Here is an overall review for my Honeymoon stay at Hotel on the Cay, STX from October 20th-27th 2007.
First off, I want to write that I have stayed in some FINE hotels - so If you want a 5 Star, look elsewhere; St. Thomas or St. Johns may be your ticket (and I'm sure the St. Croix locals could care less and be happy about their jewel without you!)
Upon arriving at the AIRPORT my Wife and myself were wondering what we had gotten ourselves into. We grabbed our bags, and got a cab from the airport to Hotel on the Cay. We were both a little weary (coming from Washington, DC) about how safe we were, being that we were in a desolate/remote type non-touristy area. After driving with the cabbie for a few minutes, we were pleasantly surprised at how nice, and good natured he was - which put us to immediate ease. He was from Dominica, but had family in our home town, which was great! Total Roundtrip from the airport with 2 bags including tip was $25; not bad at all.
Upon arriving at the docks for our hotel, we looked across the bay at Hotel on the Cay and saw what looked like a 60's Hotel situated on it's own private Island.
Freddie our Boat driver pulled up, took our bags on the boat for us, and as we ferried our way to the hotel on the ferry, gave us FRESHLY picked banana's from his back yard! What a very nice way to invite someone to their Island! Delicious, and fresh banana's withOUT the DOLE logo on it! Amazing! And they were, NO LIE, the best banana's we'd ever eaten.
Checking in to the Hotel was a breeze, and the Woman who handled it (a very nice hispanic woman) did so quickly and with top service.
Arriving into the room was an experience. The Bathrooms looked like the Magnum PI era, and the Sliding Doors were HEAVY and LOUD and very tough to move (you will easily wake up anyone sleeping in your room!). They also did NOT lock. The Front door was similar; it had Wooden slats and a screen separating yourself and the outside world. Not very secure in my Opinion, and security when you're NOT at home is VERY important to my family and my piece of mind. Aside from that, our Suite was perfect - CLEAN and had NICE comfortable beds with CLEAN Linen's; That's All I need in life! It's NOT the Ritz-Carlton as others have mentioned, but one nights stay at the Ritz, equals an ENTIRE week at Hotel on the Cay! But this is a POSITIVE as it Leaves more money for Gaming, Snorkling, Eating, Rentals, Taxi's, etc!
Everyone, and I DO mean everyone on the Island which HOTC resides on was EXTREMELY Friendly! If you are a snot, don't even bother staying here - you have islands you are welcome on!
HarborMaster Cafe was a nice touch to the Island. Even though they are generally CLOSED after 4PM, they have a decent breakfast, and Lunch menu. It was all Fresh tasting, good food! Not Gourmet, but very good nonetheless. Erol the bartender is a beast, and a good guy! You need to talk with him when he's not so busy!
A Few things to look out for: If it rains when you are at HOTC, BE CAREFUL on the Stair Rails, ESPECIALLY if you've been drinking! They are Old, rusted Stair rails, that In My Opinion, would give out if you actually leaned your full body weight onto them. Also, be aware that the tiles on the walkways are sealed tiles, and EXTREMELY Slippery when wet! Broken Ankles in paradise is NOT cool! The grounds are a little worn out, but what do you expect for a NORTHERN most island which bares the storms? The groundskeepers do a good job, and are always working and very friendly.
St. Croix itself, the what to do's:
Rent a car, and drive to Point Udall and just DRIVE around the Island! It's a desolate area, but gorgeous, and you can say you went to the furthest Eastern tip of any US Occupation! Use caution though, and if you feel like you're going the wrong way, then TURN around! It won't hurt.
Visit Fort. Christian, and first Lutheran Church. Amazing!
Visit /Snorkel at Cane Bay! Fabulous beach, with GREAT snorkling and BAR right on it! One word of CAUTION if you are driving from HOTC to Cane Bay: The sign for 80 is TAKEN down <it's a right turn towards the coast>. If you continue I believe SOUTH, it will take you up to a OFFROAD scenic route, which In my opinion is a TRAP for Trouble. I say this, because we found ourselves in a junglelike area, with locals on the streets watching up go this route. When I realized we weren't in Kansas anymore, I turned around and drove back. On our way, we found a wallet in the middle of the road. We ALMOST stopped, but didn't. Upon arriving 'home' we were told it was probably a trap, and if we had stopped to pick it up, would have possibly been ROBBED! SO BE CAREFUL!
