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My review of Sapphire Beach & Paradise Point

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It will save $$ trust me. If you decide to go to Sapphire, there's no need for an excursion to do it. Everything you need to rent snorkeling equipment (if you are going to snorkel and not bring your own) is right there for you and pretty cheap to rent IMO. Then the reefs are right there off the beach within feet of you. So, no transportation is needed to get out to a reef either. You can't go wrong. :D

 

Do they have snorkel vests for rent as well? Not sure about the kids without a vest.

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Do they have snorkel vests for rent as well? Not sure about the kids without a vest.

 

You will have to rely on BlueWater to answer that one. We did not rent vest (so I didn't really pay attention to whether or not they had any). :confused:

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My DH always wears a snorkel vest. He bought his own so he would always have one. They aren't that expensive and are a worthwhile investment.

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Love your review and pictures!! How much did y'all have to pay per person to get to Sapphire Beach and Paradise Point?

 

Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2

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I'm glad you had a good time there, This is exactly how I envisioned the beach until we went March 11, 2012. The water was so rough so the kids and hubby could not even use the snorkle gear, fear of trying to go under the huge waves as well as the riptide feeling. We did not see any fish nor an Iguanas. Paid over priced hambers 10.00 each from some women with a stand in between the hotels. It was beautiful, but was disappointed we did not get to experience any of this. They say March is like their winter that is why the water was so rough. So when did you go, what month?

 

We were at Sapphire Beach March, 2013. Water rough, stones/rocks right near shore (thank God I had water shoes on), undertoe so bad I could barely get back out of the water, drop of at least a foot right at the shore, could not even get near the snorkel area the waves were so bad. The beach was nice to sit on but, oh my, don't use the washrooms. Filthy! The whole place was really in bad shape and I would never recommend this beach to anyone. Lounge chair rental was $7.

Edited by Paddy41
date

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Amazing - what a totally different experience from our repeated visits there! We've stayed there in Jan, March, and May and it's always been gorgeous.

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Amazing - what a totally different experience from our repeated visits there! We've stayed there in Jan, March, and May and it's always been gorgeous.

 

Oh goodness, don't get me wrong. It is the most beautiful place on earth I've been to and would go again. I just said it was too rough to swim, and I paid alot of money for 5 people snorkel gear and was disappointed we couldnt swim because the water was ROUGH. My husband wouldnt allow our kids to even get in because there was a current. I would love to stay a week in ST Thomas and not just a few hours, but would rather do it in April next time. The kids at the tiki bar ( food thing ) said March is their Winter that is why the water is so rough.

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ladybug: When you arrive on an island on a cruise, it is a good idea to ask which beach would be the best that day. In the winter, north swells can make some very popular beaches untenable. However, the local taxi drivers or tourist info should be able to tell you if there is another beach, possibly on the other side of the island, that would be more comfortable. Sapphire is usually calm, but can face these problems during localized weather events.:)

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Oh no problem ladybug, we've seen both calm and rougher water during our visits and it is a shame you couldn't enjoy snorkeling when you were there. I was shocked at paddy41's assessment. I have to assume they were in the wrong section of the beach and perhaps expecting a full service resort experience.

But hope you have much better luck next visit, and I can recommend an owner of beautiful condos we rent there if you are interested later.

Edited by blue_water

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Oh no problem ladybug, we've seen both calm and rougher water during our visits and it is a shame you couldn't enjoy snorkeling when you were there. I was shocked at paddy41's assessment. I have to assume they were in the wrong section of the beach and perhaps expecting a full service resort experience.

But hope you have much better luck next visit, and I can recommend an owner of beautiful condos we rent there if you are interested later.

 

Oh that would be great! I would love to have the condo rental name you go to. I would love to stay there for the week! LOL

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We tried to go to Sapphire beach last week, February 25, 2014. When we told the taxi driver that we wanted to go there he informed us that everything was closed at Sapphire. He said there are no open facilities and he recommended we go to Secret Harbor. So we had him take us there instead.

 

We went into the dive shop and spoke to the owner, who is from the US originally, and asked her what happened at Sapphire. She said that about 2 months ago they shut down all the facilities and condemned everything. So there is no longer a dive shop, snack bar or restrooms. We had a great day at Secret Harbor! The snorkeling was great. The beach area isn't that big but we were there for the snorkeling. We also went to the Sunset Grill and had a mahi sandwich and some local beers. All of which were excellent!

