Information and services for GLBT travelers

St. Croix--the Gay Virgin Island:

The wind filled out the sails and the boat heeled over gently as we left the harbor for the stretch of sea between St. Croix and Buck Island. We were going snorkeling in the Caribbean’s azure waters around the U.S. Virgin Islands at the only U.S. underwater National Monument. Our sailboat carried three lesbian couples and a male gay-friendly skipper. Lucky coincidence? Not at all.

Our trip had been set up by the managers of the Cormorant, who only use gay friendly tour operators to ensure that their guests feel comfortable on the tour and are treated well in all respects. The Cormorant Beach Club is one of two lovely resorts for GLBT folk on the tropical island of St. Croix.

Staying at The Cormorant

From the moment we arrived, we knew we were going to like this place. Their motto is "Gay-owned, straight-friendly." And that is the atmosphere cultivated by the owners. The Cormorant is welcoming to everyone. No one puts on airs, and a generous, family feeling pervades the property.

The resort itself is situated on a quiet stretch of beach on the east of St. Croix near the town of Christiansted. The centerpiece of The Cormorant is a lovely pool and bar area with thatched roof. This is a central gathering spot. Breakfast is served here in the morning, floating in and sunning around the pool is encouraged in the afternoon, and cocktails are divine here before dinner. The resort has its own open-air restaurant just beyond the pool and bar area, and the food is some of the best on the island.

Everywhere you look is the blue expanse of the Caribbean. You can lounge beneath palm trees on the picturesque beach. When the seas are calm, you can even snorkel around the coral right off the property.

The Cormorant Beach Club is spread out in several multistory buildings. The rooms are arranged to give a feeling of total privacy. For those who want to splurge, we recommend the Cormorant’s deluxe ocean front suite, with living room, separate bedroom, and fridge for storing the makings of your own tropical drinks. A workout room and tennis courts are also on the property.

Sand Castle on the Beach

That is the name of the other gay property on St. Croix.

Sand Castle is on the west side of St. Croix and is especially popular with lesbians, though everyone—men, women, straight, and bi—are welcome. There are several levels of accommodations from bedrooms with balconies to deluxe units with full kitchens and separate living rooms and bedrooms. In every unit with a kitchen, we saw countertops filled with drinks and snacks and other goodies purchased by the guests for their enjoyment after a day on the beach. And the beach is indeed lovely. The water is extraordinarily calm, perfect for swimming or snorkeling. Because the beach faces west, the sunsets are spectacular.

There are two parts to Sand Castle, one on either side of a quiet road. Sand Castle units on the beach side of the road inspire a cozy, community feeling. Wooden walks fringed with palms connect the various units with the central pool/bar area. And, there are BBQ grills right outside the units for the guests to use. The units on the other side of the road surround a pool and courtyard.

Sand Castle has recently undergone extensive renovations and the owners have even greater things planned. An oceanfront restaurant is due to open soon. Also, Sand Castle is incorporating a spa and wellness center. In addition, the owners are partnering with organizations on the island to make Sand Castle a center of St. Croix activities.

Out and about St. Croix

A rental car is not a necessity for getting around St. Croix. Taxis are fine for transportation to tour departure points, going shopping in town, or getting to a restaurant. But if you want to explore the many coves and beaches, we recommend a rental vehicle. Your choices are a small air conditioned sedan or an open Jeep. But be advised: The numbers on the maps don’t always match the numbers on the road signs. Sometimes we just had to stop and ask for directions.

Though St. Croix is small, it has a surprising number of excellent ethnic restaurants. In Fredericksted, there is a wonderful indoor/outdoor French restaurant called Le St. Tropez in Limetree Courtyard, serving fabulous onion soup and fresh salads in a relaxed, quaint atmosphere reminiscent of New Orleans. A great Italian restaurant in Christiansted, Tutto Bene, has some of the best pasta we have ever tasted. And a must-dine-at spot (especially for Sunday brunch) is Duggan’s Reef.

St. Croix is the haunt of tourists from all over the world. It’s easy to understand the appeal. What’s not to like about waving palms, brilliant sunsets, blue water, gentle breezes, and tropical nights?

For more information or reservations for your St. Croix vacation, e-mail us or call 1-800-376-3784

Photo Credits: Sand Castle
Relax in the pool
Or take a nap in the ocean
But come on in. The water's fine
The bar on the beach at Sand Castle
The experts at Aqua Terra Travel can take the hassle out of planning your trip to St. Croix.

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