Covid-19 Updates

Caribbean Locations for Trips with Friends

Once the world gets back to normal and it’s safe to stop considering trips from our bedroom to our kitchen “vacations”, there are two things I’m sure we’ll all want to do: hang out with our friends (in person) and travel (around the world). One of the best destinations to bond with your besties has to be the Caribbean. The Caribbean is a melting pot of cultures, with 13 sovereign states and 17 dependent territories in the mix. Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach, traverse the great outdoors, or anything in between, these five locations truly deliver in terms of making the most out of quality time.

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Harbour Island, Bahamas

Harbour Island is a quick getaway for East Coasters ideal for many reasons—the biggest one being that it’s entirely surrounded by water. The island’s lifestyle revolves around the ocean: playing in it, eating by it, drinking by it, and fishing in it. Plus, a large amount of vacationers from NYC that always make their way here give the island a pretty sizable social scene. Fine dining and nightlife can be found at the luxury resorts on the shoreline. When it comes to your vacation headquarters, I’m partial to Rosalita, a new beachfront villa. Rosalita sits on beautifully landscaped oceanfront grounds. The villa features six bedrooms and sleeps twelve guests. Five of the bedrooms are located in the villa’s main house. The sixth bedroom is located in the guest house and features a king bed. All bedrooms have en-suite bathrooms, and four have alfresco showers. Both the master and the guest house bedroom suites have private terraces with fantastic views, while the other bedrooms have private entrances from the veranda or garden.

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Sugar Beach, Saint Lucia

Once you arrive in Sugar Beach, you won’t want to leave. Surrounded by St. Lucia’s twin volcanic Pitons, the Beachfront Collection villa blends seamlessly into Sugar Beach’s untouched beauty, with sweeping views of the Pitons and the Caribbean Sea. This four-bedroom villa has an infinity pool and suites has floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors for an unobstructed view. You and your friends can relax, take in the epic views and enjoy the private walled garden. Make sure to connect with Blue Sky Luxury Travels to make plans ahead of time, we can arrange for private chef and spa services and luxury catamarans for a day on the water.

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St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands

St. John is an exclusive enclave that offers the convenience and flexibility of staying within the U.S., with the tropical splendor of the Caribbean. Located on the north shore of St. John, Estate Solenborg is a luxury Caribbean vacation rental villa overlooking the Sir Frances Drake Passage and Denis Bay. This secluded estate is a private paradise with seven bedrooms, all with en-suite bathrooms and ocean views. Gather with friends and enjoy the luxe modern design, two heated pools, an expansive terrace, and outdoor living and dining areas.

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Sailing Catamaran, British Virgin Islands

Island hopping in the BVIs is the ultimate way to enjoy the Caribbean with friends. Ten guests can explore the coves, go diving, fishing, and paddleboarding among the islands in the spectacular Bella Vita sailing catamaran. This super luxury catamaran offers an all-inclusive crewed yacht charter experience with a crew of six. It was formerly named Necker Belle, was owned by Richard Branson, and won a World Superyacht Award in 2010. In true Branson spirit, the Bella Vita was built to maximize fun, featuring a spacious trampoline, a diving board, and a unique crow’s nest that can lift you to the top of her mast.

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West End, Anguilla

With easy access to St. Maarten, Puerto Rico and Antigua, Anguilla attracts a high-end, sophisticated crowd. It also boasts more than 30 beaches (some of the best in the entire Caribbean), a wealth of fine dining and enough outdoor activities to satisfy any nature lover. For groups who want the ultimate private villa and spa experience, the Four Seasons Villas are the only choice. The oceanfront villas with private pools combine the privacy of a villa with the luxury of a world-class resort. Your group of up to 13 guests can relax at the indoor and outdoor bars while the Four Seasons’ legendary staff caters to your every desire. Whether you want to spend your days relaxing at the beach club, working on your cardio on private tennis courts or vacationing like celebrities in a private spa, the Four Seasons Villas certainly won’t disappoint. Savor tailored luxury, privacy and service on one of the world’s most beautiful beaches.

Why Choose the Virgin Islands for your Corporate Event?

The Virgin Islands are teeming with gorgeous white sand beaches and magnificent clear blue waters. When it comes to natural beauty, the islands consistently rank among the top in the world. If you’re looking for an unparalleled destination for your corporate retreat, look no further. The Virgin Islands offer diverse venues ranging from first-class luxury resorts to smaller, intimate hideaways, to elegant off-site locations. It’s no wonder they’re frequent winners of the Successful Meetings Pinnacle Award.

