St. Thomas! Days one and two! August 16-17, 2012
When given the opportunity to really get to know an island, I treat the destination just as I would a new boss I need to impress! Therefore it only makes sense that I would arrive early and prepared for my first meeting with the island of St. Thomas on August 16, 2012. I left Atlanta Lauren at the office and showed up as Island Lauren wearing my well-equipped backpack, sunscreen and my colorful long sun skirt ready to learn and experience everything St. Thomas! I was so ready in fact that I had almost forgot about the two co-workers/fellow villa lovers who would be joining me on this month’s villa adventure, so I pulled up a seat at the little bar by baggage claim and impatiently awaited their 2:30 arrival.
Time went by fast and before I knew it Richard and Brittany had landed and we found our amazing villa escort Sherri! She helped us get our car rental situated and gave us a walkie talkie so we could communicate with her as we followed her up to our villa in Peterborg, St. Thomas! The name of our villa was Star Garden! I knew the villa from the photos before arriving and was thrilled, but believe it or not- photos do NO justice! Sherri knew we were tired from our long day of travel and even more excited to explore the island – so she gave us the general “villa rundown.” We each picked our room, I took the master thank you very much 🙂 and then she gave us keys, wireless codes, maps, phone numbers and all the information anyone would never need about our villa and our new island of residence (if only for 3 days). By the time Sherri left the sun started to slowly go down and since we had the best view on the island, we opted to stay in for sunset! After we all suited up, we grabbed fresh towels and jumped in our stunning pool overlooking the famous Magen’s Bay! I knew to both mentally note and enjoy this moment of quiet because this was after all a work trip and work we did!
Because my master blog plan is to tell all who care about each island and every villa I was lucky enough to stay in, I thought listing some highlights of each may be better than the ramble that tends to come from me :). My favorite fancy meal while on the island: On night one, after enjoying an incredible sunset we got dressed for the business dinner we had arranged with our closest partner on the island. The owner of our partner company, Nancy, who I like to call “The Villa Goddess”, picked us up from Star Garden and took us to meet her team at a wonderful restaurant called The Grille at Mahogany Run and it was beautiful and delicious! I enjoyed a large portion of shrimp and scallop garlic pasta along with a fantastic glass of white wine! The food and atmosphere were almost as good as all the villa gossip!
My best laid back meal in St. Thomas: Day two was a whirlwind of villa viewing! At 7:30am we set out to meet our first friend from the airport the previous day! Sherri and her bag of keys to over 15 villas scattered around the island were as ready as we were to tackle the villas! After villa number 5 or 6 we were all getting pretty hungry so we took a nice break and went into Red Hook to grab a bite at a great little place called The Big Bambooz Bar and Burger Hut! My coworker and I split the Ahi tuna wrap and the fish tacos with mango salsa, both were delicious! My most memorable moment while in St. Thomas: The perfect early morning walk we took on Magen’s Bay before breakfast. The beach was quiet and I immediately knew why all the hype around Magen’s Bay existed.
My favorite local treat: Udder Delight! Yes, that is Udder! The establishment itself is a small, cash only, eat outside joint with the best ice cream and shakes I have ever had! They have several flavors and even offer “adult” additions for your frozen dairy beverage! How I felt about St. Thomas before the trip: Easy access! I felt St. Thomas was perfect for anyone who wanted to get somewhere tropical with non-stop flights. To be perfectly honest however besides the ease of getting to the island I did not feel the urge to guide someone into traveling there. How I feel about St. Thomas now: Rent a beautiful villa in St. Thomas!! The island has so much more to offer than I ever imagined! The villas have stunning views and offer so much privacy yet you are still SO close to several great restaurants, bars, beaches, shopping and fun!! What I loved most about Star Garden as a villa was: There is nothing to not like about this villa! If I must highlight one part however I will- but it is still a bit broad. What I loved MOST about Star Garden was the outside of the villa. The infinity pool and hot tub with a perfect view, the expansive porch, the lush gardens all around and of course the actual name sake of the villa -the “star garden” in the middle of the yard where the owners have a small lawn cut perfectly that slants downward just slightly so you can sit alone or with friends in a great Adirondack chair and view the stars!!
My favorite place to spend alone time at Star Garden:Right outside of my bedroom! Although I was in the master suite and had a large kitchenette, work area, and living room connected to the main bedroom, ALL of the bedrooms enjoyed their own porches, coffee makers and stunning views! When I did have time to spend alone at Star Garden, I used it to drink my coffee on my own little porch while taking in the fresh air.
I would recommend Star Garden for: Couples! The idea of staying in this villa again with my significant other and 3 to 4 of our best couple friends sounds too good to be true! Every room is comfortable and large enough that no couple would feel like they were getting “the short end of the stick” plus each would have their own private space! Therefore, even if you were lucky enough to travel with a group of friends, you would still feel the intimacy of being alone on your porch with your hunny or even yourself! I would also recommend Star garden to families with older children in an instant! Everyone likes a little privacy and the owner of Star Garden has successfully found a way to balance the human need for both time alone and time with family and friends! A small detail Star Garden offered that made a big difference: Sugar, spices and coffee! I have stayed in several villas while working in this industry where the pantry was bone dry. After making my coffee on morning one, I thought “shoot, I will have to drink black coffee today”, but no! I went to the pantry and found sugar and spices galore! This little detail made our last morning at Star Garden far from bland! Before loading up to head to St. John for the next portion of our trip, I sipped my sweet cup of joe while whipping up a breakfast for three- a breakfast with flavor! We drove away from our villa not only savoring the spice of our morning meal – but also holding onto the lasting tastes of Star Garden and the island of St. Thomas!