 

The next day we talked to some people who still went to Sapphire Beach and they confirmed that there are no facilities. They did say that they heard there was a restroom somewhere way down the beach that they could use and there was a girl who came by once and offered drinks for sale. But over all they were disappointed with there day at Sapphire.

 

We had a great day at Secret Harbor and would definitely recommend it. Just wanted to let everyone know the situation at Sapphire Beach.

 

Hope this helps.

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That is sad about Sapphire. We went in March last year it was open but there was a big building next to the dive shop that was condemned looking. There are a few little apt. / condos for rent there on the water. Guess If you stay there you have to eat there because nothing really is walking distance. It is a beautiful scenic beach though. There was a lady that cooked burgers for 10.00 by one of the hotels. I bet she is making some $ now the dive shop is closed. Are they going to re-build another food stand or dive shop?

 

 

 

 

We tried to go to Sapphire beach last week, February 25, 2014. When we told the taxi driver that we wanted to go there he informed us that everything was closed at Sapphire. He said there are no open facilities and he recommended we go to Secret Harbor. So we had him take us there instead.

 

We went into the dive shop and spoke to the owner, who is from the US originally, and asked her what happened at Sapphire. She said that about 2 months ago they shut down all the facilities and condemned everything. So there is no longer a dive shop, snack bar or restrooms. We had a great day at Secret Harbor! The snorkeling was great. The beach area isn't that big but we were there for the snorkeling. We also went to the Sunset Grill and had a mahi sandwich and some local beers. All of which were excellent!

 

The next day we talked to some people who still went to Sapphire Beach and they confirmed that there are no facilities. They did say that they heard there was a restroom somewhere way down the beach that they could use and there was a girl who came by once and offered drinks for sale. But over all they were disappointed with there day at Sapphire.

 

We had a great day at Secret Harbor and would definitely recommend it. Just wanted to let everyone know the situation at Sapphire Beach.

 

Hope this helps.

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That is sad about Sapphire. We went in March last year it was open but there was a big building next to the dive shop that was condemned looking. There are a few little apt. / condos for rent there on the water. Guess If you stay there you have to eat there because nothing really is walking distance. It is a beautiful scenic beach though. There was a lady that cooked burgers for 10.00 by one of the hotels. I bet she is making some $ now the dive shop is closed. Are they going to re-build another food stand or dive shop?

 

 

Hi Ladybug,

 

There is a history dating back into the '90's with questions related to electric bills for the restaurant and other issues. You can find helpful information on the St Thomas forum on tripadvisor from owners who have been there since day one and are still there like Beautiful Bill who can relate the actual events. But briefly the restaurant and pool bar have both been closed for some time. The latest closure of the dive center included the public restrooms which impacts day visitors the most of course.

 

In regards to the lady you mentioned selling burgers that is the Banana Cabana and they have great food and drinks. There is also a restaurant behind the marina, and a food truck sells excellent BBQ at the entrance to the resort. The BC and Sapphire Village restaurant have runners taking orders on the beach if there are people there.

 

There are actually 3 separate condo developments in the bay, the red-roofed bldgs you saw right on the beach are the Sapphire Beach Resort & Marina complex. We love renting there because of the view and of course the beach. Day visitors can still go to Sapphire as it's a public beach, you just don't have access to chairs rentals and restrooms.

 

Hopefully progress is made by the parties involved and the restaurant and pool bar are re-opened for the enjoyment of condo guests and visitors alike.

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Thank you for all the info...we're going in two weeks and are starting to look at where we want to go while we are there!

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Thank you for all the info...we're going in two weeks and are starting to look at where we want to go while we are there!

 

Just make sure you do some research on Sapphire if you plan on going here. Things have changed a lot since I did this review in 2010. The vendors are gone that rented the snorkeling equipment and had drinks and food and you can no longer use the restroom facilities there at the condos. You can still go here and you can still snorkel, there's just no amenities there now.

 

I would also suggest you check out Coki beach if you are into snorkeling and that's what you're going for. It's amazing there. The best isn't as pretty, but the snorkeling is!!! I have a full review on it in my signature line with TONS of pictures. :)

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Actually I'm happy to report that the dive center has re-opened at Sapphire and chair and other rentals are now available. Tours are now going to Sapphire. The restrooms have also been updated and are probably the nicest beach restrooms in the Carib! The area around the restaurant has been cleaned-up, the pool bar (for condo guests only) is being renovated, and the condo exteriors have been updated. Lots of progress being made with the new property mgt.