What makes the U.S. Virgin Islands particularly desirable for any type of getaway is that it has all the beauty of the Caribbean combined with all the convenience of the United States. U.S. citizens don’t need a passport to enjoy the islands. There’s also no need to exchange currency or travel with a voltage converter. Both non-stop and/or connecting flights are available from most major cities in the U.S., as well. The British Virgin Islands are located in close proximity to the U.S. Virgin Islands, and they do require a passport to visit, though they do use U.S. currency and voltage, making it a seamless travel experience.

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Minimize your stress by working with us to coordinate your corporate gathering. With over 20 years of experience, we’ll masterfully take care of every detail, ensuring a successful event. We can help you select one of the world-class private islands, villa rentals, and hotels in the Virgin Islands that best suits your needs. If you require meeting space for an upscale corporate retreat in the Virgin Islands, we recommend that you choose the 180-room Ritz-Carlton which has a ballroom for 2,500 along with three meeting rooms.

If you’re planning a smaller incentive event, a villa rental in the Virgin Islands will be your perfect choice. We often rent several villas close together for corporate incentive groups or training events, and they often have spaces large enough for gatherings. Villas offer increased privacy and more luxurious amenities. Larger groups might want to consider a private island for the ultimate in exclusivity and personal service. Private chefs and activity concierges can ensure that your team members are well fed and entertained during their island retreat.

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One excellent choice for small groups is A La Mer on St. John. Located on a white sand beach at Great Cruz Bay on St. John, A La Mer is a spectacular resort-style villa that boasts an incredible waterfront location. A La Mer features spacious living areas and 9 bedrooms that can accommodate up to 18 guests, making this Caribbean vacation rental a perfect destination for a corporate event or incentive trip.

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One can’t talk about corporate retreats in the Virgin Islands without mentioning Richard Branson’s Necker Island, located in the British Virgin Islands. One of the most exclusive and private island destinations in the Caribbean, Necker Island’s 74-acre estate has all the makings of a corporate retreat of a lifetime. Guests can forward to days relaxing on private white sand beaches, a full array of exciting water sports, delicious and refreshing drinks complementing gorgeous sunset views and multiple pristine freshwater infinity pools. You can also book a private tennis lesson with a resident professional coach and end your day at one of the island’s legendary parties. Buy out the entire island for up to 50 people starting at $350,000 per week.

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Another new option for corporate events in the Virgin Islands is Oil Nut Bay. Located on Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands, Oil Nut Bay provides an unforgettable backdrop for your special event. Business retreats in paradise include individualized attention and impeccable service. Oil Nut Bay comprises a residential community of private villas built around a world-class resort. Your guests can savor the Marina Village, Wellness Center, and Luxury Beach Club, featuring three swimming pools, open-air patios, a swim-up bar, exceptional cuisine, and cabanas with day beds.

What makes the Virgin Islands so special is that each island has its own distinct character and personality. The best part is that no matter where you choose, visitors can easily take a day-trip to a neighboring island by boat or seaplane to explore the unique sights. Each island has a multitude of activities to enjoy such as golf, snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing, hiking, horseback riding, or even just sightseeing. There’s also a $1,600 duty-free allowance on all items purchased in the islands so you can take anything from liquor to local art home with you.

Virgin Limited Edition, Necker Island, 2019

Virgin Limited Edition, Necker Island, 2019

Along with its beauty, the Virgin Islands are also known for a favorable climate. The islands boast an average temperature of 77ºF in the winter and 82ºF in the summer. Steady trade winds also help to keep the islands comfortably cool year-round. Whether planning for a group of CEOs or an incentive retreat with spouses and children in tow, the Virgin Islands I have something for everyone, and, with the islands’ welcoming culture, a warm greeting will go a long way. Contact us today to begin planning your epic escape.

Where to go Paddleboarding in the U.S. Virgin Islands

The spectacular panoramic views of the US Virgin Islands are nothing short of paradise. In addition to their luscious scenery, the islands are known to visitors and locals for their active water sports culture—one of the most popular sports being paddle boarding. It’s a glorious way to see any island and delivers a breathtaking 360-degree experience unlike any other, with vistas of land and sea spread around you and more wide-ranging views of fish beneath your board than you could get from simply snorkeling. While the ancient Polynesian sport repopularized in Hawaii in the early 2000s, it has since taken off across the globe with paddleboarding gaining popularity everywhere from Australia to the Caribbean. Here are some of the best places to hit the water in the Virgin Islands.

