Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Road Trip -The Buccaneer

In our travels the farmer and I have stayed in every possible type of accommodation, ranging from a thatched roof casita right on the beach in Belize to the luxurious marble palace Royal Hideaway in the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico. Each has had their own charm.

The Buccaneer would fall somewhere in the middle as far as service and amenities. It took me a little while to figure out how to describe this place but I've come up with "old world meets mid-century Hollywood glamour". I'm sure this was "the place" back in the late 1960's-'70's. Screen star Maureen O'Hara had built a home here and was hostess to many Hollywood favorites. By the way, her one-time home Sky Hawk Villa is currently for sale at $1,395,000. It looks very dated and sorely in need of a major renovation but if it were well done this place could probably be Architectural Digest material once again.

Here's the beautiful terrace at the Buccaneer Hotel:

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The Buccaneer Hotel was once a French great house and then a sugar factory when sugar cane was king. The Armstrong family opened the property as a guest house in 1947 and the property has continued to grow. It includes a group of buildings near the tennis courts and a curving length of rooms of very organic design that seem to emerge from the rock formations down by the beach.

The large property commands an entire hillside and the sweeping views include the town of Christiansted, Gallows Bay and the entire Caribbean north of the island.

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The main building, called the Great House is where we stayed and it's painted a lovely shell pink.

The offices are located in historic old structures. I would love to work here.

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The old sugar mill is the site of weddings.

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The first floor lobby, restaurant and bar area have been completely renovated and redecorated in the last year. This is looking across the lobby toward the concierge desk which has a large mural of old St. Croix.

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I totally fell in love with these West Indies style hand carved sofas. The large pillows made them totally comfortable.

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Colorful Caribbean artwork was displayed in the hallways. This large canvas by artist Le'Roy was hanging in a stairway.

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The Buccaneer has three beaches, all beautiful and during our stay, uncrowded.

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It turns out that the Buccaneer is just what we were looking for, an old elegance and extremely relaxing experience. St. Croix is not your spot if you're looking for excitement and night life. There's no big night life here. In fact after midnight the taxis have a $50 surcharge. The Buccaneer offers live music every night.

I try to always remain positive in my views but let me just say that this spot is not for anyone who is budget conscious (and that's me actually). The food (as on most of the Virgin Islands) was astronomical. Entrees ran from $26 to $42 and everything was a la carte. Salads were $14, desserts $10, and a bowl of soup ran $8. If I figure out the food portion of our stay at the super luxurious Royal Hideaway I'm sure it would not touch these prices.

Food in general on St. Croix is outrageous. The consumer battle cry seems to be centered around TOMATOES... which are $5.99/lb. Almost every local we spoke to focused on the price of tomatoes!

Tomorrow we'll continue our tour of St. Croix with the Mocko Jumbie dancers!!

5 comments:

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Beautiful colors, beautiful photos, it would suit me fine. Well, up to the cost of the tomatoes. Why so outrageous? You'd think that they'd have tons of tomatoes there.

Suzanne said...

Vee - I think most everything is flown in! The farmer is always scouting around for more sources/farms that they can use as suppliers to the herb business, but there wasn't much, if any farming going on. This was once a major supplier of sugar cane so there the possibility. We're researching this further. We heard there are restrictions on leasing farmable land.

One of the problems on the island is that there are 50,000 people which supply a very limited labor pool. Just like alot of other places the young people are flocking to the U.S. after finishing school. Paradise is beautiful but there aren't many opporunities or choices available to them. Alot or young people I talked to at the airport were just visiting home and returning to Atlanta where they're doing the reveser ex-pat thing.

Bax said...

Oh my goodness...such beautiful pictures! I have a friend who owns property down there and flies down as much as possible. Now I understand why! Thanks so much for sharing!

Jan

Sand Flat Farm said...

Beautiful vacation! I hope you're having a blast and that your shingles have split! Love the photos - they make me want a getaway, too! We have friends that have a home in Akumal - need to check it out again. We've stayed in Belize on the beach, too. Our favorite vacation ever! Enjoy some sunshine for me! Vickie

Sabina said...

wow!!!amazing photos!!paradise!!