The much-anticipated opening of Lovango Resort and Beach Club, on December 20th will mark the first time in nearly 30 years that a new resort has opened in the US Virgin Islands.
"Lovango" as the locals call it is a private island just across the bay from St. John, and the resort and beach club encompass 45 acres of the island. It will no doubt become a coveted destination for USVI and BVI bound sailors, particularly as there is a new and growing mooring field with launch service to the island for bare boaters and cruisers to take advantage of.
“I suppose it is not the perfect time to open a resort during a global pandemic, but we believe in this business model. Essentially this is our second season as we had a small restaurant and bar in 2020, but this year marks the debut of the resort,” said Matthew Snider of Little Gem Resorts. Owned and operated by a Wayland, Massachusetts family, this is the first Caribbean property for the Snider family, which includes Matt’s parents Mark and Gwen Snider who also own and operate the Nantucket Hotel and Resort and the Winnetu Oceanside Resort on Martha's Vineyards. Along with brother Oliver, Matt Snider is currently focused on the day-to-day operations of getting Lovango ready to open “but I am also on the phone with my parents about 45 times a day, so this is truly a family run business.”
Matt notes that although “Lovango is one of the only private islands in the USVI, anyone can come here by ferry from St. John and St Thomas. For sailors, we have ten mooring balls for yachts up to 65-feet and complimentary launch service to the island." Moorings can be reserved and cost $45 a night.
If you are on a boat for a week, coming to Lovango for a day of pampering is ideal. You can get off the boat and just have everything taken care of in this pristine setting,” he added. "We are going for a definite feel and want a kind of controlled setting, not a huge crowd, so people can enjoy the remote part of this. We have a desire to limit the number of people although anyone can come to Lovango. We are open to all islanders, and we hope it becomes a place where US Virgin Islanders can come and spend the weekend. We plan to have beach club parties on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sunday evenings with live music and/or stay and have a great dinner at the restaurant.”
The Beach Club membership is essentially a day rate of around $135 for the extra luxury provided when one spends the day at the resort. Dinner, spa, beach parties, cabana and the infinity pool are accessible for a daily rate, while all visitors are welcome to dine at the restaurant, drink at the bar, shop and come and go from the ferry dock.
The new resort is completely sustainable, powered by wind and solar energy, while converting seawater to potable water for drinking, bathing and cooking. The resort is also partnering with the University of the Virgin Islands to restore the coral around the island.
Matt Snider notes that his grandparents and parents had been visitors to St. John for many years and the whole family has fallen in love with the USVI. Because of the seasonal nature of their two Massachusetts properties on Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, they were looking for a southern property to keep their dedicated staff able to stay with the company year-round.
"We know it takes a certain type of person to want to live in seasonal places, but we are aspiring to keep our staff all year long and feel that with the 45 acres of Lovango and our friendly, supportive nearby neighbors on the island we already have.”
For more information on the resort, click here.