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Sand Castle on the Beach 3.0

Frederiksted, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Beach is arguably one of the best on the island: long and sandy, with clear and calm waters
  • Two on-site outdoor pools; one faces the beach
  • Seven room types range from villas to studios; some have beach views and balconies
  • Breakfast is included
  • Beachside restaurant and bar with good food and extensive wine list
  • Within walking distance of Frederiksted town center and other beaches
  • Nearby the Long Pier for diving and snorkeling
  • Snorkeling gear and kayaks available for rent
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Yoga and tai chi classes 

Cons

  • Some rooms are interior-facing-- not much natural light, some room noise, and a lack of privacy
  • Decor and some amenities are outdated
  • Breakfast selection is limited
  • Pools are small

Bottom Line

The three-pearl Sand Castle on the Beach hotel is a lovely boutique alternative to the big resorts on the eastern side of St. Croix. The delicious restaurant, stunning beach, and easygoing vibe make this a pleasant choice for families and travelers looking for an affordable beach vacation. The rooms are a bit dated, and some lack privacy and natural light, but all are spacious and a few offer views of the pool and beach. Nice extras include a free breakfast, free Wi-Fi, and kayaks. Rates are comparable to Palms at Pelican Cove, where rooms are more private and the grounds are lush and expansive. 

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Scene

Unpretentious and slow-paced mid-range hotel on the beach

The vibe at Sand Castle on the Beach is unpretentious and slow-paced, fitting for a small island hotel. The on-site restaurant and bar can get lively at night, but mostly this is a place to kick back and relax at the beach. The hotel counts older couples and solo travelers among a diverse clientele, who come to enjoy the proximity to the prettiest beaches and best diving spots on the island. Its small size also facilitates a more relaxed ambience for mingling and meeting new people. The hotel's original architect was John Randall McDonald, an organic architect who admired Frank Lloyd Wright's designs. Today, the hotel looks a bit dated but still charming. The reception desk is flanked by marine-blue shutters, across from yellow and blue tilework on the wall. Wooden rocking chairs and patio-style furniture with palm tree patterned cushions provide places to sit indoors. Outside, tile pathways lead to the pool and beach. A white fountain is tucked into a grove of palm trees and ferns.  

Location

15 minutes from Henry E Rohlsen Airport

Sand Castle on the Beach Hotel sits on one of the loveliest strips of sand in St. Croix, on the west end of the island in Frederiksted. It’s about a seven-minute drive to Rainbow, another popular beach, and 27 minutes from the Wall at Cane Bay, a well-known diving spot. Day trips to Buck Island, Point Udall, and the tide pools are all at least 30 minutes away. Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge is close by, about 11 minutes by car.  

Downtown Frederiksted is within walking distance, though there is little to see there. Getting to the waterfront shops and restaurants in Christiansted takes about 32 minutes. The restaurants and bars are less ample to choose from here than in Christiansted, but there are a few: Freedom City Surf Shop and Grill is a hip local bar about 15 minutes away on foot, and the restaurant at Cane Bay is about a 27-minute drive. Henry E Rohlsen Airport is only a 15-minute drive away.

Rooms

Rooms are quite diverse in terms of their layout and amenities, and there are seven types to choose from. Several Courtyard Suites are tucked into in a back lot with a partially shaded deck and a medium-size pool. These suites are private and spacious, equipped for longer-term stays with TVs, well-stocked kitchens, and comfy couches. White tile floors, white walls, and heavy wooden furniture are clean and well-maintained. A colorful sunburst hangs over the bed. Other rooms are closer to the beach and restaurant area and stacked over three floors, apartment-style. The rooms are quite large here too, though some face interior hallways and lack natural light. Room noise from the stairs and hallways can also be an issue.

While the decor and some amenities are a bit dated, all the rooms offer clean and functional amenities, like microwaves, flat-screen TVs, and mini- or full-size fridges. Bathrooms are small but brightly lit and the showers have decent water pressure. The metal bars enclosing the balconies are either disconcerting or comforting, but regardless, several do offer lovely views of the pool and beach. 

Features

Delicious on-site restaurant and beautiful beach

The beach at Sand Castle is pretty perfect: sandy and large enough to go for a lengthy stroll, with water that’s calm and clear for snorkeling. The sandy bottom makes for a pleasant dip, and the water gets deep quickly enough for serious swimmers as well. Snorkel gear and kayaks are available for rent. Two swimming pools provide further swimming options. The first pool faces the beach and has an adjacent pool bar, but the water is shallow and the pool is small. The second, larger pool is still quite shallow and doesn't have beach views. Patio furniture and sun loungers are provided by both pools.

The on-site restaurant, Beach Side Cafe, has a menu with lots of variety, an extensive wine list, and tasty dishes, at prices that are reasonable for the island. They also sometimes offer live music to accompany the meal. The included breakfast is relatively limited. Pink and blue tablecloths add pops of color to the indoor and outdoor dining room that overlooks the beach.

There is no business center on-site, but guests can use the free Wi-Fi throughout the property. The hotel offers yoga and tai chi classes as well as massages by appointment.   

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Address

127 Smithfield Rd, Frederiksted 00840-3677, Caribbean

Also Known As

  • Sand Castle on the Beach Hotel

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