Maho Bay, St. John
A top pick for the novice paddleboarder, Maho Bay is home to calm, clear waters to practice on and sea turtles to keep you company, making it an ideal place for kids and adults alike to earn their sea legs. Best of all, there are beautiful views aplenty on this clean and quiet beach. And there’s plenty more to do at Maho Crossroads, a minimum footprint, energy-efficient, self-powered pop-up village across the street from Maho Beach. Enjoy the Paddle-In Tiki Bar on a moveable trailer, a VW Bus conversion food truck, and the Love Maho Beach Boutique. Rent a board from Reef2Peak or bring your own and experience the magic of Maho.

Honeymoon Beach, St. John
A white sandy beach and aqua blue waters await you at St. John’s idyllic Honeymoon Beach. This is where the locals come to spend their days paddleboarding. While you’re very likely to see some snorkelers checking out the oceanic creatures and locals enjoying the sugary sand, this definitely isn’t a crowded place to paddleboard in St. John.  Whether it’s an hour, day, or week rental, Virgin Island Ecotours is happy to accommodate and personalize your expedition. They offer solo or group rentals and guided trips on their equipment, and also day passes that include all-inclusive access to kayaks, SUPs, snorkel gear, lounge chairs and more.

Hurricane Hole, St. John
Join Arawak Expeditions for a special tour to a remote part of the island of St. John, where the water is almost always calm. Hurricane Hole a famous spot where boats have often found shelter during hurricanes. It’s designated as a National Monument, and access is restricted to guided tours by selected companies with National Park Service authorization.  The tour begins at Princess Bay, where a wide expanse of pristine white sand and beautiful azure water are a Caribbean fantasy come true. You’ll paddle through Otter Creek, stopping to snorkel among the mangroves, where you’ll see sea anemones, reticulated sea stars and more. The gentle surf and reefs around Hurricane Hole make it a great spot for paddle-boarding,

Magens Bay, St. Thomas
The most popular beach in St. Thomas rivals the best beaches in the world in terms of beauty, amenities and all-around blissfulness. There’s no wonder Frommer’s recommends a visit to Magens Bay for the best views on the island. The huge expanse of palm-shaded white sand, excellent amenities, and most especially, the calm and waveless turquoise water make it an all-around perfect spot for paddleboarding. Keep your eyes open for the sea turtles and squids that inhabit the area. Equipment can be rented from the kiosk at the far right end of the beach and the centrally-located bar features wait staff who will come to you on the beach and take your order. This is another beach where you have to pay to enter but the admission fee helps support the lifeguards, the amenities and the cleanliness of the beach.

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Paddleboard Yoga, St. John
You’ve never had a Savasana quite like this before! For a true St. John experience, try SolShine Stand Up Paddle Yoga classes. Using your paddleboard as a mat, they guide yogis through traditional yoga classes while floating on the crystal-blue water The classes welcome yogis of all levels and offer low-impact core strengthening, and intervals to increase flexibility and core strength. Grow your yoga practice in a new way by adapting to the motion of the board. You’ll enjoy the continuous challenge to balance, the focus required to ground while afloat, and the gorgeous views in every direction.

Mangrove Lagoon, St. Thomas
As you weave your way through the mangrove tunnels, look down to see the stingrays, upside-down jellyfish, tarpon and more that inhabit the serene and shallow waters or look up to see the nesting birds overhead. Regardless of what you came to find, Mangrove Lagoon is perfect for beginners and experts alike. The guided tours provide stand-up paddleboards and paddles of all shapes and sizes and keep groups small to accommodate everyone. They even take you around and past many small mangrove islands, including secluded cays, where you get the chance to witness the unparalleled natural beauty St. Thomas has to offer.

Here at Blue Sky Luxury Travels, we are avid paddleboarders and we know all the ins and outs of paddleboarding in the U.S. Virgin Islands. We can arrange paddleboard rentals for a day, or for your entire trip. Simply reach out to us at info@blueskyluxurytravels.com and we will make all your tropical paddleboarding dreams come true!

Blue Sky in the NEWS!

This month, Blue Sky Luxury Travels’ Shanna Dickerson went on Lowcountry Live WCIV for an interview about her company and how it was born. She also discussed her favorite island for couples looking to celebrate a honeymoon or other special occasion. And the winner is…….ST. LUCIA! On the segment, Shanna spotlights 3 of her favorite resorts on the island. Take a look at the video for drool-worthy images of Jade Mountain St. Lucia, Ladera Resort and Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort.

