Our 1st Anniversary
Wyndham Sugar Bay Beach Club & Resort
|We considered returning to Aruba for our anniversary but we decided to go to
another island to see something new. After spending some time researching and asking for
advice from others, we began to look at the USVI. There are not very many choices for
all-inclusive resorts in the USVI, but the Wyndham emerged as an obvious option.
Work for both of us had been rigorous for the months prior to our departure so we spent the first couple of days just relaxing around the pool and in the water. The pools are spectacular -- made up of three interconnected pools with a waterfall at the top. The beach wasn't very big but it wasn't crowded and the snorkling right off the beach was enough to keep us interested.
The room was very nice. We stayed in Building D which overlooks the water with St. John on the horizon. We would highly recommend Building D.
Andrea enjoyed the daily iguana feeding. The iguanas are tame and seem to know approximately when the feeding will occur. It was entertaining enough that we showed up most of the mornings we were there. Occasionally we saw one dash across the decks around the pools and one that even took a quick dip in a pool.
We chose to go on one of the many excursions that are offered. We ended up going to the Baths followed by a snorkling stop in the Normans. The Baths was a hot and humid hike but was well worth it because of the ideal beach at the end. The Cathedral Room and some of the other rock formations were interesting enough to see once but we probably would not recommend bringing along young children unless you want to watch them every moment along the way. There are one or two spots along the way that we actually had to crawl through openings in the rocks.
The day following our excursion, we spent the day on St. John. After speaking with locals we got an idea about which beaches are worth visiting. We rented a jeep for the day from C&C Rentals who were very friendly and fast. The roads on the island are in good shape but have some hair-raising hairpin curves on steep hills. Our recommendation is rent a jeep -- not a car. One of the locals told us to skip Trunk Bay which is the most famous and most crowded. On the ferry to St. John we noticed that a cruise ship had stopped there so it was an easier to decision to skip Trunk Bay. We went to Hawk's Nest Bay first which is a beautiful beach with very large coral formations. There was a group of artists or art students there that day painting landscapes/seascapes. We spend some time snorkling there and saw some great examples of sea life. We then drove by Trunk Bay and confirmed that the parking lot was full and went on to Cinnamon Bay. Again, the beach there was large and beautiful and nearly deserted. We just relaxed in the water there as there didn't seem to be much in the way of coral there. We stopped at a spot overlooking Coral Bay and I spoke with a man named Pepe about my desire for "real" food. He just happened to own a restaurant in Coral Bay and sent us to his Red Sox sports bar and restaurant. We enjoyed the food and the break from the annoying local music that we had to endure everywhere else. The music there really is terrible. We finished our tour of beaches at Salt Pond Bay on the southeast part of the island. It is spectacular there and we would highly recommend it. Our guess is that it never gets very crowded because it is more-or-less at the end of the road on the island. The beach is huge with plenty of sea life that kept things interesting.
The resort had daily activities that included volleyball and bingo. We participated in some of the activities as we took a break from the sun during the mid-day hours. The one thing that we did notice is that the main facility near the pool is situated besides some sort of swamp which has a distinct odor when we passed by certain areas.
We ate at the Manor House all but our first evening there. The menu changed nightly and had more than enough choices. We at at the Mangrove Cafe the first night. It was fine but nothing special. The Iguana Grill served up some nice snacks off the grill during the afternoon. The nightclub there is very nice but they let a bunch of punks run it like their private show which was a shame. We hope that the hotel management will take a serious look at running it in a way that would appeal to a larger audience -- some like us are not well acquainted with the "gangsta" culture.
The following pages are a collection of photos that we took while we were there. Next time we are going to bring along a real underwater camera. The results from the disposable underwater cameras do not do justice to what we experienced.
Mark and Andrea