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Where to Stay in St. Thomas | Best Areas & Hotels

Where to Stay in St. Thomas | Best Areas & Hotels

The island isn’t all that large, so figuring out where to stay in St. Thomas is simply going to depend on the sort of attractions you’re interested in and how you like to spend your vacations.

There’s something for everyone, and you can find some really interesting locations if you know where to look, which is why we’re here.

Where to Stay in St. Thomas

St. Thomas is a beautiful island that has plenty of great beaches that you can visit. You won’t run out of things to do either — jet skiing, kayaking, paragliding, and even hiking are just some of the activities that this quaint island accommodates.

A particularly popular attraction on the beaches, though, is snorkeling, largely due to the large number of exotic sea life that lives around the island. That being said, regardless of whether you’re a beach bum or not, you’ll have your fill of sand.

So, ultimately, you shouldn’t really base your decision on where to stay in St. Thomas strictly on popular beaches (though we wouldn’t judge you if you did). 

To help you form a better idea of what sort of different attractions the island has, we’ve selected some of the best areas that you can visit, and we’ll tell you just why they’re so popular.

Saint Thomas’s 5 Best Areas

Vintage map of the best places to stay in St Thomas

Everett Atlas/Shutterstock

The island has multiple regions that people can visit, but a lot of them are sort of “specialized” in the attractions they offer. The locations we’ve pointed out are the ones that we believe have the most to offer to tourists.

  1. Charlotte Amalie: The largest settlement on St. Thomas and the place that has a little bit of everything — the exception to the rule
  2. Magens Bay: The scenic north coast, brandishing the best beaches
  3. Nazareth: A stone’s throw away from Coral World Ocean Park
  4. Charlotte Amalie East: St. Thomas’s very own nightlife hub
  5. Lerkenlund: The best place to experience the magic of Caribbean marine life and snorkeling 

Thomas’s Best Areas and Hotels

Since St. Thomas is a vacation destination that’s famous for its beautiful beaches, it stands to reason that there would be plenty of high-quality hotels scattered around the island.

After all, the Virgin Islands accommodate over two million visitors per year, and the majority of those gravitate toward St. Thomas.

However, if you’re planning on staying for longer than a week, or if you have a large circle of friends along for the ride, then you’ll be happy to know that there are plenty of apartments and holiday homes for rent as well.

Your choice of rooms is going to depend on the size of your party and the funds that you have at your disposal.

With that in mind, we’ve done our best to point out the best accommodations in all of the areas that we mention. We also divided them into separate categories depending on the level of luxury you’d want to enjoy on your vacation.

1. Charlotte Amalie

Photo of an iguana on Charlotte Amalie, a top pick for where to stay in Saint Thomas

Yuvrajfotos/Shutterstock

Charlotte Amalie is the largest settlement on the entirety of St. Thomas island, which would indicate quite a few things. For example, it means that you’ll have your share of activities you can try out and more!

Everything from paragliding to jet skiing and scuba diving is fair game. Having said that, unlike other tropical destinations, it also means that you’ll be able to enjoy some cultural attractions as well.

For one, there’s the Historical Trust Museum, which holds some of the most noteworthy artifacts that tell the history of the island and the people that used to live there.

You also have the Weibel Museum and the Jonna White Gallery. The former of these attractions has quite a few exhibits on Jewish history, while the latter has quite a few colorful and abstract paintings that you can examine.

In short, while some of the other locations are a bit more “specialized,” Charlotte Amalie has a little bit of something for everyone. You can easily find chic restaurants and fun dive bars in this area of the island, as well as plenty of malls and shops. 

In addition, though it goes without saying, you also have plenty of beaches that you can visit and water-based activities you can partake in. The few beach-side bars — our favorite — are to die for in the morning heat.

The only drawback of this area is that it gets very crowded. Charlotte Amalie is the only place on the island that you’d call a city, so most visitors who don’t know the layout of the island immediately go there.

This usually results in the hotels being filled up if you don’t reserve a room on time, while the restaurants and bars are more expensive than the ones on the rest of the island.

Things to Do

  • Check out the equipment shops around this area and try a bit of kayaking, snorkeling, or even hiking if you want to see the view from the hilltops.
  • Rent a kayak and go out on the bay at night if you want to see the area in all of its beauty as it’s illuminated by the faint glow of the stars and the nightlight on shore.
  • Walk around the area and check out the city’s architecture, and maybe find a bar that you like the look of and enjoy a drink with your friends.

