It pays to be a writer: Look what Jamie won!

View from Jamie’s Bolongo Bay room

Jamie Loafman files this report for about her  romantic getaway with her husband to Bolongo Bay, the first-place prize she won in the writing contest marking our 20th anniversary. That contest, as readers here know, resulted in publication of the anthology of 10 winning stories called Celebrating Romance 2 (still available for order in either “wild” or “mild”).

Congratulations again to Jamie, and a huge thank you to prize sponsor Bolongo Bay.

Jamie writes:

On the southern coast of St. Thomas set back in a beautiful cove where turquoise waters caress golden sand sits a gem called Bolongo Bay Beach Resort, a place where its guests are wrapped in the true essence of the island.

Visitors are greeted with friendly smiles, opened doors, and drinks, creating an instantaneous impression of welcome and relaxation.

The rooms are comfortable and clean without all the frills and embellishments found at larger resorts. But, any consideration of missing luxuries vanishes when the drapes are pulled back to reveal a picturesque view of clear cerulean waters framed by the lush green of large palm leaves, a view no less than book cover worthy.

Our favorite detail of the room was the ability to open shutters on both doors and a window to allow the salty breezes and peaceful sounds of the sea to flow freely through. Nothing compares to your senses being overwhelmed by the island to awake you.

As we were staying on the second floor, the scenery from our window and balcony was priceless, but there are clear advantages to all of Bolongo’s rooms. The resort sits practically on the beach, so visitors staying on the first floor need only to take a short stroll off their patio before their toes are enveloped in sand.

The beach is beautiful with unbeatable views of the bay and the passing sailboats, a perfect place to relax and work on your tan. Rocks adorn the coast, so entering to swim can be a bit hard on the feet, but the resort offers plenty of complimentary floats and non-motorized water sports. So, whether you want to relax on a mat, try your hand at paddle boarding, or work your arms in a kayak, it’s as easy as visiting the friendly beach shack.

If you are up for a more relaxing swim, they also have a nice sized pool that overlooks the sea. Up for a sail? The Heavenly Days catamaran sets sail right from Bolongo’s beach. We enjoyed a half-day excursion to swim with turtles at Buck Island. They also offer a sunset sail, as well as a full day sail to St. John.

The entire resort is very casual and laid-back, so what about the food? I would not recommend anything other than dining as much as possible at the two restaurants. Dinner at The Lobster Grille is nothing less than five-star. Our wait staff both nights at the beachfront restaurant were knowledgeable, helpful, and very attentive. Even more important, the food was phenomenal.

The other restaurant, Iggie’s Beach Bar & Grille, is where all the nightlife can be found. Every evening, they offer live music to entertain you while you have a few drinks or a meal. Iggie’s is yet another way that Bolongo Bay Beach Resort embraces the true island feel. Offering a Caribbean experience where locals mingle with the tourists, Iggie’s sits directly on the beach creating an ambience that can’t be beat.

Jamie Loafman with “Celebrating Romance 2.” Her story won her a trip with her husband to Bolongo Bay, St. Thomas.

An impromptu performance by none other than Stevie Wonder was an amazing addition to a wonderful trip. He was one of  two celebrities, we encountered, as well as many friendly locals, while we were there! We also enjoyed Carnival Night Extravaganza, a high energy theme night that gets everyone on their feet for a family-friendly night of fun.

Our time at the resort is not something we will soon forget. Although Bolongo Bay may not be able to compete with larger resorts when it comes to décor or luxuries, they have mastered the island experience like no other. The worst thing we found at Bolongo Bay? Leaving.

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