Blue Sky Luxury Travels has also been selected as the luxury travel advisor for NUE Magazine which covers Charleston, SC and Denver, CO. We will also be featured in their international magazines. And what did we pick for our 1st editorial?!! A story on one of our FAVORITE rental villas on St. John USVI, of course! Check out the feature on La Vita:

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We are so grateful for these opportunities to share insider information about our favorite luxury travel destinations. Feel free to reach out at any time if you need help coming up with a vision for an upcoming vacation, family reunion, wedding or corporate retreat.

Celebrate the New Year in the Virgin Islands

If you’re lucky enough to be in the Virgin Islands for the holidays, you’re sure to be looking for a place to celebrate. We have several clients who rent villas year after year for the coveted week between Christmas and New Years, and we always love helping them make plans for holiday celebrations. There’s no better way to ring in 2020 than on the beach with friends and family in a tropical paradise. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite events to celebrate the turning of the calendar from 2019 to 2020.

 

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There will be a myriad of events on St. John to ring in the New Year, from dance and costume parties to live music performances. In Cruz Bay, the Beach Bar will feature live music from 7:30-10:30 p.m. while Drink! will offer DJs, dancing, fire dancers and a screening of the Times Square Ball Drop that goes from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. For a big New Year’s Eve party, head to Morgan’s Mango for free champagne and a $500 prize for the fanciest hat. The festivities here will go from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Heading over to Coral Bay, check out the Indigo Grill which will be hosting a masquerade party with live reggae music from 5 p.m. until the last partiers go home. Skinny Legs will be featuring live music by “The Digs” for a funk/soul/dance party. Ready to get decked out? Skipper’s Brit Pub will be offering costume prizes, free champagne at midnight and the legendary music of the Beatles performed by Poet’s Lounge. For those who want to hit the sack a little early, Oasis is hosting Old Timers Night with prime rib and a DJ, and a ball drop at 8 p.m.

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Moving to St. Thomas, Busspipe Records presents Pressure Busspipe at 9 p.m. at Chicken N Bowling, including additional performances by Verse Simmonds, Jada Kingdom, Monea, Th3rd, Jahman & King Lion. Early bird tickets are available for $25 online at www.PressureBusspipeNYE.com.

Breathe St. Thomas is hosting a Conscious New Year’s Celebration at 4 Elements on Water Island. This uplifting event features yoga, breathwork, meditation, a DJ fire party and more!

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Foxy’s Old Year’s Night on Jost Van Dyke is a legendary party every year. The 2019/2020 party theme is “Arabian Nights” and party guests can expect whimsical décor, complete with a flying carpet photo booth, belly dancers, genies and other themed performers. Partygoers are encouraged to participate and dress in costume to reflect the theme. As always, out-there or barely-there attire is encouraged!

If you want to join the island celebrations on NYE, we can arrange private boat charters so you can cut down on travel time, avoid ferry crowds and be on your own schedule.  Or you can skip the crowds, charter a yacht and go island hopping to ring in 2020! Blue Sky Luxury Travels team wishes you a Happy New Year. Where will you celebrate this year?

 

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The Suites at Paradise Ridge
Mariposa
Sentosa

Blue Sky Luxury Concierge Announces Rebrand to Blue Sky Luxury Travels

Top Caribbean Luxury Travel Provider Expands Services and Scope for Worldwide Reach

Today, Blue Sky Luxury Concierge, Inc., the leading provider of luxury travel services in the Caribbean and Bahamas, announced the company’s rebrand to Blue Sky Luxury Travels. The comprehensive rebrand elevates the focus on bespoke travel planning services to individuals, families, groups, and corporations across the globe. With the rebranding effort, the company will continue to offer personal travel planning, while investing further in both global expansion and expert support for corporate clients.

The new corporate name for the longtime trusted travel provider signals a shift in the company’s vision and strategy in the travel market. “The Blue Sky Luxury Travels name represents the expansion of the company’s reach, increasing the service level at every touchpoint of the customer travel experience. “We are proud of the new vacation and corporate retreat offerings we are building for our clients as we work to become the foremost boutique luxury travel group worldwide,” said Shanna Dickerson, Blue Sky Luxury Travels CEO. “From our humble beginnings in 2010 as a grocery delivery service on the island of St. John in the US Virgin Islands to today’s global full-service travel experience design company, Blue Sky has grown with our customers’ needs. This new name reflects the company’s worldwide reach, and now we can bring the personalized service of our experienced team to each step of our clients’ travel planning process.”
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In addition to the company’s core offerings of full-service luxury concierge travel and event planning, Blue Sky provides housing logistics for corporate clients. Blue Sky Global Logistics is the company’s newest division, providing corporate and workforce housing for disaster relief staff. They are currently at work in the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico housing workers who are helping to rebuild and restore areas affected by natural disaster.

