Villas abound on St. Thomas and they come with every amenity, in every size and in every price range. Whether you want beach front or total seclusion, you will find exactly what you are looking for.
This guide gives the basics you will need to begin your search for the perfect villa. There are several considerations when looking for a villa including location, amenities, price and size. But don’t worry, this should be a fun and exciting process.
I have broken the island into 4 sections: 1. The East End, 2. Northside, 3. Southside, 4. West End.
Understand that this division is to some extent an oversimplification of all the diverse landscapes and location of the island. But hopefully this will give you a pretty good idea what part of the island will suit your interests.*
The east end of the island comprises several towns, the most notable being Red Hook. Others include Nazareth and Cabrita Point. The east end is also home to some of the most popular timeshare and condominium resorts. There are numerous beaches and tons of restaurants, bars and nightlife. Basically, the east end has everything you could want in terms of amenities.
If you are staying at a timeshare or condominium resort or near Red Hook you could probably do without a car. There are plenty of taxis and once you get to Red Hook you can walk.
-paddleboarding or kayaking
-East End Café
-Marina Market has a deli and most food necessities
-Food Center, a full-size grocery store
The Northside includes Peterborg, Mandahl, Hull Bay and several other towns. The northside is a quiet stretch of the island. It has a few scattered restaurants and hotels, but the big draws of the northside are the beaches and seclusion. Yet, from just about anywhere on the northside a 10-15 minute drive will get you into town or to any amenity you desire. A car is highly recommended.
-Magens Point Resort
-Hull Bay Hideaway
-Old Stone Farm House
Grocery Stores Nearby:
-Mandahl Market with limited food and beverages
-Friendlys with limited food and beverages
Starting in downtown Charlotte Amalie and heading east all the way towards Red Hook lies the island’s southside. The southside has sections with incredible privacy and also sections with a touristy feel and excellent amenities. The southside offers sweeping views that start at Buck Island and go all the way to St. Croix. Nightlife also abounds. You could use taxis and public transportation instead of renting a car.
-Dog House Pub
Grocery Stores Nearby:
-Gourmet Gallery-deli and large food selection
-Pueblo-full-size grocery store
The West End
The height of island seclusion, staying on the west end of St. Thomas means you don’t want to have to see other people if you don’t want to. You will find beaches that won’t have another soul on them. You will also enjoy breathtaking views of Puerto Rico, Culebra and Vieques. A car or jeep is required.
Activities nearby (there aren’t any operators or vendors for any activities so you will have to bring your own gear):
Grocery Stores Nearby:
Other than location, your budget is probably the single biggest determining factor in your decision on where to stay. Most villas offer rates for both “on season” and “off season”. During off season, villa owners and management companies are more likely to offer deals.
During season, many villas get booked solid months in advance so act quickly if you find a villa you like! A quick search on www.vrbo.com and there are currently rentals ranging from $800/week to $10,000+/week.
As you begin to narrow down your choice or after you have made your decision to book, here are some other items to consider:
1. Does the villa have beach supplies such as snorkeling gear, beach chairs, a small grill, etc.
2. A great way to pamper yourself is to have a chef come to your villa and cook. Ask the property manager or owner for a few names and numbers.
3. Make sure you have 24 hour access to someone for emergency repairs, lockouts, etc.
4. Make sure to get essential numbers (the emergency number is 911) such as to the hospital, a local doctor and a taxi service.
5. Get detailed directions to the villa to read to 911 operators. Believe it or not, addresses are not always the best way to locate where you are staying. It is usually the case that you will be telling the operator something along the lines of “at the turn in the road, take the first street and then go past the purple fence until the road turns to gravel and it is the house with a mango tree in front.”
6. Are linens and towels included? Onsite washer and dryer? Is daily maid service provided or available?
7. Is there wireless internet? Is there good cell phone service (THIS IS A BIG ONE!)?
8. Is someone going to meet you at the airport when you arrive?
9. Is there amble driveway parking? Is 4WD required?
10. Are dishes, silverware and glasses included?
With the incredible options on St. Thomas, a villa is a great way to spend your time on island. With just a little planning and asking the right questions, you can find the perfect villa for your vacation. Good luck and enjoy!
St. Thomas has 100s of restaurants and bars and hundreds and hundreds of villas, timeshares and condominium vacation rentals. This guide was not meant to be comprehensive; rather, it was to provide vacationers a basic lay of the island and give them a sense of the different options available.