Beth Flowers is a leisure travel advisor who specializes in trips to the Caribbean, U.S. cities and Disney. She also focuses on honeymoon travel, vacations with young families and romantic and girlfriend getaways.
“Welcome to St. Thomas!” I hear the greeter say as I enter the Caneel Bay lobby at the St. Thomas airport. Behind him is a nice, cozy area with snacks and drinks to enjoy while I await transfer to the ferry. My luggage has also been whisked away before I can think about carrying it myself, and as soon as I turn around, we are at the Caneel Ferry, Lady Caneel, with a rum punch (the real thing — fresh fruit and all) in hand. I take a seat and watch the islands go by as we make our way to St. John.When I arrive at Caneel, the sun is setting and the lush flora and fauna of this former Rockefeller estate and Sugar Mill reflect the colors of the pastel sky. Washing the sea salt from my body with a lemon grass towel, I’m refreshed and then taken to a wonderful seaside cottage that I’ll call home for the evening.
For dinner, I enjoy a fresh mango colada to start, and then it’s on to lobster tails with fresh veggies from the island and crab cakes. But, the best part of this meal and my walk back to my room is certainly the birds and animals singing under the crystal clear skies full of stars only seen in the Caribbean.The next morning, I awake bright and early to enjoy coffee and pastries on the terrace before a full island buffet breakfast. On my way to the main pavilion, I am again struck by the sheer beauty of the surroundings here. Could this be the Hawaii of the East? Rockefeller was one of our first “naturalists,” and this is the perfect place to experience the purity of creation.
Ahead of me, I see a deer, so I slow to a creep. Past her, I see two baby deer — each no more than a foot high. Dad is around the corner, and there are cousins, too. A family of deer enjoy their quiet morning, and so do I.
Breakfast is swift and delicious, and I don’t delay as Rico, my island escort, is waiting to take me over to Virgin Gorda. I am one ferry and one car away from yet another paradise.Arrival at Little Dix Bay via boat is stunning. The waters as as clear and blue as what you see in a perfect aquamarine stone set with diamonds. Greeters with drinks and cold towels welcome me, and since I’ve checked in on the boat ride over, it is straight away to my suite. The rooms are amazing and the bathrooms and outdoor showers immaculate. I almost pinch myself because of the dream-like surroundings.Lunch is a light affair, and the fresh smoothies are the perfect dessert. This resort is known for its cuisine, and the chef never disappoints. I spend the afternoon by the pool and later enjoy the beach, where attendants take care of my every need. It is true bliss.In the afternoon, we board the resort’s boat for a sunset cruise to the island’s secluded beaches and bays. The orange and pink of the sunset are as vivid as I have ever seen them. For dinner, there is lobster, fresh tuna, halibut, chocolate and berries.Everything about these islands is breath-taking, slightly sinful and delicious — just as it should be on vacation.