Blue Sky has also expanded their villa rental portfolio and now offers properties throughout the Caribbean, the Bahamas, Hawaii, Fiji, and South Carolina. Every day, Blue Sky spotlights a different villa on the company’s popular Blue Sky Luxury Villas Facebook page. The company provides tailored and unique itineraries for personal travel and corporate retreats, including yacht charters, and private island rentals. The Blue Sky Luxury Travels blog publishes all types of information, travel tips, memories and suggestions to empower informed luxury travelers.

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“Blue Sky helped us to plan our most successful company retreat from start to finish. Their planning advice was invaluable, their recommendations were spot on, and their service and support were smooth and professional throughout the entire outing. Blue Sky helped us with finding the ideal accommodations for our group, meal planning and reservations, transportation throughout our stay, arranging group activities (on land and on the sea!), and designing team-building events. I would highly recommend them for any corporate event and would love an excuse to use them again!” writes Scott Berman, President, HawkPartners.

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Blue Sky Luxury Travels stands ready to assist individuals, families, weddings, and corporations with every aspect of travel and event planning. The Blue Sky business is connecting people to their travel destinations wherever that might be. The company has perfected this model to be an all-inclusive operation with an emphasis on client service, offering personal attention and availability around the clock. Blue Sky Luxury Travels provides outstanding service, enabling people to create memories and better enjoy their travel experiences.

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Mariposa
Lazy Lizard
Evangeline

Where to Go Fishing in the U.S. Virgin Islands

The US Virgin Islands are located right at the edge of the six-mile deep Puerto Rico Trench, an area known for having some of the best game fishing in the world. Twenty-one world records in fishing have been set in the Virgin Islands including the still-standing IGFA Women’s ‘All-Tackle’ world record for Blue Marlin back in 1982—a whopping 1073 pounds! Monumental catches such as these are a testament to the excellent fishing opportunities anglers of all ages and experiences levels will find both inshore or offshore in the US Virgin Islands and we at Blue Sky Luxury Travels are here to make your trip one you certainly won’t forget.

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St. Thomas is home to several fishing tournaments throughout the year such as the Dolphin Derby in April, the Bastille Day Kingfish Tournament in July and the Wahoo Windup in November. It’s also one of the most renowned locations to catch Atlantic Blue Marlin and while Marlin fishing is fine year-round, the most optimal months are May through October. One of the best places to go fishing on the island of St. Thomas is in Red Hook. Offshore, you’ll find Mahi Mahi, Tuna, Wahoo, Sailfish and of course, Marlin. Stay closer in and you’re looking at the perfect place to catch some King Mackerel, Snapper, Grouper and Jacks. Red Hook also has some great snorkeling where you can swim alongside turtles, stingrays, a variety of colorful fish and amazing coral of all shapes and sizes.

Just twenty minutes west of Red Hook is where you’ll find another great fishing spot in St. Thomas—Charlotte Amalie. Thanks to its proximity to the North and South Drops, you’ll find waters rife with Blue Marlin, Wahoo, Mahi Mahi and Tuna. Some charters even allow you to snorkel with turtles and dolphins. Spend a day here and you’ll be able to say that you fished some of the best sports fishing grounds in the world.

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Cross the Pillsbury Sound and you’ll reach the smallest of the three main US Virgin Islands, St. John. Without a doubt, the best place to go fishing on this island is in Cruz Bay and with Offshore Adventures Charters, you can depart from either The Westin St. John, Resort & Villas or the National Park Dock in Cruz Bay (along with all of the resorts and public docks back in St. Thomas). Choose between a custom 32ft Diesel Inboard Center Counsel Fishing Boat with Marine Head and a 41ft Custom Open Salon-Style Ronin Sportfisher and spend four, six or even ten hours live bait fishing to your heart’s desire.

There’s another fun spot to fish in St. John and this one’s particularly underrated. For a completely different experience, head over to Leinster Bay for classic flats fishing. Here, you’ll find the easily-spooked and hard fighting bonefish. These fish can weigh as much as 19 pounds and measure as high as 30 inches or more.

