Reviewers Rating: Great
I wanted to take the time to feedback on Bolongo Bay - all inclusive on St. Thomas - (food, drink, water sports) and give thumbs up. Some things to keep in mind - we were travelling as a family - my husband, our daughter - myself - It was very important to me that the destination be not only accomodating for adults but also children - I have been many a place where you feel like a three headed monster for bringing your munckin along. We found that without a doubt the Doumeng family's location not only accomodates kids but makes them feel welcome and part of the action. The Activities/Sports Director Sergio had many things to do beyond just swimming -nature hikes, coral painting for souveniers, wave running, limbo contests - sandcastle contests -etc.(And this is only covers the kids!)
Please do not misunderstand me and get the picture that the place was overrun with families and kids - not so - we found a great balance of honeymooners, couples vacationing, some families with kids - all enjoying the hospitality of the resort.
A word on Bolongo's beach - it is absolutely great for seashell searching - walking, bathing, waverunnering out past Charlotte Amalie, windsurfing etc. It does not have the unbelievable clarity and underwater life of Maegans or Sapphire. BUT! I must say that we did not intend on snorkelling every day 100% of the time. We were able to get all our snorkelling in via the included all day Heavenly Days catamaran cruise to St. John (offered as part of the all inclusive package) and a couple of trips to Koki beach/Maegans bay. BUT! on those trips those beaches was VERY crowded - not necessarily serene. This was a bit of a shock after enjoying the privacy of Bolongo's beach. Further, included in Bolongo's all-inclusive package is a scuba lesson -we did not participate as our daughter was too young but every person who came back from the lesson/optional hour dive raved about the majesty of it all. Again - the offerings of Bolongo outstrip the beach issue.
About Bolongo's rooms - Spartan but completely do-able. I have stayed at MANY hotels/resorts from 5 star to motel sixes and the truth I find here is that (A)sometimes even the most expensive places have mediocre rooms due to age of property (Ritz Carlton Phoenix AZ comes to mind) (B) we were only in our room to sleep from 11.00pm to 7.30am. It is a tropical location - there will be rust etc in bathrooms as the humidity wreaks havoc. I would rather the resort continue to offer inexpensive options with great service than drop a ton of cash into fancy rooms that you (hopefully) spend no time in - passing the cost to the customer.
The food! (and drink) was great - we found ourselves pretending we were college students - swim up to the bar, grab a drink ...sleep under the umbrellas etc. The Beach House's dinner fare was delicious - we opted for lobster twice out of 6 nights and honestly - the plate comes out with not a half a lobster split per standard restaurant offering but with the WHOLE thing. My cholesterol skyrocketed. I have not expereinced a different all-inclusive offering but it seems that many (food wise) are buffets etc and may leave much to be desired - this is not the case here. Delicious all around.
Finally - to close - the only advice I would give a prospective traveller is to (A) bring a passport to take advantage of possible excursions to Tortola BVI (day sails) (B) think about renting a car for a couple of days. We used taxis and although they are "negotiable" in some cases they still add up. Vertina the activities director can help onsite with that. Further - make sure to pump the staff for suggestions on what to do/see around St. Thomas given the time of year/season. They have great ideas and are always happy to suggest something.