If it’s Tuesday night at The Buccaneer Resort on the island of St. Croix, the excitement builds on the steps of the resort’s most iconic structure. Standing like a beacon at the resort’s highest point is a 17th century sugar mill. Inside the mill’s interior is a lookout providing jaw-dropping views of the Caribbean Sea. Just before sunset, guests mingle inside the sugar mill while helping themselves to a colorful selection of drinks and hors d’ oeuvres. For guests at The Buccaneer, the weekly Manager Cocktail Party is a can’t-miss event.
As guests sip on wine or punch, all eyes veer to the left as two gigantic newcomers lumber up the hill from the resort’s golf course. The guests stare wide-eyed as the towering pair bound stiff-legged toward the courtyard in front of the sugar mill. Buccaneer General Manager Elizabeth Armstrong beams as the twosome decked out in silk start grooving to the sounds of Bill Bass’ steel drum music. The international mix of resort guests can’t take their eyes off the Moko Jumbie stilt-dancers. As the performers complete their moves, the crowd breaks into applause, and Armstrong smiles approvingly.
Tuesday is a night for Making Memories
The Tuesday night cocktail party is a tradition and a memory maker for a St. Croix resort that thrives on both. There are few family-owned resorts in the world that have prospered to the extent that St. Croix’s longest-standing and most- awarded hotel has.
The Buccaneer’s 340-acres are wonderfully positioned atop one of St. Croix’s best vantage points. Guests dining at The Buccaneer’s Terrace Restaurant enjoy sweeping views of the Caribbean Sea to the north. Step outside the hotel lobby and you’re greeted with a panoramic shot of the resort’s 18-hole golf course and the city of Christiansted’s skyline.
Armstrong is an always-moving ambassador for St. Croix. Her island goodwill tour begins each morning after parking her car in the lot beneath the fountain gracing the hotel’s entrance. In the 100 paces from her car to the resort front desk, Armstrong is connecting with guests, many of whom have vacationed at The Buccaneer for years. For Armstrong, this is a labor of love. Not only do guests reminisce about their favorite Buccaneer experiences, they also share insights as to how the hotel might improve. You don’t get to be one of the top beach resorts in the world without responding to feedback.
If you really want to get Armstrong fired up, ask about her island’s history, marine life or the resort’s upcoming 70-year anniversary in 2017. What adds spice to The Buccaneer landmark anniversary is that the year marks a century since the U.S. purchased St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas from Denmark. That’s right, the U.S. purchased the Virgin Islands for the bargain price of $25 million dollars in 1917.
The Armstrong family love affair with The Buccaneer is evident everywhere you look at this pristinely maintained and color-splashed property. Whether you’re touring the lobby, three restaurants, three beaches, golf courses, tennis courts, spa or the 138 rooms named after Spanish doubloons, The Buccaneer looks as fresh as a Caribbean sunrise.
“I love it when a guest comments about the pride of ownership at our hotel. We have employees who have worked here for decades. We’re committed to our guests experiencing an extraordinary stay,” Armstrong said.
After the Moko Jumbie dancers step off their lofty perch, Buccaneer guests move to The Terrace Restaurant for a night of dining that’s surrounded by an 180-degree view of the Caribbean Sea. Imagine quenching your thirst with a Pear Martini, Lemon Drop cocktail or The Buccaneer’s famous Painkiller. After admiring the view and relishing their beverages, guests top off their night with delicious entrees like Pepper Breast of Duck, Shrimp Saltimbocca or Marinated Tenderloin Kabobs.
Can’t Wait for Wednesday at The Buccaneer
When guests retire to their rooms, which showcase awesome views of the Caribbean Sea, it’s hard not to conjure images of tomorrow and whether they’ll explore the resort’s Grotto Beach, Whistle Beach, Mermaid Beach, walking paths, golf course or experience an island excursion. It’s hard to believe that amid all this luxury, you’re vacationing on a property with a history dating back almost 500 years. With the sound of ocean waves lulling you to sleep, it’s reassuring to know that whatever questions arise tomorrow, the Buccaneer team will listen and respond. Elizabeth Armstrong’s grandmother wouldn’t have it any other way. www.buccaneer.com