Why St. Croix is ​​the perfect destination for boutique hotels

Why St. Croix is ​​the perfect destination for boutique hotels

Are you looking for an amazing, not-so-touristy getaway in the US Virgin Islands? Unlike other islands in the region, St. Croix has largely avoided large real estate development projects, focusing instead on preserving historic structures and turning them into small businesses.


“You come here, and you feel like this is what it was like in the 18th century,” said Chris Pardue, co-founder of the hospitality company Neighborhood. “It’s not densely populated with all-inclusive resorts, it’s really set up as a boutique hotel destination.” The organization behind some of the island’s latest hotel openings, in an interview with Travel + entertainment.


Meredith Zimmerman / Courtesy of King Christian Hotel



In March 2023, Pardo and his team completed the remodeling of the historic King Christian Hotel (nightly rates from $249), which dates back to the 18th century. Featuring four buildings on Christiansted’s waterfront, the 74-key hotel offers guests modern amenities, chic tropical décor and the convenience of being right in the city centre. To maximize the property’s prime oceanfront location and stunning views, Pardo changed the layout and expanded the rooms, then furnished the spaces with materials that “blur the lines between modern and historic.”


Custom terracotta floors, crown moldings, tropical woods that can withstand humidity, marble bathrooms, and hanging plants on porches create a sophisticated residential feel. Green velvet curtains adorn the windows, adding “a richness that appeals to tropical nature without being beachy,” he explained.


Meredith Zimmerman / Courtesy of King Christian Hotel



Meredith Zimmerman / Courtesy of King Christian Hotel



While guests can spend their days relaxing by the infinity pool, the hotel has also become a favorite with the local crowd thanks to its lively bar, waterfront Mexican restaurant, café and ice cream shop. The reception also operates the lobby bar and Peacock Lounge, which is open 24/7 serving cocktails and wine to guests.


Travelers craving a more intimate experience away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Christiansted should consider Bardot’s other property, Waves Cane Bay (nightly rates start at $449), which opened in 2021 on St. Croix’s quaint North Shore, on Steps after Cane. Bay Beach.


“Waves Cane Bay seems like another world to me,” Pardo said. He painted the hotel’s exterior black because he wanted the building to “become a backdrop and highlight the vegetation and surroundings.”


Meredith Zimmerman/Courtesy of Waves Cane Bay



With 11 suites with large private patios facing the water, guests wake up to the sound of crashing waves and stunning scenery. Inside, soothing gray walls, natural wood from Indonesia, and all-black appliances in the small kitchens are soothing foils to a day spent at the beach “bathed in the Caribbean sun,” Pardo says.


Another highlight of Waves Cane Bay is the open-air restaurant Ama, which is built around a natural grotto. The restaurant sources its seafood from local fishermen and divers and pairs dishes with a selection of fine wines and craft cocktails.


“It’s a really romantic and relaxing destination,” Pardo added.


Meredith Zimmerman/Courtesy of Waves Cane Bay



Meredith Zimmerman/Courtesy of Waves Cane Bay



Divers will appreciate the hotel’s proximity to one of the area’s best dive sites: The Wall, part of the Puerto Rican Trench, just 200 meters from Cane Bay Beach, where reef sharks, damsels and other tropical fish live.


Bardot’s next project is located on Protestant Cay, a few minutes’ boat ride off the Christiansted waterfront. The beachfront property, expected to be completed in 2025, will feature 115 rooms, a sushi restaurant, an infinity pool, beach access and a 16-boat dock. To encourage guests to explore the island, Pardo plans to make it easier for them to access the amenities available at the three properties.


“St. Croix is ​​so unique and diverse. We want people to see it all, so getting people to see more than just staying at an all-inclusive hotel is what we’re trying to do,” Pardo said.

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