about Nancy’s Vacation Rental
Relaxing on St. Thomas
You will quickly discover that the Islander's are VERY RELAXED ... to a fault! In fact they are so relaxed that it can drive you crazy if you are accustomed to a hectic lifestyle in a bustling city. The best way to relax into the environment is to go into it with a very relaxed attitude from the start. Forget about fast service and do not expect the service to be perfect. The more you push the servers, the slower they will seem to go. After a while you will realize that they are not going to speed up on your behalf. It is against their culture. Don't fight it! ... RELAX! ... Take a deep breath ... Slowwwwww Dowwwwwwnnn ...
You are on “V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N!”
*** HINT *** Make sure you pause and smile to say "Good-Morning", "Good-Day", "Good-Afternoon", or "Good-Evening" to the local West Indians BEFORE starting a conversation. Us Americans have a way about us when talking to strangers. We like to "Get to the point quickly." Locals are very greeting conscious and this small gesture will go a LONG way to making your interactions with the locals a more pleasant experience.
How do I reserve Nancy’s Vacation Rental?
Nancy's Vacation Rental is a vacation rental by owner. To reserve my Vacation Rental, just call me, Nancy, at 301-792-2263 or 301-963-5912 (USA) ... or click on the “email Nancy” link at the bottom of this page and send me an email.
The Weather is here, I wish you were beautiful!
The weather on the island is fairly consistent. From June to October the average high is 91F, with an average low of 78F. Between the months of November and May the average high is 86F, with an average low of 72F. The record high was 99F. The record low was 56F.
Go HERE to get the current weather report.
Check-In - 4:00 PM
Nancy’s Vacation Rental should be ready for Check-in by 4:00 P.M. on your Arrival Date. Any exceptions to the regular Check-in and Check-out times must be requested and approved in advance. Early check-in may be allowed if the property is clean and ready for occupancy ahead of schedule.
What to Pack
Your Passport - You will need it to get back into the continental U.S. You will also need it to travel throughout the British Virgin Islands.
Snorkeling gear: There are a lot of beaches with snorkeling and you will be more comfortable with your own equipment. It will also save you a bit of money if you take your own gear. Places like Costco and Sams Club carry some nice sets.
• Take a GPS. A Garmin Nuvi works great on St. Thomas!
• Suntan lotion and lip protection
• Tennis shoes, Sandals, Flip-Flops
• Bathing Suits, T-Shirts, and Cover-Ups
• Sun Glasses
• Extra batteries
What NOT to Pack!
Most of your clothes! On your first trip to the islands you will quickly discover that you probably overpacked. Once on island, you will quickly discover that you live mostly in your bathing suits and coverups. You will probably need no more than two pairs of shorts and some tee shirts. It is very unlikely that you will dress up at all, so leave the formal wear at home. I usually pack, and then unpack and leave 1/2 of it at home! If you are not taking snorkeling equipment, you should be able to pack everything you need in a carry-on bag.
What IS and is NOT Supplied?
Hand and body soap, shampoos and conditioners, and tanning supplies are NOT provided. It is best to pick these items up on your way to Nancy’s Vacation Rental. Otherwise, Nancy’s Vacation Rental is fully furnished and equipped to include: bedspreads, linens, blankets, pillows, towels, kitchen appliances and utensils, TV’s in each room, and balcony furniture. There is a hair dryer in each bathroom. I provide toilet paper, paper towels, dish soap, laundry detergent and dishwasher detergent.
Will U.S. curling irons and electric razors work?
Power outlets in St. Thomas use the same 110 volt currents as North America. It is very common for the power to go out during a storm. This is normal. It will come back on in a few hours.
Electric and water are extremely expensive on St. Thomas. Most hotels and condo owners assess an “energy surcharge” of up to 18% to recover electricity and water costs. I do not assess this type of charge. Instead I ask my renters to help conserve energy and water so I can continue to maintain my low rental rates as compared to what the Elysian Resort charges for rooms.
A few ways you can help:
• Please do not run the AC with the sliding doors opened.
• Open the sliding doors instead of running the A/C. If you open the front door a wonderful breeze blows through the unit.
• If you are leaving for a few hours or more, turn the A/C off and close the blinds. The A/C can cool the rooms in 5-10 minutes when you return.
• Keep your showers short. There is a hot water tank in each unit and it only takes a few seconds to reach the shower.
• Please strive to not just let the water run while you are brushing your teeth.
Do I need a Passport?
St. Thomas is part of the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI). The USVI are a U.S. Territory comprised of the islands of St. Thomas, St. Johns, and St. Croix.
If you live outside the U.S. you DO need a passport to travel to St. Thomas.
If you live in the U.S. and are traveling directly to St. Thomas, a U.S Passport is NOT required. Nonetheless, when you return home from St. Thomas, you will need to clear U.S. Customs. At a minimum, you will need a current state-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license, and a copy of your birth certificate or naturalization certificate to clear U.S. customs on your return.