Where to Eat

Charlotte Amalie Budget Hotels

  • The Hidden Gem In Paradise is a pretty decently-priced apartment that comes with a bedroom, bathroom, and living area with a flat-screen Tv and wifi.
  • Galleon House Hotel is a bed and breakfast that was built all the way back in 1852, and it comes with a cable TV and AC unit in every room, as well as a complimentary breakfast each morning.

Charlotte Amalie Mid-Range Hotels

  • Villa Indigo Sunny 1BR Apartment comes with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, free wifi that you can use, and a fully-equipped kitchen.
  • The Landmark St Thomas 3BR Apt has a whole three bedrooms that you can take advantage of if you’re with a large party, as well as a flat-screen cable TV and an AC unit.

Charlotte Amalie Luxury Hotels

  • Windward Passage Hotel provides you with access to a full spa that comes with massages and body treatments, a free American or continental breakfast each morning, and even a casino that you can visit.
  • Hilltop Villas at Bluebeard’s Castle comes with a tennis court where you can play a few matches with your friends, an outdoor pool and hot tub, as well as an in-house bar and full fitness center.

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2. Magens Bay

Coconut palm trees along still water in Magens Bay, one of the best places to stay in St Thomas

Sasha Buzko/Shutterstock

This area is most famous for the Magens Bay Beach, which is a very popular tourist destination on the island. There are plenty of great beaches on St. Thomas, which is, in fact, the biggest attraction of this popular vacation spot.

However, Magens Bay goes above and beyond in those terms, and we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention it. The pristine, almost snow-white sand that covers these beaches and the tall palm trees definitely give it a feeling of a first-class gathering place for tourists.

The water is also crystal-clear and perfect for everything from practicing your breaststroke to doing a bit of snorkeling and trying to spot the local underwater flora and fauna.

You’ll be able to find equipment rentals for the snorkeling tours that we just mentioned, but you can also rent kayaks if you’re a bit more interested in paddling on top of the water rather than diving underneath it. 

If you want to try something different entirely, then you might be interested in hiking up to the tallest point on St. Thomas Mountain in order to get some fresh air in your lungs and a great view of the island.

The waves and the beach are definitely a major draw of this location, and plenty of vacation goers are more than happy to contend with just that.

However, if you’re looking for something more than beach-side fun (or the occasional hike), then you’re going to be disappointed. There aren’t many shops, bars, or attractions in this area. If you’re not much of a swimmer, then this isn’t the place for you.

Things to Do

  • Take the hiking trail that leads to the tallest point on St. Thomas Mountain and check out the amazing views of the surrounding area and the beaches from up there. 
  • Try some water sports like jet skiing or kayaking by going to one of the many rental shops in this area and getting the necessary equipment.
  • Grab a ball and check to see if any of the many volleyball fields are vacant so that you can play a few matches with your friends.

Where to Eat

  • Magens Point Bar and Grill is a spot where you can grab a quick bite that’s located right next to the beach.
  • Charlo’s Cuisine is where you go if you want to try the local fast food dishes.
  • RooT 42 Bar And Grill can offer you some great BBQ choices from their menu.

Magens Bay Budget Hotels

  • Flamboyan on the Bay Resort & Villas provides you with a pretty simple studio apartment that comes with an AC unit and a kitchenette, but you also have access to an outdoor swimming pool and a hot tub.

Magens Bay Mid-Range Hotels

  • The Breeze-A Boutique Villa Experience comes with an AC unit and a cable TV, as well as a private parking lot, a bar that everyone can use, and wifi throughout the property.
  • Chateau Nightwind comes with a living room that comes with a flat-screen TV, a fully-equipped kitchen with a dining area, and a hot tub that you can use whenever you want.

Magens Bay Luxury Hotels

  • Wild Ginger Villa is a massive apartment with a fantastic view of the ocean, a private pool that you can enjoy, four bedrooms that are equipped with king-sized beds, and a fully stocked kitchen.
  • St. Thomas Cliffside Chalet comes with plenty of space for a large family or several friends thanks to the three massive bedrooms with equally massive beds, and it also has a fully-equipped kitchen, an outdoor pool, and a hot tub.