 

Sapphire is a picture postcard beach with lots of character. Soft sand, gorgeous sapphire-colored water colors, great island views, abundant natural shade, and excellent snorkeling with the reef and sea grass area. Also a few food and drink options with runners taking orders on the beach.

 

Coki is also a gorgeous but smaller bay with great snorkeling and locals doing the vending.

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Actually I'm happy to report that the dive center has re-opened at Sapphire and chair and other rentals are now available. Tours are now going to Sapphire. The restrooms have also been updated and are probably the nicest beach restrooms in the Carib! The area around the restaurant has been cleaned-up, the pool bar (for condo guests only) is being renovated, and the condo exteriors have been updated. Lots of progress being made with the new property mgt.

 

Sapphire is a picture postcard beach with lots of character. Soft sand, gorgeous sapphire-colored water colors, great island views, abundant natural shade, and excellent snorkeling with the reef and sea grass area. Also a few food and drink options with runners taking orders on the beach.

 

Coki is also a gorgeous but smaller bay with great snorkeling and locals doing the vending.

 

Thanks so much for the update! Will be in St Thomas in November and was wondering about the status of Sapphire Beach - sounds like it's up and running so I may just have to visit once again? :)

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Actually I'm happy to report that the dive center has re-opened at Sapphire and chair and other rentals are now available. Tours are now going to Sapphire. The restrooms have also been updated and are probably the nicest beach restrooms in the Carib! The area around the restaurant has been cleaned-up, the pool bar (for condo guests only) is being renovated, and the condo exteriors have been updated. Lots of progress being made with the new property mgt.

 

Sapphire is a picture postcard beach with lots of character. Soft sand, gorgeous sapphire-colored water colors, great island views, abundant natural shade, and excellent snorkeling with the reef and sea grass area. Also a few food and drink options with runners taking orders on the beach.

 

Coki is also a gorgeous but smaller bay with great snorkeling and locals doing the vending.

Great news! Thank you for the update. I wish we were going to be there soon, but no plans in the near future to return.:(

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Actually I'm happy to report that the dive center has re-opened at Sapphire and chair and other rentals are now available. Tours are now going to Sapphire. The restrooms have also been updated and are probably the nicest beach restrooms in the Carib! The area around the restaurant has been cleaned-up, the pool bar (for condo guests only) is being renovated, and the condo exteriors have been updated. Lots of progress being made with the new property mgt.

 

Sapphire is a picture postcard beach with lots of character. Soft sand, gorgeous sapphire-colored water colors, great island views, abundant natural shade, and excellent snorkeling with the reef and sea grass area. Also a few food and drink options with runners taking orders on the beach.

 

Coki is also a gorgeous but smaller bay with great snorkeling and locals doing the vending.

 

Happy to hear that things are looking good for Sapphire but at the same time sad. We were at Sapphire in Feb 2014 and with everything closed we had almost the entire beach to ourselves. One of the most incredible memories of my life. I will treasure it forever.

 

Blue_water, do you think the beach will be crowded now that the facilities are open?

 

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Forums mobile app

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Glad to have stumbled onto this review. We're still trying to decide between touring St Thomas on our own or a private tour. Great review as usual.

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Are you able to use the restrooms and bar if your not renting??? Also do they sell food snacks???? Thank you

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4tacos I'm sure the owners and renters were very happy to have the dive center and public restrooms closed, much quieter and very peaceful. But many also want to have these facilities as well as the pool bar and restaurant re-opened to enjoy those amenities. Probably mixed feelings there I'm guessing but certainly a plus to attract renters.

We've only stayed there twice so far and didn't experience big crowds on big ship days but with Sapphire being so popular it could be busy. STT is a busy port on some days...

 

Hockeypapa the restrooms are for the general public, and there is a beach shack (Banana Cabana) and a small restaurant behind the marina selling food and drinks, there should be runners taking orders on the beach.

 

For alternatives Coki beach is a gorgeous beach in a small bay and has a livelier vibe with several vendors, and Secret Harbor is a nice, small calm bay on the other side of Red Hook with a condo resort and restaurant on premises. All offer good snorkeling.

 

http://www.virginislandsthisweek.com/st-thomas/maps/st-thomas-island-road-map.html

Edited by blue_water

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