Not every traveler defines “beach vacation” in the same way. Thankfully, the best resorts in the U.S. Virgin Islands offer a mix of romance, affordability, and family-friendly vibes. You also won’t find a shortage of things to do during your stay. However you like it, have your next beach vacation exactly your way in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Tamarind Reef Resort and Spa, St. Croix
Turn off of East End Road as you leave the town of Christiansted, and as you wind along a green hillside, then down to the resort, you already have a sense of the privacy and away-from-it-all feel of Tamarind Reef Resort and Spa. The beach itself is flat and wide—large enough to host a beach soccer game, should the mood strike. A collection of thatched-roof palapas provides shade just yards from the water. From the shoreline, you won’t enjoy beachside drink service from this budget property, but you can walk a few yards to the Deep End Grill for nachos, fish and chips, fish tacos, burgers, beer and cocktails.
Elysian Beach Resort, St. Thomas
Set along Cowpet Bay on the east end of St. Thomas, Elysian Beach Resort offers a beach experience where you can spread out and relax away from the bustle of Charlotte Amalie. We love that the condo-style suites offer full kitchens and dining rooms—perfect after a long day in the sun when you’d rather not rally for dinner out. Plus, the service at this property ranks among the best on island, which can tip a good stay to great. Note that the property should be receiving guests by summer 2019.
Marriott Frenchman’s Cove, St. Thomas
One of the biggest properties on St. Thomas, Marriott Frenchman’s Cove offers the amenities you expect from a big hotel—grocery shopping service, concierge desk, fitness center—and it’s just a 12-minute drive from downtown Charlotte Amalie. All this, and it sits on its own crescent of beach on Pacquereau Bay. For those who prefer the verticality of hotels, this one offers dramatic, high views of the bay and nearby Hassel and Water islands. On site, guests can also enjoy two outdoor pools, waterslide, sauna and hot tub.
Secret Harbour Beach Resort, St. Thomas
Sprawling white sand beach. Hammocks by the ocean. Quiet location on the eastern tip of St. Thomas. Secret Harbour Beach Resort, with 48 beachfront individually owned condos, has everything necessary for a beach getaway, whether you’re stealing away as a couple, family or solo traveler. Plus, we’re a sucker for the beachside and poolside drink service from Cruzan Beach Club—painkiller cocktail, anyone?
Sand Castle Beach Hotel, St. Croix
Known to locals simply as “Sandcastles,” Sand Castle on the Beach Hotel on St. Croix’s west end is a favorite for its soft sand oceanfront, as well as for its café dishing a menu with favorites from steak-and-eggs brunch to grilled local fish. Lounge all day on the beach, or check out the reef system just offshore from the hotel. There, beneath the typically calm water, you’ll find angelfish, schools of juvenile fish and the occasional sea turtle.
Westin St. John Resort Villas, St. John
With a private beach and fleet of inflatable water toys, plus drink and food service while you lounge and play, the beach of The Westin St. John Resort Villas is exactly the sort of place where you want to commit at least an entire day—if not every day of a weeklong vacation. Plus, from the resort, you can arrange and enjoy a few hours of sailing, Jet-skiing, scuba diving, kayaking or snorkeling before retiring to your all-new room or villa. It’s no wonder why the Westin makes the list as one of the best resorts in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Renaissance St. Croix Carambola Beach Resort & Spa, St. Croix
The beach fronting the Renaissance St. Croix Carambola Beach Resort & Spa feels so exotic, it’s hard to believe you’re still in the States. As you lounge on the wide, golden-sand beach, behind you are the green hillsides of the rainforest. The result is a sanctuary that feels secluded and remote—perfect for a beach getaway. What’s more, we love the hammocks just yards from the beach, which offer further relaxation in addition to the screened-in porches accompanying most rooms.
Sugar Bay Resort and Spa and Spa, St. Thomas
Sugar Bay Resort and Spa has the beach you’d expect with a name like that. This 294-room resort stretches along a cove where the sand is super soft and the waves tend toward nonexistent—making for choice conditions for landlubbers to try the free included watersports. We love that the water is so clear that while you kayak, windsurf or enjoy a paddleboat, you’ll see the sea life below, from stingrays to turtles. Note that this property will be reopening in late 2019.
The Buccaneer, St. Croix
It’s perhaps no surprise that this resort that ranks highly across so many categories also rates as St. Croix’s premier beach resort. The 340-acre property of The Buccaneer is rare in that it offers guests three beaches. Mermaid Beach is the most protected, home to the water-sports center. Find Whistle Beach a short walk from the hotel up and over a small hill, beloved by honeymooners and other couples looking for alone time. Grotto Beach extends along the western side of the property, away from the pools, restaurants and other noise, allowing solitude-seekers to read and relax to the sound of the waves.
The Ritz-Carlton Club, St. Thomas
Some people just need the beach to be happy on vacation. Others want 24-hour-room service and full beach service with servers delivering club sandwiches and icy cocktails. Those in the latter category should look no further than The Ritz-Carlton Club on St. Thomas, occupying 30 oceanfront acres of the eastern tip of the island, provides the idyllic setting you crave with all the details you demand to make for a smooth, seamless trip with nonstop pampering.