Posted by: islandhideaway | March 24, 2009

2009 Rolex Regatta Is More Viewer Friendly

 March 13, 2009 — With just two weeks to go, the St. Thomas Yacht Club is gearing up to host the 36th annual International Rolex Regatta, March 27-29.
     This year the regatta has some big changes aimed at pleasing local onlookers. With the race into the harbor slated for Saturday, March 28 and an open party on Saturday night at Yacht Haven Grande, there is something for everyone. There will be nightly entertainment after days of spirited sailing.
     Rolex watches will still be presented to four of the regatta’s class winners this year, one for each of the two IRC classes, the Caribbean Sailing Association class and the IC-24 class. The watches will be engraved on the back, race director Bill Canfield said.  With just 40 entries so far, the number of competitors are fewer than last year, a situation being felt at many regattas.
     The Rolex International Regatta has taken the tough economic times into account by lowering entry fees by $100.
     “We are worried about the world economy and yacht racing around the world,” Canfield said.
     Advance entries are the exception, and on-site entries give racers another opportunity to catch up with old friends at the entry desk, according to Linda Phillips, spokesperson for the BVI Spring Regatta, the next race following Rolex.
     On March 27, racing will be round the marks off the east end of St. Thomas, and while the courses are generally short, they demand a lot of quick and precise action by the crew to change sails for the upwind and downwind legs.
     March 28 is to be a big day for spectators, with a race right into the harbor downtown and a race mark right off the waterfront, allowing fans to see racers up close rounding the mark. The harbor race used to be held on Friday, but organizers wanted to change it to the weekend, so local people and tourists alike can experience the excitement of racing from the waterfront.
     “From about 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., there will be some pretty exciting racing downtown,” Canfield said.
     After racing, fans and racers can dance the night away starting at 7 p.m. at Yacht Haven Grande.
     “We’re excited about Saturday night at Yacht Haven Grande,” Canfield said. “Yacht Haven Grande is one of the best venues to host a big party.”
     There is no admission for the party, which will have cash bars and feature the reggae sounds of the Spectrum Band.
     Sunday’s race action will be back toward the east end of the island and the awards ceremony will start around 6 p.m. on the yacht club’s beach.
     The regatta has some new sponsors this year including Mount Gay Rum, famous for their highly coveted regatta-embroidered red caps. Yacht Haven Grande has provided free dock space, and other sponsors in addition to principal sponsors Rolex and A.H. Riise include Bellows International and the Virgin Islands Department of Tourism.
     The festivities will culminate at the St. Thomas Yacht Club at 7 p.m. on Sunday March 29 with an awards ceremony, entertainment and dancing.
     Racers and interested spectators can check out the race website or call 775-6320 for more information or to view a full schedule of events. 
 With just 40 entries so far, the number of competitors are fewer than last year, a situation being felt at many regattas.
     The Rolex International Regatta has taken the tough economic times into account by lowering entry fees by $100.
     “We are worried about the world economy and yacht racing around the world,” Canfield said.
     Advance entries are the exception, and on-site entries give racers another opportunity to catch up with old friends at the entry desk, according to Linda Phillips, spokesperson for the BVI Spring Regatta, the next race following Rolex.
     On March 27, racing will be round the marks off the east end of St. Thomas, and while the courses are generally short, they demand a lot of quick and precise action by the crew to change sails for the upwind and downwind legs.
     March 28 is to be a big day for spectators, with a race right into the harbor downtown and a race mark right off the waterfront, allowing fans to see racers up close rounding the mark. The harbor race used to be held on Friday, but organizers wanted to change it to the weekend, so local people and tourists alike can experience the excitement of racing from the waterfront.
     “From about 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., there will be some pretty exciting racing downtown,” Canfield said.
     After racing, fans and racers can dance the night away starting at 7 p.m. at Yacht Haven Grande.
     “We’re excited about Saturday night at Yacht Haven Grande,” Canfield said. “Yacht Haven Grande is one of the best venues to host a big party.”
     There is no admission for the party, which will have cash bars and feature the reggae sounds of the Spectrum Band.
     Sunday’s race action will be back toward the east end of the island and the awards ceremony will start around 6 p.m. on the yacht club’s beach.
     The regatta has some new sponsors this year including Mount Gay Rum, famous for their highly coveted regatta-embroidered red caps. Yacht Haven Grande has provided free dock space, and other sponsors in addition to principal sponsors Rolex and A.H. Riise include Bellows International and the Virgin Islands Department of Tourism.
     The festivities will culminate at the St. Thomas Yacht Club at 7 p.m. on Sunday March 29 with an awards ceremony, entertainment and dancing.
     Racers and interested spectators can check out the race website or call 775-6320 for more information or to view a full schedule of events.

