St Thomas is the most populated of the US Virgin Islands – and home to the territory’s capital. As it is officially part of the United States, you can still visit the territory for a staycation this year. This makes it an excellent destination for experiencing the sun, sand, and sea of the Caribbean.

Whilst it’s more laid-back than its neighbour Puerto Rico, it is also a little bit less popular with visitors from the mainland. This can make finding information about St Thomas online difficult – so if you want peace of mind, you’ll have to research the different neighborhoods before you arrive.

That’s where we come in! Combining our personal experience with hints and tips from local experts, we’ve figured out the five best places to stay on St Thomas. Whether you want vibrant nightlife, laid-back culture, or bountiful beaches, we’ve got you covered.

So let’s dive right in!

Where to Stay on St Thomas

If you’re in a rush to find accommodation, just go with the three below. These are your absolute favorite places in St Thomas! For those who want to stay in a specific neighborhood, keep on scrolling and you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for!

Stylish Hideaway on St Thomas – Villa Nautilus

Villa Nautilus

AirBnB Plus properties are hand-picked for their stylish interiors and next-level guest service. Sandwiched between Sapphire Beach and Red Hook, Villa Nautilus is well placed for those who want both stunning beaches and vibrant city attractions. The interiors blend Caribbean style with modern design. Our favourite feature of this property is the luxurious whirlpool bath in the spa bathroom. 

Waterfront Paradise on St Thomas – The Beach House

The Beach House

Nestled on the quiet side of the island, this luxurious villa has its own private section of beach. You’ll get to enjoy unspoiled views of the Caribbean Sea and yachts from the comfort of your deck chair. There are also two small kayaks, so you can go explore the bay for yourself. It comes with a whopping eight bedrooms, making it perfect for larger families and groups.

Vibrant Hotel on St Thomas – Pirate’s Pension

Pirates Pension

St Thomas is better known for its condos and villas – but sometimes you just need the added convenience of a hotel. The colorful Pirate’s Pension at Bluebeard’s Castle offers all of the facilities you could possibly want from a hotel resort. It’s right in the heart of Downtown Charlotte Amalie, so you’ll be within easy travelling distance of the most popular attractions.

St Thomas Neighborhood Guide

FIRST TIME IN ST THOMAS
Downtown Charlotte Amalie St Thomas
FIRST TIME IN ST THOMAS

Downtown Charlotte Amalie

As the arrival point for all cruise ships to the island, Downtown Charlotte Amalie is a hive of activity. The neighborhood is known for its many jewelry stores, making it a paradise for shopping addicts.

ON A BUDGET
Charlotte Amalie West
ON A BUDGET

Charlotte Amalie West

Charlotte Amalie West is the area surrounding the airport. Despite the convenient location, the accommodation in the area is among some of the most affordable on the island.

FOR FAMILIES
Magens Bay St Thomas
FOR FAMILIES

Magens Bay

On the north side of the island, Magens Bay is the most famous beach in St Thomas. Despite this fame, it still maintains a calm atmosphere compared to the capital. For this reason, we reckon it is a great choice for families.

FOR COUPLES
Frenchtown St Thomas
FOR COUPLES

Frenchtown

Nestled between Downtown and Charlotte Amalie West, Frenchtown is in many ways the best of both worlds. It is a little bit quieter than the city center, but still comes with abundant tourism facilities.

FOR NIGHTLIFE
Red Hook St Thomas
FOR NIGHTLIFE

Red Hook

Nestled on the far east of the island, Red Hook is another major hub for tourists on St Thomas. Whilst we wouldn’t call the US Virgin Islands a major nightlife destination, the bars in Red Hook are great for getting you hyped.

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Top 5 Places to Stay in St Thomas

St Thomas is quite a small island, but shouldn’t be missed if you’re traveling the USA. The different neighborhoods across the island offer a diverse array of attractions, so there’s something for every traveler. Transport between most regions is fairly frequent, though there are some limitations when heading to the East End.

For the purpose of this guide, we’ve divided Charlotte Amalie into different neighborhoods. Downtown Charlotte Amalie is likely the first place you will visit when you arrive. For first time guests, there is a wealth of attractions on offer. It’s also a popular shopping destination, especially for jewelry.

Heading slightly west, Frenchtown has an entirely different atmosphere. The nightlife here is among the more upmarket options on the island, and the restaurants offer classy vibes and decadent cuisine. For this reason, it makes a great destination for couples looking for a romantic getaway.

Charlotte Amalie West is the neighborhood located right next to the airport. The university is also nearby, so you will find plenty of budget-friendly restaurants and bars in the neighborhood. St Thomas, like most of the Caribbean, can get quite expensive – but those looking to save a pretty penny can find some hidden gems in the west of the city.