The ABSOLUTE "MUST DO" when you are there, is to book a 2 hour waverunner tour with Duane and Dustin - From the WaveRunner Rental place on the beach at Hotel on the Cay. They came from Pompano Beach, S. Florida about 1 year ago, took over the business and in My opinion, made an awesome choice of residence! We chose to do a 1 hour Waverunner, plus 1 hour of snorkling at the Barrier Reef. It was amazing! The fish and coral you see are some of the best I have ever seen. I have been to Belize, which is the second best snorkling reef in the world, and this place KILLED it! Duane, his Wife, and Dustin are great people, and run a top notch business. They could not have been friendlier! We look forward to meeting them again in the near future! If you do not use them for a tour, you are severely missing out! You can also rent Snorkling gear for $40 each for a week, and the snorkling right off of the beach of HOTC is excellent as well. We Say Sea urchins, Eels, Starfish, Lobster, Flounder, Crabs, BONEFISH, and about 30 other species of very colorful fish. We even found live CONCH with Beautiful Pink Shells! The $80 for a couple for a week is a bargain, unless you bring your own.
Eating in St. Croix on the first night was tough to adjust to - But we adjusted rather quickly. I recommend stopping on the way from the airport and having the Taxi Driver (or yourself) stop at the Pueblo Supermarket just before you enter town. Grab your suntan lotion, your Chef Boyardee's, Chips, Dips, Water, ETC before you arrive. You'll be happy you didi! Our first night though, we chose to eat at Breezes. It was a $10 Taxi ride from HOTC and was a nice setup IMO. The food my wife thought was great, I thought it was too. Total bill with Lobster, Scallops, tip and drinks was $88. After leaving the joint, we noticed a Police Officer with a German Shepard he was parading around the grounds. We found out later, that Breezes FREQUENTLY gets robbed <and when I say robbed, I mean EVERYONE>. A Native American told me this, and I completely believe her. The next few nights we ate at Rum Runners, which is very good food, and within WALKING DISTANCE from the ferry let off, and it will NOT disappoint. Average Dinner with Tip was $100. Worth every penny IMO.
For our 'nice' Dinner out, we ate at Bacchus . Our Bill including tip was $177, but the service, food AND Staff were worth TWICE that! This restaurant is another MUST do if you like fine dining and service! Seriously, if we could find that food/service/and yumminess for $177 including tip in the DC area, we'd not eat at another place! Highest regards for the owners, restaurant, food and wait staff! FIVE STARS!
For Breakfast, Senanigans ALL the way! Their sausage gravy biscuits were AWESOME! And the service was fantastic! $25 a pair for an excellent breakfast. Hotel on the Cay actually had a VERY good breakfast at the Harbormaster, so you don't even have to leave the grounds!
All in all, we didn't just enjoy our first trip to St. Croix/ Hotel on the Cay, we FELL in love with the place! So much, that I am actively pursuing a time share there! We miss it tremendously, and wish we were there as I write this!
If you don't go there based on my review, then THANK YOU! St. Thomas or St. John's are more your speed!
Much love to everyone residing on St. Croix!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Step into an atmosphere of casual elegance during your visit to our inviting private island retreat. If your idea of a Caribbean vacation includes unforgettable sunsets, white sand beaches and the simple phrase “no problem,” this is the place for you! Hotel on the Cay offers you the best vacation value in the Caribbean. Located on a private cay in the Caribbean Sea, our 53 room resort provides for an unforgettable vacation experience that is ideal for couples, families and adventure seekers.Here guests can dine at our on-site restaurant, unwind with a refreshing swim in the pool, enjoy water sports at our activity center and explore the historical sights, eateries, shops and entertainment located on the boardwalk just minutes away by private complimentary boat. A quaint, pristine beach overlooks Christiansted Harbor’s beautiful boats, which makes for perfect photos at sunset. As the only beach in downtown Christiansted, you will enjoy swimming and snorkeling the amazing undersea world surrounding the cay.Hotel on the Cay will provide bountiful sunshine, bright turquoise seas teeming with life, refreshing trade winds and a place to lay your head at the end of each memorable day. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- On The Cay Christiansted
- On The Cay Hotel
- Hotel On The Cay St. Croix/Christiansted, U.S. Virgin Islands