During the past few months, the United States Virgin Islands has welcomed many new accommodations, attractions and restaurants, all providing visitors with plenty to occupy their vacation time. Several of the destination's most popular hotels have recently undergone extensive refurbishment and now offer world-class amenities. Guests on St. John now have more options than ever before when vacationing on our sunny island.
Although much has changed in the USVI, the islands' incomparable beauty remains as breathtaking as ever. Visitors will find the USVI's white-sand beaches, clear-blue waters, rolling hillsides and tropical foliage provide an ideal backdrop for their vacations.
Since many travelers may be unaware of the USVI's exciting new accommodations, attractions and activities, we invite you to keep the following information in mind as you plan stories for the coming months. Updates about the tourism industry on St. John will be of great benefit to travelers as they consider all of their vacation options. The following are a few of the many recent developments on St.John:
· Lauren and Brion Morrisette recently opened Estate Lindholm, a new bed-and- breakfast inn on St. John. Located on a plantation dating back to the 18th century, the property is charmingly landscaped with lush foliage, a pool and a patio. Each of the rooms is equipped with a microwave, small refrigerator, wet bar, television, telephone, air conditioning and private covered deck and has its own comfortable bathroom. During the winter season, rates start at $325 per night, based on double occupancy, and include daily continental breakfast. During the spring and summer seasons, rates drop to $225 and $175 per night, respectively. For reservations or additional information, call (800) 322-6332 or (340) 776-6121.
· Estate Concordia recently opened six newly designed eco-tents on St. John. The construction of the new eco-tents is based on the post-and-beam method, resulting in units that are stronger with cleaner lines. The floors and boardwalks were made with recycled composite wood product. Other new features include: more spacious interior with additional storage spaces; larger loft sleeping space with standing room; fans and task lighting; a 12-volt electric refrigerator; a weather station; improved rain protection; enhanced power capacity; a graywater filtration system; and new composting toilets with low water flush. The new units can accommodate up to six people. Effective now through April 30, 1999, rates are $110 -$120 per night, based on double occupancy. Additional guests are $25 per person/per night during the winter season. Effective May 1, 1999-December 14, 1999, rates are $70-$80 per night, based on double occupancy. Additional guests are $15 per person/per night. Concordia is an ongoing experiment in the practical use of sustainable design principles. For reservations or more information, call (800) 392-9004 or (340) 693-5855.
· Travelers to St. John who fondly remember the Cruz Inn will be pleasantly surprised on their next visit. The 13-room property has undergone significant refurbishments and is now know as the St. John Inn. Four-poster beds, West Indian furniture and a shaded courtyard featuring a swimming pool are a few amenities available at the charming inn, conveniently located in downtown Cruz Bay. For more information, call (340) 693-8688 or (800) 666-7688.
· Captain Nautica, Inc. is offering great sightseeing, snorkeling and hiking expeditions on St. Thomas. Captain Nautica's "Ultimate Virgin Isles Snorkel Expedition" includes two hours of action-packed sightseeing and two hours of snorkeling at two remote locations. Snorkeling equipment, snacks and beverages are included in the tour at a rate of $58 per person. The "Ultimate Snorkeling/Hiking Expedition" is the only combination snorkeling and hiking expedition in the USVI. This 4-½ hour excursion includes several snorkeling stops and a 1.3-mile hike through St. John's National Park. The cost is $70 per person. The "Sun Downer" expedition takes advantage of the late afternoon sun for excellent sightseeing and photographic opportunities. This two-hour tour is $35 per person. For children 12 and under, all tours are half-price. For more information or reservations, call (340) 715-3379.
· Thunderhawk Trail Guides, a newly formed hiking tour company, provides two- hour, guided tours of St. John's nature trails from Cruz Bay to Lind Point, Honeymoon Beach and the Caneel Hill spur trail. Guides share information about the history and culture of the Taino Indians, who occupied the island thousands of years ago. For more details, call (340) 776-6412 or (340) 774- 1030.