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8 Family-friendly Resorts in the U.S. Virgin Islands [A Complete Guide]

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Ashley Onadele
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Ashley Onadele

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Ashley discovered a love for travel in college that’s continued as her family has grown. She loves showing parents how they can take their families on trips using points and has contributed to numerou...
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One of the great things about visiting the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) is that American citizens don’t need a passport to visit. That’s because St. John, St. Croix, and St. Thomas — the islands that make up the U.S. Virgin Islands — are a U.S. territory.

While the U.S. Virgin Islands only have a couple of true all-inclusive resorts to choose from, there are a handful of resorts that offer some version of an inclusive package. That aspect of a hotel makes things easier for families. And no matter which type of resort you choose, you’re sure to have a memorable family vacation. Here are the 8 best resorts in the U.S. Virgin Islands for families.

An Overview of the British and U.S. Virgin Islands

The Virgin Islands are made up of a total of 7 islands. Tortola, Anegada, Virgin Gorda, and Jost Van Dyke make up the British Virgin Islands (BVI). The remaining 3 that belong to the U.S. are designated the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Virgin Islands regions map
Image Credit: Peter Fitzgerald via Wikimedia Commons (license)

Prior to the islands’ current statuses as British and U.S., they were all Danish territories. The U.S. Virgin Islands became U.S. territories in 1917, and those living on the island were granted U.S. citizenship in 1927.

Besides the need for a passport to visit the British Virgin Islands, you’ll generally also find a more laid-back atmosphere in the U.S. Virgin Islands. They are generally more family-friendly with resorts and activities.

That’s because more of the accommodations in the British Virgin Islands caters to a luxury-seeking traveler. There is typically less to do as far as activities unless you spend a lot of time in the water. There are also very few true all-inclusive resorts on these islands as well. Each island — both in USVI and BVI — offers travelers something different.

More About the British Virgin Islands

Tortola is the largest of the British Virgin Islands and is one of the best for its beaches and boutique hotels.

A photo of Necker Island with beach and lush landscape in the foreground.
Richard Branson’s Necker Island is just one of the exclusive luxury accommodation options in the British Virgin Islands. Image Credit: Virgin Limited Edition

Anegada is an island formed by coral and limestone and thus boasts one of the best places for scuba diving in the Caribbean. The island has the BVI’s most natural landscape and provides a stunning backdrop for a romantic, more secluded vacation. There are only a handful of hotels to stay at in Anegada.

Virgin Gorda is the third largest island in the British Virgin Islands, but it’s the most popular among tourists. It’s also home to the most exclusive resorts and yacht clubs. One of the very popular attractions in Virgin Gorda is The Baths, naturally formed baths carved into the granite where you can relax or swim.

Hot Tip:

The British Virgin Islands are also home to Richard Branson’s private island Necker Island, and Marriott’s Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina, Autograph Collection.

The smallest but liveliest of the British Virgin Islands is Jost Van Dyke. Great Harbour is the island’s most popular area where you’ll find a selection of bars and restaurants.

More About the U.S. Virgin Islands

The second largest and most visited U.S. Virgin Island is St. Thomas. The capital, Charlotte Amalie, is located here. On this island, visitors can look forward to exciting nightlife as well as white-sand beaches. The island is cosmopolitan and offers familiar comforts like you would find on the U.S. mainland.

St. Croix, the largest of the U.S. Virgin Islands, is located over 40 miles south of St. Thomas. The island is best known for its rich cultural influences, rum distilleries, and sugar mills. There are often art and music festivals held on the island as well. Like Anegada in BVI, St. Croix is also a fantastic place to scuba dive.

And lastly, St. John is the smallest U.S. Virgin Island and is the location of Virgin Islands National Park. St. John is the island to visit if you want mostly a quiet and peaceful island vacation. St. Thomas is just a 45-minute ferry ride away.

How To Get to the U.S. Virgin Islands

The white sand beaches at Virgin Islands National Park.
Two-thirds of St. John is made up of the Virgin Islands National Park. Image Credit: Jo via Adobe Stock

There are 2 airports that you can fly to to get to the U.S. Virgin Islands. Henry E. Rohlsen Airport (STX) is located on St. Croix, and Cyril E. King Airport (STT) is located on St. Thomas. There is no airport in St. John.

Visitors traveling to St. John can fly into St. Thomas and take a ferry to St. John.

American, Delta, JetBlue, United, and Virgin Atlantic all fly to both STX and STT. Frontier also serves STX, while Alaska and British are additional options to fly with to STT.

Remember that if you are a U.S. citizen, you do not need your passport to visit the U.S. Virgin Islands. However, if you elect to visit the British Virgin Islands from the U.S. side, you will need your passport to enter.

