In preparation for summer, the U.S. Virgin Islands not only boasts new hotel developments but also offers some exciting new culinary experiences and adventures for 2022. All fully vaccinated American citizens traveling domestically from the United States or Puerto Rico are no longer required to provide a negative COVID-19 test for entry when submitting proof of vaccination. With easing travel restrictions, the U.S. Virgin Islands welcomes visitors back with these highly anticipated additions.
New Hotel Developments
The first Autograph Collection hotel in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Noni Beach Resort sits directly on the beach, with 94 guestrooms and two honeymoon suites. Slated to open this summer, the resort will also feature a beachfront infinity pool with a swim-up bar, a beachfront ballroom, a Caribbean-casual Coco’s Beach Club and an on-site restaurant with a 360-degree view of the Caribbean Sea.
Another exciting addition to the U.S. Virgin Islands, Frenchman’s Beach Resort and Spa will soon reopen in late summer following a $250 million rebuild. The Marriott-owned property will include new accommodations for a world-class experience. The 384-room hotel will also be home to six restaurants and lounge areas, three oceanfront pools, 72,000 square feet of event space and 2,000 square feet of private dock area. Frenchman’s Beach Resort and Spa will offer a full-service spa and island excursions for the ultimate island vacation.
In St. Croix, Meada’s Garden takes guests on a world trip through food thanks to chef Shaibu Abdulai’s “global fusion” menu. Implementing elements from his Ghanian heritage, Abdulai blends West Indian staples like oxtail and other seasonal foods with his own culture to create stunning dishes. Meada’s Garden opened in early 2021 and serves dinner Tuesday through Sunday,5:30–9 p.m.
For live music and fine dining, Goat Soup & Whiskey delivers. In addition to hand-crafted cocktails, Goat Soup & Whiskey features locally sourced ingredients, three homemade soups a day, hand-cut steaks and fresh seafood. The eatery serves lunch and dinner six days a week, as well as brunch on Sundays.
St. Thomas now serves as home to two new restaurants, Blue 11 and Indigo 4, thanks to chef David “Benji” Benjamin. Blue 11 grew in popularity following a quiet opening at Yacht Haven Grande, serving seven-, nine- and 11-course bites with the option of a wine-pairing dinner. With a wide range of seafood dishes, the restaurant uses inspiration from the region for each plate. Indigo 4 arrived during the pandemic following a space opening in Yacht Haven Grande. Since then, Indigo 4 draws visitors and locals through its Caribbean-inspired dishes, such as the steak with coconut ginger mushrooms and warm green banana and horseradish salad.
The world’s first vodka distilled from breadfruit lies on St. Croix at MUTINY Island Vodka. Distilled and bottled at the newly opened Sion Farm Distillery, MUTINY invites visitors and locals to enjoy the bar, tasting room and special event space at this distillery.
The recently opened Carambola Zip Line in St. Croix invites visitors to see the island’s rainforest from above. The tour begins with a 30-minute safari bus ride to the top of St. Croix, followed by a zip line tour. The tour includes three extensive zip lines to the famous Carambola Golf Course and the Carambola Valley.
Tan Tan Tours comprises another way to enjoy the wonders of St. Croix. This scenic, off-road jeep tour offers flexible options for individuals or groups, as well as half-day or full-day tours with stops for refreshments, lunch and stunning views along the way. The tour ends at the famed Annaly Bay Tide pools for guests to swim.
After a stressful pre-holiday season and a busy work schedule, there was no better time for a relaxing spa experience than during my recent trip to Pasadena with the FXExpress Publications, Inc. team. We headed to The Langham Huntington, Pasadena for the 20th anniversary of the GT Tested Reader Survey awards, which meant a jam-packed trip, but I managed to carve a little time out of our busy schedule to visit Chuan Spa at the hotel.
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