Outside of St Thomas, you will find a limited selection of destinations. Up on the north of the island, Magens Bay is one of the most sought after resorts. It can get quite pricey, but the pristine beaches here are calmer. This makes it a fantastic option for families visiting the US Virgin Islands.

Last but not least, Red Hook is located in the far east of the island. Also known as the East End, this is where you will find some of the best nightlife in the territory. Transport from Charlotte Amalie stops in the evenings, so if you want to experience the nightlife and restaurants here you are better off sticking to accommodation within walking distance.

Still undecided? No worries, we’ve got more information about each neighborhood below – including our top accommodation and activity picks in each!

#1 Downtown Charlotte Amalie – Best Place to Stay on St Thomas for your First Time

Downton-Charlotte-Amalie
Downtown Charlotte Amalie has lots to offer for first-timers.
source: Ramunas Bruzas (shutterstock)

As the arrival point for all cruise ships to the island, Downtown Charlotte Amalie is a hive of activity. The neighborhood is known for its many jewelry stores, making it a paradise for shopping addicts. If you’re a first time visitor, Downtown Charlotte Amalie is the perfect place to get your bearings before exploring the island further.

It’s right in the centre of the island, so it’s also well connected to basically everywhere else on St Thomas. You’ll find a massive selection of tour companies in Downtown Charlotte Amalie letting you take in the various sights and sounds of the island. Prefer to go self-guided? Taxis rarely cost more than a dollar from Downtown to any other point on the island.

Bright Bolthole in Downtown – The Bolongo Breeze

The Bolongo Breeze

The stunning views don’t end in Downtown Charlotte Amalie! This four-bedroom villa has a pool terrace with panoramic views across the Caribbean Sea. It’s nestled in the mountains in a gated estate, giving you some peace and quiet from the vibrant Downtown core. We love the large barbecue area out on the pool terrace – perfect for rustling up a family dinner.

Scenic Hideaway in Downtown – High View

High View

Nestled in the mountains above Downtown, this charming villa comes with sweeping panoramas of St Thomas. The sought after neighborhood it is located in is known for its popular casual dining restaurants and boutiques. The property itself benefits from traditional furnishings and a huge swimming pool with views towards the sea. Four of the five bedrooms also come with en-suite bathrooms.

Colorful Hotel in Downtown – Pirate’s Pension

Pirates Pension

This vibrant resort has everything you could possibly need! All of the rooms come with private patios and sea views – the perfect setting for a laid-back breakfast or a glass of wine in the evening. There is a huge swimming pool on-site, as well as a children’s play park and tennis courts. It’s also only a short drive from Morning Star Beach – perfect for those who want to kick back and relax.

Things to See and Do in Downtown

Downtown Charlotte Amalie St Thomas
Downtown Charlotte Amalie is a hub for cruise ships.
source: eskystudio (shutterstock)
  • St Thomas is famed across the Caribbean for its shopping options – head into the heart of Downtown to discover why and pick up some goodies for yourself
  • Climb up the 99 Steps – they can be somewhat challenging, but the view from the top of Blackbeard’s Castle makes the journey worth it
  • The St Thomas Historical Trust Museum is a fascinating attraction on the odd occasion you’re on the island during a rainy day
  • Island Tours VI is just one of the many fantastic tour companies in the area – we especially love their boat tours along the coast
  • The Greenhouse Restaurant and Bar offer a unique fusion of Caribbean and American cuisine with stunning views of the sea

#2 Charlotte Amalie West – Where to Stay on St Thomas on a Budget

Charlotte-Amalie-St-Thomas
Charlotte Amalie West is perfect for budget backpackers!

Charlotte Amalie West is the area surrounding the airport. Despite the convenient location, the accommodation in the area is among some of the most affordable on the island. St Thomas can become excruciatingly expensive, but the hotels and villas in Charlotte Amalie West often have some fantastic offers.

The neighborhood is also home to the University of the Virgin Islands! This means that many of the restaurants and bars in Charlotte Amalie West are more affordable than those in the heart of the town. Still want to hit the beach? There are two to choose from in this part of the city – and both with smaller crowds.

Dreamy Apartment in CA West – Verda Apartments

Verda Apartments

This is a bit of an upgrade for those on a budget – but still way more affordable than other apartments and villas on the island. You’ll have your own private pool with a scenic Caribbean backdrop. The house itself is rustic, with traditional interiors and exposed stone architecture. It’s also walking distance from the airport – perfect for a short stay on the island.

