Want to catch a glimpse of paradise without needing a passport?
Think the US Virgin Island’s.
From pristine white beaches to culture and heritage sites, this trio of islands has a lot to offer. The US Virgin islands consist of St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix. St. Croix being the largest, St. Thomas home to a bustling cruise port, and St. John which is home to a 12,500 acre Virgin Islands National Park.
These islands have everything including, Eco Tourism, hiking, golfing, snorkeling, diving, shopping and dining.
- Botanical Gardens
- Historic 19th century church
- Private island reached by seaplane or helicopter
- Seaside ceremony on horseback
- Scuba wedding at Hotel Caravelle, St. Croix
- Parasailing ceremony
- Private yacht with captain, crew and gourmet chef (can even stay on the yacht for a week)
- Medieval Blackbeard’s Castle on St. Thomas
Couples can add local customs, such as traditional steel drum music, and “Black Cake” (rum-cured cake) as party favors, to the reception to make the event truly unique. A regional menu can include stewed mutton, conch in butter sauce, king fish in Creole sauce and pigeon peas and rice.
Whether clients marry in the USVI or just come for their honeymoon, the islands are filled with romance. Luxury resorts, private villas and condominiums are options for the first trip as husband and wife. Romantic activities can include couples massages, private island picnics, candlelit dinner, sunset sails and more.
A taste of rum is another must, especially during a factory tour of the Cruzan Rum Distillery, which has been manufacturing rum since the 1600s on St. Croix, or the Captain Morgan Rum distillery also on St. Croix. Popular non-alcoholic options include ginger beer, soursop juice, papaya punch and bush (herbal) tea. TravelAnn mixes her rum with the Papaya punch. Yum!
Shopping has been a part of the USVI’s history since 1607. The Jamestown settlers stopped off in Charlotte Amalie for supplies on their way to present day Virginia. Today, Charlotte Amalie is a major cruise port and shopping destination and all the USVI is a favorite among those who like to include retail therapy as part of their vacations.
Downtown Charlotte Amalie on St. Thomas is a shopper’s paradise with stores selling jewelry, perfume, cosmetics, china, crystal, alcohol, sportswear and original designs. There are more than 100 stores and business in Havensight Mall near St. Thomas’ cruise ports. Checking out the mega-yachts at Yacht Haven Grande may be interesting enough for visitors, but the premier marina is also home to a variety of entertainment, restaurants and shops. Shopping can also be found at Crown Bay Center, another cruise port on St. Thomas.
USVI’s duty free allowance is $1,600.00.
The USVI has a number of luxury resorts that understand the needs of their specific clientele.
The 30-acre oceanfront Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas combines Old World charm and traditional Caribbean architecture with modern and contemporary touches. The 180-room property includes 55 Club rooms, 19 suites and four Presidential suites for even more amenities, space and specialized services. It has four restaurants, easy access to both Great Bay and Coconut Cove beaches, an Aquatic Center with non-motorized water activities, its own catamaran for day sails, sunset cruises and private charters, and The Ritz-Carlton Spa for indulgent pampering.
Established by Laurance Rockefeller, Caneel Bay on St. John is set on a 170-acre peninsula within the Virgin Islands National Park and seven pristine beaches. This is a 166-room luxury resort to escape and unplug, with plenty of nature’s pleasures including coral reefs, turtles and dolphins. Five restaurants on-site, yoga, fitness classes, massage cabanas, tennis and a children’s program are all designed so your clients never have to leave their high-end haven.
Palm Beach Travel offers additional amenities to these resorts.
Food and beverage is very much a part of the luxury traveler experience and in the USVI they will not be disappointed. Private Chef experiences can be set up at both hotel properties and in private villas. High-end restaurants include the award-winning Old Stone Farm House set in a wooded valley close to the 11th hole of the Mahogany Run Golf Course, Oceana in Historic French Town and the Banana Tree Grille in Bluebeard’s Castle overlooking Charlotte Amalie Harbor on St. Thomas. The Galleon in the Tamarind Reef Resort on St. Croix and ZoZo’s at the Sugar Mill at Caneel Bay on St. John are two more options