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St. Thomas Vacation Rentals:
Your Ultimate Guide

The neighborhoods of St. Thomas are as diverse as its population. Each area of the island has a unique personality, showing off different sides of the St. Thomian experience.

First, we’ll describe the various types of places to stay on St. Thomas. Then we’ll share the scoop on neighborhoods with accommodations available so you know what you can expect to rent and where.

Magens Bay St Thomas, USVI
Views of Magen’s Bay and Northside of St. Thomas from the Peterborg peninsula


St. Thomas Resorts, Hotels, Villas and other Vacation Rentals

If all-inclusive is your preferred method of travel, then you’ll want to choose St. Thomas as your destination island in the USVI. Compared to St. John, there are way more vacation rental options to choose from on St. Thomas and you’ll find that staying on the big rock costs less than its smaller, quieter neighbor.

The St. Thomas All-Inclusive

St. Thomas has one resort that is always 100% all-inclusive and that is Sugar Bay located on the East End of the island. All meals, drinks and most resort amenities are included with the room fee. Other resorts offer “all-inclusive deals” occasionally, which can be found on the resorts’ individual websites when available. At the moment, Sugar Bay is closed due to the 2017 hurricanes.

The St. Thomas Hotel

You have several hotels to choose from on St. Thomas from the bare bones budget inn, to well…the Ritz. And everything in between: traditional three (or so) star hotels, small B&B-style inns, quaint historical hotels with billion dollar views. Most have at least one pool. Some also have restaurants and bars on site. Several hotels are closed due to the 2017 hurricanes.
Magens Bay St Thomas, USVI

The St. Thomas Resort

A step up from the traditional hotel with more acreage and amenities, think tennis courts, multiple restaurants, spa & fitness facilities, on-site beach, water sport rentals, and a variety of room types on offer. There are several resorts on St. Thomas, including the Marriott on the South side of the island and the Ritz Carlton on the East End.  Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville recently opened in Smith Bay, which is also home to the USVI’s only all-inclusive resort. At the moment, the Marriott and the Ritz Carlton are closed due to Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria. When we have a reopening date, we will be sure to let you all know. In the meantime, there are still options for you…

The St. Thomas Villa

These private rental homes are all over St. Thomas and can range from modest to magnificent. They are often managed by a vacation rental company, but sometimes by just one or two people or even by the owner(s) themselves. Renting a villa on St. Thomas is an excellent way for multiple families to travel together and enjoy amenities like a private pool and a fully-equipped kitchen. They’re also great for couples looking for a small but well-appointed getaway with plenty of privacy.

The St. Thomas Vacation Rental By Owner

These aren’t quite fancy enough to be called a villa, either because they’re really more of a cottage, a lower-level apartment, a studio or even just a bedroom with private bath. These St. Thomas vacation rentals can often be found on Craigslist, VRBO or Airbnb and have a varying level of amenities. They’re great for the budget traveler and are popping up more all the time in the Virgin Islands.

The St. Thomas Vacation Condo

These are privately-owned by folks who usually live off island but travel to St. Thomas several times a year and rent their condos out to others when they’re not on island. Vacation condos on St. Thomas come in many different varieties and can be found in Charlotte Amalie, beachside on the South shore, at several spots on the East End, and even on a Northside golf course. They are usually within a condo community consisting of several buildings and offering amenities like swimming pools, sporting facilities, dining, or even a beach. Condos usually have full kitchens so that you can save some moolah and calories by cooking some meals for yourself.

The St. Thomas Sailboat or Yacht Rental

Maybe you like the idea of staying offshore during your St. Thomas vacation. If that’s the case, you have tons of options for staying on a sailboat (mono-hull or catamaran) or yacht. Depending on the level of amenities you seek, these can run from the price point of a mid-range villa (2xx-5xx/night) to that of a luxury villa (6xx/night +).


St. Thomas Vacation Rental Options by Neighborhood

Does your budget allow you to rent a vehicle during your stay? If not, you’ll want to stay in a neighborhood with easy access to a Safari bus stop or where taxi drivers can reach you without difficulty.

Bus and taxi-friendly areas are indicated below. You will also find our Guide to Getting Around St. Thomas helpful.

We’ll start at Cyril E. King airport and move counter-clockwise around the island until we return once again to Charlotte Amalie West and hop over to Water Island.

Buckle up! We’re sure to get pulled over if you don’t.

St. Thomas Vacation Rental Neighborhoods
Click for a larger size.

The St. Thomas Waterfront:

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St. Thomas Neighborhood: Charlotte Amalie West

This includes the area of Charlotte Amalie from the USVI campus or so, to the airport and along Veterans Highway until just past Frenchtown where the road meets the waterfront.

