The first time we traveled to the Virgin Islands several years ago we found ourselves at the quirky and absolutely charming hotel at the edge of Charlotte Amelie in the community of Frenchtown. The moderately priced Inn at Villa Olga didn’t sit on a beach or have white-glove service, but had personality in spades.
I still remember the friendly greeting we got even after getting in late. Jill, the manager, was manning the front desk and called us by name, offering a cheery smile to two weary travelers. We were shown to our room and promptly collapsed after a long day. I remember waking up and being absolutely stunned; it wasn’t the room that was shocking, it was the view.
The view, hidden by the darkness when we arrived, took our breath away. It was the kind of view you imagine when you think of a tropical getaway: the water, the palm tree, the sea plane flying past our window as it was coming in for a landing. We may not have been close to a beach but we were right on the water.
This year when we were planning our fall escape we of course decided that we should take a quick trip back to St. Thomas and stay at the Villa Olga. We went to the website only to see this:
“We had some severe water damage in a storm this past fall, and since we would not have it ready for season we decided not to reopen. As of now with the cost of electricity etc. and large resorts discounting their rates, becoming our competition we will keep it closed.
“I am glad to hear that you enjoyed your stays there in the past.”
The Villa Olga was a wonderful place to stay and we never – not for one moment – wished for the amenities we could have found at the larger hotels. We will continue to patronize, seek out, and tell everyone about the smaller, quirkier hotels in the hopes of spreading the word and keeping as many of them as business as long as we can.