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3. Nazareth

Nazareth is located on the East side of St. Thomas, and it’s a pretty popular tourist destination. It has beautiful beaches and plenty of water-themed activities that you can try out, but that’s true for pretty much every other area of the island as well.

The unique attraction in this area is indisputably the Coral World Ocean Park. This park is without a doubt one of the main reasons why people come to the island.

Here, you’ll be able to see exotic aquatic life and have boatloads of fun while doing so. If you’re wondering about what to do in this park, we’d suggest trying out the Shark Encounter, where you swim with actual real-life sharks in a tank.

If you want to try something that’s a bit less harrowing, then you might try swimming with the cousins of the sharks instead. The dolphin exhibit is probably the thing that attracts most people when they go to the park, and for a good reason.

You can spend some time just swimming around and getting to play with these creatures. Nazareth has some pretty high-class hotels and a few great restaurants that you can visit, but you’d actually be surprised how few bars and cafes are in the area.

Even other locations on the island that are pretty sparse still at least have a few beach-side bars. Anyone that wants to experience the nightlife of the island should probably pick some other destination.

Things to Do

  • Try out the Dolphin attraction in the Coral World Ocean Park and spend some time swimming with these incredibly intelligent creatures.
  • Test out your nerves by going into the water with sharks and checking out these apex predators up close (in a completely safe environment, of course).
  • Go on one of the guided tours around this area and check out the birds and the animal life on the land as well.

Where to Eat

Nazareth Mid-Range Hotels

  • Tropical St Thomas Resort provides you with an apartment that comes with two bedrooms, three bathrooms, and a hot tub that you can use at your leisure.
  • Caribbean Beachfront Condo comes with a private beach area that you can use as much as you like, an in-house restaurant, a full fitness center, and even an outside swimming pool are all available in the “aparthotel.”

Nazareth Luxury Hotels

  • Luxury St. Thomas Condo is a massive apartment that comes with three full bedrooms and two bathrooms, which makes it ideal for large parties, and you also have a full kitchen, a large living room with a flat-screen cable TV, and a patio with a great view.
  • Sea La Vie about Waterfront St Thomas Escape is a waterfront property with an amazing view of the beach, an outdoor pool and a lounging area, a living room with a flat-screen TV and free wifi, and a fully equipped kitchen.
  • The Ritz-Carlton St. Thomas is known for being a very high-end hotel chain, and this one is no different since it comes with a very well-equipped fitness center that guests can use, an in-house restaurant with quite a large menu, and of course, an outdoor swimming pool.

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4. Charlotte Amalie East

Charlotte Amalie East as seen from the top of the hill

SCStock/Shutterstock

Charlotte Amalie East is directly connected to the largest settlement on the island, and as such, there are plenty of attractions and places that you can visit. There are quite a few malls and shopping centers that you can check out.

If you don’t feel like shopping, though, there are quite a lot of sports courts — who’s up for some tennis? Since it’s connected to the biggest settlement on the island, this area also has the most bars and nightclubs on the entire island.

The number isn’t quite as high as a large city back in the mainland US, but there are plenty of choices, be it for a live performance or a casual drink. At least in our view, nothing beats a pub crawl in a gorgeous location such as St. Thomas, and Charlotte Amalie East is just the place to do so.

Heck, you can even extend it to the beachside, as some of them do work until the early morning hours. One of the only downsides of this area is that most things here are slightly more expensive than on the rest of the island.

In all honesty, it’s not by a lot, but you might pay a few more dollars for a drink or a bit more for a luxury hotel room. In general, the prices are still reasonable.

Things to Do

  • Walk around and check out all of the available bars that you have at your disposal, pick out the one you like the most, and have a drink with your friends.
  • Go to one of the many sports fields that can be found around this area and work up a sweat and play a few matches of basketball, volleyball, or tennis.
  • Take a guided tour of the area and find the most scenic spots while also learning a little more about the history of the island.

Where to Eat

  • Rancho Latino is a simple restaurant with a great breakfast menu that you can try.
  • Beni Iguana’s Sushi Bar & Restaurant is the best place to go if you want to try some Asian food.
  • Blue Eleven is where you go if you’re in the mood for some Caribbean cuisine.

Pearson Gardens Budget Hotels

  • Boundless Bliss Hotel comes with a complimentary American breakfast each morning, as well as a flat-screen TV with satellite channels and free wifi.