Affordable Guest House in CA West – Tillett Hostel and Guesthouse

Tillett Hostel and Guesthouse

It might be the only hostel on the island, but that doesn’t mean they scrimp on great guest service. For backpackers heading to St Thomas, Tillett Hostel and Guesthouse is the perfect accommodation. The Tillett Gardens complex is a community of local business owners aiming to create a self-sufficient community. You will find some great restaurants on-site, and the shuttle bus to the beach is cheap.

Budget Friendly Hotel in CA West – Emerald Beach Resort

Emerald Beach Resort

Much rather stay on the beach? We totally understand – it’s the main attraction on the island! Emerald Beach Resort is a three star hotel located right on the coast. Guests have their own private expanse of beach – and at a price that won’t break the bank. We also love the hot tub and tennis courts available on-site.

Things to See and Do in CA West

west-charlotte-amalie
Hire yourself a boat from Crown Bay Marina
Source: Rogerwilson
  • Lindberg Beach is overlooked on many itineraries, but this just means you get to enjoy more of it to yourself
  • Brewers Bay Beach gets a little busier thanks to the student population, but also has some budget-friendly restaurants along the street
  • Interested in a spot of golf? Herman E Moore Golf Course is one of the most popular on the island, with gorgeous views over the airport and sea
  • Head down to Crown Bay Marina – there are a few companies in the area offering boat hire at favourable prices
  • Whilst you’re there, pop into Tickles Dockside Pub – their beers are among the cheapest on the island, and you’ll also get to enjoy charming views of the marina

#3 Magens Bay – Best Area on St Thomas for Families

Magens Bay St Thomas
Magens Bay is the best beach on the island.
source: Andrei Medvedev (shutterstock)

On the north side of the island, Magens Bay is the most famous beach in St Thomas. Despite this fame, it still maintains a calm atmosphere compared to the capital. For this reason, we reckon it is a great choice for families.

It might have a calm atmosphere, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to do. The beach itself is just the beginning, there are some excellent hikes nearby. The restaurants in the area are a little more understated than those in the capital, giving you a calm and peaceful atmosphere by the sea.

Luxurious Villa in Magens Bay – One Perfect Day

One Perfect Day

This one is definitely worth splurging on if you want a luxurious stay. AirBnB Luxe properties are the most exclusive range of properties available on the website, with a whole host of additional services on offer. This nine-bedroom villa comes with airport transfers, a private chef, and childcare included for those that need it. Perfect if you want a night away from the kids!

Beachside Holiday Home in Magens Bay – The Beach House

The Beach House

It doesn’t get any more luxurious than this! With eight bedrooms, it’s one for larger families – making it a surprisingly affordable option if you have a big group coming along. The porch area comes with numerous dining areas, giving you plenty of space to admire the sunset over a glass of wine or two. We also love the small private beach that’s available to guests.

Secluded Resort in Magens Bay – Flamboyan on the Bay

Flamboyan on the Bay

On a budget? No worries, Flamboyan on the Bay Resort & Villas is the perfect choice for families looking for something a little more affordable. Their suites can sleep anywhere from two to eight guests, so it’s suitable for families of all sizes. The quaint pool terrace comes with gorgeous views of the hills. Magens Bay Beach is within walking distance.

Things to See and Do in CA East

Magens Bay St Thomas
source: emperorcosar (shutterstock)
  • Magens Bay Beach is an attraction in its own right – considered by many to be the most beautiful beach on the island, you could spend hours here just basking in the sun
  • Peterborg is the name of the peninsula to the north of Magens Bay – there are some great hikes in this area, especially heading towards Picara Point
  • Need something to get the kids excited? Tree Limin’ Extreme Zipline is an epic adventure park about two minutes outside of Magens Bay
  • After your day at the adventure park, head to Udder Delite to grab freshly made ice cream – it’s a great accompaniment to the sea views at Magens Bay Beach
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#4 Frenchtown – Romantic Destination on St Thomas for Couples

Frenchtown St Thomas
Frenchtown is the perfect place for a romantic getaway.

Nestled between Downtown and Charlotte Amalie West, Frenchtown is in many ways the best of both worlds. It is a little bit quieter than the city center, but still comes with abundant tourism facilities. This neighborhood is known for its upscale restaurants and laid-back bars, making it our top pick for couples.

As the name suggests, Frenchtown is a great place to learn about the French colonial history of St Thomas. This fascinating period in local history is still well preserved in the architecture, creating a romantic backdrop for capturing those all-important photographs.

Mesmerising Views in Frenchtown – Historic Harbor

Historic Harbor

For a bit more of an upgrade, this charming one-bedroom apartment comes with stunning views across the Frenchtown Harbor. You’ll get to enjoy dazzling sunsets from the comfort of the outdoor terrace. This historic house was once owned by an infamous general and comes with a fascinating backstory worth reading into. Basics are included so you don’t have to worry about hurrying to the shops on your first morning.