If you are traveling to St. Thomas THROUGH another country (for example, traveling through Canada), you DO need a U.S. Passport.
Once on St. Thomas, you do NOT need a Passport to travel to other islands in the USVI (St. Johns, St. Croix).
You DO need a U.S. Passport if you intend to visit any of the British Virgin Islands (BVI) (e.g. Jost Van Dyke, Tortola, Norman Island, Peter Island, Cooper Island, Virgin Gorda, Anegada).
My recommendation, if you have a passport, take it with you.
What do I need if I want to visit the British Virgin Islands?
If you intend to visit any of the British Virgin Islands (e.g. Jost Van Dyke, Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Cooper Island, etc.) you will need to clear British Customs. I have found that the easiest way to clear customs is to head straight to the customs office in Soper's Hole at the West End of Tortola. If you have rented a boat with a Captain, the Captain will know the best method to clear customs.
The currency on St. Thomas is the U.S. dollar. Foreign currency can be exchanged at most major banks on St. Thomas and there are local bank branches throughout the island. Major credit cards and traveler's checks are widely accepted, but it is advisable to carry some cash as well.
There is a phone in the living area and in each bedroom. All local and long distance calls are free to anywhere in the U.S.
Wireless Phone service is available on the island from AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon Wireless. However, Verizon Wireless charges roaming fees of about $1.95 per minute for calls on St. Thomas.
The living area and bedrooms have Televisions with Cable TV service that includes 32 channels.
Does your employer allow you to telecommute?! Nancy’s Vacation Rental is equipped with DOD-strength WIFI and unlimited local and long distance phone calling to anywhere in the continental U.S. Nancy’s Vacation Rental DOD-strength WIFI signal is generally reachable from the pool and beach which is especially useful if you are expected to be at "The Office".
There is also a computer with Internet access and a printer in the “Owner’s Lounge” located in the Elysian Resort's Front Office. As a guest of Nancy’s Vacation Rental, you have Owner's privileges and access to the Owner's Lounge.
Pool/Beach Towels are available at the front office. You can pick up a fresh towel everyday. Just drop your used towels off in the hotel lobby and pick up clean towels.
There is an ice maker in each refrigerator. There are also two soda machines and an ice machine at the front of Building H, albeit the ice machine is frequently out-of-service.
The Time Zone
St. Thomas is in the Atlantic Standard Time zone which is one (1) hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time. However, they do not honor daylight savings time.
I recommend that you rent a car at the airport, although you can travel by taxi or shuttle bus if you prefer not to drive.
If you elect to rent a car, go online and reserve a rental car at the STT airport prior to your departure from the U.S. Make sure you select a rental agency that is located at the airport. I have found Budget car rentals to be the cheapest. Otherwise, if you prefer a taxi, be aware that the taxis do not use meters. Make sure you bargain with the Taxi driver on the fare in advance!
The islanders don't pay attention to street names and addresses. If you are renting a car, pay attention to landmarks such as stores, obscure turns and even mail boxes wherever you go ... after a couple spins around the island you will know your way around St. Thomas without a problem.
Driving in the USVI
"We drive on the left in the USVI. We also have a few rather peculiar habits. Mostly on St. Croix, honking is the island way of indicating a hello, or an acknowledgment of some sort. All the islands have drivers who stop in the middle of the road to load or unload passengers or talk to friends. You have to be aware of this habit and drive cautiously. Also pedestrians & animals must be watched for at all times, driving carefully and at the speed limit is recommended."
Some of the roads in St. Thomas can be very steep! Driving should be done with caution. You should be prepared for the slow speeds at which everyone travels. St. Thomas is very small and you can usually drive to most destinations within 15 minutes, even while traveling at an average of 35 mph. On St. Thomas and St. Johns, you drive on the left side of the road. Most cars will have their steering wheels on the left side. Stay alert! It is not unusual to come across a stray cow, goat, or sheep in the middle of the road.
Getting to other Islands
The town of Red Hook is less than 2 miles from the condo. In Red Hook you can rent powerboats (with or without a Captain) and sailboats. You can also hop on the People Ferry and go to St. Johns or Tortola. The Ferry to St. John is about a 20 minute ride. The Ferry's depart on the hour from 8AM to midnight.
• Click HERE for Ferry Schedule and Rates to St. John
• Click HERE for all Ferry Schedules
There is also a Car Ferry (Barge) if you prefer to take your car to St. John instead of renting a jeep. A car is fine if you are going to Trunk Bay or Caneel Bay. But, if you want to go into the hills or to one of the remote beaches (e.g. Lamepshur Bay), rent a Jeep! The roads are steep!
If traveling by Ferry, make sure you verify the time for the last Ferry back to St. Thomas in the evening. You won't want to miss it!
