The Virgin Islands of the U.S. (as they are correctly known) is a group of islands in the Caribbean that belong to the United States under "unincorporated territory" status. They are 3.5 hours by plane from New York City; 2.5 from Miami, and no passport is needed to visit them. Accompanying Saint Thomas, the main island, in the group are Saint John (mostly a national park) and Saint Croix, which is some distance from the other two. Meeting venues in the U.S. Virgin Islands range from luxury to the cozy to the exotic.
The island's capital, Charlotte Amalie, on Saint Thomas, is a major cruise port, and sometimes there are more than five liners berthed. One little known fact is that actor Kelsey Grammer was born on Saint Thomas.
The main access point to the islands is the Cyril E. King Airport (STT), three miles west of Charlotte Amalie, with flights arriving from U.S. Eastern Seaboard destinations and other Caribbean islands, including Puerto Rico. St. John does not have an airport, but Saint Croix does have one, Henry E. Rohlsen (STX), which has flights from, likewise, Saint Thomas, Puerto Rico and, but fewer, the east coast of the U.S.
There is no convention center per se on any of the islands, but the USVI's hotels more than make up for this. The main U.S. Virgin Island meeting venues can be found on Saint Thomas: the 478-room Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort, which has a ballroom for 1,400 persons and 14 meeting rooms, and the 180-room Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas, with a ballroom for 2,500 persons and three meeting rooms. On Saint John are the 174-room Westin St. John Resort & Villas, with seven meeting rooms, the largest able to hold 300 persons, and the 166-room Caneel Bay, A Rosewood Resort, with four meeting rooms; while on Saint Croix is the 151-room Renaissance St. Croix Carambola Beach Resort & Spa, which has four meeting space for up to 225 persons.
These lush islands provide memorable event spaces. Examples on Saint Thomas include the 18-hole Mahogany Run Golf Course, which has putt-ruining scenery (especially the 14th hole) and meeting and dining space for 150 persons; naturally lush Villa Botanica at Plantation Crown & Hawk Botanical Gardens, with five acres of tropical splendor, reception space for 300 persons, an auditorium for 250 and dining space for 200, and, perched over the office and reminiscent of a lair of one of James Bond's arch villains, Coral World Ocean Park, which has an underwater observatory seating 75, a terrace for 140 and a space for 50 to dine amid an 80,000-gallon aquarium. On Saint Croix is another botanical garden, St. George Village, which spans 16.5 acres and has the Great Hall for 250 persons, while also on the island is the Estate Whim Plantation Museum, which has room for 500 persons if that space is combined with the site's Lawaetz Museum.
Tropical fruit and seafood are top of the menu here. Dining venues in the U.S. Virgin Islands include Saint Thomas' Agave Terrace and the Petite Pump Room, both with wonderful sea views. On Saint John, the Aqua Bistro is famous for its tuna and is a piece of paradise on an island mostly dedicated to being a national park. On Saint Croix is many people's favorite, Savant, which mixes Caribbean, Mexican and Thai flavors, as well as the Beach Side Cafe at the Sand Castle on the Beach, to the far west of the island and which has 21 rooms, a laidback vibe and some of the best sunsets in the Caribbean.