What To Do in the U.S. Virgin Islands for Families

Scuba diving has already been mentioned as a popular activity in the Virgin Islands, but there are plenty other things to do as well.

Nature lovers will find no shortage of beautiful landscapes to explore. Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge is located in St. Croix and offers shallow waters perfect for young swimmers. You may even spot leatherback sea turtles during your visit. If you’re staying in St. John, be sure to spend time at Virgin Islands National Park where you can join a nature walk with a park ranger.

St. Thomas is home to Coral World Ocean Park, Pirates Treasure Museum, and The Virgin Islands Children’s Museum.

Coral World Ocean Park has an underwater observatory and features a walk-through aviary. There are plenty of other exciting exhibits to keep your future oceanographer occupied. At Pirates Treasure Museum, you can explore authentic shipwreck artifacts with interactive exhibits. Or let your kids free at The Virgin Islands Children’s Museum where they can engage their senses and their minds.

Hot Tip:

If the beach is more your vibe, you’re in luck. Sandy Point Beach in St. Croix, Magen’s Bay Beach in St. Thomas, and Salt Pond Beach in St. John are just a few of the stunning U.S. Virgin Island beaches to enjoy.

History buffs should check out Fort Christian in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas and Estate Whime Plantation Museum in St. Croix. Fort Christian is a National Historic Landmark and was originally constructed in 1676. Estate Whime Plantation Museum is housed on an 18th-century sugar plantation and gives visitors a glimpse into sugar production on the island.

Now that you’re familiar with the geography of the U.S. Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands, how to get there, and some of the major attracitons, you’re probably curious about where you should stay in the family-friendly USVI.

Best Resorts for Families in the U.S. Virgin Islands

1. Bolongo Bay Beach Resort (St. Thomas — All-inclusive)

A view of St. Thomas's Bolongo Bay Beach Resort from the water.
Bolongo Bay Beach Resort was the first all-inclusive resort in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Image Credit: Bolongo Bay Beach Resort

Bolongo Bay Beach Resort is one of only 2 truly all-inclusive resorts located throughout the entire U.S. Virgin Islands. Bolongo Bay is located on the southern coast of St. Thomas.

The resort offers a variety of activities that it encourages guests to do together, perfect for a family vacation. Paddleboarding, kayaking, windsurfing, and beach activities are just a few of what the hotel offers as part of its all-inclusive package.

Heavenly Days, the resort’s 53-foot catamaran, is available to take guests on 5 different sailing excursions. Optional tours include snorkeling at a shipwreck or with sea turtles. Guests can also sail to St. John National Park or to Charlotte Amalie Harbor on a sunset sailing. These excursions require an additional fee.

Scuba divers — and those that want to learn — won’t have to go far either. Divers can leave for a dive trip right from the dock at Bolongo Bay.

Oasis Restaurant and Pool Bar at Bolongo Bay Beach Resort is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and has a late-night menu serving appetizers, seafood, salads, and more.

Rates at Bolonogo Bay Beach Resort start at $526 per night for a family of 4.

2. The Buccaneer Beach and Golf Resort (St. Croix)

A mom and son play tennis at The Buccaneer Beach and Golf Resort.
There are kid-friendly activities and amenities at The Buccaneer Beach and Golf Resort. Image Credit: The Buccaneer Beach and Golf Resort

The inclusive package at The Buccaneer Beach and Golf Resort includes breakfast each day of your stay, snorkeling gear, kayaks, beach chairs, and more. The resort welcomes guests with either a rum drink or fruit punch.

Guests have a choice of 3 beaches on the property, a golf course, and tennis courts. Additional land activities include soccer, corn hole, and ping-pong.

When it comes to golf, the resort offers a junior golfer program as well as a summer golf program for kids. Kids must be at least 6 years old to join.

Families staying at The Buccaneer Beach and Golf Resort can stay in a 2-bedroom family cottage suite or connecting Deluxe Oceanfront rooms. The resort offers cots, cribs, and high chairs all free of charge, and beach toys and life vests for the water.

There are 4 restaurants and 1 lounge on the property, including the breakfast buffet that is included in the room rate. The resort also offers room service as well as a children’s menu. Dinner reservations are highly recommended at 2 of the main restaurants, The Mermaid and The Terrace.

Lastly, there is a spa where adult (and kid) guests can indulge in massages, facials, and private yoga.

Room rates at The Buccaneer Beach and Golf Resort start at $479 per night for a family of 4.

