Reviews of Sugar Bay Resort & Spa – St. Thomas

header.jpgSugar Bay Resort & Spa is a popular resort in St. Thomas, and there are many wonderful reviews on the resort. Below are some recent reviews:

“Sugar Bay provided the most enjoyable, relaxing and accommodating stay!!”

My husband and I were there April 7th thru April 13 th. we will be returning….the people were very pleasant and helpful, the food was absolutely wonderful and plentiful. We took a sailboat ride for a day and visited other beaches and it was great!!! I loved the beach at Sugar Bay it was relaxing and so enjoyable and we were on the beach from daylight to dark and still couldn’t get enough!!! We always had plenty to drink. We just arrived home and we are ready to go back!! Carnival night was fabulous we enjoyed it so much…so much to enjoy and we certainly did. ALL INCLUSIVE WAS THE BEST,!!!!!! Thank you to the staff of Sugar Bay for a wonderful vacation and we will be back next year!!.

 

“Great value, great time!” – Stayed April 2013

The resort was really nice, with lots to do on property. The 3 pools were perfect for my kids. The beach is not a large beach, but does the job, and we were always able to get a chair. The snorkeling was good out on the right side of the beach, and straight out (not too far). There are lots of fish, and it’s easy to manage for the kids. There is also a coral/rock formation right in the middle of the beach at the shoreline that had a lot of colorful fish (more than I expected). The only issue may be for people that do not want to walk the 96 steps down to the pool/beach area. They do offer a shuttle from the lobby down to the pool, and the drivers always seemed to be looking to assist and were very helpful. They also have a theatre that showed a kids movie at 7pm, and adults at 9pm. It was a good way to unwind before bed.

We did not purchase the all-inclusive package, but had breakfast included. The food was good, and they had an omelet station where you could get any type of omelet, and other breakfast buffet items. We did buy sandwiches a couple of times at the cafe in the main building, and they were always good. The reason we did not purchase the all-inclusive option is that we were told there were so many good restaurants off property, and they were right. Red Hook is only 10 minutes away, and has many options that were all good.

The location is perfect (within 15 minutes of red hook, and top beaches), but I would recommend getting a car for the week as the cabs get expensive, and this seemed the cheaper option. This also gave us the flexibility to go to many of the beaches (coki, magens bay, sapphire, and secret harbor), go back to the hotel, and then go back out for dinner. Just remember to drive on the left, and keep the speed low, as the roads are very curvy. You do get used to it, and most of the drivers are courteous.

 

“Wonderful Relaxing Resort”

Chose this place as a quick getaway and we were very satisfied. Room was a little smaller than I thought they would be, but we had a wonderful beach view. Trip was all inclusive so we tried all of the different restaurants. The breakfast buffet was GREAT. Loved the made to order omelettes. We liked the little restaurant next to the beach the best. The blackened Mahi-Mahi was amazing. The staff was wonderful and very helpful. They called us by our names so that we felt at home and not just a guest. The massage parlor was great! Felt so relaxed after the “hot stone massage!”

Do you need a passport for St. Thomas?

Citizens of the U.S. or its territories (such as Puerto Rico) do not need a passport to travel to St. Thomas or the other islands within the U.S. Virgin Islands (St. Croix and St. John). You do not need a passport or birth certificate when departing from your local airport to St. Thomas, but you do need some form of identifications when leaving the U.S. Virgin Islands by airplane.

Usually just two forms of identification such as your drivers license and birth certificate are sufficient. Providing both forms of identification will make leaving for your flight on time a much more simple process.

St. Thomas is an unincorporated territory of the United States, which means that U.S. citizens are free to travel to St. Thomas without a passport. This makes going on a vacation to St. Thomas much easier and a much more carefree vacation.

If you don’t currently have a passport, then the costs to get one might be too high for you, or you might be on a time crunch and unable to get on. With flying to St. Thomas, you won’t have to wait around for your passport to arrive in your mailbox – because you don’t need one!

However, bringing a passport might be a good idea as well. You can then island hop if you choose to do so. Also, travelers returning to the U.S. by another country will need to carry a passport to reenter the United States, so even though a passport is not required for U.S. citizens entering St. Thomas, it might still be a good idea to bring one with you.

Virgin Islands National Park

The Virgin Islands National Park is on St. John and consists of over 7,000 acres of beautiful land. Today’s post will give you more general information on the Virgin Islands National Park so that you are prepared to have a great time on your next visit to the National Park.

