Tips for Happy Travelers

St. Thomas and St. John are part of the United States, but part of the Caribbean, too. In coming to the American Paradise you will, in many respects, be visiting "another world." The Virgin Islands is not so much a melting pot as a tropical salad of peoples, cultures, backgrounds, tastes and lifestyles. Making visitors welcome is a tradition going back more than 300 years.

And yet... there are expectations on the part of our people, too. We customarily begin a conversation with everyone on the island by first saying "good morning," "good day" or "good evening" - and visitors will find that this is the key to a pleasant interaction from that point on. Service may seem slow compared to the bustle back home, but why would anyone want an island experience to be rushed?

The dress code is casual - but a code it is, nonetheless. At the formal end of the spectrum, "elegantly island" for evening affairs means shirts with collars but rarely ties and jackets for men, and anything from simple classics to gala party wear for women. At the other extreme, sunbathing nude is not looked upon with favor, nor are swimsuits or other revealing attire in shopping areas or anywhere else away from the beach, pool or boat. Most eating and other establishments require shirts and footwear of both male and female clientele.

Ostentation here, as anywhere else, can be an invitation; so flashy jewelry is best left at home or in the hotel safe while you are out and about. The solar power here, more so than anywhere in more temperate climes, can sear unsuspecting skin - of any natural shade! - in no time at all. We strongly advise you to apply sun block liberally and repeatedly throughout your stay.