Right across the street from the airport are three hotels with bar/restaurants, one of which also has a lovely beach. These are actually within walking distance of the terminal. It would probably take you more time to wait for a taxi driver to fill up his van with people and drive you 2 min down the road than it would to simply walk the short distance. Depending on how much luggage you have.

This area is definitely considered town. There is plenty of hustle and bustle. You are centrally-located enough on the island that no drive is too far and you can even use public transportation and/or private taxis if you would prefer not to rent a vehicle.

Lodging Type Available: traditional hotels (one beachfront), small inns/B&B, sailboats, yachts

Great For: convenience, close to Lindbergh Beach, Brewers Beach, budget-friendly

Not-So-Great-For: getting away from people, onshore luxury, vacationing like a local

View Possibilities: Emerald Bay, Lindbergh Bay, Charlotte Amalie and harbor

Vehicle Required: No.

 

St. Thomas Neighborhoods: Downtown Charlotte Amalie, including upper Solberg and Mafolie

Historical downtown Charlotte Amalie is both quaint and bustling. Hundreds of jewelry stores fit inside just a few blocks on the main street. You can wind your way through the cobblestone alleyways, discovering unique shops and restaurants and reading the historical plaques that tell of the town’s rich and colorful history.

Charlotte is built on steep hills and most places to stay should have glorious views of the harbor. At high noon on a sunny day, the water looks like a sparkling turquoise jewel.

Lodging Type Available: traditional hotel, budget hotel, small inns/B&B, condos, sailboats, yachts, vacation rentals, mid-range to luxury villas

Great For: being in the midst of the action, enjoying the stunning harbor view, people watching, getting a taste of the diverse cultures living together on St. Thomas, budget-friendly

Not-So-Great-For: getting away from it all, staying near the beach, resort amenities

View Possibilities: Charlotte Amalie harbor, the street in front of you

Vehicle Required: Nope!

 

Charlotte Amalie hotels
Part of downtown Charlotte Amalie, taken from Frenchtown

 

St. Thomas Neighborhoods: Charlotte Amalie East, including Yacht Haven Grande, Havensight, Estate Thomas, and Raphune Hill

The Eastern side of Charlotte Amalie harbor where the cruise ships dock. These sections of town offer a lot of shopping (some of it high-end), restaurants of all types, tourists attractions like The Pirates Treasure Museum, Paradise Point and the Butterfly Garden, and more. It’s just a short walk along the waterfront from the cruise ship dock at Havensight to downtown Charlotte Amalie, you can walk this route all the way to the West side of the Charlotte Amalie harbor in Crown Bay Marina.

Lodging Type Available: vacation rentals, mid-range to luxury villas, yachts, sailboats

Great For: convenience to: downtown, Magen’s Bay, shopping in Tutu Valley, activities & attractions

Not-So-Great-For: vacationing like a local, resort amenities, getting away from it all

View Possibilities: the Eastern part of Charlotte Amalie harbor where most of the cruise ships dock

Vehicle Required: Not really, unless access to your villa requires four wheel drive.

The South Side of St. Thomas

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St. Thomas Neighborhoods: Frenchman’s Reef, Bellevue, Bakkeroe, Green Cay Plantation and Bolongo

This is where the island starts to feel a little less like a big town on a rock. There are several different resorts, condos and villas in this part of St. Thomas. Most accommodations on the south side of St. Thomas are beachside resorts but there are also hillside villas nestled here and there.

Lodging Type Available: beachside resorts, condos, and timeshares, mid-range to luxury villas, vacation rentals

Great For: conveniently-located to everything, resort-style amenities, beachfront property

Not-So-Great-For: vacationing like a local, access to public transport, walking distance from restaurants/bars/shops other than those on hotel grounds

View Possibilities: hotel grounds, the bay and/or beach in front of you, St. Croix in the distance

Vehicle Required: Not necessarily. There is no access to public transportation, but taxis will gladly go to these areas.

The East End of St. Thomas

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St. Thomas Neighborhoods: Cabrita Point, Cowpet, Secret Harbour, Tybor & Harmony, Nazareth and Red Hook

The boat-y side of the island! This is where the sailors and pirates hang. Several boat charters operate out of Red Hook and this side of the island is also where ferries to St. John and the British Virgin Islands are located. Red Hook is the major commerce area on this side of the island. There are numerous bars, restaurants and shops in a small space. Public transport is easily accessible and taxis are numerous.

