St. Croix Inn Hosts Weekly Parties

Reed Travel Features

CHRISTIANSTED, St. Croix -- An island-style dinner party is the newest visitor attraction this winter season on St. Croix.

Hilty House Inn, a six-room, bed-and-breakfast guesthouse built on the ruins of an 18th century rum distillery on Hermon Hill outside of Christiansted, is the setting for the dinners, which will be held weekly on Monday evenings during the season. Owner Jackie Hoare-Ward said that "we have offered the dinners once a month for the last three years. Demand has grown, which is why we have gone to a weekly schedule this winter."

The house was constructed in the 1960s, and many of the objects and artifacts from the original site, including hand-painted Florentine ceramic tiles as flooring and shuttered window treatments, were incorporated into the design. The great room, where the dinners are held, totals 1,000 square feet and features a large old-fashioned fireplace, beamed ceilings, a chandelier, a hand-carved bar, seating areas for cocktails before dinner or coffee after dinner. Historically, the great room was the center of activity within the Hilty House complex.

The Monday dinner is by reservation only and is limited to 50 guests. Hors d'oeuvres and cocktails are served poolside, giving visitors an opportunity to mingle informally with St. Croix residents whom they might not meet through traditional tourist channels.

Many of the regulars are restaurateurs and hoteliers on St. Croix, according to Hoare-Ward. "Many of the restaurants on St. Croix are closed on Mondays, so our event offers the people of St. Croix a chance for an evening out," she said.

Dinner is served buffet-style and usually features an international menu with dishes from Lebanon, Morocco, Yugoslavia and France as well as other islands of the Caribbean and a few U.S. favorites as well. The four-course dinner is priced at $30 per person; drinks, tip and taxes are extra.

Accommodations at Hilty House include four guest rooms in the main house and two separate cottages with a bedroom, living area, bath and fully equipped kitchens. Nightly winter rates are $110 per room, double, in the guestrooms and $115 in the cottages. The rate includes daily breakfast; the cottage price includes a basket of breakfast items and snacks.

For dinner reservations or accommodations, contact Hilty House at (340) 773-2594. The e-mail address is [email protected]

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