by Pamela Reid

www.stthomasvirginisland.com

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Posted by: islandhideaway | March 19, 2009

Virgin Islands Carnival Celebrations

Virgin Islands Carnival Celebrations

 

The word Carnival brings to mind an assortment of images; for music lovers it might mean heated Calypso shows and for children it brings to mind amusement park rides and cotton candy. To those who enjoy Caribbean delicacies Carnival may mean food fair and food/drink booths at the village. And to anyone who has experienced the Carnival parades, the word certainly brings to mind steel drums, bands, colorful costumes, people of all ages dancing in the streets, mocko-jumbies and fireworks. And if none of these images came to mind, perhaps you have never experienced Carnival in the U.S.V.I. Join us now, as we introduce you to Carnival!

Highly Anticipated Event

‘Everybody love the Carnival, No don’t stop de Carnival, Do as you like, but leave my Carnival, All West Indians love their Carnival, Everybody bound to have their fun, No rain at all can stop de Carnival, Not even hurricanes can stop de Carnival because all de Creole de love their Carnival.’ (Don’t Stop the Carnival by Duke of Iron. Calypso theme song for Carnival 1952.)

There is no denying that Virgin Islanders love Carnival! It is the most anticipated cultural event of the year! Carnival is a festival celebrating freedom through dancing, singing, parades, pageantry, music, drinks, food, friends and fun. It includes nightly displays of talented bands and individual musicians, pageants for Carnival royalty and fairs showcasing local crafts, food and drinks. Carnival however is much more than a large party. It is an exposition of culture and a treasured tradition that is passed down year after year. It draws on African and European customs including music, dancing and masquerades. Carnival can be found throughout the Caribbean and is celebrated on various islands at different times of the year. In the United States Virgin Islands Carnival events take place on St. Thomas in April/May, St. Croix in December/January and St. John in June/July.

If you would like to know what events are scheduled for this year’s Carnival please use our Events Calendar (select the appropriate month and year from the drop down menu).

 

www.stthomasvirginisland.com

The carnival tradition in St. Thomas began in 1912, however it would be 38 years before the festival would become an annual event. In 1952 Ron de Lugo revived Carnival in St. Thomas and we have been celebrating every year since. St. Thomas hosts the second largest Carnival cultural celebration in the Caribbean. It is a month long event that includes calypso shows, food fair, queen pageants, steel pan shows, parades and more. St. Thomas’ annual post-Easter Carnival is an incredible spectacle of spirit and tradition.

Posted by: islandhideaway | February 5, 2009

More History

Sugar MillSt. Thomas was declared a free port by the Danes in 1724.  The islands then prospered during the 18th century and St. Thomas became a major trading center. Sugar plantations could be seen all over the islands. In 1848 slavery was abolished by Denmark.

In 1917 the United States purchased the Virgin Islands for $25 Million dollars. The United States made the purchase as part of its military defense strategy. In 1927 residents were granted U.S. citizenship. During World War II St. Thomas was developed as a defense base. The Military and the Interior Department managed the territory until the passage of the Organic Act in 1936.

Virgin Islanders hail from all corners of the world. There are the African descendants of the slaves, the French, who have emigrated from French islands, Puerto Ricans, and the continental transplants from the United States mainland. In addition to those four groups there are many “down islanders” from the southern islands of the Antillean chain  and a sizeable number of East Indians. So we are a very diverse group of people here in the Virgin Islands and we are what make these islands unique. Come and visit and experience the culture.

www.stthomasvirginisland.com

Posted by: islandhideaway | January 22, 2009

Want to move to Paradise?

Many people have dreamed of living in Paradise. Some have researched it. s5000708Some have actually done it and fewer have actually stayed. If your dream is to make your home in the Caribbean here are some thoughts on how to make that dream a reality.

Start with research. Check real estate websites and learn the price of housing. You can also look up cost of living in the Virgin Islands. One great website for research is www.vimovingcenter.com.

Read the newspaper. Go to www.virginislandsdailynews.com. It will give you a feel of life in the islands.

