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Things to Know

Climate

Gentle trade winds keep year-round temps in the 80s by day, 70s at night. Warm sunshine dictates lightweight casual dress. Beachwear is discouraged in town and some social events suggest “island elegant” attire.

Culture

Participating in local customs is encouraged, particularly offering warm smiles and friendly greetings to all.

The language spoken here is English, often with a Charming Calypso lilt. Begin each conversation with “good morning,” “good afternoon” or “good day.” One more thing: in local-speak “good night” doesn’t mean goodbye.  

Location

St. Thomas is part of the Lesser Antilles – Latitude 18-degrees N., Longitude 65-degrees W. – 1,600 miles east, southeast of Manhattan; 1,100 east, southeast of Miami; 70-miles east of San Juan.

Currency

The U.S. dollar is used throughout the U.S. and British Virgin Islands. Major credit cards are accepted at most — but not all — local businesses. As a convenience, the resort has two ATMs on premise.

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Climate

Gentle trade winds keep year-round temps in the 80s by day, 70s at night. Warm sunshine dictates lightweight casual dress. Beachwear is discouraged in town and some social events suggest “island elegant” attire.

Culture

Participating in local customs is encouraged, particularly offering warm smiles and friendly greetings to all.

The language spoken here is English, often with a Charming Calypso lilt. Begin each conversation with “good morning,” “good afternoon” or “good day.” One more thing: in local-speak “good night” doesn’t mean goodbye.  

Location

St. Thomas is part of the Lesser Antilles – Latitude 18-degrees N., Longitude 65-degrees W. – 1,600 miles east, southeast of Manhattan; 1,100 east, southeast of Miami; 70-miles east of San Juan.

Currency

The U.S. dollar is used throughout the U.S. and British Virgin Islands. Major credit cards are accepted at most — but not all — local businesses. As a convenience, the resort has two ATMs on premise.

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History 

St. Thomas is part of the U.S. Virgin Islands, an American territory that also includes St. John and St. Croix. Archaeologists and historians document a number of cultures that called these islands home dating back to 1500 B.C.. Since Christopher Columbus arrived on his second voyage in 1493, the flags of Spain, France, England, Holland, Denmark and the United States, respectively, have flown over the small island chain.

Before colonial settlements took hold,
St. Thomas was headquarters for colorful Caribbean pirates. The island’s first successful colonization was in 1666 when the Danes took possession. Local taverns were so popular with settlers, the harbor-area became known as Taphus, or “Beer Hall” — a moniker it retained until 1691 when the town was renamed Charlotte Amalie (Ah-MAHL-yah) in honor of the wife of King Christian V.

By 1700, prosperous merchants had largely replaced swashbucklers and in 1800, Charlotte Amalie became the trading center of the West Indies. In 1917, during World War I, the United States purchased the Virgin Islands for $25 million in gold, staving off fears that if Denmark fell, the islands could become a German-controlled base in the Caribbean.

By the end of World War II —due to its free-port status and a substantial increase in passenger travel — the territory welcomed renewed economic prosperity.
Once Cuba closed its port to American visitors in the late 1950s, St. Thomas moved into a new position as a major tourist Mecca, a designation it enjoys to this day.

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