Back in December, the Lovango Resort + Beach Club opened their docks to their first phase of enjoyment on the little cay of Lovango. I’m happy to say that from what I have seen and experienced at the little oasis, just moments from Cruz Bay or Red Hook by boat, it seems the Snider family is making waves in great ways.
In keeping with the plans that were outlined in the sneak peak published in late 2020, the full service Beach Club, Boutique Shopping Area and Waterfront Restaurant opened on December 23 and is stacked with tremendous views and built by local contractors.
The first phase including all of the above opened on the 23rd of December. Future plans for the off-the-grid resort resort have sustainability at its core. Limited home sales, glamping tents and bungalow style hotel rooms are in the works and when it is complete, will occupy just 15% of the land. But, for now, let’s take a look at the Beach Club and Waterfront Dining Experiences!
The incredible space boasts a “keep it green” ideology, amazing food and cocktails and a Coral Reef Restoration Program with the support of local hires and partnerships with University of the Virgin Islands. And each time I visit, I’m more pleasantly surprised by the follow through of all that they set out to do with the adversity of island time and other challenges facing them along the way. This place is truly an incredible escape for a day and manages to fill a bit of the gap we feel with the British Virgin Islands still remaining closed to International visitors at their seaports.
As I mention the BVI initially, I do want to clarify. This is not a comparison to the infamous Soggy Dollar Bar or less famous but equally awesome Bee Line on Jost van Dyke. But, more so, a parallel with the lavish guest experience at Oil Nut Bay, Saba Rock or Cooper Island. The Lovango Resort and Beach Club, however, is just a stone’s throw from St. John’s beautiful North Shore without the hassle, or added costs of customs. On a power boat, you could be there in 15 minutes or less. Sailing it takes about 30-45 minutes. Or, you could take advantage of their private ferry service that delivers guests to and from Cruz Bay or Red Hook in under 20 minutes.
The private ferry service is very easy to book through the commonly used booking management platform, Fareharbor. Through the “Getting Here” link on the site, you are prompted with a multitude of options to get out to Lovango to experience the restaurant, snorkeling or hiking trails. If you plan to head out for lunch or dinner, the tickets are $22 round-trip for a visitor or $18 round-trip for a year round USVI resident.
For a snorkeling or hiking experience added on to your lunch date, you are given four hours to explore the island and its surrounding waters and grab a bite to eat and some cocktails. Tickets for these excursions include all snorkel equipment and towels OR a Polaris vehicle ride to top of island to access hiking trails. The cost is $59 per visitor or $49 per resident for a full afternoon of activity and round trip transportation! (Food and beverage costs are additional). You can book online in advance to reserve your day of fun in the sun.
Upon arrival at the dock, you will be greeted by friendly dock hands and tender operators. After making your way down the concrete pier through the stone pillars, you’ll be met again by a group of happy staff members, anxiously awaiting your arrival. We have taken many guests to Lovango for lunch on our day charter trips and are always greeted with familiar faces, ready to take us to our table. One thing that I think is just so unique is that many of the staff members wear buttons on their tops with a picture of their smiling faces! So, even though they are masked up, you can still get a feel for their friendliness!
If you would like to enjoy your final day in the Virgin Islands instead of simply treating it as the dreaded Departure Day, the team at Lovango has come up with a particularly creative idea. If you are flying out after 5 pm, you can catch the resort’s 11am ferry from St. John and enjoy a leisurely lunch and stick your toes in the sand one last time while the staff stows your luggage. Lovango Resort + Beach Club’s 2PM direct ferry to Red Hook will get you to St. Thomas with plenty of time to catch a cab and arrive at the airport for your flight. The cost for the Departure Day ferry rides and baggage storage is $59 per person. Food and beverage are an additional cost.
Speaking of lunch…At the Waterfront Restaurant, they aim to diminish their footprint in as many ways possible. On each table you will find a placard with a QR code that leads to each of their menus as well as the Wi-Fi credentials. They DO have paper menus, but due to COVID, they encourage all of their guests to use the QR codes. You will find all of your beverages served in reusable and durable plastic ware and napkins made from recycled materials. They offer the St. John Brewers beer and Seltzer on site as well in an effort to support other local businesses. But you won’t find the cans or bottles for sale. Everything is on tap and served in reusable cups, in keeping with their mission.
The food is absolutely divine. I’ve been several times (mostly at lunch) and have a hard time straying away from some VERY unique flavor favorites of my own. But, as duty calls, I’ve dabbled in different menu items and have not been disappointed with one bite! If you’re a snacker, like myself, the wide variety of small plates and appetizers will make you extremely happy!
Raw oysters, an ahi poke bowl with pistachios and coconut foam, the CRAB CAKE, salt roasted beets with fresh burrata and pesto and the lobster guacamole are a few menu items very much worth mentioning. Their fresh catch tacos with watermelon salsa are absolutely to die for (and a bit on the healthy side!).
And, on Sundays, they switch things up a bit with an entire sushi menu to choose from during the day. We ordered the Rainbow Roll last we were there and it was so fresh, the rice was perfect and the portion very generous. You can view their entire menu online in preparation for your lunch or dinner taxi across the sound.
If you are at Lovango Resort by day, you will indefinitely notice the main attraction. Just adjacent to the restaurant is a beautifully landscaped, man-made beach. It is set back from the rocky shoreline and lined with chaise loungers, luxury daybeds, a giant chess board, beach games and tasteful umbrellas. Beyond the sand sits an infinity pool with luxurious cabanas and additional day beds. The Lovango Resort + Beach Club Experience is one that you will all want to try at least once!
We spent an afternoon in a cabana while my parents were visiting and my mother looked at me multiple times throughout the day, shaking her head and saying, “This is bucket list stuff.” 🙂 We sailed over on Asante and arranged for their complimentary tender service to pick us up at the boat once we safely secured one of their private mooring balls.
The mooring balls are available by reservation on their website and cost just $35 for an overnight or for day use. Once we arrived at the dock, we were ushered through the restaurant and across the sand to the pool deck where our cabana, day bed and a bucket filled with ice, Voss Waters and Champagne waited for us.
Once we exchanged oohs and ahs and got ourselves settled, our attendant greeted us and said he would be our private “concierge” for the day. It was amazing. We sat poolside and enjoyed an array of snacks and cocktails throughout the afternoon. It was worth every penny and I highly recommend it for your party of six or less when you visit!
The beach club experience ranges from $95-$225 per person for a true afternoon of leisure. Included in the cost is your round trip ferry ride or tender service, snorkel equipment if you choose to stray from the pool area, access to all of the South Shore amenities, transportation and access to the quiet and pristine North Shore beach, hiking trail access and guided tours of the property.
So, the next time you are visiting St. John, I hope you will take my recommendation and try out this amazing new experience, just across the sound from Love City! For information and reservations go to Lovangovi.com or call 340-625-0400 extension 1.