Plan a Pre Move Visit. Find a place to stay that is not a resort and located in a residential neighborhood. Look at www.stthomasvirginisland.com. This is a great vacation rental with all the necessities. While you are here do the things you would do if you lived here. Go to the grocery store, go shopping for other necessities, go to church (if that is something you do), look at the schools (if you have children), drive in traffic, go to the post office, go to the office to have cable TV hooked up. All of this will give you a feel for life on the island. And talk to people. You will find Virgin Islanders from all walks of life and many will be more than happy to regale you with their stories of life on the island.

After you have made your pre move visit you may decide it isn’t for you or you may have your decision to live in Paradise reinforced. Either way you will have spent a week or more in tropical beauty.

Posted by: islandhideaway | January 14, 2009

Sportfishing!!

north drop sportfishingHave some family fun in the Virgin Islands and try some sportfishing. There are several boat charters to choose from. Twenty-four sportfishing world records have been set from the Virgin Islands. There are plenty of boat captains who know where to go and how to show you a fun day.

The hot spot is the world famous North Drop, which is easily accessible from St. Thomas. Captains and mates armed with local knowledge can guide you to the hot spots aboard a sportfishing charter. Both half day and full day trips are available. Half-day trips can be of two types. On the first type you will troll out to the drop-off, then fish for marlin once there. For the second type your captain will head full speed for the drop with marlin as the hopeful catch.

Whether you book a full day or a half day trip you will probably get “hooked”.

There are several fishing tournaments throughout the year. These include a Couples Valentines Tournament in February, the Dolphin Derby in April (both on St. Thomas) and a Memorial Day Weekend Tournament (on St. Croix). Kids tournaments include the July 4th Tournament. Some small boat series tournaments, like the Bastille Day Kingfish Tournament on St. Thomas, include adults and children.

Posted by: islandhideaway | January 12, 2009

More History

During the colblackbeardonial period, St. Thomas was known as a pirates’ den. The island’s location as a major trade route, the ability to anchor in the harbor, and the ability to get supplies made conditions for piracy ideal. Pirates stopped in St. Thomas to repair their boats, supply their vessels and sell their booty. Some Danish governors even traded with the pirates. Jean Hamil, a French pirate captured the merchant vessel La Trompeuse, set up headquarters on St. Thomas with the governor’s protection (for a price) and continued his raids. There are also the legends, Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard, who sipped rum laced with gunpowder. Blackbeard’s Tower sits directly above town and was built in 1689 by Danish Governor Schmidt. Bluebeard’s Tower, another buccaneer stronghold, is said to be the home of Bluebeard who married a St. Thomas beauty and sailed away with her, never to be seen again.

Bluebeard’s Castle is now a famous resort and Blackbeard’s Castle is a museum which is great fun to visit and view the pirate folklore.

Posted by: islandhideaway | December 26, 2008

Cruz Bay Christmas Eve

cruzbayxmasFor a taste of how islanders celebrate the holidays, join residents and visitors for Christmas Eve in Cruz Bay Park. My family went just yesterday and had a great time. The band was playing, people were dancing in the street, and Santa arrived on the Caneel Bay Resort ferry. The ferry was lit up for Christmas and was impossible to miss. Santa and Mrs. Claus arrived with about 8-10 elves. They had a police escort and experienced no problems clearing customs. They were escorted straight to the park and children received gifts. This was the evening’s highlight.

This is a great night to mix and mingle as well as enjoy the holiday decorations strung through the palm trees. The balmy weather is another plus.  Admission is free

Posted by: islandhideaway | December 20, 2008

MIRACLE ON MAIN STREET

boatparadeEvery year Main Street puts on a great Christmas party for the islandof St. Thomas. We went last night, parked in the lot next to Fort Christian and walked on the waterfront to one of our favorite restaurants, the Tavern on the Waterfront. From this second floor elegant restaurant we could watch the famous boat parade. Boats decorate with Christmas lights and more and sail the harbor. One boat had Santa dressed in swim trunks, his Santa jacket and hat and helped throw candy to the people standing on the apron watching the show.

Stores stayed open and offered specials so any last minute Christmas shopping was easy to complete. No traffic was allowed on Main Street and the street was filled with bands and music and people. Bertha B. Boschulte SteelPan Band was playing Christmas carols and the drummer must have been about 12 years old and he was playing his heart out. On the Waterfront there were two locally famous dance bands playing.

