Caneel Bay features seven secluded beaches on 170 lush Caribbean acres. We chose Scott Beach, a crescent of unspoiled fine-sand beach, as our oceanfront home for our honeymoon, and we found out that during most of the year, the resort doesn’t book families with children here. The kiddies stay on another beach closer to the main house. So we got a mostly private beach, rarely seeing any other honeymooners or vacationers. It was just us, experiencing the kind of private island stay that celebrities take.
Speaking of celebrities, we just missed Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, who were staying in Cottage 7 at the end of ‘our beach’ with the kids. Our tour guide spoke of how the Jolie-Pitts would kayak in our arch of the beach, and we also learned that the Marisa Miller cover of Sports Illustrated was shot right outside our room.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. We landed on the island of St. Thomas, clearly one of those frazzled couples without tans, wearing jeans, wide-eyed and kind of shellshocked by our wedding being over. We boarded a pristine ferry, and were immediately handed complimentary rum punches to enjoy during the ten minute ride to Caneel Bay. A few sips in, a spotting of an enormous pelican gliding alongside our boat, the speed of the ride, and we just smiled at each other, that post-wedding frazzle already melting away.
On the ferry to Caneel Bay.
When we arrived, the friendly staff greeted us with cool hand towels and flutes of champagne, and led us right to lunch at the Terrace Bar. Caneel Bay’s chefs take bar food and give it a sensational island twist: you’ve never had guacamole like this before. I could eat a vat of it.
Sated and smiling, eager to begin our beach escape, we picked up our free snorkel gear and golf-carted it to our suite on Scott Beach, an island-chic room with a blissful bed and tropical-inspired decor. And it took us about 2.5 minutes to emerge in our bathing suits, slipping our feet into snorkeling fins and walking into water so clear you can see the bottom many yards out from the shoreline. Immediately, we were surrounded by sea turtles swimming at their relaxed pace, then colorful tang, parrotfish, a veritable aquarium of sea life all around us. Even an eagle ray glided past, far below us. There’s no escape from the frantic world better than this.
During a break from snorkeling, we ordered a BBC (a banana colada) from the drinks cart, sunscreened up, and dove back into the water. During our stay, we kayaked several times, my husband achieved a dream — taking scuba lessons — and we boated and blissed out.
Caneel Bay is more than just outdoor sporting adventures. It’s a foodie fantasy, with some of the top chefs in the Caribbean creating otherwordly dishes and desserts. One of the highlights was a private dinner for two in the sugar mill ruins, a roofless structure of fascinating stone, tropical plants and flowers with a formally-set table and a private waiter. Lobster and risotto nearly made us swoon, and we tasted some of the finest wine we’d ever had from the Caribbean’s largest and most impressive wine collection.
Dinner at the Sugar Mill, image via Caneel Bay
We shopped, we sunned, we enjoyed a private rum-tasting at the Terrace Bar, attended afternoon tea and open-air breakfast with the most amazing array of tropical juices and fruits. We ate like wild, but lost weight during our honeymoon from all the hiking, swimming, snorkeling and kayaking we did. Tanned and happy, we said goodbye to Caneel Bay, only to return twice more so far, staying in the same room at our honeymoon home.
During a hike on Caneel’s grounds.
Check out Caneel Bay’s special rates and lovely rooms at Caneel Bay and tell friends and family to give you gift cards to the resort to help you book massages overlooking the beach or that dreamy private dinner in the ruins with an impossible number of stars above you.
Every morning, pelicans dove dramatically into the waters.
These island flowers smell phenomenal!
Chef Allison’s masterpiece! Organic honey-infused lunch.
Don’t miss it! A massage overlooking the ocean! Image via Caneel Bay.
Heading home, on the ferry, with rum punch smiles.
Photography unless specified from Sharon Naylor’s collection.
Ms Gingham says: Are you kidding me? Where do I book? But not when Brangelina are there … I’ve heard they’re really noisy … 😀
About Sharon: Sharon Naylor is the author of over 35 wedding books, including her newest: Bridesmaid on a Budget, Smart Guide to Wedding Weekends, and 1001 Ways to Save Money and Still have a Dazzling Wedding. Her two books for the mothers of the bride and groom are bestsellers, and she has appeared on such top shows as Good Morning America, ABC News, Lifetime, Inside Edition and more – sharing tips and insider secrets to help you plan your dream wedding on a budget, personalized to your love story. Visit her site Sharon Naylor for more on her books, free worksheets and appearances. She lives in Morristown, NJ with her husband Joe and is at work on her next two wedding books.