Pamper me, sure, but how can a resort in a culture different from my own also share ways for families to experience new customs and flavors beyond the luxurious relaxation? And if it does, how do visitors pay attention and seize the moments?
A View in the Virgin Islands
Choose a room with a view when you book a U. S. Virgin Islands vacation on the island of St. Croix. That would be every room at The Buccaneer. All 138 of them.
Green-blue Caribbean waters don’t drive your rooming decision since they’re always the panorama. Where you want to walk to resort activities does matter since some lodging is more uphill than others.
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Don’t want to walk at all on this vacation? The courtesy car responds in the blink of an eye and pulls right up to your door. I wanted the uphill climb because home is only flat land, and because I intended to eat copious amounts of Island cuisine.
Three generations of the Armstrong family operate The Buccaneer, with clear tributes to the eldest and her written memories of the earliest years. Nine generations of them have lived on this island.
Although none of my blended family joined me on this trip,they influenced my observations. Perhaps that’s why I noticed so many families enjoying themselves throughout the resort.
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Family interaction seems to set a tone at The Buccaneer, although brides and grooms with enormous smiles are visible too!
Maybe understanding family is why the Armstrongs make sure the kayaks and snorkeling gear are free, simply available at the beach.
Kids’ Camp is free too, and runs daily from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. for children ages four-12. Lunch has a fee.
With 340 tropical acres, The Buccaneer groups rooms and suites with names paying homage to the property’s 300-year history; it’s the oldest operating lodging in the Caribbean.
If Historic Hotels of America designations mean as much to you as they do to me, you’ll be glad to know this is one. Tough requirements indicate excellence for some 260 historic charming inns, grand hotels and iconic resorts.
Might become a bucket list to stay in every one!
When you contemplate floor plans, look for historic names like Doubloons, Great House and Grotto and descriptive ones like Tennis Villas, The Ridge and Family Cottages.
For trips with big blended families like mine, you’ll find connecting rooms with two queens or a king in The Ridge; your large patio facing the sea offers privacy with hedges and a wall of stone.
The Family Cottages include separate sleeping rooms for the children with two twin beds and a trundle and the Grotto offers two bedroom suites with sofa beds that open in the foyer and another in the living room.
Grotto suites have washer and dryer, dining area and a small kitchen.
Deluxe Oceanfront rooms connect too with two queens, a king and a pullout.
Your best bet is perusing The Buccaneer web page and then calling to describe your traveling family’s style and needs. Rates are clearly stated by seasons and styles, with $299 the starting per night point for two people.
Sit and stare at the sea is one of the best things to do, but I’d recommend changing locations frequently. Don’t get stuck just because your own patio or balcony offers a stupendous view. Try these places also to gaze.
- The Terrace, which serves an open-air breakfast, included in the nightly lodging price, shaded from the sun and wide open to the harbor.
- The Lounge to belly up to the bar and learn about Cruzan rum distilled on St. Croix while you gaze to the sea.
- The mural of the ships of Christopher Columbus because skilled Island musicians perform nightly in front of it or on the beach at The Mermaid.
- The two-mile trail around and through the golf course. Jog if you like but I strolled, then stopped at the highest peak to muse, and at the lowest point, alone on Whistle Beach, the most secluded of the Buccaneer’s three beaches.
In addition to free ping-pong and soccer, Frisbee golf and sand castle building on Mermaid Beach, classes with fees happen too.
My yoga class on the beach cost $25 and standup paddle boarding was $45, but expose the kids to scuba in the pool for free; they need to be at least 10.
Live music happens every night in changing locations so you experience the resort and the Island sounds in different ways.
Why Leave the Resort?
Rent a car at the airport or plan to use the taxis? Left-side-of-the-road driving skills might influence that decision.
The two St. Croix towns of Christiansted and Frederiksted are brimming with history and architecture, artists and chefs, both pedestrian friendly.
The Buccaneer shuttle will take you round trip to the closer city, Christiansted, adults for $8, children 12 and under for $5.
Wednesday and Friday are the resort days for a four-hour tour for $70 including the 18th century Whim Estate Museum, Cruzan run distillery and the 16-acre St. George Village Botanical Garden.
I hope your tour guide was trained by CHANT – Crucian Heritage and Nature Tours because I found their depth of research to tell the Island stories exceptional.
Dining at The Buccaneer
Breakfast on The Terrace should be a long, lingering affair. Figure out which chafing dish on this buffet is the daily local item and start there. Can’t you always find eggs and pancakes or French toast and bacon elsewhere? They are abundant here too, as are tropical fruits and their juices, breads, cereal and yogurts.
Salmon balls with Caribbean dipping sauce not always available elsewhere. Or traditional fishcakes and Johnny cake. Nor delicate puff pastry with salmon and unknown spices And certainly not in sight of a calabash tree.
Find lunch at The Mermaid on the beach every day, covered open-air casual dining with specials like conch salad or pulled pork noted in the daily Buccaneer bulletin, shared at breakfast.
Poolside lunches at The Grotto are lighter salads and grilled items, plus frozen smoothies and daiquiris. Grotto meals happen Thursday through Monday.
Dinner happens three ways: the light fare menu in The Lounge, adjoining a full bar, The Mermaid at the beach Mondays and Tuesdays and fine dining with a French and Caribbean flair nightly except Monday and Tuesday.
Exquisite service in Kendrick’s at The Buccaneer. For 19 years, Kendrick’s was a St. Croix favorite in downtown.
Fresh fish piccata is the signature dish—light Parmesan batter, seared, baked and served with a creamy lemon caper butter sauce.