Emancipation Garden had local vendors selling Christmas items and jewelry and handmade items. The bandstand had bands playing and singing. We got caught in a short rain shower but it passed quickly. Local food was enjoyed by all.

The evening ended with a parade down Main Street. It was a wonderful evening in the tropics and a great way to celebrate the holidays.

Posted by: islandhideaway | December 17, 2008

A Little Bit of History

Ef de rain isfallin’ when de sun is out

de debbil an’ he wife quarrelin’

-Virgin Islands Proverb

Virgin Islands History all started with Christopher Columbus’s second voyage in 1493. He first sighted St. Croix, which he named Santa Cruz and claimed for Spain. Sailing further north, he found endless islands and christened them Las Islas Virgenes – The Virgin Islands.

After this excitement, the island drowsed onvihistory1, stirred only by an occasional passing buccaneer or explorer. In 1571, Sir Francis Drake, English navigator and infamous plunderer of Spanish galleons, sailed through the sea passageway separating the British and American Virgins, today known as Sir Francis Drake Channel.

A popular spot to visit on St. Thomas today is Drake’s Sea, overlooking Magens Bay, where the famed Englishman reportedly watched the Spanish Aramda sail by as his ships hid in the sanctuary of Magens Bay.

In the 1600’s European powers continued to claim and settle Caribbean islands. In 1671, Denmark clearly ruled St. Thomas, establishing the first permanent settlement there. By 1718 they had expanded to St. John. A fort was constructed in Coral Bay, one of the safest harbors in the Caribbean. In 1733, Denmark arranged to purchase St. Croix from France, uniting the three Virgin Islands of today. To be continued….

Reprinted from Virgin Islands Playground

Posted by: islandhideaway | December 15, 2008

Christmas Shopping

tropicalshoppingWithout a Wal Mart where do we go Christmas shopping on St. Thomas? There is always our biggest department store, K-Mart, and judging from the crowds in December in this store this is a popular place. Havensight, where the cruise ships dock, has some great sales going on now. If you have a jewelry lover or a perfume lover, this is the place. There are also clothing stores with some nice tropical styles at nice prices and Sanrio has some great children’s items.

If you are buying for someone on St. Thomas, you might try a gift certificate at one of their favorite restaurants or a tourist attraction they have never tried. You can send your friend parasailing or on a submarine or even on a ride on the tram up to Paradise Point. A child or a child at heart might enjoy a visit to the Butterfly Farm. 

Take a walk on the waterfront and Main Street and you will find some great deals. I stopped in the Harley Davidson store last weekend (for my brother-in-law) and they had T-shirts on sale. In fact, there were sales at almost every store I passed.

One of the great things about Christmas shopping on St. Thomas is you can literally wait until the last minute. Most of the stores will be open on Christmas Day.

Posted by: islandhideaway | November 29, 2008

Christmas in the Caribbean!!

Hbeachsantaave you always thought that Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without the cold funny looking white stuff called snow? Try it in the Virgin Islands. We love the holidays here and celebrations are happening from Thanksgiving right on through Three Kings Day. Here are some for you to enjoy.

The 4th Annual Children’s Christmas Parade in St. John happens on December 6th at 6:30 PM.  It starts in front of Mongoose Junction where Santa will ead the torch lit parade through Cruz Bay. You will hear Steel Pan bands playing and plenty of Reggae. Once the Winston Wells ballfield is reached Santa will give away a Christmas gift to every child.

The 39th Annual Las Vegas Night is being held December 6th at the Marriott Frenchman’s Reef Hotel. This is a fundraiser for Virgin Islands Montessori School. You will be able to play your favorite gambling games – blackjack, roulette, craps, texas hold’em poker and use your winnings to purchase items and the famous auction. You could also win $10,000 cash in the famous raffle. A fun way to start the holiday season.

Havensight has their Christmas Tree Lighting on December 9 at 5:30 PM. Santa will be there giving away gifts and local bands will play your favorite songs. The lights are beautiful and you can enjoy the entertainment and pick up some gifts for Christmas from the local arts and crafts vendors.beachsnowman

Miracle on Main Street happens on December 19th beginning at 6PM. A fun night filled with music, shopping and dining. Store stay open late, streets are filled with local artisans, bands, and friends.  And at 6:30 you can watch the lighted boat parade in the harbor.

