What’s New & News in the U.S. Virgin Islands this Spring

U.S. Virgin Islands (April 30, 2013) – Spring has sprung early in the U.S. Virgin Islands, with a new bloom of tourism product developments and enhancements, signature events and accommodation deals. Take a spring break in the warmer climes of the Caribbean, where no passport is required for U.S. Citizens. As an added incentive, two current promotions offer added spring travel savings:

  • The “Inntimate Treasures” package offers $100 in savings, including $50 in dining certificates and $50 in attractions and activities vouchers, as well as a gift bag with island goodies.
  • The St. Croix Fantastic Flight Promotion offers a $300 instant flight credit, the sixth night free at participating accommodations, and a $20 match play casino certificate for travel booked before March 31, 2013 and completed by
    May 31, 2013.

DESTINATION DEVELOPMENTS

St. Thomas – Jimmy Buffett and Wyndham Launch Margaritaville

Musician Jimmy Buffett has partnered with Wyndham Hotels and Resorts to launch the world’s first Margaritaville Vacation Club, a timeshare resort on St. Thomas. Construction will begin in July 2013, with the first phase anticipated to be completed at the end of 2014. This 262-unit property will allow owners to purchase points that can be redeemed at any of the Wyndham’s timeshare properties.  Buffett has had a long connection with the U.S. Virgin Islands. He first visited St. Thomas in 1972 and his song “Boat Drinks” was inspired by the island.  http://www.margaritaville.com/news.html?n_id=3533&y=2013&m=3

St. Croix – The Buccaneer Resort Debuts Beach House on Whistle Point

New for 2013, the Buccaneer Beach House on Whistle Point offers a two-bedroom main house with a full kitchen and a living room; a master suite villa with sitting area and bedroom; a two-bedroom cottage, and a one-bedroom cottage with a kitchen located a stroll from the 340-acre Buccaneer Resort. The Beach House can comfortably accommodate family reunions, wedding parties and corporate retreats. Smaller families, singles and couples can choose the main house, master suite or cottages separately. Guests at The Buccaneer Beach House at Whistle Point can enjoy all The Buccaneer’s services and amenities.  www.thebuccaneer.com

St. John – Caneel Bay Opens New Sushi Bar

Caneel Bay, A Rosewood Resort, is serving up sushi with an innovative twist at its recently opened Sushi Bar right on the beach. Chef Chance Herbert offers beachgoers delectable dishes such as edamame sprinkled with truffle salt; Trunk Bay Roll featuring avocado, panko shrimp and red bell pepper topped with tuna tataki, ponzu and scallions; and the Honeymoon Roll, comprised of cucumber, spicy tuna and seared yellowtail rolled in tempura flakes, topped with nori and drizzled in eel sauce, wasabi aioli as well as paradise aioli. www.rosewoodhotels.com/en/caneelbay

St. John Brewers Releases New Ginger Beer Soda

St. John Brewers has released a new beverage that is making things a little dark and stormy in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The company’s enterprising local brewmasters Kevin Chipman and Chirag “Cheech” Vyas, a former physical therapist and a former NASA scientist,  have created a new ginger beer soda  that adds a kick to the popular Caribbean ‘Dark ‘n Stormy’ cocktail — a sweet and spicy combination of rum and ginger beer.  The duo perfected their recipe throughout the past four years at their St. John’s Mongoose Junction brewery.   Beer lovers can also enjoy the duo’s on-site batch brews such as their Amber Jack, Double IPA, and Frozen Cistern Winter Ale.  Since 2004, St. John Brewers has been bottling their Tropical Mango Pale Ale and other brews.    www.stjohnbrewers.com

St. Thomas – Bolongo Bay Beach Resort Announces New Chef de Cuisine and
New Conference Room Facilities

Renowned St. Thomas Chef Sally Darash, former co-owner of Craig & Sally’s Restaurant in Frenchtown, has joined Bolongo Bay as Creative Chef de Cuisine. A new 1,000-square-foot indoor conference room has also just opened, accommodating up to 60 guests for meetings, intimate weddings and receptions. www.bolongobay.com

St. Thomas – Jetriders Lets Visitors Fly to New Heights

Soar through the air with St. Thomas Jetriders, soaring above Caribbean crystal blue waters by water-propelled jetpacks. Formerly a toy for the rich and famous, certified flight instructors can teach students the basics of flight within fifteen minutes. Introductory classes cost $200 for a 20-minute experience, while the 30-minute “Maverick” experience is $250.  www.stthomasjetriders.com

St. Thomas – New Eco-Adventure Program by Jean-Michel Costeau

The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas now offers eco-conscious travelers the opportunity to uncover the island’s extraordinary ecological treasures with Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment program. This innovative program, crafted by one of the world’s leading environmental preservationists, emphasizes education and respect for the local ecosystem, introducing guests to St. Thomas’ diverse marine environment through hands-on eco-adventures.
Designed for guests of all ages, the program is led by a team of Cousteau-trained naturalists who showcase the unique character and natural heritage of St. Thomas.

