I am so happy I waited to post this review. My stay at the Bolongo Bay was in May last year before hurricanes Irma and Maria crushed the island. The resort is now open to visitors again and as you will see it is worth a visit!
First up the points bit about the stay. I booked using Chase Ultimate Rewards on my Chase Sapphire Reserve to get 1.5 cents value. Back then the booking site was run by Connexions Loyalty and it was a nightmare to get it booked. It had nothing to do with Bolongo Bay – they were great – it was all Connexions Loyalty issue. But they are no longer working with Chase thankfully. Now to the review.
The resort has that unique Caribbean relaxed feel. Some may not like this but I really do. Give me a bespoke property over a cookie cutter hotel.
We rented a car for our 1 week stay on the island but taxis are plentiful and reasonable (and even posted outside the resort entrance).
We were on an all inclusive package that was really impressive and the food was outrageously good (more on that later).
Pool side swim-up bar? Yep. Constant tropical ocean breeze by the pool? You bet. Relaxing? What do you think? 🙂
As part of our all inclusive package was the use of non-motorized toys. I learned to windsurf as a kid and still enjoy it now and then.
A sunset sailing was also part of the package but we passed. It turned out to be packed and we were happy we stayed onshore.
I will touch on one of the only really negative things about Bolongo Bay and that is the beach. Having to tip toe over rocks on the way into the water is not pleasant. Plus, per the linked article above, the beach is even worse off after the hurricanes.
However, the beach relaxing area is still large and wide and if you are looking to chill and read and relax you have found a nice spot.
I could have lived on this beach for a month. OK two months. It was nice. The only thing missing with the all inclusive that you get on a cruise ship was bar staff coming by with drinks. Then again, with the amount of food provided, walking for refills was a smart idea!
Again from the report above the fun restaurant (with amazing crab legs btw) was totally destroyed and has yet to be rebuilt. Above are a few shots of the old building. Now on to our room.
There was a bit of a mix-up with our room request (shocking Connexions Loyalty – said no one). But the staff was kind and accommodating and got us a high floor room with a view we had booked.
The rooms are basic but clean and functional. Just before the hurricane they were in the process of refurbishing the rooms. I would try to get one of those if you plan to visit.
Like the room, the bathroom was also small but functional.
Like a cruise ship with a balcony waking up to this, or enjoying an evening glass of wine, was just the best. I see why folks fall in love with the USVI!
Other than the rocks on the beach the above is my biggest gripe about the resort. These all inclusive wrist bands were the most scratchy uncomfortable ever created. We cut them off almost every day to be able to sleep at night. They need a better system than this.
Now on to the food. Oh my. So good! Breakfast was always fresh cooked. Lunch and dinner you got an appetizer, soup or salad, main course and dessert. It really was too much and I really needed to diet once I got home. Take a look at a few samplings.
I hope the photos do this justice. The lobster bisque was to die for and I had it almost every day. Steaks were huge and perfect. Lobster you say? OK!
I did not expect the offerings to be as simply amazing as they were. You will not be disappointed by the choices.
As a mainlander I am always fascinated by local wildlife and at Bolongo Bay that means iguanas. Wow are they big and FAST when they want to be.
One day a number of them got a bit frisky and one dove into the pool with a loud splash. It startled most of the guests but as long as you leave the “Iggys” alone they will leave you alone. Just watch out when they make their way down from trees (they just drop – loudly).
My wife and I, due to things going on in our family life at the time, really needed an amazing and relaxing retreat for a week. We so enjoyed our relaxed time at Bolongo Bay and look forward to returning one day soon! – René