CHARLOTTE AMALIE, U.S. Virgin Islands -- Bolongo Bay Beach Club and
Villas celebrates its 25th anniversary in 1999.
The 75-room beachfront property on Bolongo Bay on St. Thomas'
southeast coast originally opened in 1966 as a cluster of seven
small bungalows, a pool and a pool bar and was called Bungalow Bay
Beach Club, according to Richard Doumeng, current general manager
whose family took over the property in 1974.
Today Bolongo encompasses a 1,000-foot crescent beach and
recently renovated guest rooms that each include a balcony, a
ceiling fan, air conditioning, color cable television, an in-room
safe and an efficiency kitchen.
Hair dryers and clock radios have been added for the winter
Bolongo facilities cover the gamut from volleyball, basketball
and tennis courts to the Bayside Fitness Center with a pool and
canopied deck; another pool and a swim-up bar; Lord Rumbotton's and
Iggies restaurants; watersports, and the St. Thomas Diving Club, a
PADI training facility which offers a scuba lesson and pool dive
free to all guests. That's a far cry from 25 years ago.
Doumeng attributes Bolongo's success to the fact that the resort
is family-owned and -operated and always has been. "Bolongo is more
about who we are, not what we are," he said. "The Doumeng family
members spend a lot of time with our guests, and it shows. Our
repeat-guest ratio is consistently growing."
Options abound, another factor in its success, Doumeng said. "We
do not restrict our guests nor do we require wristbands or
bracelets to separate the inclusive guest from the EP guest," he
The resort added a European Plan program to its winter season
offerings to complement its inclusive plan (introduced in 1988) and
Continental Plan programs. "We offer choices at affordable prices,"
Doumeng said. "Tour operators wanted an EP program, so we are
offering a stripped-down rate for the first time this year."
Operators account for more than 70% of all bookings "because they
have the air," Doumeng said.
Bolongo guests and island locals mix and meet, especially at
Iggies restaurant on karaoke night each week. "We serve good food
and decent liquor to our guests and the general public," Doumeng
In addition to its guest rooms, Bolongo is back in the villa
business with the reopening of 15 oceanfront villas following a
renovation program. The one- and two-bedroom villas, targeted at
the growing family market, provide extra space to accommodate
children and are equipped with a full kitchen, a balcony, cable
television, air conditioning and a safe. Maid service is available
for a nominal fee. Winter villa EP rates through April 4 range from
$255 per night, double occupancy, for an oceanfront studio to $425
per night for a two-bedroom unit.
The resort's EP scuba plan covers unlimited dives and use of
dive equipment, accommodations, use of the fitness center and
entertainment. Rates start at $530 per person, double occupancy,
for three nights up to $1,168 for seven nights.
The seven-night honeymoon plan with Gogo Worldwide Vacations,
valid through April 4, starts at $2,055 per couple. Included are
accommodations, champagne, a cocktail cruise, an all-day sail,
daily breakfast buffet, $100 food and beverage credit, two
T-shirts, $100 certificate for a future stay and room tax and
Rates range from $535 per person, double, for three nights to
$1,182.50 per person, double, for seven nights through April 4. CP
daily rates this winter start at $112.50 per person, double, for
accommodations, breakfast and entertainment.
Guests staying seven nights or longer receive a free all-day
sail to St. John with lunch. Inclusive rates require a three-night
minimum stay and start at $230 per room, per night, double.
Bolongo Bay Beach Club & Villas, Phone: (800) 524-4746,
E-mail: [email protected], Web: www.bolongo.com