Pearson Gardens Mid-Range Hotels

  • Aqua Saint Thomas comes with a full kitchen with all of the necessary equipment, a living room with a flat-screen TV, and free private parking.
  • Pirate’s Pension at Bluebeard’s Castle has a hot tub that you can take advantage of, a safety deposit box where you can keep your belongings while you’re out of town, and a patio with a great view of the sea.

Pearson Gardens Luxury Hotels

  • Havensight Haven 1BR/1.5BA provides you with one bedroom, two bathrooms, a living room with a flat-screen TV, a fully-equipped kitchen, as well as free wifi throughout the apartment.
  • Marriott’s Frenchman’s Cove provides you with access to a fully-equipped fitness center, two outdoor pools, a hot tub that you can use at any time, BBQ facilities, and a 32-inch LCD TV.

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5. Lerkenlund

Sea turtle swimming in Lerkenlund, one of our top picks when considering where to stay in St John

Sherry Conklin/Shutterstock

Lerkenlund is better known for the water rather than the beaches. If you’re confused by what that means, it simply translates to the water sports and activities being a much larger draw for the tourists than the beaches, which are still pristine.

The most popular attraction in this place would undoubtedly be the snorkeling tours. These underwater guided snorkeling sessions are led by a professional that knows exactly where to take you in order to find the most breathtaking views.

The crystal clear water allows you to see the full spectrum of living creatures in this area in great detail, and you’ll be able to get very close to the sea turtles and fish that are indigenous to this area.

Other locations on the island also have snorkeling tours, but this is where the most exotic animals can be seen in their natural habitat and in the largest numbers.

However, if you’re not in the mood for an underwater adventure, or you’re just not much of a diver, then you can simply charter a boat and have just as much fun. Go out to deeper water and either observe the fish from above or have a bit of a swim with them.

Having said that, Lerkenlund is a pretty small area, and there’s honestly nothing to do here if you exclude the seaside attractions and the water sports.

What we’re trying to say is that if you like spending your vacations on the beach and in the water, then this is the spot for you. However, there’s nothing for you here if you have other preferences.

Things to Do

  • Visit the Maghens and the Ensomhed Bay areas and check out all of the fantastic little creatures that live around the area.
  • If you’re not interested in the local sea life, then you can go and see the colorful coral reef in this area instead.
  • Charter a boat and go out into the deeper water if you want to see some of the spots that not even the local tour guides visit all too often.

Where to Eat

  • Fish Bar represents the entirety of its menu items in the very name of its restaurant.
  • Sib’s on the Mountain is just a small eatery from which you can get some takeout.
  • The Shack at Hull Bay is a great choice if you’re looking for some local food.

Lerkenlund Budget Hotels

  • Caribbean sea villa provides you with a single bedroom and a single bathroom, as well as a living room with a flat-screen TV, which is a pretty good deal for this price range.
  • Relaxing Caribbean Place We Call Full Moon has a small patio that you can enjoy the view from, a single bathroom and bedroom, and free wifi throughout the apartment.

Lerkenlund Mid-Range Hotels

  • The Cottage at Villa Indigo has a flat-screen TV with satellite channels in the living room, a fully-equipped kitchen with a dining area, and two bedrooms and two bathrooms that are ideal for a large party or two families.
  • Stunning Ocean View Private & Perfect For Two is a decently-sized apartment that comes with one bedroom and one bathroom, a fully-equipped kitchen, and a flat-screen TV in the living area.

Lerkenlund Luxury Hotels

  • Casa Cielo is everything you might need from a rental holiday home – a terrace and garden where you can enjoy a nice drink, a fully-equipped kitchen with a microwave, a living room with a flat-screen TV, and an AC unit, and even a hot tub that you can use.

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So, Where Should You Stay in St. Thomas?

For such a small island, there were quite a few areas that we went over. If this was all a bit too much information for you, and you still aren’t really sure where to stay, then we can make it a bit simpler for you.

Nazareth is definitely a great place for first-time visitors to the island. Thanks to the Coral World Ocean Park, there are plenty of great attractions, and you can have fun for days on end.

Lerkenlund is where you go if you want to see the beautiful coral reefs and the sea life on the island up close. And finally, you have Charlotte Amalie. The heart of the island and the place where you can find pretty much anything. Happy travels!