Rustic Studio in Frenchtown – Chateau Belle

Chateau Belle

This one is a little more basic – but is a great choice for couples visiting on a budget. The studio is right in the heart of Frenchtown, so you’re only a hop, skip, and a jump away from delectable restaurants and laid-back bars. Despite the low price, you still get your own private balcony with gorgeous views over central Frenchtown.

Quaint Hotel in Frenchtown – Olga’s Fancy

Olgas Fancy

This quirky little hotel comes with artsy interiors and traditional furnishings. The luxurious bars and restaurants of Frenchtown are only a short walk away – and you can also enjoy stunning sunset views across the bay from your front door. There is a small communal terrace where you can mingle with other guests, plus a garden for some peace and quiet.

Things to See and Do in Frenchtown

Things to do in Frenchtown
You won’t get bored of these views.
  • Charlotte Amalie Harbour Seaplane Base is located in Frenchtown – you should try this unique form of transport at least once whilst you’re here
  • The French Heritage Museum is the place to visit to learn about the turbulent French colonial period in St Thomas
  • Oceana Restaurant & Bistro is a gorgeous eatery for date night – they offer a decadent blend of French and Caribbean cuisine with stunning sea views
  • The Twisted Cork Café has a more casual atmosphere – offering a rotating wine menu and typical comfort food
  • Self-catering? Head to Moe’s Fresh Market Waterfront to rub elbows with locals and grab some fresh ingredients for dinner

#5 Red Hook – Exciting Neighborhood on St Thomas for Nightlife

Port, St Thomas
Red Hook has the best nightlife in St. Thomas

Nestled on the far east of the island, Red Hook is another major hub for tourists on St Thomas. Whilst we wouldn’t call the US Virgin Islands a major nightlife destination, the bars in Red Hook are great for getting you hyped. Taxis to the capital stop at 9pm, so you’ll need to stay here to experience the nightlife.

During the day, Red Hook completely transforms. The restaurants still have a buzzing atmosphere, but the calm beaches are a great place to relax and sunbathe away the hangover.

Peaceful Villa in Red Hook – Villa Nautilus

Villa Nautilus

Located in nearby Sapphire Beach, Villa Nautilus is a calm little hideaway for those that want to stay close to nightlife without compromising on a peaceful night’s sleep. The stunning interiors draw on Caribbean style to create a unique vibe that sets this apartment from other modern accommodations on the island. You’ll be so relaxed you’ll never want to leave!

Calm Condo in Red Hook – Ocean Front

Ocean Front

Another great option in Sapphire Beach, this one is a little more affordable. It only has one bedroom, but there’s a sofa bed in the lounge – making it an affordable option both for couples and small families. The beach is right on your doorstep and the dining area comes with unparalleled views across the bay. There’s also a great parasailing company a few steps away.

Coastal Hotel in Red Hook – Sapphire Beach Resort

Sapphire Beach Resort

This gorgeous hotel is among the most luxurious on the island! It comes with a private expanse of white sand beach – letting you enjoy the crystal clear sea without having to worry about other tourists. It also comes with an outdoor swimming pool and sunbathing area. There isn’t much to do within walking distance, but there are regular shuttles to Red Hook and the on-site restaurant is excellent.

Things to See and Do in Red Hook

Red Hook St Thomas
source: Jacob Boomsma (shutterstock)
  • Duffy’s Love Shack is easily the most popular nightclub on the island thanks to the good vibes and well-priced drinks
  • You can hop on board a ferry to the capital for a relaxing alternative to taxis – or even visit Cruz Bay on St John Island
  • Sapphire Beach is a calm oasis compared to Red Hook – and you can easily reach it on foot in about fifteen minutes
  • There are a few great restaurants along the harbour – we love Caribbean Saloon Steakhouse for its quirky atmosphere

Final Thoughts on Where To Stay on St Thomas

St Thomas is a gorgeous destination nestled in the heart of the Caribbean! Only a stone’s throw away from Puerto Rico, it offers much of the same scenery without the busy crowds of Boricua and enjoys some amazing weather. The cultural attractions are pretty low-key, and you’ll find some fantastic deals on villas and condos dotted around the island.

If we had to pick one destination the really stands out, it would be Downtown Charlotte Amalie. This neighborhood is well connected to everywhere else mentioned in this guide and has an endless array of attractions on offer in its own right.

That being said, the best destination for you really depends on what you want to get out of your stay. We hope we have managed to help you narrow down your options for your upcoming trip to St Thomas.

Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments.

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