ChristianstedFinally, we turn our attention to the largest US Virgin Island, St. Croix. This island is surrounded by a drop which is .5 to 4 miles north or south. Migrating schools of small fish gather in these areas so you’ll find a lot of fish similar to St. Thomas here—the Billfish, Tuna, Wahoo, Marlin, and Mahi Mahi. However, unlike St. Thomas, St. Croix has a narrow under-water shelf off its shores which makes fishing from small boats close to the shoreline very rewarding. On the northern side of the island is the town of Christiansted where you’ll find some of the best charters and tours. It’s also a great sight-seeing spot for whales, porpoises, and turtles.

What are you waiting for? Give us a call and let Blue Sky Luxury Travels provide you with a legendary experience in one of the best places to fish in the world.

 

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Villa Flower
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Blue Sky Challenges St. John Businesses to Help Island’s Animals

PuppyIf you know me, you know I love animals, and I’m always looking for ways to help them. My yellow lab Dakota was my constant companion on St. John for over a decade, and I just adopted an adorable shelter puppy named Bobo Blue. For years, I’ve supported The Animal Care Center of St. John, and this year I’m taking it up a notch with a big donation, and challenging other businesses to do the same.

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The Animal Care Center of St. John is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the well-being and care of homeless, abandoned and abused animals on the island of St. John. This nonprofit started back in the 1960’s when concerned citizens united to find solutions to wild dog packs and feral cats on the island. At that time, there weren’t facilities for spaying and neutering, so both animals and people were suffering. Over time, the Animal Care Center of St. John has grown to provide a no-kill shelter for homeless animals. I love volunteering at the shelter’s adoption drives and I also help with their unique program that escorts homeless animals to the mainland United States, where they are adopted by families.

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Way back in 2013, I took Twix all the way from St. John to Chicago to join her new family.  She was so well behaved while flying, and I loved bringing her to her new home. About 5 years ago I was walking into Starfish Market in St. John.  Every Tuesday the Animal Care Center of St. John holds an adoption clinic outside the market to spotlight a dog and a few kitties. I was in ZERO need of another dog as I had Dakota who was getting very old and needed my full attention. But when I walked by the adoption clinic on this day I saw this sweet old dog named Ophelia. I asked her story. Denise Walker, who is “Mrs. Save All Animals” (and one of the many reasons I ❤️her so much) was in charge of the clinic. She said Ophelia was around 10-15 years old, had an owner for her whole life, but for some reason he didn’t want her anymore so dropped her off at the ACC. It absolutely broke my heart.

So a trip to get groceries quickly turned into taking home another dog. She and Dakota got along right away and so I then began my search for her forever home since I couldn’t keep her long term. My friend, Ted Sheer, had just lost his little dog so when he came to the villa I lived at they immediately bonded. Yay!! He said, “I’ll take her!” Fast forward 5 years and they are inseparable. I ran into the both of them a few years later and seeing Ophelia so happy and healthy made my heart smile. These are just a couple of stories of sweet dogs and cats getting a second chance at life through the ACC.

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This year, I’ve decided to dig deeper and give a little more to my favorite charity.

I’ve donated $10,000 to  the Animal Care Center of St. John (ACC) Wagapalooza Fundraiser, and launched the “Blue Sky & ACC Matching Challenge!” The plan is to encourage other businesses, who understand the plight of the ACC, to join Blue Sky in matching this $10,000 donation. If $10,000 could grow to $20,000 it would help the shelter greatly in so many ways.

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The ACC has been struggling since the hurricanes of 2017 with three times the volume of rescues, as people left the island and surrendered their pets to the ACC. I believe that the lives of furry orphans matter too, and I’d like to challenge my friends, clients, and colleagues to join me in supporting the ACC. The shelter has already received a $5,000 matching donation from a gentleman on St. Thomas, but my goal is $20,000.

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I’m a HUGE fan of the ACC as it is the only no-kill shelter in the Virgin Islands. The kindness and hard work that their staff gives every day is beyond wonderful. When I wrote that $10,000 check it brought happy tears. There were a lot of emotions going on at that moment. When the hurricanes destroyed the Virgin Islands my business also took a major hit. Since the storms, I have poured everything I have into this company to rebuild it so to be able to write this check to one of my favorite non-profits is the best feeling on the planet. My goal with this Matching Challenge is to help as many shelter animals as possible on St. John. This wonderful little island has been in my life for 25 years. It feels so great to give back to an organization that I’m so passionate about. So, who’s going to join me and turn $10,000 into $20,000?

