$8 per person taxi to nearest off-site dining or drinking
No fitness center
Family-owned and run since 1974, Bolongo is a laid-back resort with an excellent beach, great food, and a warm, helpful staff that keeps guests coming back year after year, despite the small pool and scarce features. But beware the "Value Rooms," which have old, sagging mattresses.
But despite the resort's continued popularity, its guest rooms are generally outdated and though the beachfront and oceanfront rooms have new bedding and a fresh coat of paint, the "Value Rooms" still have sagging mattresses. (On the plus side, if you do take a gamble on the Value Room, the hotel promises that it'll give every guest a free upgrade to an Oceanview Room if there are any available.)
All the staff members at Bolongo are genuinely nice people, happy to help or answer questions -- a true rarity at St. Thomas resorts. The owners, who most guests meet during their visit to Bolongo, attribute their success to the fact that they encourage their staff to hang out at the hotel.
No room service
Concierge on staff to help with restaurant recommendations or calling taxis
Old, worn rooms -- just a bed, an air conditioner, and an old tube TV
Most rooms have been updated -- newer beds, furnishings, and a fresh coat of paint -- but this amounts to little more than just keeping up with the normal wear and tear, and, as evidenced but the old tube TVs, these rooms are looking pretty old. What's worse, the so-called "Value Rooms" still retain the older furnishings, including a sagging bed and low-quality linens.
All rooms have a kitchenette -- complete with mini-fridge, microwave, sink, and dishes (but no stovetop).
Two on-site restaurants -- bar food, plus slightly fancier fare
Iggies Beach Bar shares the beach with the resort and is an open-air place that's perfect for getting greasy and cracking some crab legs. On select nights, Iggies runs specials like all-you-can-eat crab legs -- a big draw, even for locals.
Quality seafood at the Lobster Grille, a slightly fancier sit-down restaurant overlooking the pool
No room service
Dining options abound in Red Hook and Charlotte Amalie; both towns are about an $8-per-person cab ride away.
Small, low-key property with great food, a wide range of options, and an attentive wedding coordinator
Wedding Size: 70 guest rooms at the resort, even larger groups welcome
Extra Fees: fee for a wedding certificate and an officiant; outside vendor fee
Wedding Packages: The most basic package, Barefoot on the Beach, includes the help of a wedding coordinator, a standard beachside ceremony, a bottle of champagne, and some T-shirts for the bride and groom. For a bit more, however, you get the Heavenly Days Fantasy Wedding package, which also includes a bouquet and a boutonniere, a photographer, and a two-hour sunset cruise with an open bar and cold hors d'oeuvres; the Fantasy package covers 20 people and each additional person costs an extra fee per person (max 49 people).
Ceremony Location: The most popular location is under the arch at the beach.
Photographers: Ranges from one hour and an album with 35 shots; cost for each additional hour
Videography: Ranges in price, which includes an edited DVD with music and chapters
Music: From a DJ to the local "Ah We Band"; the most popular option is a steel pan band.
Food: Hors d'oeuvres fee per person (24 minimum); dinner options range beach BBQ to plated dinners per person; kids', kosher, vegetarian, and gluten-free menus available upon request
Drinks: Open bar ranges for the first hour and costs for each additional hour, based on liquor selection.
Cake: Ranges, depending on flavor, size, and decoration
Spa Treatments: The hotel doesn't have any spa facilities for hair, nails, and makeup, but an off-site massage therapist can be booked for an in-room treatment.