Nancy's St Thomas Vacation Rentals by Owner - Frequently Asked Questions

Relaxing on St. Thomas

While enjoying Nancy's St Thomas Vacation Rentals by owner, you will quickly discover that the Islander's are VERY RELAXED ... to a fault!  In fact they are so relaxed that it can drive you crazy if you are normally accustomed to a hectic lifestyle in a bustling city.  The best way to relax into the environment is to go into it with a very relaxed attitude from the very start.  Forget about fast service and do not expect the service to be perfect.  The more you push the servers, the slower they will seem to go.  After a while you will realize that they are not going to speed up on your behalf.  It is against their culture.  Don't fight it! ... RELAX! ... Take a deep breath ... Slowwwwww Dowwwwwwnnn ... 



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You are on “V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N!”

*** HINT *** Make sure you pause and smile to say "Good-Morning", "Good-Day", "Good-Afternoon", or "Good-Evening" to the local West Indians BEFORE starting a conversation.  Us Americans have a way about us when talking to strangers.  We like to "Get to the point quickly."  Locals are very greeting conscious and this small gesture will go a LONG way to making your interactions with the locals a more pleasant experience.

 

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How do I reserve one of Nancy's St Thomas Vacation Rentals by owner?

Nancy's St Thomas Vacation Rentals by owner is a vacation rental by owner.  To reserve one of our vacation rentals, just call me, Nancy, at 301-792-2263 or 301-963-5912 (USA) ... or go to the Contact Me link and send me an email.



The Weather is here, I wish you were beautiful!

At Nancy's St Thomas Vacation Rentals b owner, you will discover the weather on the island to be fairly consistent year-in and year-out.  From June to October the average high is 91F, with an average low of 78F.  Between the months of November and May the average high is 86F, with an average low of 72F.   The record high was 99F.  The record low was 56F.

Click HERE to get the current weather report.





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Check-In - 4:00 PM

Your Nancy's St Thomas Vacation Rental should be ready for Check-in by 4:00 P.M. on your Arrival Date.   Any exceptions to the regular Check-in and Check-out times must be requested and approved in advance. Early check-in may be allowed if the property is clean and ready for occupancy ahead of schedule.


The Time Zone

St. Thomas is in the Atlantic Standard Time zone which is one (1) hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time.  However, they do not honor daylight savings time.

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VRBO Vacation Rental by Owner

What to Pack?

Your Passport if you have one: It is easier to get through U.S. customs with your passport versus your driver's license.  Plus, you will need it if you intend to travel into the British Virgin Islands.

Snorkeling gear: There are a lot of beaches with snorkeling and you will be more comfortable with your own equipment. It will also save you a bit of money if you take your own gear. Places like Costco and Sams Club carry some nice sets.
  • Take a GPS. A Garmin Nuvi works great on St. Thomas!
  • Suntan lotion and lip protection
  • Tennis shoes, Sandals, Flip-Flops
  • Bathing Suits, T-Shirts, and Cover-Ups
  • Sun Glasses
  • Hat
  • Camera
  • iPod
  • Extra batteries


What NOT to Pack!

If this is your first trip to Nancy's St Thomas Vacation Rentals by owner, you will likely discover that you overpacked.  Once on island, you will quickly learn that you live mostly in bathing suits and coverups. You will probably need no more than two pairs of shorts and some tee shirts.  It is very unlikely that you will dress up at all, so leave the formal wear at home.  I usually pack, and then unpack and leave 1/2 of it at home!  If you are not taking snorkeling equipment, you should be able to pack everything you need in a carry-on bag.




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What IS and is NOT Supplied?

You will find your Nancy's St Thomas Vacation Rental by owner to be furnished with bedspreads, linens, blankets, pillows, towels, kitchen appliances and utensils, TV’s in every living area and bedroom, and furniture on the balconies. There is a hair dryer in each bathroom.

We provide toilet paper, paper towels, dish soap, laundry detergent and dishwasher detergent. However, due to the difficulty with remote management of some supplies, we do NOT supply hand and body soaps, shampoos, conditioners, or tanning supplies. We recommend that you pick these items up on your way from the airport to your vacation rental unit.

