crowded with others, but OK. In St.Thomas I've never seen so many jewelery stores in one place in my entire life. Many contained bars. Interesting concept. St. John is just beautiful. Reminded us alot of Maui, Hawaii only nicer. The roads on both islands were like riding a mini roller coaster. If you've been on the Road to Hana in Maui, that road is nothing compared to St. Thomas/St. John. We did not rent a car and was thankful. No way we were going to drive on those roads. We viewed Cinnamon Beach, Linquist Beach, Maho Beach and Magens Bay. Only swam/snorkled at Trunk Bay, Coki Beach and the beach at theWyndham, which had the best snorkling of the three. Also went to Coral World and did the Sea Trek. We also went on a boat trip to the BVI on New Horizons II, which we booked off the Internet prior to our trip. We highly recommend going to BVI. New Horizons II was fabulous. We went to Paradise Point on Wedensday night for their live band. Very enjoyable. They offered 2 for 1 Coors Light, which kept the bar bill down. We also ordered a basket of buffalo wings for $9.00. Ouch! It rained the entire evening, so no good sunset pictures. Also went into Red Hook and visited Duffy's Love Shack. Cute set-up, but the crowd was a little to young for our taste. Drinks were huge and expensive. We did enjoy the "Lime In Dee Coconut" drink.

Observations

Did not like the set up of the hotel. The restaurants and bars were not convenient to the rooms. The 99 steps to the pool, beach, bar, buffet and grill was a pain. Especially after eating/drinking, we didn't want to climb the steps back up and waiting for the shuttle took too long. It rained for most of our stay so walking up and down the steps in the rain was not fun either.
Didn't try the Spa. After looking at the prices, thought it was too expensive. A 50 min. massage was $90. Packages started at $200. I've been to spas in Mexico and Las Vegas and their prices for the same services were half of what they were charging.

Being a Wyndham By Request member, we were supposed to get a late check out, but was informed the room was needed so a late check out wouldn't be possible. While we waited in the lobby for our pick-up to the airport, we did get 30 minutes free Internet service and was able to check our e-mail.

All-in-all it was a nice vacation and we enjoyed it. We have stayed at better more convenient places in the Caribbean and Mexico and probably wouldn't return to the Wyndham Sugar Bay. We're booked for Sandals Grande/St. Lucia in November.

Pictures on our web-site at: http://community.webshots.com/user/kvrlvn

Any questions email: [email protected].
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Old May 25th, 2005, 06:04 PM
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Welcome home! Thanks for the great trip report. We also found the AI to be a good deal as food and beverages were expensive everywhere. We took a room in the middle range and had a wonderful view of the water. Was it really late when you went to Duffy's? We did notice that as the night wore on the crowd did get younger.
Good luck with St. Lucia. We have also stayed there and will be interested in seeing a trip report when you return.
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Old May 25th, 2005, 06:42 PM
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We went to Duffy's about 9pm. Lots of young boys(18-21) and a few Navy personnel. Looked like a pick-up joint. The place is too small. Couldn't get anywhere near the bar or the dance floor. Hanging in the parking lot not our idea of fun. Paradise Point was a much better evening.

We loved Sandals in the Bahamas and looking forward to St. Lucia.
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Old May 25th, 2005, 06:59 PM
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kvr

Enjoyed your pictures. Looking forward to New Horizons II when we go to St John the end of November. JVD looks great! Was that sea trek the same thing as SNUBA? That looked really cool.

You will love St Lucia, beautiful island. Recommend the Grenadines tour that Sandal's offers. Well worth the $$. If you decide to dine off resort at all, The Coal Pot in Castries is wonderful.
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Old May 25th, 2005, 07:43 PM
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The Sea Trek and Snuba are a little different. Snuba, you wear a mask and diver type air hose in your mouth. The air is hooked to a tank on the surface with a hose instead of a tank on your back. I liked the Sea Trek because I'm blind without my glasses and I could keep them on to see everything. The helmet was heavy though.

New Horizons II was fabulous. Would highly recommend them.
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