I first went to the Tamarind Reef hotel last year (2011) with my son. We were looking for a laid back hotel as a base for a kiteboarding trip to the island and struck gold on our first try!. We liked it so much we came back for another week this year (March 2012). The trip was very economical (about $2600 round trip from Boston and 6 nights at the hotel). Excellent value!
We will come back again. The hotel rooms are good sized with beautiful views, and are very clean. The staff are exceptional, very helpful and polite. This is a smaller island style hotel, so if you are looking for a Ritz carlton or Marriott style experience, go to Aruba or one of the more commercial islands.
I definitely suggest renting a car (we have rented a Jeep from Centerline Car Rentals - www.centerlinecarrentals.com - both trips and have been very pleased with the cost and condition of the vehicles - they seem to have low mileage cars and are a locally owned company. I prefer to support them rather than a big brand international car rental company - plus their rates are much better anyway.
If you are a kiteboarder or stand up paddleboarder (or want to learn) check out www.kitestcroix.com. Bill Kraft and his wife run this school and they are the best in the area. If you do not want to learn how to kiteboard, which takes time, try paddleboarding with them - you can have a great time with no previous experience. If, however, you have kiteboarding basics down Bill can really take you to the next level - try a jumping lession with him on a windy day! If you are a beginner and want to learn kiteboarding e-mail Bill before you plan the trip as he knows the weather patterns best and will give good advice on when to come.
To put things in perspective here is where I am coming from - when I go to the islands I am not interested in laying around the pool drinking rum punch at a 5 star resort. I sailed from England in the late 80's and lived on my boat for 3 years mainly in the Virgin Islands so I know the area well and enjoy an active vacation experiencing the natural beauty of the region. I am now 55 years old but active (race sea kayaks and sailboats). We had two days on this trip where the wind was too light to kite. One of these days my son (18 yrs) and I kayaked from Coakley Bay out to Buck Island which is about 2 miles offshore and spent the day checking out the turtles, rays, squid and coral in the reef enclosed East end of the island. Definitely worth a visit and if you do not want to paddle over ( I only suggest this if you are an experienced ocean kayaker) then take one of the boat trips offered - make sure they will go to the east end of the island if you want to snorkel the reef. The other light wind day we hiked down ti Isaac Bay (no direct road access but an easy trail down) and snorkeled the whole lagoon and had a very enjoyable time chatting with the six other people who turned up at this beautiful spot that day.
Also check out www.virginkayaktours.com and www.canebayscuba.com - we had a great time with both operations.
At the end of the day the Tamarind Reef Hotel was a great place to come home to. Make sure you visit the sports shack run by Jerry and Mimi. kayaks and snorkelling gear are included in the hotel cost but more importantly Jerry and Mimi are great people. Jerry was a boat captain like me - ask him about his trip with Victor Borge!
Best dinners we had were at the Pickled Greek, Duggan's, and Rum Runners (tourist joint on the boardwalk in Christiansted but still good food and a fun spot with a live web cam so you can wave to the folks back home).
Will we go back - for sure, and definitely to the Tamerind Reef again!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Tamarind Reef Resort, Spa & Marina on St Croix USVI is ideal for relaxed family vacations, destination weddings, honeymoons, beach and watersport retreats, business travel and small group events. Voted 'Best Beach on St. Croix - 2013', this intimate resort features 40 oceanfront rooms on 40+ acres with private marina; casual and fine-dining restaurants; seaside pool; water sports; spa with massage, hair and nail care; tennis courts; fitness center; business lounge; event center; wedding/event coordinator, and of course a palm tree lined beach with shade huts and 154-slip marina for day/sunset sailing and motor boat excursions. The resort is nestled into a private neighborhood 10 minutes from historic Christiansted yet feels light years from everyday worries and stress. No passport required for US Citizens. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Tamarind Reef Resort, Spa & Marina St. Croix/Christiansted