To get to Virgin Islands National Park in St. John from an area that is not on St. John, you will need to take a ferry. There are ferries from St. Thomas to St. John throughout the day for a nominal price. You can take Route 20, which is North Shore Road, and it runs from the ferry dock and past the Visitor’s Center on St. John to the National Park.

Virgin Islands National Park is open 24 hours a day, all year long. Some parts of the National Park may close earlier though. You can check out the Cruz Bay Visitor Center to find out further. The Cruz Bay Visitor Center is open daily from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The telephone number is 340-776-6201, ext. 238, if you decide to just call the Visitor’s Center directly before your trip.

There is a same-day user fee that is collected at TrunkBay. Children age 16 and under are admitted free; adults, $4; individual annual pass, $10; family annual pass, $15; Golden Age and Golden Access annual cardholders are admitted half price. There is no charge for the National Park.

There is a self-registration fee of $15.00 for overnight anchoring or mooring between the hours of 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. if you have a boat. Golden Age/Access Passport annual cardholders pay half price for a fee of $7.50.

Overnight fees must be paid prior to spending the night.  Overnight stays in the Park waters are limited to 30 nights in one single calender year, and no more than seven consecutive nights in one bay are allowed.  If you are wondering where to pay, there are payment stations that are located at Cruz Bay Finger Pier, Caneel Bay Watersports Shop, Hawksnest Bay, Maho Bay Camp, Leinster Bay, Saltpond Bay, and Great Lameshur Bay.

Things To Do At The Virgin Islands National Park

With over 7,000 beautiful acres in the Virgin Islands National Park, there are many things for you and your family to do.

Annaberg was once one of the larger sugar plantations on St. John and is now a historical site.  There are many things form the plantation still remaining, such as the windmill and horse mill, which were used to crush the sugar cane to extract juice. The sugar factory and rum still on the plantation is still well intact.

Cultural demonstrations, including baking and basket weaving are held on Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Also, sections of the Annaberg School, used to educate the children, are located not far from the sugar mill. The Reef Bay Sugar Mill can only be reached by individuals hiking to it. There are hikes which are led by National Park rangers on the days of Monday and Thursday. The rangers take the visitors down a 3 mile long path through tropical forests to the sugar mill. Be sure to call first, as reservations are required and there are fees for taxi transportation to the trail and for the boat return back to the Visitor Center.

Trunk Bay is also located in the Virgin Islands National Park and is a very nice beach. It is often said to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the whole entire world.

A very popular attraction when visiting the Virgin Islands National Park is heading on over to St. John and seeing Trunk Bay in the Virgin Islands National Park. The picturesque and beautiful beach has been photographed plenty of times by both visitors and those who live on the island. The water at Trunk Bay is crystal clear and the sand is extremely white and clean. There is great snorkeling at Trunk Bay which makes for a great and fun underwater trail at Trunk Bay.

There are plenty of fish and other water life in the trail. The trail is 650 feet long and was created and is currently maintained by the National Park Service. There are signs in the water that help describe what you are looking at and where you are heading.

There is a shop where you can rent or buy water gear such as a snorkel set so that you can have fun in the underwater trail. There are also showers, bathrooms, public telephones, BBQ areas, areas for private events and food available for you and your family as well.

Trunk Bay cost a low $4 for adults and individuals 16 year old and younger are free to go to Trunk Bay. The low cost is well worth it because of the many things that you can do at the beach. If you plan on visiting multiple times, there is an annual pass available at Trunk Bay for $10 for an individual or $15 for your family.  There is a bathhouse, snack bar, souvenir shop and snorkel gear rentals are available. Lifeguards are on duty daily also.

In the Virgin Islands National Park, there is also Cinnamon Bay.  Cinnamon Bay has a water sports center that rents snorkel gear and windsurfers, and the center can also make arrangements for day sailing, snorkeling and scuba diving lessons. There is also a campsite and cottages.

Animals in the United States Virgin Islands

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The islands of the United States Virgin Islands are bustling with wonderful and exciting wildlife. There are donkeys, iguanas, deer, birds (which will be covered in another post) and so on all over each of the islands.

Donkey

Wild donkeys are found on the island of St. John and can often be found roaming the trails and sidewalks (just like as seen in the picture above). These wild donkeys many years ago were released into the wild and have been there since. They are usually in small groups of three to five (in the above picture, there were 4 or 5 roaming together).

Some of these wild donkeys are domesticated and friendly, however, you should of course still be friendly to the animals and not provoke them.  You will find many donkeys in the Cinnamon Bay area of St. John, near Coral Bay and also near honeymoon beach.

Deer

There is a small deer population in the United States Virgin Islands. The white tailed deer was brought to the islands by colonist in the late 1700′s for hunting purposes. They are a shy, solitary animal but are most likely more outgoing than the deer back home where they might run away from you.