Pistarkle Theater will be presenting Miracle on 34th Street for the holidays. Each weekend at 2PM and 7PM bring the whole family for a charming show.

On Christmas Day at 6AM you will find the Challenge of the Carols at Emancipation Gardens. Choirs join to show off their volume and talend in a sunrise Christmas morning show of songs. This is a long held tradition that locals and visitors alike love. Great way to begin your Christmas Day.

Merry Christmas and enjoy the holiday wherever you are!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: islandhideaway | October 20, 2008

Breakfast on St. Thomas

Windows on the Harbor

Windows on the Harbor

I love a good Sunday Brunch and my favorite on St. Thomas is at Windows on the Harbor. This restaurant is located inside the Marriott Frenchman’s Reef Hotel. The view from the restaurant is stunning. Look out over the Charlotte Amalie Harbor while you eat. There is nothing better.

I have always found the service here to be good. The brunch is extensive with enough to satisfy any appetite. They will cook an omelet any way you like. My daughter loves the scrambled eggs. They have bacon, sausage, french toast, pancakes, cheeze blintz’s, fresh fruit, muffins, bagels, toast, cereal, juice, and more. And it all tastes wonderful. Spend some time and enjoy the company and go back a few times for the fresh mango and pineapple, or pick up your favorite danish. The waitress brings a pot of coffee so you can refill your cup as many times as you like. While you eat you can watch the busy harbor.

Sunday Brunch starts at 11:30 AM on Sundays but every day they have the breakfast buffet beginning at 7AM. It is worth the trip.

Posted by: islandhideaway | October 10, 2008

Snorkeling the Waters of St. Thomas

Feed the Fish at Coki

Feed the Fish at Coki

One of my favorite things to do is snorkel. Here on St. Thomas the waters are clear and calm and almost every time I go in the water the visibility is fantastic. The first beach I snorkeled was Sapphire Beach. Just put on your mask, walk in the water, put on fins if you like and off you go. I saw an underwater world I didn’t know existed. Every color of the rainbow and fascinating coral. I spent so much time swimming, floating and observing my fingers became numb and I realized I had been snorkeling for almost forty-five minutes.

Another favorite beach of mine to snorkel is Secret Harbour. If you swim straight out past the raft the coral is beautiful and you will see parrot fish, yellow tailed snappers, sargeant majors and more. A few times I have seen and followed turtles. Once with my neice and daughter we followed a turtle for almost 20 minutes before realizing we had swam almost to the point and out to sea. Another time I was able to view an octopus – that was to the right.

Coki Point offers a different experience. The fish are so tame and so comfortable with snorkelers they will eat right out of your hand. Just bring some dog biscuits, get them wet in the water and the fish will swim right up to the food and start eating. You can stand a few feet from shore, look down and see the fish or swim out a bit and view the coral and more. If you look hard you may see a peacock flounder that blends in with the sand.

Brewer’s Beach is another spot for good snorkeling, I am told. Everytime I have snorkeled there the people I go with see fish not usually seen. Once my husband saw a remora, another time a friend saw some turtle, another time squid. You go and tell me what you see there. I have only seen the usual sargeant majors and snappers and groupers.

Those are my favorite places to snorkel. Let me know yours.

Posted by: islandhideaway | October 2, 2008

Fat Turtle – Restaurant Review

Fat Turtle

Fat Turtle

 I was lucky enough to be taken out to dinner at the Fat Turtle last night. This popular restaurant is located at St. Thomas’ Yacht Haven Grande Marina and Shopping Center. Lovely place right on the waterfront. We were seated at a table next to the water so we had a great breeze keeping us cool. I could gaze at Charlotte Amalie all lit up and my dinner partner was able to view the cruise ship. Great views!

Our waiter was charming and talkative. We started with the Crispy Calamari; fried calamari with mango, feta cheese and served with an Aioli Sauce. The flavors were scrumptious. I got the Crab Cake sandwich and my partner got the Shrimp Scampi. The Crab Cake was delicate and spiced to perfection although I could have done without the sandwich part of it. It was served with either french fries or Caeser Salad. After eating the fries I suggest going with the salad. The Shrimp Scampi was served with

Crispy Calamari

Crispy Calamari

two slices of pizza, something I have never seen done before but the flavors tasted good together.

Our waiter was attentive without being overbearing. We were offered desserts but after the generous portions we ate it was not possible. I am told that this restaurant “jumps” on Fridays when they have live music. It is defintely worth the visit.

