Incredible vistas, adventurous day trips, and sultry vibes – we sat down with Villa Specialist Michael Chisholm to hear about St. Thomas, St. John, Tortola and Virgin Gorda.
Tell us about your trip down to the Virgin Islands.
A: The Virgin Islands are great because St. Thomas is a direct flight for many (all the regular east coast hubs fly here) and then you can hop on a boat to neighboring islands. I actually landed in St. Croix, and then took a seaplane to St. Thomas, which was a thrilling experience. [Editors Note: Need help flights and ferries? Our Air Department can arrange them.]
The WIMCO team with our Virgin Island partners
How would you describe St. Thomas?
A: While it is a hub for cruise ships year round, some days in the off-season there may not be any. There are though, so many beautiful unspoiled areas, especially on the north and east sides. There are vistas at every turn. One of our first days we took a short boat ride to Water Island. This is a little less than 500 acres, and has a population of about 200 people. Almost like a private island. You can drive around here on golf carts, or go to Honeymoon Beach which is a treat.
Speaking of vistas, what were some of your favorite views?
A: Villa Infinity (MA INF) is incredible. It’s high up in the hills of Central and looks down onto the harbor. We had dinner one evening at Room With a View, which overlooks the downtown area of Charlotte Amalie. Head there to watch the sun set, or sample their extensive martini menu.
Looking out from the living room of Villa Infinity (MA INF)
You then island hopped on over to St. John.
A: We took the ferry over to St. John, which takes about 20 minutes. St. John is the smallest of the US Virgin islands, and is more protected. Two thirds of it (and surrounding reefs) are part of the National Park. And there are some great hiking trails within there. It’s also a hotspot for scuba diving enthusiasts. It has a lot to offer. We have villas ranging in size from one bedrooms to nine bedrooms, and the rates run across the board. We can accommodate both the budget conscious, and those looking for a dream property.
We hear Rendezvous Bay is a wonderful place to stay.
A: Very much so. It’s convenient to all parts of the islands, and only ten minutes from town. One of the highlights in that area was the four bedroom Chateau La Tete Rouge (CT ROU). Be sure to rent a 4-wheel drive car as the roads can be steep!
People always remark about St. John’s beaches.
A: It’s amazing what variety there is. Trunk Bay has been named one of the best beaches in the world a million times. The sand is porcelain white, and the water is that true shiny turquoise color. You can do a self-guided snorkel tour through the area. Cinnamon Bay beach is one of the longest. Most of these beaches have facilities too, like little shops and restaurants. Then over on the north shore, you have some of the quieter beaches like Francis Bay and Mahoe Beach. Francis Bay doesn’t get as crowded as some of the others, and offers a lot of shade so it’s perfect for families.
Looking out to Trunk Bay
Read more about St. John beaches here.
Let’s talk food.
A: We had some great meals on St. John, particularly at Asolare, which is set high on a hill looking out over Cruz Bay. It’s a nice fusion of Asian flavors and local Caribbean seafood. The restaurant was originally constructed as a private home, and icons like Laurence Rockefeller have stayed there. We also tried the new restaurant Longboard, which opened last May in Cruz Bay. They call it a “coastal cantina”, so it’s a bit surfer-chic, with Peruvian and Mexican influences. They have conch lettuce wraps and Caribbean tacos, and of course, a long selection of rum punches and caipirinhas. It’s casual and has a great vibe.
Check out more St. John restaurants here.
Sounds low-key and fun! Next was Tortola.
A: Yes, we took the ferry over to Tortola which is again, very simple. Takes about 30 mins. The island’s 22 miles long, and we have a great inventory of villas there. Tortola is more populated than the other islands, and has a busy harbor scene. There are so many small islands nearby, it’s a great place for boat lovers to do a day charter and explore. Because the area is expansive, our villas there have a real sense of privacy and seclusion. A number of popular restaurants sit on Cane Garden Bay, but there are also a few truly elegant restaurants on the island too, like the Sugar Mill.
We’re guessing a ferry trip is coming up to take you to Virgin Gorda…
A: Yes! All of the trips are easy and fun, and never more than 45 minutes. Virgin Gorda is a favorite of ours…it’s one of the best islands for its nice slow pace. The beaches—particularly the Baths, are one of the “must-see” things to do in your lifetime. From a practical standpoint, the roads have improved in recent years too, specifically the route from Leverick to Nail Bay. One of the highlights there was Villa Blue Lagoon (VG BLU) in Mahoe, a 3 bedroom that’s just a short walk to the beach. We also represent the hotel Little Dix Bay. This hotel has such a nice feel, with the property wrapped around a classic crescent beach. Guests can choose from either their hotel rooms, or their villas dotting the bay.
Queen beds at Villa Blue Lagoon (VG BLU) in Virgin Gorda
What about those looking for a honeymoon or anniversary trip to the Virgins?
A: For the most secluded romantic spot in Virgin Gorda, you’ll have to take a boat to the resort Oil Nut Bay (we were picked up at Leverick Bay dock by a private boat, which we can arrange for clients). Forbes named this resort the “the crown jewel of the Virgin Islands”. Suites are spacious, private, and have their own pool and Sonos system. We paddle boarded and kayaked at the beach, then took the golf carts down to the resort for dinner.
Recap your trip for us. Who will like which island?
A: You can’t go wrong with any of them. But we are well versed to suggest how many days to spend in each, whether to choose a hotel here or a villa here depending on what you’re looking for. St. Thomas is great for a last-minute trip, especially if you can fly there direct. It’s a larger island with a lot at your disposal, like shopping and golf. St. John is absolutely for nature-lovers, great for those who like to spend their time on the beach, hiking, and exploring natural beauty. Tortola is perfect for a true villa experience; we have some wonderful properties there great for families or groups of friends. And it’s especially suited for those wanting to take day trips. Virgin Gorda is for gorgeous beaches, and especially those on a couple’s trip, as we have a number of one bedroom properties.
Whether you choose to spend your time on one of these islands, or sample each on one trip, the Virgin Islands will dazzle you with their natural beauty, spectacular beaches, and relaxed way of life. Ask us how we can help plan your perfect itinerary and find the villa or hotel for you.