Every now and then, deer are sighted in the National Park and along the trails on St. John, in densely forested areas of St. Croix and on the East End of St. Thomas.

Iguana

Iguanas are a reptile native to the Caribbean, Madagascar, Fiji, Galapagos Islands and Tonga. The Sugar Bay Resort and Spa is home to many iguanas and you might run across a few, especially down by the pond area where they are usually fed by the hotel. An adult iguana can grow to 6 feet long. Iguanas are often found high up in tree tops enjoying the sun and eating food.

Charlotte Amalie, United States Virgin Islands

Charlotte Amalie is a city on the island of St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. It is also the capital city of the U.S. Virgin Islands. It is a great and beautiful city that offers a lot of things that you could possibly do, such as shopping, eating at great restaurants, entertainment, and is also full of history.

If shopping is your thing, then Charlotte Amalie is a must visit while you are visiting St. Thomas. There are numerous stores where you can buy purses, jewelry (watches, earrings, diamonds, gem stones, necklaces, rings, and so on) high quality designer items, clothing, and so on. Shopping at the island just seems like there are an endless amount of stores that you can visit!

The port in Charlotte Amalie is the most popular cruise ship port in the West Indies and can be a busting and busy spot to be in. You can see many very large cruise ships here, which means that sometimes there can be numerous people visiting the island. You can also search to see how many cruise ships are due to arrive on the island on any certain day.

If you’re not interested in shopping (or maybe you’re done and want other things to do as well!) there are a lot of other entertainment options that you and your family can do. As I said, there are plenty of historical things that you can do.

There are many historic buildings and then buildings themselves are worth a visit. They can be very colorful and full of great details. If you like interesting architecture, then Charlotte Amalie has a lot of that available for you and your family.

There are eco friendly tours (such as in kayaks and hiking) where you can explore the island, you can tour certain historical buildings, and so on. There are also many delicious restaurants that you can try, nightlife with karaoke, live music, and plenty of dancing.

The Beauty of Magens Bay in St. Thomas, USVI

Magens Bay is a popular place for visitors and residents to visit on the island of St. Thomas. It is a public park that is on the north side of the island of St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The beach and everything around it are very beautiful and definitely a worthwhile visit while on your vacation.

There is nice white sand and very clear water that is calm. There is also a beautiful forest past the white sand that contains many animals.

On December 28, 1946, the municipality of St. Thomas and St. John was given Magens Bay beach as well as 50 acres around the Magens Bay beach. The gift was given by Arthur S. Fairchild and he wanted Magens Bay beach to go to public use and to forever be enjoyed by everyone by still to be kept as natural as possible in order to keep the natural and wonderful beauty of Magens Bay beach.

Then in 2002, more land was added to this from the purchase of an estate. Magens Bay beach then became 319 acres to become Magens Bay Watershed Preserve. The area is very protected by St. Thomas because of the lush habitats to many animals that it contains.

There is also a nature trail that was donated in May of 2004 to the Magens Bay area which consists of 25 ares great for seeing what Magens Bay has to offer. This trail starts at Magens Bay Road at Canaan and ends at Magens Bay Beach.

Usually hikers are dropped off at the top of the trail and hike down to the beach (what a great end goal!). Or of course you can start at Magens Bay and hike up to the trailhead. This is a moderately active hike and lasts around 1.5 miles.

This is a very fun hike that you should try to squeeze into your schedule and visit.

St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands Carnival Events

There are many events happening in St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands during the month of April. It’s Carnival time! All of these events are in St. Thomas so have fun.

Saturday, April 6th - Lionel Roberts Stadium  8:00pm

The Queen Selection Show is on this day. This show is a competition of young women ranging from ages 16 to 21 years old. Each contestant is judged on Talent, Fashioning of Swim wear and Evening wear, Speech and a Cultural Costume. The winning young lady reigns over Carnival events.

Saturday, April 13th –  Lionel Robers Stadium  8:00pm

Calypso Revue is the event on this day. Some of the greatest calypsonians from across the Caribbean are brought together for a Calypso Revue. There is great music at this event!

Wednesday, April 17th –  Lionel Roberts Stadium  8:00pm

Cultural Night, King & Queen of the Band. This event features music and dancers and is a must see.

Friday, April 19th –  Fort Christian Parking Lot  6:00pm

Opening of Carnival Village is on this day. Carnival Village is the center of Carnival activities that you must visit. Each year the Fort Christian parking lot is converted into a village, with over 30 booths. There is plenty of food and drinks being sold and much to do. From Monday through Saturday there are many live bands with great music and entertainment.