Posted by: islandhideaway | September 30, 2008

Another Great Beach

Secret Harbour Beach

Secret Harbour Beach

I love Secret Harbour Beach. It is quiet, secluded and beautiful. The beach has a nice sandy spot where you can enter the water if you just want to swim. There are trees for shade on the beach. There is a restaurant that has great food if you don’t feel like brining your own food. But the absolutely best thing about this beach is the snorkeling. You can swim to the right along the coral and see beautiful coral formations and so many different fish. Swim straight out past the raft and you will see fish, sometimes a graceful turtle, and coral. Swim to the left and you will encounter sea grass and more fish. If you want to take your kids they are able to snorkel close to shore and see fish and search for shells. When my daughter was younger she and her friends could spend hours with their heads in the water searching for the treasured shells saving ‘only the best’.

Speaking of bringing the children this is a great beach to do that. They can hover in the water close to shore and have a great time or swim out to the raft or snorkel along with you and when they get bored they can roam the beach with you sitting in your chair keeping an eye on them. They may run into some iguanas while they roam.

Secret Harbour is located on the east end of the island. Just follow the signs to the Blue Moon Cafe (a great restaurant by the way) and you will be there. If you don’t bring your own chair you will have to pay to rent one. Enjoy this calm, quiet, sandy beach.

Posted by: islandhideaway | September 24, 2008

Delly Deck – Another Restaraunt Review

Delly Deck Restaurant

Delly Deck Restaurant

I have spent many lunchtimes at Delly Deck and have been treated to a Saturday breakfast there as well. This little restaurant is located in Havensight Mall. This restaurant is not fancy but the food is consistently good and portions are always generous. The Fire Island sandwich is my favorite, a jerk chicken sandwich, which is spiced to perfection. There is a choice of side dishes for lunch and all are good. I have also ordered the Cobb Salad which is delicious. 

Their breakfast menu makes it difficult to choose because the French Toast is cooked perfectly and served piping hot. Omelets are great and there breakfast potatoes are wonderful. Breakfast here is better than a hotel breakfast at almost half the price.

Service is almost always good although sometimes I have waited for the check. Just be sure to catch the waitress when you are ready for the check and tell her to bring it to you. Don’t forget that “Good Morning” or “Good Afternoon” goes a long way here on the island. 

Delly Deck is frequented by tourists and locals alike. You may be sitting next to a senator or a local business owner or a visitor from New York. Choose a table inside with cool air conditioning or sit outside on the patio and enjoy the balmy St. Thomas weather. Delly Deck is open early morning and close around 5PM.

Posted by: islandhideaway | September 22, 2008

My Favorite Beaches

Sapphire BeachHere in St. Thomas we become experts at picking beaches. My favorite beach depends on what I want to do at the beach. If I want to snorkel my favorite beach is Sapphire Beach. I love the coral to the right. If you swim all the way out to the point it is a beautiful and busy undersea world one could look at until your fingers were numb from the cold ocean. To the left you may see some sea turtles and there are always fish. The beach is comfortable and easy to find shade and during high season there will be great people watching as well.

For a great picnic party I love Megan’s Bay. Swimming is wonderful. The beach is great white sand (my niece would say, “It’s just like cotton candy”) and the water stays relatively shallow for at least 40 yards or so. You can walk up and down the long beach or walk the water and get some great exercise. Picnic tables are available and you can bring a grill if you like. There are two beach houses for changing and showering. There is a restaurant and bar if you want to buy food and dring instead of bringing your own. Great beach to relax and spend the day.

If I want to play in the waves or bodysurf or skim board I choose Morningstar Beach at Marriott Frenchman’s Reef Hotel. This is a long beach with great waves. If you don’t want to play in the waves you can sit on the beach and watch others or you can go to the restaurant and have a leisurely lunch.

Tomorrow I’ll tell you about some more beaches here on St. Thomas.

Posted by: islandhideaway | September 21, 2008

XO Bistro Review

My husband and I tried a wonderful, intimate and peaceful little restaurant yesterday. XO Bistro, in Red Hook Plaza, is an upscale little bistro. You walk into it and are greeted by a nicely decorated restaurant with a bar in the middle. We had speedy and friendly service and ordered one of the specials, a lamb sandwich, and a greek salad. While waiting for our order I noticed the bartender knew most people walking in the door. This is a friendly place where you can stop for a drink and conversation or a casual lunch or dinner.