 

For a complete list of St. John villa accommodations, please visit our page – http://blueskyconcierge.com/st-john-villas/

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Five Hotspots for Fine Dining on St. John

Of all the Caribbean islands, I spend most of my time on St. John. It’s where I started my business, and this lush, verdant island with drop-dead gorgeous beaches will always have a piece of my heart. It’s a relatively small island, with just a couple of public resorts and a small town, Cruz Bay, where most of the restaurants are located. Most of our Blue Sky Luxury Travels clients stay in private villas on the island, and our team makes all of the arrangements for provisioning and private chefs so they can enjoy their meals without lifting a finger. We love helping clients find that special place for a big night out, and fine dining restaurants in St. John are perfect for anniversary, birthday and wedding celebrations. Here are some of my best restaurant recommendations for fine dining on St. John. One thing to remember with all of these establishments is that they fill up quickly, especially on weekends. Our team here at Blue Sky Luxury Travels can help you make your reservations in advance to secure your celebration destination.

extravirginExtra Virgin Bistro

Extra Virgin Bistro is perched on a hillside overlooking Cruz Bay, and it’s a bit away from the hustle and bustle of town. The chefs are dedicated to locally grown, and sourced products and they cure their own meats, make fresh pasta daily and grow their own herbs on their rooftop garden. They purchase fish from local fishermen and print their names on the daily menu with the fish they catch each day. I love Extra Virgin Bistro’s tasty, original cocktails with house-made infusions and bitters, especially the Bird of Paradise and the Green Thumb. And the food is truly inventive, with unique dishes like Tempura-battered Pumpkin Leaf. The menu changes daily, so there’s always something new to discover, and they tempt the palate with amuses bouches between courses.

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La Tapa

With a romantic atmosphere, creative, upscale menu, and personalized service from the best in the business, La Tapa is my go-to for a special meal out. La Tapa offers a contemporary Mediterranean vibe with a variety of delicious tapas and personalized service that creates a warm atmosphere. La Tapa’s chefs prepare unique creations with local fish and vegetables from St. John fisherman and farmers. The menu changes nightly to reflect the best ingredients available locally. I especially love the wine at La Tapa, they serve mostly Spanish wine and have a more extensive selection than most island spots, with 25 wines by the glass on most evenings.

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The Terrace

Located in the heart of Cruz Bay, the Terrace offers outdoor dining on the terrace with a sweeping view of the harbor. Watch the boats come and go and admire the sparkling turquoise water while you enjoy fine dining with a view. Chef Erica Miner transforms local ingredients into contemporary dishes like Pan Roasted Wahoo and Tuna Nicoise. I love how they bring warm bread and roasted garlic butter to start the evening. The Terrace serves fun cocktails and offers an extensive wine list, including some of my Napa and Burgundy favorites. Don’t miss the desserts, especially the decadent Lemon Lavender Crème Brûlée!

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Ocean 362

OCEAN 362 is right in the heart of Cruz Bay, and the best seats in the house are at the upstairs bar overlooking the harbor. Start your evening with drinks with a view, perhaps timed to experience the sunset, and enjoy Ocean362’s Happy Hour menu from 5-7. Then, proceed downstairs for your divine meal.  Ocean 362 offers contemporary twists on traditional Caribbean dishes with ingredients that are fresh, local and sustainably sourced.  Daily specials on a recent visit included Saffron Smashed Potato, Asparagus, and Citrus Beurre Blanc Lobster Tail, and I’m always happy to celebrate with their Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake.

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Morgan’s Mango

Morgan’s Mango is housed in a pretty British colonial style building in Cruz Bay, adorned with graceful porches and billowy curtains that lend a relaxing air. The menu is focused on Caribbean and South American cuisines—Creole, Bahamian, Cuban, Jamaican, Haitian, Puerto Rican, Argentinian and Mayan. Their dishes show the influence of the original inhabitants of the islands, the Arawak and Carib Indians, as well as the Africans, East Indians, and Chinese who arrived later. Morgan’s Mango brings history to the table, sharing how these early cultures blended with Spanish, French, British and Danish settlers to create classic Caribbean cuisine. Tuesdays and Saturdays are Lobster Night at Morgan’s Mango, and they serve it Caribbean style for an authentic taste of the islands.

