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What’s New in the U.S.V.I.

April 6, 2012 By: Joe Pike Travel Agent


Frenchman’s Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort
A $48 million renovation at Frenchman’s Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort was completed late last year.

From a $48 million renovation at Frenchman’s Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort to new JetBlue flights, Travel Agent brings you all the latest to come out of the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Hotel News

In January, Divi Carina Bay All Inclusive Beach Resort & Casino became the first all-inclusive resort on St. Croix. Amenities include four restaurants, four bars, two swimming pools, tennis courts, a water sports center, an activities coordinator, spa, fitness center and Internet access, as well as a casino. Activities offered include nonmotorized water sports, miniature golf, cooking demonstrations, scuba diving, guided snorkel tours, kayak tours, poker lessons at the casino, Cruzan Rum tastings and nightly entertainment. Agents should reach out to Reservations Manager Anne Downes ([email protected], 340-773-9700) with any queries.

Eco Serendib Villa and Spa opened less than a year ago, introducing a new level of eco-friendly luxury to St. John. Located on the Point Rendezvous Estate, with impressive views of the Caribbean Sea and the southern coast, Eco Serendib has eight suites that incorporate energy-saving elements. Onsite amenities include a full-service spa and Life Fitness gym for exclusive use by villa guests, an Epicurean Theater kitchen featuring appliances from Sub-Zero/Wolf (with private chef service available), an elegant dining room, a pool, a hot tub, a barbecue terrace and meditation garden. Thoughtful touches such as individualized turndown service, choice of designer bath products and luxurious Frette robes, as well as a dedicated villa concierge are also on hand. Private butler service is available with advance reservation. Agents can address any questions to Harith Wickerma ([email protected], 215-830-8300), chief visionary officer.

The $48 million renovation at Frenchman’s Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort was completed in early November. In addition to giving the 302 guest rooms of the resort’s main tower a completely new interior that incorporates a fresh color scheme and modern furnishings, restoration also included an updated and expanded spa, new health club, a redesign of the outdoor common areas including the pool and water features, and a makeover of the Windows on the Harbor restaurant. Contact Sales Supervisor Sonia Boatwright ([email protected], 340-715-6115, ext. 6303) for more information.


The Presidential Suite at Eco Serendib
The Presidential Suite at Eco Serendib is accessed from an interior landing via a hand-carved mahogany staircase.


The rebranded and now independent Sugar Bay Resort & Spa, formerly Wyndham Sugar Bay Resort & Spa, will mark its first anniversary come July. Valued guests at the resort continue to enjoy the property’s all-inclusive program, abundance of land and water activities, modern fitness center, diverse range of restaurants, bars, tranquil beach, freshwater pools, and the utmost in guest service and care. Agents should direct any queries to Bill Heaney ([email protected], 340-777-7100, ext. 2204), the resort’s sales manager.

New Attractions

Work is nearing completion on the $5 million Diageo Welcome Center being built as part of Diageo’s Captain Morgan Rum Distillery on St. Croix. The visitor center promises to be a tourist attraction that immerses every visitor into a legendary experience that captures the “Captain’s” personality and brings his story, the story of rum and the U.S.V.I. together. The experience will include history and artifacts of the industry, a movie theater, a bar reception area, a small store and a place for visitors to take tours of the plant. The project is scheduled to open later this spring.

Discovery Undersea Reef Tours, St. John’s newest attraction, is a 125-passenger, glass-bottom boat. Departing from Cruz Bay, St. John, or Redhook, St. Thomas, the boat allows clients to explore the underwater world in air-conditioned comfort from its bottom level through 20 picture windows. The middle and upper levels of the boat feature a bar, seating and captain’s deck, where your clients can enjoy the picturesque views of St. Thomas and St. John. To book, agents should call 340-779-1739.


Sugar Bay Resort & Spa
All rooms at Sugar Bay Resort & Spa feature furnished balconies.


Scheduled to open in the spring, the U.S.V.I.’s first zipline operation will be close to the highest point of St. Thomas. The adventure will include six ziplines and two skywalks with dramatic views of Magens Bay and down island. For more information, agents should call 340-642-9477.

More Dining Experiences

The new Sunset Grille at Secret Harbour offers an upscale American menu with a creative twist. The restaurant has a chic and clean decor and has an extensive wine list of more than 150 wines. Sunset Grille, which replaced Blue Moon Café, will be operated by JZE Restaurant Group, the same company that operates The Wine Cellar & East End Café in Red Hook and Havana Blue at Frenchman’s Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort. Agents should call 340-714-7874 for reservations.

Chez Le Caribe Restaurant and Wine Bar brings a unique upscale dining experience to the heart of downtown St. Thomas. The menu offers classic French cuisine infused with Caribbean flavors, along with an extensive selection of French and California wines. To reserve a table, agents should call 340-775-2439.

The U.S.V.I. incarnation of popular New York City-Malaysian-inspired restaurant Fatty Crab recently celebrated the first anniversary of bringing its signature funky flavors and atmosphere to Cruz Bay, St. John. The menu is similar to that of its stateside locations, but utilizes fresh local produce, giving the culinary team a chance to play around with new ingredients like conch, spiny lobster and fruits and vegetables indigenous to the territory. To book a reservation, agents should call 340-775-9951.

Aviation News

JetBlue Airways, the popular value air carrier, began serving the territory for the first time in December, just in time for the winter. JetBlue opened three new routes to the territory that boosted the regional and stateside airlift. In addition to new flights from San Juan, the airline launched service from New England. The airline now operates daily flights between Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) and St. Thomas International Airport (STT).

Earlier last year, American Airlines increased its service from Miami International Airport (MIA) to St. Croix to two daily nonstop Boeing 737 flights. St. Thomas also saw a boost in air capacity. The existing twice-daily, nonstop Boeing 737 flights to St. Thomas from Miami International Airport were increased to three times daily this past June.

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About the Author

Joe Pike
Joe Pike is Travel Agent's senior editor covering the Caribbean, Bahamas & Bermuda; Hawaii; Central & South America. Previously, Pike was a newspaper reporter for The Asbury Park...

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