Available tours include:

  • Mangrove & Dinosaur Wonderland: Explore the mysterious world of St. Thomas’ mangroves and feed a dinosaur – the island’s indigenous Green Iguanas.
  • Beautiful Blue Beaches: Discover the unique diversity of marine and plant life found on St Thomas’ pristine beaches.
  •  Ocean Kayak and Snorkel Adventure: Paddle and snorkel Great Bay to become immersed in its diverse marine life.
    www.oceanfutures.org/news/press-releases/ritz-carlton-st-thomas-and-ambassadors

 

St. Thomas – Explore Water Island by Golf Cart

At 491.5 acres, Water Island is much smaller than St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas.  However, the island offers an abundant array of activities for visitors including relaxing days on the beach, kayaking, biking and hiking the remains of military fortifications.  One can even explore by golf cart to travel along the shoreline at Limestone or head to Honeymoon Bay for lunch.   More information: Apollo Golf Carts (302-540-4009)

St. Thomas hosts 40th International Rolex Regatta

The U.S. Virgin Islands proudly hosted the annual International Rolex Regatta, celebrating its 40th year in 2013. Each year St. Thomas hosts yachting teams from around the world for three days of unparalleled sailing competition and shore-side excitement.

New for this year, Melges 32 class boats competed.  These lightweight, highly turnable racing sailboats are among the highest performing in the world. This “Crown Jewel” of Caribbean racing is a favorite for competitors, who enjoy the reliable trade wind breezes and warm azure waters that make the U.S. Virgin Islands a world-renowned sailing destination.  www.rolexcupregatta.com

SIGNATURE EVENTS

St. Croix hosts 13th Annual Food & Wine Experience
April 14 – 20, 2013

The St. Croix Food & Wine Experience, named one of the Ten Best International Food and Wine Festivals by Forbes Travel, showcases the diverse epicurean delights of St. Croix.  Celebrity chefs featured in the 2013 program include Josef DeSimone, Paula DaSilva, Todd Gray, Mike Lata and Simon Stojanovic. This multi-day festival of wine dinners, cooking classes, culinary demonstrations and other gourmet activities benefits the St. Croix Foundation. www.StCroixFoodandWine.com

ACCOMMODATION DEALS

St. Croix – Hotels Whetting Appetites with 2013 Food & Wine Experience Packages

Foodies can satisfy their craving for a gourmet getaway this April 16 – 21, 2013 with special St. Croix Food & Wine Experience packages:

  • The Buccaneer: From US*$2,900, the “Buccaneer Culinary Getaway” includes five nights in ocean view accommodation, five-day car rental, two tickets to A Taste of St. Croix, a culinary welcome turn-down amenity plus full American breakfast daily, welcome cocktail and live evening music entertainment.
    http://www.thebuccaneer.com; (800) 255-3881
  • Caravelle Hotel: Stay three nights (April 17-19) in a deluxe ocean-front room from *$799. This includes two tickets to A Taste of St Croix, daily breakfast and a sailing trip to Buck Island National Park. http://www.hotelcaravelle.com; (800) 524-0410.
  • Renaissance St. Croix Carambola Beach Resort & Spa: From *$1,280 for four nights, the “St. Croix Food & Wine Package” includes deluxe guest room accommodations at this beachfront resort, two tickets to A Taste of St. Croix, full daily breakfast for two, as well as a welcome drink and VIP food and beverage amenity. http://carambolabeach.com; (888) 503-8760
  • Tamarind Reef Resort: This beachfront resort is offering a four-night package from *$1,190*, including ocean view accommodations, two tickets to the Galleon Wine Dinner, two tickets to A Taste of St. Croix and two signature Tamarind Reef Resort
    t-shirts. http://www.tamarindreefhotel.com; (800) 619-0014

*Based on double occupancy. Hotel taxes and service charges are additional unless noted.

St. John – Caneel Bay’s New Multi-Generational Family Package

The new “Greatest Generation Offer” package from Caneel Bay, A Rosewood Resort, allows traveling families to book three rooms and get a fourth room free for stays April 6 through December 20, 2013. Parents and grandparents can relax while kids enjoy the newly renovated Turtle Town area that features arts and crafts activities, dinner and  movie events, as well as themed activity days. Caneel Bay also offers U.S. Tennis Association’s “10 and Under Tennis” program for children to learn how to play using kid-sized courts and equipment.

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