Researching the USVI
For some general info about St. Thomas and St. John: http://www.vinow.com
For general information about Tortola, Jost Van Dyke, and Virgin Gorda: http://www.bviwelcome.com/
St. Thomas is a great base camp from which you can visit the British Virgin Islands of St. John, Tortola, Jost Van Dyke, Virgin Gorda, and many of the smaller islands, such as Cooper and Peter islands.
To help enjoy your adventure, familiarize yourself with the geographic layout. Do some research through wikipedia:
- St. Thomas, USVI: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Thomas,_U.S._Virgin_Islands
- St. John, USVI: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_John,_U.S._Virgin_Islands
- Tortola, BVI: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tortola
- Jost Van Dyke, BVI: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jost_van_dyke
- Virgin Gorda, BVI: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virgin_Gorda
- Norman Island, BVI: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_Island
- Peter Island, BVI: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Island
- Cooper Island, BVI: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cooper_Island_(British_Virgin_Islands)
- Saba Rock, BVI: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saba_Rock or http://www.sabarock.com/
- Necker Island, BVI: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Necker_Island_(British_Virgin_Islands) or http://www.neckerisland.com/
- Great Maps: http://www.virginislandsmap.com
- USVI Maps: http://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/namerica/caribb/vi.htm
- BVI Maps: http://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/namerica/caribb/vg.htm
The Swimming Pool!
The Elysian Beach Resort has one of the most exquisitely designed and landscaped pools on the Island, complete with a rock grotto waterfall and hot tub.
General pool hours are 7AM – 10PM (subject to change).
As a guest of Nancy’s Vacation Rental, you can pick up a fresh towel everyday! Just drop off your used towels in the hotel lobby or swimming pool area and pick up clean towels each day.
You are free to use the tennis court whenever you like. Sign up for a playing time at the front desk. I have 2 tennis rackets and tennis balls in Nancy’s Vacation Rental for guest use. The front desk can also provide you with loaner tennis equipment.
Cost-U-Less, Food Center, and Marina Market on the east end are good bets. Cost-U-Less is the equivalent of a Costco or Sam's Club stateside.
Plaza Extra in Tutu is also very good and has some of the best prices.
Cost-U-Less, Plaza Extra, and Food Center always seem to be well stocked and clean.
There is a Pueblo in town that is a bit run down, but has reasonable prices.
Option 1 - Call Matthew at 340-514-8994. Matthew works for the condo association and is generally on the property weekdays until 4:30 PM. He has a spare set of keys to Nancy’s Vacation Rental and can get them to you. If he needs to make a special trip from home to get you the keys, you will be responsible for compensating him for his time.
Option 2 – There is a hidden lockbox outside of Nancy’s Vacation Rental. Call me at 301-792-2263 and I will provide you with the location and combination so you can access the spare keys. You will need to return the spare set of keys to the lock box before you leave.
Option 3 – Sleep on the beach until the hangover wears off so you can remember where you left the keys … ;-)
Lost keys will result in a $25.00 charge so that the door locks can be re-keyed.
In Case of Emergency
Option 1 - Call Matthew at 340-514-8994. Matthew works for the condo association and is generally on the property weekdays until 4:30 PM.
Option 2 - Call Nancy at BCND Enterprises, LLC - 301-792-2263 (cell) or 301-963-5912 (home)
Check-Out - 10:00 AM Sharp!
Check-Out time is 10:00 A.M. sharp on your departure date so that the housekeeping staff has enough time to properly prepare for my next guest. Any exceptions to the regular Check-out time must be requested and approved in advance. Late check-out will only be considered if there are no guests arriving on your departure date.
• Close and lock all balcony doors.
• Turn ALL Air Conditioning units to 80-degrees “Dry”.
• Close ALL blinds.
• Leave the ceiling fans on and set them to the lowest speed.
• Load dirty dishes in the dishwasher and turn it on.
• Place all trash in the trash can at the entrance to the building.
• Make sure the house is generally “picked up” and ready to be vacuumed, dusted and cleaned.
• Put all dirty towels in the clothes basket.
• Remember to take the keys with you so that you can mail them back to us.
• Lock the deadbolts on all doors.
Please make sure the property is empty of your personal belongings. I am not responsible for items left behind.
Returning the Keys
Along with keys that will be sent to you, you will receive a prepaid and addressed envelop for you to return the keys. Mail the envelope when you return home! DO NOT mail the keys from St. Thomas.
• DO NOT leave the keys at Nancy’s Vacation Rental!
• DO NOT drop the keys off at the front desk of the hotel!
Please leave the two pool keys on the kitchen counter for the next guest.
I hope you enjoyed your stay!
I will refund your security deposit as soon as I receive the keys and verify, through my maid, that there is no damage to Nancy’s Vacation Rental or its contents.