Our food came quickly and the lamb was cooked to perfection. It was served with a side of potato salad which satisfied my husband’s hearty appetite. The half size Greek salad was more than enough for me and was liberally sprinkled with Feta cheese, greek olives and artichokes. Presentation was on white dinnerware and was well thought out. The extensive wine list will please any palate. Daily specials are worth trying.

In 2008 they were voted the best Martini Bar in the Virgin Islands. Evenings are busy here. Once a month they host a woman’s group. Call for details.

Posted by: islandhideaway | September 20, 2008

Last Minute Vacation

Frenchman's Bay HideAway Pool Deck

Frenchman

Now is a great time to take a quick trip to the beautiful Caribbean Sea. Try St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. You don’t need a passport and the airfares are great right now. I just checked American Airlines from New York City and the round trip fare was $500.00. I have also seen some great rates from Washington D.C., Minneapolis, and more.

You will arrive in St. Thomas during low season so the beaches are not crowded, the shopping is easy and a daysail is easy to book. You will also find some great rates at hotels. Look at Frenchman’s Bay HideAway where you can stay for as little as $80/night.

Turn a quick vacation into an exotic vacation.

Posted by: islandhideaway | September 17, 2008

What to do in the Rain?

Blackbeard's Castle

You come to St. Thomas to have a vacation in the sun. What are you going to do if it rains? Usually it only rains for 10 or 20 minutes and the sun comes out again so you only need find cover for a little while. But what about those days when the rain doesn’t stop? Here are some suggestions.

1. Enjoy your hotel room or vacation villa – read that book you have been wanting to read.

2. Drive to Havensight and shop. You will find everything under the sun.

3. Go to Blackbeard’s Hill and take a tour of Blackbeard’s Castle.

4. Have a leisurely lunch at a favorite restaurant – my favorite for lunch is Roberts American Grille at the Elysian Resort.

5. Go to the Butterfly Farm and enjoy something unique and different.

6. Go see a movie. That is one thing that is cheaper here than in the states.

7. Go bowling. Yes, we have a bowling alley.

Any other ideas?

 

Posted by: islandhideaway | September 16, 2008

After the Rain

Caribbean Sea

Caribbean Sea

Days like today are absolutely beautiful in the US Virgin Islands. The rain has come and washed the air clean of the Sahara Dust. The sky is a perfect sky blue and the Caribbean Sea is turquoise and blue. The water is so clear you can see the bottom. What a day.

So the perfect place to enjoy this view – try Drake’s Seat – an overlook off the side of the road on the way to Magen’s Bay. You can see the BVI’s, St. John and more. Or go eat at the Mafolie Hotel and enjoy the harbor view. Or head to Mountaintop and enjoy a famous mixed rum drink and enjoy the down island view. Or how about St. Peter’s Greathouse – tour the botanical gardens and sit and enjoy the views looking down island. If you like to swim spend some time at Sapphire Beach – enjoy the water and the views.

Posted by: islandhideaway | September 15, 2008

Places Not to Miss on St. Thomas

My daughter and I happened to stop at Bad Ass Coffee one day last month and were pleasantly surprised. This is a comfortable place to have a bite to eat. Enjoy coffee and pastry, dessert and juice or soup and sandwich. There is a plasma TV on the wall. We watched the Olympics while we ate our sandwiches. There is a sofa and overstuffed chairs. They have WI FI set up so you can sit and work or just return emails while you have some really good coffee. It is located at Yacht Haven Grande, the newest marina and shopping area on the island of St. Thomas.

Check it out and while you are there shopping at Yacht Haven Grande is a lot of fun and just strolling around is beautiful. Look at the yachts and the activity in the harbor.

Posted by: islandhideaway | September 14, 2008

Virgin Islands Vacation

Pristine Beaches

Pristine Beaches

When you vacation at Frenchman’s Bay HideAway you will be staying in America’s Paradise. We are the U.S. Virgin Islands so you don’t need a passport. Just reserve your vacation villa, hop on a plane, we will meet you at the airport and you are ready for a relaxing week or two on the beach or at the pool.

St. Thomas may be a small island but you will find a lot to keep you occupied – great beaches, snorkeling in the clear blue Caribbean Sea, taking a daysail, exploring St. John’s National Park, unmatched duty free shopping, and just relaxing in the warm sun.

