More about Bluebeard's Castle Hotel
The Legendary Castle
I've never stayed there, only visited, though I have tips for those who might want to. Legend has it that the pirate Bluebeard built this castle for his wife, Mercedita. When he found out she had cheated on him, he killed her and left never to return. Some legends even have him married six times, killing each, witht the seventh killing him, though, in the only known reality,this place was a watch tower that assisted the Fort Christian fortress built by the Danish in the 1670s.
Fort Christian is one of the oldest buildings on St. Thomas, and you can stay on the grounds by renting a timeshare from the resort. A website is listed below for contact info.
Bluebeard's Castle - NOT a Must See!
If you have plenty of time on St. Thomas, feel free to make a trip up to Bluebeard's Castle, but if you're in a time crunch, skip it! Mark and I were only on St. Thomas for one day, but decided to visit the castle. I was disappointed because there was very little to see and you couldn't even climb up the main structure of the castle. At least we got a cute picture of Mark getting shot by Bluebeard :)
Make sure you stop by the Bluebeard Castle. The locals claim that the castle was build by the famous pirate for Mercedita, the woman he loved all his life. The real story is that the Danes built the tower in 1689 to help with the protection of Fort Christian. The tower was called Frederik's Fort and is on the site of a fortification the first colonists to the island had started. This may be the truth, but the legend of Bluebeard is more intriguing anyway :)
The story goes that Bluebeard built this castle for his main squeeze, Mercedita. However, like the Garth Brooks song states, 'Bluebeard loved Mercedita and Mercedita loved men'. When Bluebeard returned and found out that she had been unfathful, he killed her and left never to return again.
First time at Bluebeard's
I stayed at Bluebeard's Castle for my first visit to St. Thomas, USVI, July 17-24 2004. Was it perfect? No. Would I stay there again? Probably - for the location and value could not be beat. At a time when Hawaii is no longer reasonable, I found the location and price at Bluebeard's quite attractive. In addition, their dining facilities, including the Room with a View restaurant and Banana Tree Grille, are outstanding -- at least as good as any other fine dining place we tried on St. Thomas. The first unit I stayed in had an outstanding view of Charlotte Amalie and the harbor day or night. I switched to their bungalows (Pirates Pension) only because the resident rooster woke me at 6 am every morning, too early for vacation! The Pirates Pension bungalows were newer but just as spacious as the main units. The harbor views were just as spectacular. Bluebeard's is not a new property, but a good deal of renovation makes it an attractive, well-priced alternative to the expensive resorts and hotels which cannot provide the spaciousness of the units we had. Staff were attentive and responsive to requests and courteous at all times. For the value Bluebeard's still can provide a wonderful relaxing stay for the St. Thomas vacationer.
I recently stayed at Bluebeard's castle from Oct 10-Oct 17 2004, the place leaves alot to be desired. The hotel is on a hill and there are many steep steps to every location on the property (ALL MISTAKES ARE FINAL) The rooms were ok, the beds were mushy and there were roaches in the room..EEKKK!! There are two separate managment companies running this hotel so there is alot of back and forth pertaining to accomodations. The restaurant ,A room with a View was good but very expensive. Walking off the property was out of the question because the steep hills. Although the staff was very helpful I would never stay or recommend this hotel to anyone.
Nice Place to Stay
I recently traveled to St. Thomas from Aug 1st - Aug. 8th, 2004. Overall, the trip was wonderful, even if it was incredibly hot. The island is beautiful, but still very much "real". But this review is about the hotel, so here goes: Bluebeard's Castle is a nice property, even though it is located at the top of a rather steep hill. They keep the property looking nice, and always seem to have plenty of staff on hand to help you out. The room was large, with a bedroom area, a seating area and a small kitchenette (stove, sink, fridge) that was great to have in the room. I think that all rooms also have a balcony area that overlooks Havensight Mall and the cruise ships that dock.
There were a few things "off" about the hotel, but nothing that would cause me never to return. First, there is a 9% per day utility surcharge billed to your room, but I have a feeling all hotels must charge that. (Ours worked out to $6 a day). Second, our door to the patio did not lock, but after a few trips by the maintenance man the problem was solved within a few hours.
The walk up and down the hill was tedious, but it didnt seem worth it to spent $3/person to ride half a mile. The location of the hotel is great, right in the middle of Havensight and downtown Charlotte Amalie. Even though there is no beach (they do have a nice pool) it was nicer to stay at Bluebeard's rather than at a farther away resort.
Overall, I'd recommend the hotel to cost-conscious travellers and those people who are looking for a decent place to stay.
The Worst I ever experienced in 30 yrs of Business Travel
Customer service non-existant - the pool was empty and out of commission all week, the gym is broken down and closed, there are roaches in what could be nice rooms and the rooms are on steep hillsides with no one to help you with your luggage or escort you to and from the rooms in a golf cart for hours at a time.
My experience inlcudes no air conditioning nor anyone wlling to fix it or change my room on the first day, no hot water on the morning of the second day, almost missing a flight because no one was available (for hours) to help me with a great deal of luggage up three steep hillsides, no room service and a manager who ignored a dozen phone calls for help.
Even the Tap Water tases like the plastic tubing that it is probably piped in with.
