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Tortola or St. Thomas?

Indiana
posts: 9
reviews: 1
Tortola or St. Thomas?

I was wanting to get peoples opinions on which island would be better for my family which consist of myself, my wife and four year old son. I have been to St. Thomas on a couple occassions but I know little about Tortola. Any input would be helpful, thank you.

Parker,Colorado
posts: 19
1. Re: Tortola or St. Thomas?

The thing I like about Tortola a BVI vs. a USVI is no Pizza Huts, McD's, WalMarts, Home Depots, traffice, people, and everything else you see at home. The BVI's are different, slower, the way we are able to go down there each year is to stay at Rhymers in Cane Garden Bay, you can fly into Beef Island thru Puerto Rico, cab it over to Cane Garden and probably not need to go anywhere else. We leave in 10 days, first time taking our 6 year old! They have restaurants, bars, music, other families w/kids, calm tranquil water ideal for the little one. Rhymers is a screamin deal at $55 per night, its not the Ritz or the Westin, its a room to sleep in with a small TV, but it is 10 feet from the beach. Google Cane Garden Bay. You've been to St. T - go somewhere new!

New York
posts: 83
2. Re: Tortola or St. Thomas?

Tortola is a rich, peaceful little island with hardly anything to do except go to the beach, the few night clubs, a trip to a couple of other islands maybe and a browse around Old Main St,. in Road Town. Pretty much perfect if that's what you are looking for.

To us who live in the BVI for extended periods, St. Thomas is our city, we go shopping there on Saturdays and eat pizzas, maybe see a film, but we come back home on the last ferry, the sunset at our backs, rejoicing in the peace, the lack of traffic noise and the freedom to walk wherever we like at any hour of the day or night without fear.

Parker, Colorado
Destination Expert
for St. John
posts: 1,001
reviews: 7
3. Re: Tortola or St. Thomas?

Although STJ is my favorite island, if I had to chose between STT and Tortola, I'd choose Tortola hands down for all the reasons already described by others.

Geographically, the two islands are very similar in both size and elevation. To me, though, Tortola is what STT must have been 30 or more years ago. Quiet, relatively undisturbed beauty, enough services to help you avoid total culture shock. Don't expect great shopping, or loud night clubs. Do expect some laid back beach bars, and live music here and there. Enjoy!

Indiana
posts: 9
reviews: 1
4. Re: Tortola or St. Thomas?

Thank you for your replies. What is your take on Long Bay beach resort or Fort Recovery?

New York
posts: 83
5. Re: Tortola or St. Thomas?

You really can't compare the two places.

Long Bay is a proper 5 star resort on one of the island's most magnificent beaches and right in its own area. There are several restaurants (the Sunday brunch is very good) and a nice patio and gazebo area next to the beach for sunset drinks or just if you want to go in the sea rather than the pools. There are tennis courts, a gym, massage people, shops, the whole thing, but low key and small compared to a US resort. The beach cabanas (big wooden houses on stilts right on the beach are really fantastic).

By contrast, Fort Recovery is on the main road from West End to town, quite near the ferry dock. As the ferries leave town at 6.15 a.m. to reach West End half an hour later and go very close to Fort Recovery, I would imagine it could be quite noisy, but then you are in an area for ferries and boats and its rather nice watching them. I don't know if the beach is real or artificial but there aren't really any beaches on the South shore (the North shore and Beef Island are the places for beaches in Tortola), so probably artificial. I've heard that the villas are quite nice and are self-catering.

brooklyn, ny
posts: 436
reviews: 11
6. Re: Tortola or St. Thomas?

We have stayed at Longbay 3 times. While it is the most full service resort on the island, it is not a 5 star resort. I would put it more at 3.5-4. While the service is generally friendly, it is not up to a 5 star standard. Don't get me wrong, we are staying in a villa managed by Longbay this year, so I am not trashing it by any means. The beach is wonderful, a little rocky in the water especially on one end. But it does not get crowded either. No cruise ship groups here like at Cane Garden Bay.

Tortola is wonderful. Enjoy the peace and quiet.

New York
posts: 83
7. Re: Tortola or St. Thomas?

I would agree about the service not being 5* - where is here? Service is very much the Caribbean's weak point. I wanted to say the BVI's weak point, but since hardly any people in service positions are actually from the BVI, I can't.

Westminster,MD
posts: 2
reviews: 4
8. Re: Tortola or St. Thomas?

Just returned from eight days on Tortola and stayed at Fort Recovery Villas. Island ferries are still well out in the Drake Channel

when they pass the resort, the most you might hear is a low throb

from the ferry's diesel engine, not at all bothersome. Fort Recovery

might not be best suited for a four year old, pool is way too deep for

a child that age, part of the beach (new villas) a bit rocky.

brooklyn, ny
posts: 436
reviews: 11
9. Re: Tortola or St. Thomas?

We just returned from Tortola and our fourth stay at Long Bay. We had a great trip because we love the island, but are so disappointed with the resort that we will probably never stay there again. The attitude of the staff and general manager were unacceptable and the villa we stayed in was a mess -- AC was broken for first three nights, pool was never turned on for us nor was it cleaned, we ran out of water because the supposed "pool man" was supposed to check it when he came to clean the pool everyday (news to us). Besides those things, there were just several minor maintenance issues.

As long as the place is clean, go for the inexpensive lodging -- you won't be in your room.