We are here to help you plan your trip. We’ll keep you updated on the latest happenings in the Virgin Islands. Check back often.

Posted by: islandhideaway | July 10, 2010

Testimonial July 2010

Secret Harbor on the beach

Glynn,
Dan & I had an amazing week here. As we are considering moving here, your home and this place were exemplary of the beauty and wonders this island has to offer. Hope to be your neighbor real soon! Thank for sharing this blessed little island!
Kim and Dan
Glen Cove, New York

Posted by: islandhideaway | July 2, 2010

June 21 through July 2 2010

Glynn Thank you so  much and your wonderful hospitality and letting us have your little jewel on St. Thomas. We did a lot durning our stay and it was great to come back to the peace and quiet of the Hideaway. Vincent John would have live in the pool- especially once he got the hang of snorkleing.
We all had a super time and look forward to visiting with you again

Christine, Vincent & Vincent John from New York

Posted by: islandhideaway | April 13, 2010

April 13, 2010

Dear Wheeler  Thank you for having us at your wonderful home. It was a great alternative to the resorts. We enjoyed the beautiful view, beautiful people and the great food.    We will surely be back.  Thank again!!!

Jason and Katie

Phila, Pa

Posted by: islandhideaway | April 9, 2010

SPRING BREAK 2010

Glynn, We all immensely enjoyed our stay!  The house was everything we could have asked for. The boys especially enjoyed chasing the lizzards! We went sailing & snorkleling, rode the sky ride and experience a bit of carnival. The temp 80 degree here was a  lovely break from the snow & hail of the midwest part of the United States. Thank you for a wonderful time Glynn

 Sue Jerry Cody, Mariah,James
p.s. Dad says I must say we are from Lawton, Mi

Posted by: islandhideaway | March 27, 2010

Lindquist Beach

Thank you for such a wonderful stay! Lindquist Beach was great! We enjoyed all your suggestions. The Hideaway was a great central location for everything we did while we were here. We’ve all looking forward to coming back soon!
Sincerely
“The Doctors”
Athens, Ohio

Posted by: islandhideaway | March 19, 2010

My first visit

Had a great time on my 1st visit to St. Thomas. Some highlights: *coffee with the humming birds and geckos on the balcony *late night dip in the swimming pool * Megan beach – Georgous!* Fresh fruit rum smoothie @ Coki Beach & seeing the dolphins * Duffy Loveshack- I needed a attitude adjustment * Thirteen- the drive to get there was worth the trip and the food, ambience, view- perfect.
I will never cruise, but will keep my feet firmly on the soft sand of the islands
Ali and Josh from Boston
March 19, 2010

Posted by: islandhideaway | February 8, 2010

Feb 1, 2010 Feb 8, 2010

Glynn

Thank you for a lovely stay! You definetely have a gem tucked away here. I wish you all the luck in the world for the sucess this ‘hideaway will bring you. All the best

Lezl Petersen

Posted by: islandhideaway | January 21, 2010

January 18, 2010

Dear Glynn

This is our first  time to the Virgin Islands and we can definitely say that it won’t be our last! The islands are stunning, the beaches are amazing, and the people are wonderful! Thank you so much for being so accomodating-it was such a pleasure to have such a beautiful place to stay. Thank you again and we’ll see you next time!

Mark & Morgan

Toronto, Ontario

Posted by: islandhideaway | January 6, 2010

Dec. 22-26 2009; Jan 2-6 2010

Glynn,

It has been an extreme pleasure staying here. Thank you for opening your home to ‘outsider’ to enjoy. The views were terrific and we expecially love all of the birds,geckos,Iguanas during our stay. The geckos prove to be quite the island entertainment, crawling on the screen chasing mosquitos. The only critter we could live with out is the mosquitos. Bring lots of bug spray  {island cologne}

One of our favorite thing to do here is go snorkleing & sailing.

We wish much enjoyment & plenty of great visitors!

Amey & Charles

Blue Springs MO.

Posted by: islandhideaway | January 4, 2010

Thank you

Glynn, I just wanted to say thank you for the opportunity to stay at your villa, it was a real treat for me and my friends. Everything you recommended was amazing, just as advertised, and you were an awesome host. I hope to stay and Frenchman’s bay again in the future. Happy New Year! v/r, Charles RiveraGlynn,

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