When was your last visit to St. John? Wondering what’s up? Here is the latest
After a relatively uneventful hurricane season 2019 – except for a surprise visit of Hurricane Dorian – St. John is pretty much back to it’s beautiful pre-Irmaria self. Dorian was supposed to be a tropical storm passing well over 100 miles away and ended up being a category 1 hurricane that went right over us. The forecast advisory only changed at 8am in the morning at by noon all hell was breaking loose. Thankfully Captain Steve had secured our 32FS Regulator really well “just in case” and everything stayed in place. We are very grateful for that since he had just given our boat a major makeover buffing out and repairing all the scratches and dents that remained from Irma.
DOWNTOWN CRUZ BAY
The key places that were still closed since Irmaria, Beach Bar and Joe’s Rum Hut (now named Rum Hut with a slightly more upscale menu and look) have just re-opened so Cruz Bay town is pretty much like it was. Beautiful large Coconut Palm Trees have been planted along Cruz Bay beach and it looks great. Planting them was a major undertaking, check out the video here.
The wine shop Island Cork that carries more than 200 different wines now added a Bistro with great snacks it is a great place to unwind and have a terrific glass of wine with some fantastic treats.
The Parrot Club expects to reopen there within the next few weeks, and upscale dining venue Waterfront Bistro has plans to reopen later this year.
Sushi Bar Umami is gone there now is a Tap & Still which some of you might now from Red Hook, St. Thomas.
The gravel parking lot by barge exit that had been closed for maintenance since October has also just re-opened and parking is currently free there (YAY!). There also is a new paid parking in the place where Lumberyard used to be that is the best / closest parking if you go on a charter for us unless you can snatch up one of the few free spaces by National Park Dock. If you are in that area, also check out the Eco Station St. John which offers recycling and refills for cleaners, shampoo etc a great approach to tackle the trash problem on our little island.
BEACHES AND RESORTS
The Westin is up and running and everything is looking great.
Caneel Bay Resort and Cinnamon Campground remain closed with no opening/rebuilding date. You can park at the former Caneel entrance and pay for a golf cart transfer to Honeymoon Beach or you can rent a paddleboard from us and paddle to the caneel beaches by paddleboard.
Concordia Eco Resort near Salt Pond has new owners and they are rebuilding.
A new bar has opened across the road from Maho (“Maho Crossroads”). Some love it others hate it, overall Maho is busier than before and parking can be a challenge. In return Cinnamon is very peaceful and quiet with ample parking now that there is no campground.
Yes, we are missing a lot of the beautiful Palmtrees at some beaches and sadly the National Park does not consider them “native species” so they are not replanting them. However a lot of the shrubs are gone so many beaches like hawksnest that were narrow before are now much wider.
2020 boating destinations
Everything for our main destinations in the BVIs is pretty much back to normal, Corsairs at Great Harbour, Jost van Dyke (pictured below) has been completely rebuilt since the hurricanes and is looking great!
Foxy’s Taboo (Diamond Cay, pictured below) has also been rebuilt and Pirate’s on Norman Island is back open, Willy T. have moved back to Norman Island so aside from the ever increasing BVI customs fees (at the moment about 75-95$ per person) everything is like before or even better.
We can only imagine how bad the hurricanes and storm surge must have been on one of our favorite places, Anegada, as it is very low with almost zero elevation but you will not be able to tell, everything has been rebuilt and looks amazing and a lot of the big palm trees at Cow Wreck beach (pictured below) survived the storms.
The new Limeout floating taco bar that was located in the East End near Hanson Bay is closed due to permitting problems / deny of mooring permit at the location. It remains closed until further notice while they search for a better location. Abi’s at Green Cay /STT is also closed and it does not look like they will be reopening.
So for now Pizza Pi the pizza boat remains the only “bar stop” on the USVI trips. So the full day trip can be a pretty long day on the water as you are not leaving the boat except for snorkeling, so we have added a new USVI trip that is the 3/4 day St. John which is 6 hours and enough to bring you to the key sights on St. John in the North and South without going all around the island.
More to come…
New USVI destinations are however in the works among others a new resort/restaurant on Lovango Cay as well as a floating lounge in Pillsbury Sound.
Lovango Resort and Beach Club
New destination on Lovango is opening this week (Feb 2, 2020)
ZoZo’s H2O Restaurant (opening Feb 2020)
Casual dining at the water’s edge, this is the perfect lunch, full-day or dinner excursion. Lunch and early dinner served daily from 11am-6pm
This is a possible stop on our 3/4 day or full day St. John trip.
The Lovango Beach Club (opening December 2020)
The first of its type in the USVI! The Beach Club will provide restaurant services, an exotic beach destination with services:
Beach facilities, water sports, beach games, large oceanfront swimming pool, cabanas, changing facilities with locker rooms and showers for boaters
Daily, weekly, monthly, and seasonal memberships
The Lovango Resort & Beach Club (opening December 2021)
An island resort community with discretely-located accommodations. Your home away from home is designed to maximize your privacy with spectacular views. The resort will include attention to wellness and picturesque wedding venues. Hotel guests may enjoy all the benefits of the Beach Club.
This stunning resort will be fully self-sustainable providing its own solar and wind power for electricity and a reverse osmosis plant for all of its fresh water needs.