Amber, of Blue Sky Ceremony, is our guest today. Amber was born and raised on St. Thomas. She is the owner of a wedding and event planning planner. Amber has assisted her clients with finding villas and hotels of every kind for groups ranging in size from 2 to 102.
While she and I may debate this issue, I can’t really argue with most of her points. So, I’ll shut my mouth and let her make her case…
(Turning the keyboard over to Amber)
Ok guys, as Mike said, I’ve helped a lot of people book rooms at hotels, resorts, B & B’s and villas. And in my experience and based on the feedback I’ve gotten from my couples, villas are the best way to experience St. Thomas.
Staying at a Villa is Cheaper
On a per night basis, you can stay more affordably at a villa. Too often, at first blush the room rate for a hotel or villa looks good, but then they tack on the room tax and resort fee (which can be as much as an extra $60-75 per night).
One of your biggest expenses when visiting St. Thomas is food. Food is expensive here on the island. Add to the island’s already high prices the premium charged by resorts (how does $18 sunblock sound?) and you’ll see why you want to pack as much stuff from home as possible. And no telling if the resort will have food options you’ll like.
When you stay at a villa you will have a full kitchen, stove, counters, frig, microwave, coffeemaker, etc. So you don’t have to eat out for every stinking meal if you don’t want to.
Heck, with the money you’ll save you can even have a private chef cook a few meals for you at the villa.
The Couple in the Next Room is on Their Honeymoon
You and the kids shouldn’t have to listen to the newlyweds “celebrate” their union.
Or maybe you’ll be lucky enough to share the floor with the 15 teams from the Mid-Atlantic, Junior High, Cheerleading Championship.
A villa tucked away on a private beach or a majestic mountaintop provides all the privacy and solitude you could want.
The last time a hurricane headed towards St. Thomas, my husband, 2 daughters and I spent 3 nights holed up in a hotel (thankfully the hurricane changed course).
Sure the girls loved jumping on the bed and running down the halls but it didn’t take long for all of us to feel cramped. And as the dirty laundry piled up, our little excursion away from home grew tedious.
By contrast, when my husband’s parents visit, they stay at a beachfront condo. We always spend the week with them and have our own room. There’s room to spread out, a porch, living room and a washer and dryer!!!
Avoid a Cookie Cutter, Touristy St. Thomas Trip
I’ve spent many a night in hotels. Anytime you can stay somewhere away from home for a few nights in a beautiful location is welcomed!
A hotel has it all, the pools, bars, restaurants, gift shops all within a short walk or elevator ride. The hotel offers this partly for your convenience, but also because they want you to stay on property and spend every penny possible within their walls. And that convenience of having everything so close can quickly suck you in and never let you out.
It can be pretty easy to not ever leave the resort property. Many people have come to St. Thomas and haven’t seen anything other than the airport and the resort. And for those who don’t want to leave the poolside, I salute you!
But if you want to get out and explore, find a villa or condo in a less crowded and touristy location. Get to really experience the “island life”.
(Amber hands computer back to me)
So there you have it, a few quick thoughts from the lovely Amber as to why a villa or condo might be a better option than a hotel or resort experience here in St. Thomas.
When you’re ready to plan your trip, and in particular, plan your wedding, look Amber up at Blue Sky Ceremony!