This Caribbean Island Is Largely Vacationer-free and Would not Require a Passport — and Has 2 Stylish New Lodges

In search of a surprising, not-too-touristy getaway within the U.S Virgin Islands? Not like different islands within the space, St. Croix has largely prevented huge actual property developments, focusing as a substitute on preserving historic constructions and changing them into small companies.

“You come right here, and you’re feeling like that is what it was within the 1700s. And it is not overpopulated with all-inclusive resorts; it is actually arrange as a boutique resort vacation spot,” mentioned Chris Pardo, co-founder of hospitality agency Neighborhood Institution, which is behind among the island’s most up-to-date resort openings, in an interview with Journey + Leisure.

In March 2023, Pardo and his crew completed the redesign of the historic King Christian Lodge (nightly charges from $249), which dates again to the 18th century. The 74-key property boasts 4 buildings on the waterfront of Christiansted and gives visitors fashionable facilities, stylish tropical-influenced decor, and the comfort of being proper downtown. To maximise the property’s prime oceanfront location and gorgeous views, Pardo modified the format and expanded the rooms, then furnished the areas with supplies that “blur the traces between fashionable and historic.”

Customized terracotta flooring, crown moldings, tropical woods that may stand up to the humidity, marble loos, and hanging vegetation on the balconies create a classy residential really feel. Velvet-green drapes decorate the home windows, bringing “a richness that pulls within the tropical nature with out being beachy,” he defined.

Whereas visitors can spend their days lounging by the infinity pool, the resort has additionally turn into a favourite of the native crowd because of a energetic bar, a Mexican restaurant dealing with the waterfront, a espresso store, and an ice cream store. The entrance desk doubles because the foyer bar, the Peacock Lounge, and is open 24/7 to serve visitors cocktails and wine.

Vacationers craving a extra intimate expertise away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Christiansted ought to think about Pardo’s different property, Waves Cane Bay (nightly charges ranging from $449), which opened in 2021 on the quaint North Shore of St. Croix, steps away from Cane Bay Seashore. 

“Waves Cane Bay seems like one other world to me,” Pardo mentioned. He painted the resort’s exterior black as a result of he needed the constructing to “turn into the background and let the vegetation and the ocean round it stand out.”

With 11 suites with massive non-public patios dealing with the water, visitors get up to the sound of crashing waves and the gorgeous surroundings. Inside, soothing gray partitions, pure wooden from Indonesia, and all-black home equipment within the kitchenettes are a relaxing foil to a day spent on the seashore “getting blasted by the Caribbean solar,” as Pardo put it.

One other spotlight of Waves Cane Bay is Ama, the property’s open-air eatery, constructed round a pure grotto. The restaurant sources its seafood from native fishermen and divers and pairs the dishes with a choice of high-quality wines and craft cocktails.

“It is a actually romantic and soothing vacation spot,” Pardo added.

Divers will respect the resort’s proximity to among the finest diving spots within the space: The Wall, a part of the Puerto Rican Trench, simply 200 yards from Cane Bay Seashore, the place reef sharks, damsels, and different tropical fish stay.