What’s New in the USVI

Jimmy Buffett and Wyndham Launch Margaritaville Vacation Club

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.

Coral World Renovates Observatory Tower
Coral World will make upgrades to its underwater observatory tower to enhance the attraction and the visitor experience. The upper and lower levels will remain open while the mid-level will be closed for renovations. Sea Trek will be closed from May 13 to June 3rd, 2013 and Snuba will operate from Coki Beach on cruise ship days only.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.   

 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.

The Buccaneer’s Seaborne Seaplane Adventure 

The Buccaneer launches its FREE Seaborne Seaplane transfers to St. Croix when booking seven nights or more in a deluxe oceanfront or luxury beachside doubloon suite. This transfer is convenient for guests whose flights take them in St. Thomas. After a 20 minute flight to St. Croix, the seaplane lands in the Christiansted Harbor, just five minutes by car to The Buccaneer. Maximum two transfers per room. Please call the hotel for eligibility and flight options.

St. Thomas – New Eco-Adventure Program by Jean-Michel Cousteau
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:
o    Mangrove & Dinosaur Wonderland: Explore the mysterious world of St. Thomas’ mangroves and feed a dinosaur – the island’s indigenous Green Iguanas.
o    Beautiful Blue Beaches: Discover the unique diversity of marine and plant life found on St Thomas’ pristine beaches.
o    Ocean Kayak and Snorkel Adventure: Paddle and snorkel Great Bay to become immersed in its diverse marine life.