3. Emerald Beach Resort (St. Thomas)

The view of Lindbergh Bay from the pool at Emerald Beach Resort.
The pool at Emerald Beach Resort overlooks Lindbergh Bay. Image Credit: Emerald Beach Resort

Emerald Beach Resort in St. Thomas is a laid-back resort offering an affordable beachfront hotel option.

The hotel features just 90 guest rooms and is conveniently located a short car ride from the airport. Off-property activities for all ages are plentiful thanks to its close proximity to the island’s capital, Charlotte Amalie. There’s even a taxi stand in front of the resort to make getting around even easier.

There is a full-service concierge available and guests are offered a welcome drink upon arrival. The resort pool has a waterfall and views of Lindbergh Bay. Resort guests can rent gear to enjoy other water activities such as snorkeling, stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, and more right on the beach.

Complimentary parking and Wi-Fi round out the most useful of the included amenities offered at this resort.

There are 3 restaurants at Emerald Beach Resort. Emerald Cafe serves coffee, tea, smoothies, and breakfast items while Caribbean Fusion serves fresh local seafood with a view of Lindbergh Bay and is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The last restaurant at the resort, Emerald Beach Bar, is popular amongst locals and guests alike and serves appetizers, pizza, burgers, and more.

Room rates at Emerald Beach Resort start at $209 per night for a family of 4.

5. Marriott’s Frenchman’s Cove (St. Thomas)

A view of Marriott Frenchmans's Cove from the water.
Marriott’s Frenchman’s Cove overlooks Frenchman’s Reef in Pacquereau Bay in St. Thomas. Image Credit: Marriott’s Frenchman’s Cove

Marriott’s Frenchman’s Cove offers 2- and 3-bedroom villa accommodations perfect for families that want more space on vacation. This is a Marriott Vacation Club property and although you cannot redeem Marriott Bonvoy points for your stay, there is no resort fee.

Each villa is equipped with a full kitchen, separate living and dining areas, and a furnished balcony or patio. A full kitchen should appeal to families who enjoy cooking while on vacation or those who don’t want to deal with the expense of eating out every day.

On-site amenities include a fitness center and an infinity pool that comes with a waterslide. Free on-site parking makes getting to nearby family attractions the Haagensen House Museum and Coral World Ocean Park easy and convenient.

When not making your own meals in your villa, you can dine at the hotel’s on-site restaurant Sunset Cove Bar & Grille. The restaurant and bar serves dishes like burgers, wings, and a catch of the day. The Marketplace and The Marketplace Express are available to buy prepackaged snacks and other assorted food and drink items.

Room rates at Marriott’s Frenchman’s Cove start at $607 per night for a family of 4.

6. The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas (St. Thomas)

An aerial view of the Ritz-Carlton St. Thomas.
Families can look forward to the signature Ritz Kids program at The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas. Image Credit: The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas

The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas is a luxury, beachfront resort located in Great Bay on the island’s eastern coast. The hotel completed a $100 million renovation at the end of 2019.

In addition to an infinity pool, there’s also a family pool with waterslide and a main pool overlooking the cove. Food and beverage service is available both at the pool and the beach for guests to enjoy. Cabanas are located at the pool and available to rent for a fee from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

Like The Ritz Kids program at other hotels, the kids’ program at The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas aims to bring local culture to the resort’s youngest guests.

In addition to water activities such as stand-up paddleboarding, guests can join an excursion on The Lady Lynsey II, the resort’s catamaran. Gourmet food and beverage are served on every excursion.

There are 5 dining establishments at The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas. Alloro is the resort’s Italian restaurant serving handcrafted Sicilian dishes and is open daily for dinner. Coconut Cove and Sails are 2 casual restaurants serving Caribbean and American cuisine, respectively. Bleuwater is the resort’s fine dining restaurant serving Asian specialties. And lastly, Southwind is the on-property coffee house.

Room rates at The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas start at $744 for a family of 4. Marriott Bonvoy point redemptions are also possible at this property.

7. Secret Harbour Beach Resort (St. Thomas)

The view from the pool overlooking the bay at Secret Harbour Beach Resort in St. Thomas.
Secret Harbour Beach Resort is a well-reviewed family-friendly resort in St. Thomas. Image Credit: Secret Harbour Beach Resort

Secret Harbour Beach Resort is located on St. Thomas’s eastern coast and features plenty of activities available for guests of all ages. The generous accommodation layouts are also ideal for large families or groups traveling together.

The resort’s location in a quiet cove makes it a great place for young swimmers to enjoy the beach. For those seeking a bit more adventure, the hotel’s concierge is available to help arrange kayak and stand-up paddle board rentals. Tours such as snorkeling, boat charters, and island history tours can also be arranged through the concierge.