Lodging Type Available: luxury resort, beachside condos, mid-range to luxury villas, vacation rentals, yachts, sailboats

Great For: being near dining, shopping, beaches, boats, and ferries to other islands

Not-So-Great-For: Getting away from it all

View Possibilities: St. John, the bay or beach in front of you

Vehicle Required: No, unless your private villa is inaccessible to a taxi

boats in Red Hook, St. Thomas
Boats at the marina in Red Hook

St. Thomas Neighborhood: Smith Bay

Smith Bay encompasses a huge area of land, a large chunk of it very much residential but yet another large chunk very much resort-y. There are several vacation condos and resorts along the Northeast coast of the island with different styles and amenities. This area is right along the safari bus line and is close to Lindquist, Sapphire, and Coki Beaches, boating and other water sport activities, and Coral World.

Lodging Available: resorts and vacation condos (some of them beachside)

Great For: resort amenities, all-inclusive style travel, beachside property, close to marine activities and other things to do on the East End

Not-So-Great-For: getting away from it all, luxury amenities, vacationing like a local

View Possibilities: St. John, the bay or beach in front of you, the cays immediately off the Northeast coast of St. Thomas

Vehicle Required: No.

St. Thomas’ Northside

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St. Thomas Neighborhoods: Mandahl, Mahogany Run, Peterborg, Skyline, Lerkenlund, Rosendal, Wintberg, Magen’s Bay

This is where St. Thomas starts to feel very residential with private family homes becoming the dominant landscape between overlooks. The elevation is higher here and the vegetation starts to feel more lush. Tons of condos are available for short-term rental on the Mahogany Run golf course, and there is one small hotel near Magen’s Bay, but most of the accommodations in these neighborhoods are going to be of the private home variety.

Lodging Available: mid-range to luxury villas, condos, small hotel, vacation rentals

Great For: proximity to Magen’s Bay and conveniently located to both the East End and town

Not-So-Great-For: resort-style amenities

View Possibilities: Magen’s Bay, cays of the North shore of St. Thomas, BVI, St. John, neighboring hills and valleys

Vehicle Required: Yes

St. Thomas Neighborhoods: Hull Bay, Barrett Hill, Four Corners, Mountaintop, Dorothea, Neltjeberg, Caret Bay, Pearl, Crown Mountain Rd.

As the elevation climbs, the landscape becomes even more lush with vines hanging from tall trees growing right next to the road. This is a relatively private, largely residential part of the island. The beaches are frequented by locals more than visitors, some of them require four wheel drive to access, and some have rocky seabeds (but lovely snorkeling).

Lodging Available: mid-range to luxury villas, vacation rentals

Great For: vacationing like a local, getting away from it all, breezes, rainforest-y, close to town and shopping

Not-So-Great-For: resort-style amenities, walking to shops and restaurants

View Possibilities: Northern cays of St. Thomas, Charlotte Amalie harbor, West to Puerto Rico

Vehicle Required: Yes, and some villas may require four wheel drive

Inner and Outer Brass, North of St. Thomas, photo taken near Four Corners
Inner and Outer Brass, North of St. Thomas, photo taken near Four Corners

The West End of St. Thomas:

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St. Thomas Neighborhoods:  Fortuna and Bourdeaux, Botany Bay

The West end is the most remote part of St. Thomas and, if you’re the type who likes scenic roadtrips, it’s definitely worth the jaunt. This side of the island is sparsely-populated, largely agriculture, and absolutely beautiful.

A tip for staying way out West: provision up before heading out if you don’t want to drive 15 minutes either way for your creamer.

Lodging Available: luxury villas

Great For: getting away from it all, complete and utter privacy

Not-So-Great-For: being conveniently located to anything

View Possibilities: Bays, Rocks and Cays off the Western coast of St. Thomas, Puerto Rico, St. Croix

Vehicle Required: Oh yes.

Water Island

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St. Thomas Neighborhood:  Water Island

Located a very short ferry ride away from Crown Bay Marina on St. Thomas, Water Island is a little neighborhood unto itself. There are a couple restaurants on island with very limited hours of operation, a gorgeous beach, and a public lending library. Residents and guests of Water Island get around this little rock on golf carts. The ferry to Crown Bay operates daily.

Lodging Available: mid-range to luxury villas, vacation rentals, sailboats, yachts

Great For: getting away from it all

Not-So-Great-For: access to nightlife, convenient access to things on St. Thomas

View Possibilities: St. Thomas, Charlotte Amalie harbor, Hassel Island, St. Croix

Vehicle Required: No. Your lodging may come with a golf cart.

More Resources for Booking the Best Virgin Islands Vacation Rental For You

 

Check out our Ultimate Guide to Vacation Rentals on St. John.

Or, take a stroll through our accommodations listings  and see what we have right here!

Follow these 6 steps and you can’t go wrong.

Our local experts share 10 questions you should ask before booking.

 

Want some help? Contact Us. Maybe we can help or even get you a good deal.

Do you have more questions (or answers) about St. Thomas vacation rentals?

Let us know in the comments below what we missed!

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