CHRISTIANSTED, St. Croix -- The kids program at Chenay Bay Beach
Resort here, like the rest of the resort, is unstructured, letting
youngsters choose the activities in which they want to take part.
That "independent" approach, where staff and kids plan the
resort's Cruzan Kidz program together, seems to work just fine,
according to owner Peter Locke.
"We know that if we hook the kids, we have the parents," he
said, adding that more than 30% of his family clients are
New York residents Elizabeth and David Crommet have been to the
resort four times with their children, a 9-year-old boy and a
"It's the kind of place for families who don't like a lot of
structure and are independent-minded but who still want quality
service and exciting things to do -- or not," said Elizabeth
Chenay Bay Beach Resort balances those needs nicely, she
Independence begins with privacy. The resort's 30 acres lie in
the middle of a protected nature reserve. Fifty wood-and-stucco
cottages sit along gravel paths community-style, but borders of
bright bougainvillea and other tropical plants provide a sense of
The cottages combine a West Indies style with Plantation-house
accents: mahogany furniture, pastel walls, Caribbean floral prints
Each cottage has a king-size bed or two doubles, a kitchenette,
air conditioning, ceiling fans and a front porch that overlooks the
bay, lending an additional sense of seclusion.
Locke, who has owned Chenay since 1987, has big plans for the
resort. "I really want to create a stronger sense of arrival," he
By early summer, Locke said, the tired-looking pool and
waterfront area I observed will be transformed into two oasis-like
koi pools, accented by dramatic uplighting, a boardwalk, bridges
over the pools and a gazebo.
Because of the resort's proximity to Green Cay and other nature
preserves, getting out and about is encouraged.
Here are some sample activities Cruzan Kidz runs for children:
Kayaking to Green Cay, home of endangered lizards and reptiles; an
excursion to help protect newly laid turtle eggs at a nearby
island; a trip to a bird refuge; and a visit to Christiansted, an
attractive seaside town.
What parents appreciate is that all of the equipment is
The Cruzan Kidz program operates Mondays through Fridays from 9
a.m. to 3 p.m. and is open to children ages 4 to 12. It includes
lunch, snacks and beverages for $19.95 for a half day (9 a.m. to 1
p.m.) and $ 29.95 for a full day (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.).
Day trips are suitable for moms and dads, too.
Chenay Bay Beach Resort offers a Family Travel Special through
Dec. 20 in which guests who pay for five nights get the sixth and
seventh nights free.
Agents receive $40 for booking stays of three to six nights and
$60 for stays of seven nights or more.
The resort also offers travel agent incentives. Depending on
availability, agents and their children can stay up to seven nights
Kaleel Sakakeeny covers the family travel market for Travel
Weekly and can be reached at [email protected].
• • •
Room key: Chenay Bay Beach Resort
Address: Box 24600, Christiansted, St. Croix, U.S.V.I.
Phone: (800) 548-4457
Location: The northeastern side of St. Croix
No. of units: 50 cottages
Rates: Cottages with connecting units from $260
for gardenview to $385 for luxury oceanfront, to Dec. 20.
One-bedroom cottages available. All-inclusive meal option $49.95
per person, per night.
Noteworthy: Adjoining cottages are a big plus for
Not worthy: Paths to cottages could be better