On the property itself, guests can enjoy tennis, a fitness center, and a pool that overlooks the harbor.

There are 3 restaurants at Secret Harbour Beach Resort. Sunset Grille is a waterfront, fine-dining restaurant that features classic American steakhouse cuisine. The Patio is also on the beach but offers a more laid-back atmosphere. The family-friendly restaurant serves Caribbean and Southwestern cuisine and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And lastly, Beach Bar is a sports bar that offers VIP seating and bottle service.

Ideal for families, the rooms at the resort all feature either a kitchenette or a full kitchen with up to 3 beds. The resort offers grocery delivery for an additional fee.

Room rates at Secret Harbour Beach Resort start at $408 per night for a family of 4.

8. The Westin St. John Resort Villas (St. John)

The Westin Family Kids Club at The Westin St. John Resort Villas.
There’s a kids club for kids ages 3 to 12 at The Westin St. John Resort Villas. Image Credit: The Westin St. John Resort Villas

The Westin St. John Resort Villas is located on St. John, the smallest of the 3 U.S. Virgin Islands. The resort features studio, 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom villa accommodations, along with free parking and no resort fee. Villas come with full-size appliances, washers and dryers, and furnished balconies.

Remember that St. John is home to the U.S. Virgin Islands National Park and as such, it is a more laid-back destination than its larger counterparts. At the resort, guests can relax at the resort pool which overlooks Cruz Bay, play tennis, or workout at the resort’s fitness studio.

The youngest members of the family will especially enjoy the Westin Family Kids Club located on the property.

There are 2 dining options at The Westin St. John Resort Villas. Snorkels Bar and Grill is a poolside restaurant that serves salads, sandwiches, and tropical drinks. And Mango Deli serves coffee and fresh pastries for a quick breakfast as well as sandwiches, wraps, and steak, chicken, and salmon meals to take back to your room.

Other dining options include Italian, seafood, and Caribbean cuisine and are within a mile and a half of the resort.

Room rates at The Westin St. John Resort Villas start at $395 per night for a family of 4. Marriott Bonvoy point redemptions are also possible at this property.

Best Way To Book a Resort in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unfortunately, besides the Marriott options, there aren’t many points-redeemable hotels available in the U.S. Virgin Islands. That means that your best bet when it comes time to book your USVI vacation is to take advantage of deals found on an online travel agency like Expedia or your credit card’s travel perks. We even have a guide to the best websites for family vacation packages and deals.

The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve® each offer annual $300 in travel credits, although each works a bit differently. For the Capital One Venture X card, you can get $300 back when booking travel through Capital One Travel. The Capital One Venture X card also earns 10x miles on hotels and rental cars that are booked through Capital One Travel. For the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you’ll receive a $300 as an annual credit to use towards any travel expense. This is a great way to save cash when you’re unable to book with transferable travel rewards.

And remember that even when you can’t redeem points or miles for reward nights, when you book with the right credit card, you could have travel insurance that protects your investment. Be sure to check out our guide to the best credit cards for travel insurance before you book.

Final Thoughts

While it’s true that there aren’t many all-inclusive resorts for families in the U.S. Virgin Islands, there are still ample resorts for your family vacation. From multi-room accommodations to nearby water parks and museums, the U.S. Virgin Islands is sure to be an enjoyable trip for everyone.

The information regarding the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does U.S. Virgin Islands have all-inclusive resorts?

The answer to this question is yes and no. There are only 2 true all-inclusive resorts in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Fortunately, however, there are a lot non all-inclusive resorts to choose from.

Which U.S. Virgin Island is best for a family vacation?

Of the 3 U.S. Virgin Islands, St. Thomas and St. Croix are best for families thanks to ample activities to do. Sandy Point National Refuge in St. Croix and Coral World Ocean Park in St. Thomas are great family-friendly things to do. St. John is more relaxed and therefore better for couples or a day trip.

What is the best month to visit the U.S. Virgin Islands?

The best time to visit the U.S. Virgin Islands is between April and June. This is when the dry season ends and resorts and villas have the best rate. This is also before the start of hurricane season.

Do I need a passport to go the the U.S. Virgin Islands?

No, you don’t need a passport to visit the U.S. Virgin Islands. The U.S. Virgin Islands is a U.S. territory and its inhabitants are U.S. citizens.

What is the most popular U.S. Virgin Island?

St. Thomas is the most popular U.S. Virgin Island. It is the busiest of the 3 islands and offers the most to do for visitors.

Ashley Onadele's image

About Ashley Onadele

Ashley discovered a love for travel in college that’s continued as her family has grown. She loves showing parents how they can take their families on trips using points and has contributed to numerous publications and podcasts.

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