Here at Blue Blue Sky Luxury Travels, we make sure to sample a variety of restaurants and experiences so that our clients can look forward to the very best. Fine dining in St. John has gotten better over the years, and now there are many places to enjoy a special meal out. Looking for a villa, yacht charter, private chef or dining on St. John? We’ll be glad to help you plan your next escape!

Recommended St. John Villas

Ardisia
Mare Blu
Villa Sunspot

Five Questions to Ask Before Your Next Luxury Yacht Charter

Many of our clients choose to spend all or part of their island vacation aboard a luxury yacht. Here at Blue Sky Luxury Travels, we are experts in yacht charters, so we know how to pair our clients with the perfect luxury yacht. We consider the age makeup of the group: whether it’s all adults, families with kids, or a multigenerational family reunion. Your ideal level of vacation activity is also important: some people just want to lay in the sun relaxing with a beautiful view, while others look for adrenaline-filled days of diving, fishing, jet-skiing, and kayaking. We always ask our clients how high a priority they place on fine dining, since some yacht charters offer elegant meals in refined dining rooms, while others focus on grilling up the catch of the day and taking meals on the deck. We present our clients with a curated selection of ideally matched luxury yachts for their consideration. When you’re making the decision of what yacht charter is right for your island vacation, here are the 5 most important questions to consider:

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1. Where do you want to go?
The Riviera, Italy, Fiji, The Greek Isles, the British Virgin Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Bahamas are all hotspots for luxury yacht vacations. One benefit of chartering your own yacht vs. taking a cruise ship is that you don’t have to stick to a fixed schedule. You can choose the timing and location of where you want to begin and finish your voyage. Blue Sky Luxury Travels can help you find the right luxury yacht charter for the destinations you choose.

2. Do you prefer a motor or sailing yacht?
If you have a large group and want an experience that’s more like a private cruise voyage, you may prefer a motor yacht. They travel faster so you can cover more ground and are suitable for larger groups seeking elegance and luxury. Sailing yachts, including catamarans and trimarans, are also luxurious but can be available for smaller groups at a lower price point. They offer a closer to the sea experience and are wonderful for family and couples vacations. Often with sailing yacht charters, the price includes your fuel and meals. Gratuity is additional and is usually around 15%.  For motor yacht charters, they typically charge for meals and fuel in addition to the base yacht charter fee.
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3. What does the crew do?
Both motor yacht and sailing yacht charters include the services of a crew unless you order a bareboat charter. Crews typically stay with the boat for several years at a time, so they know the vessel and itineraries well. Your yacht charter crew will be made up of a captain and additional trained crew including a chef, a concierge, deckhands, housekeepers, engineers, and sometimes even masseuses and beauticians on some larger yachts. Their goal is to make sure you don’t have to lift a finger while you enjoy your luxury yacht vacation.

4. Do you get to choose the food?
Provisioning is a vital part of the yacht charter experience. Your yacht chef will prepare meals for your group throughout your vacation, but since there’s no grocery store in the water, everything has to be purchased in advance. Prior to your luxury yacht vacation, you’ll fill out a questionnaire where you can provide the chef with your food and beverage preferences along with any dietary or medical conditions in your party. Then the yacht chef will work their magic to prepare gourmet meals for you to enjoy!

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5. What should you pack?
Planning for your yacht charter vacation is half the fun! Your yacht will come fully provisioned with everything needed for sailing, safety, and meal preparations. It’s a good idea to pack your things in a soft-sided bag, ideally something collapsible like a duffle, since closet space is at a premium. Of course, you’ll want to remember the basics like passport, prescription medication, reef safe sunblock (we can recommend some great ones as well as chemical-free if you like), lip balm, and insect repellent. “Dry Bags” are super useful for keeping your money and electronics dry and safe. Bring along some seasickness pills or patches just in case.
When it comes to clothing, of course, you’ll want several cute swimsuits with coverups, and casual clothes for days on the water, sunglasses, a hat, and a light raincoat. Guests are usually asked to go barefoot on the boat to keep it clean, but you’ll want a pair of shoes with non-marking soles and a good grip that you can wear either onboard or ashore. Flip-flops are always good for beach excursions and bring along some water shoes for diving.

Here at Blue Sky Luxury Travels, we are at your service to create the ultimate yacht charter vacation. We personally visit several yachts in charter destinations worldwide to make sure we know what’s out there. Let us help you choose the perfect luxury yacht charter for your next dream vacation!