I even had to hire a cab right on the property to take me up the hill to the restaurant where I had a large meeting scheduled since the bellman had "disappeared" for at least an hour and no one was available to help me with all of the boxes and collateral for the meeting. (The bellman's golf cart was in front of the lobby but no one could seem to find him.) Some of the staff (especially the night clerk) is rude and will not look at you when you greet them - for 250 a night, I'll take the Ritz.
ps - Check in took 45 minutes because one of the desk clerks "disspeared with the check in list" and the "computers weren't working."
OK to stay...not the Ritz
We stayed there also when the pool and gym were closed. They filled the pool the day we were leaving :-(. However, they did give us the option of going to the Bluebeard's Beach Club. The accomodations were average but definitely needed improvements. The cleaning service was very good and I did not see any roaches while I was there. There was a lot of climbing stairs to do anything which after a week was unbearable at times. The restaurant, A Room with a View was very nice but you definitely paid for it. The place has potential but needs some improving before I stay there again.
Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas
"My Daughter in Deep Thought"
She was only less than two years old when I took this shot from the highest point (1500 ft) on St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. I don't even remember what she was looking at - maybe she's sleepy, tired? But it turned out to be a great picture anyway!
Charlotte Amalie, the capital city of this island, certainly has one of the most beautiful harbours in the whole world! A lof of people here (like my wife) seem to enjoy shopping in the duty-free shops...many of them coming from the cruise ships that dock here so often. Instead of cruising, we chose to sleep for a few days on the best resort on the island.
The views at the hotel-resort were awesome, and my son was looking for iguanas by the seaside garden in this picture (we were heading for the tennis courts).
"Watching Cruise Ships"
Maybe we'll be riding cruise ships more in the future, but for now (as of 2008) we still enjoy just taking a normal plane ride and then just setting out on our own schedule in unfamiliar territory. The twins seem to be wanting to go out to sea in this picture, or I think they are just acting like they're depressed or something (shrugging their shoulders down or up and looking down). Must have been something they saw on TV or from me?
Rasta man, Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas
Ferry travel - San Juan to St. Thomas
Is there a ferry that runs between San Juan and St. Thomas?
Re: Ferry travel - San Juan to St. Thomas
Transportation Services operate a ferry between Cruz Bay, St. John; Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas and Fajardo, Puerto Rico. The trip takes two hours each way. Tickets are $60 one way and $100 round trip. The ferry leaves twice a month on Friday in the mid-afternoon. It returns on Sunday. Advance purchase is required. It is suggested you call (340)776-6282 for more details and specific dates and times.
Pavilions and Pools
We are planning a trip to this resort for Christmas 2005. Has anyone ever stayed at this place? What was your opinion on the accommodations? Would you recommend the International or Caribbean suites?
Thanks in advance,
RE: Pavilions and Pools
Although I haven't stayed there myself, my parents have several times, and they loved it. Mom said they stayed in the Caribbean suites, since there were only the 2 of them. The International suites are a bit larger, and the pool is larger also, so a small family could stay in one.
P&P is a bit older now, and I think it might vary a fair amount from one villa to another, depending on how well they've been maintained. It's been about 8 years since the last time tmy parents were there, so Mom's review isn't current, but here's a link to see the latest reviews from Trip Advisor: http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g147405-d151049-r3438307-Pavilions_and_Pools_Villa_Hotel-Charlotte_Amalie_St_Thomas_U_S_Virgin_Islands.html
RE: RE: Pavilions and Pools
Thanks so much for the info. We are staying in the International although there are only two of us, I liked the idea of a bit more room to roam since we will be spending a lot of time there. Please thank your folks for their help also.
RE: RE: Pavilions and Pools
Great, hope you enjoy it!
St Thomas Airport to ferry to St Croix
I'm looking to go to St Croix. I'm cheap and the flights are much cheaper to St Thomas (even cheaper to San Juan) than to St Croix from New York City. Can anyone tell me how long it would take/ how difficult/ how expensive it would be to go from the St Thomas airport to the ferry location to go to St Croix. Once I get to St Croix I have a friend to pick me up anywhere on the island. It seems that taking a little puddle jumper plane from island to island would cancel out any savings from flying to St Thomas but a ferry would still save me 100$-ish and I wouldn't mind a nice pleasant boat ride anyway.
Re: St Thomas Airport to ferry to St Croix
You can find ferry info at this site:
St. Croix Ferry: Christiansted, St. Croix - Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas
This ferry departs from the Marine Terminal in Gallows Bay on St. Croix and the Marine Terminal in Charlotte Amalie (next to Seaplane Terminal) on St. Thomas. Arrival should be at least 45 minutes prior to departure. Photo Id required.
Smith's Ferry Service (340) 775-7292
Rates: Adults/$50 one-way, $90 roundtrip. Children 3-11/$45 one-way, $80 roundtrip. Children under 2 years old/$10 one-way, $20 roundtrip.
Time: 90 minutes.
Leaving Gallows Bay, St. Croix
Fri, Sat, Sun, Mon
Leaving Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas
Fri, Sat, Sun, Mon
You can find taxi rates at this site:
Taxi from Cyril King Airport to Charlotte Amalie ferry dock is $7 for one person. $6 each for 2 or more.
You can find rates for a flight from STT to STX at this site:
Enjoy your travels