Sunday, April 21st –  Charlotte Amalie Harbor  10:00am

Water Sports Activities in St. Thomas. In the Charlotte Amalie harbor there are boat races and other water sports activities. You can watch along the Charlotte Amalie waterfront.

Wednesday, April 24th –  Emancipation Garden  8:00am

This is the Cultural Fair. The culture, food & crafts fair is a very popular event in St. Thomas for Carnival. It involves several upon several booths which are selling Caribbean food, drinks,plants, produce, crafts candies, pastries and other things which are not always available year round.

Thursday, April 25th –  Veterans Drive  4:00am

Roas-a-Time or J’ouvert. This is one of the most popular events of Carnival while in St. Thomas. It is an early morning party (starts at 4am!) as thousands of people dance through the streets behind their favorite bands while others stand on the side and enjoying the music.

Friday, April 26th - Main Street  10:00am

Children’s Carnival Parade. From toddlers to teens Virgin Islands kids twirl, perform and dance along Main Street for hours in troupes of colorfully costumed masqueraders. The parade route starts at Market Square and runs along Main Street to Lionel Roberts Stadium.

Saturday, April 27th –  Main Street  10:00am

Adult’s Carnival Parade. The adult’s parade is one of the biggest events of St. Thomas Carnival and is very, very popular. It takes place in Charlotte Amalie along Main Street and includes thousands upon thousands of lively participants and just as many viewers that line up around the parade route. This is a definitely must see if you are on or near the island.

Great Music in St. Thomas This Weekend

Looking for great music while in St. Thomas? Maybe you are visiting the island for business or a vacation, or maybe you live here in this beautiful place. Well this weekend, on March 30, 2013, you will find some great music to listen to. I know that when I’m on vacation, that I always love to listen to great music that is live. The experience is always very fun and entertaining.

Etana will be playing music at Reichhold Center for the Arts in St. Thomas this weekend. You can find her music on her website.

Etana started in the reggae music genre back in 2008 with her very popular breakout hit “Roots” and soon had built a large fan base with many more great songs.  Her debut CD, The Strong One, was highly successful and she then created many more songs that became hits such as “I Am Not Afraid,” “Blessings” and “Don’t Forget.”

She is known as “Jamaica’s reggae princess” and performs at the biggest and most popular reggae festivals around the world, and made her debut in South America in 2011.

About the Reichhold Center for the Arts

The Reichhold Center for the Arts is on the island of St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. This center is home to many concerts and performances and is a great location to hear many great live performances. The many great performances included Ray Charles and the Moscow Ballet.

Reichhold Center for the Arts has two levels, with the upper level consisting of a proscenium stage, orchestra pit, two star dressing rooms, and ample backstage working space and storage areas. The lower level consists of the chorus dressing rooms, rehearsal spaces, an art gallery and much more.

The amphitheater contains nearly 2,000 seats. There are both covered and open seating in the amphitheater. There is rain protection just in case it rains as well.

Nightlife in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands

When on vacation, nightlife might be on your agenda. Going out, having fun with family and/or friends can always be a good time. While in St. Thomas, there are plenty of wonderful nightlife activities to take part in.

It also helps that St. Thomas has some of the best nightlife within the Virgin Islands. There are plenty of bars, dancing and singing always happening, and there are many areas in St. Thomas that you can go to in order to find this. The culture and the music on the island just makes it equal to being a great time.

There are many things to do while in St. Thomas. Sugar Bay Resort and Spa has activities nearly everyday, ranging from going to the casino at the resort, karaoke, great restaurants, dancing and so on.

There is a place to watch movies while on the island, many bars, places where you can watch sports, play pool and darts, and so on. Below are some of the areas that you can visit in order to have the most fun!

CHARLOTTE AMALIE

In Charlotte Amalie, there are also many bars and restaurants that you can visit that are very close to each other.  Going to a waterfront bar or restaurant is always very pretty and relaxing.

Frenchtown

Frenchtown is another great place to visit for nightlife while in St. Thomas.  Frenchtown is very close to Charlotte Amalie and has plenty to offer in terms of nightlife. There are restaurants and bars that you can visit.

HAVENSIGHT

In Havensight, during the day there are plenty of places to shop, and at night there is great nightlife. You can find bars, great places to eat at, karaoke, live music and so on. Looking to watch your favorite sports, then go to Havensight as well.

RED HOOK

Red Hook is always action packed. There are many places within walking distance and many bars and restaurants that you can visit. There is almost always live music as well.