Beach Towels

While a guest at Nancy's St Thomas Vacation Rentals by owner, Pool/Beach Towels are complimentary and available at the front desk of the Elysian Beach Resort.  You can drop your used towels off in the hotel lobby and pick up fresh towels every day.  If no towels are made available for  you at the hotel lobby, please call Nancy immediately at 301.792.2263.



VRBO Vacation Rental by Owner

VRBO Vacation Rental by Owner

Will U.S. curling irons and electric razors work?

Power outlets at Nancy's St Thomas Vacation Rentals by owner use the same 110 volt currents as North America.  It is very common for the power to go out during a storm.  This is normal.  It will come back on in a few hours.


Utilities

Electric and water are extremely expensive on St. Thomas.   Most hotels and condo owners assess an “energy surcharge” of up to 18% to recover electricity and water costs. Nancy’s St Thomas Vacation Rentals by owner does not assess this type of charge.  Instead we ask our renters to help us conserve energy and water so we can continue to maintain our low rental rates as compared to what the Elysian Beach Resort charges for similar accommodations.

A few ways you can help:


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  • Please do not run the AC with the sliding doors opened.
  • Open the sliding doors instead of running the A/C.  If you open the front door a wonderful breeze blows through the unit.
  • If you are leaving for a few hours or more, turn the A/C off and close the blinds. The A/C can cool the rooms in 5-10 minutes when you return.
  • Keep your showers short.  There is a hot water tank in each unit and it only takes a few seconds for the hot water to reach the shower head.
  • Please strive to not just let the water run while you are brushing your teeth.
THANKS!



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Do I need a Passport?

St. Thomas is part of the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI).  The USVI are a U.S. Territory comprised of the islands of St. Thomas, St. Johns, and St. Croix.

If you live outside the U.S. you DO need a passport to travel to St. Thomas.
If you live in the U.S. and are traveling directly to St. Thomas, a U.S Passport is NOT required.  Nonetheless, when you return home from St. Thomas, you will need to clear U.S. Customs.  At a minimum, you will need a current state-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license, and a copy of your birth certificate or naturalization certificate to clear U.S. customs on your return.

If you are traveling to St. Thomas THROUGH another country (for example, traveling through Canada), you DO need a U.S. Passport.

Once on St. Thomas, you do NOT need a Passport to travel to other islands in the USVI (St. Johns, St. Croix).

You DO need a U.S. Passport if you intend to visit any of the British Virgin Islands (BVI)  (e.g. Jost Van Dyke, Tortola, Norman Island, Peter Island, Cooper Island, Virgin Gorda, Anegada).

My recommendation, if you have a passport, take it with you.

What do I need if I want to visit the British Virgin Islands?

If you intend to visit any of the British Virgin Islands (e.g. Jost Van Dyke, Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Cooper Island, etc.) you will need to clear British Customs.  I have found that the easiest way to clear customs is to head straight to the customs office in Soper's Hole at the West End of Tortola.  If you have rented a boat with a Captain, the Captain will know the best method to clear customs.





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Currency

The currency on St. Thomas is the U.S. dollar. Foreign currency can be exchanged at most major banks on St. Thomas and there are local bank branches throughout the island. Major credit cards and traveler's checks are widely accepted, but it is advisable to carry some cash as well.



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Phones

At Nancy's St Thomas Vacation Rentals by owner, there is a phone in each living area and bedroom. All local and long distance calls are free to anywhere in the U.S.

Wireless Phone service is available on the island from AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon Wireless.  However, Verizon Wireless charges roaming fees of about $1.95 per minute for calls on St. Thomas.




Cable Television

At Nancy's St Thomas Vacation Rentals by owner, there are televisions with 32 Cable TV channels in each living area and bedroom.

Internet

Nancy's St Thomas Vacation Rentals by owners provides free DOD-Strength WIFI in each rental unit. The WIFI signal is generally reachable from the pool and beach. There is also a computer with Internet access and a printer in the “Owner’s Lounge” located in the front office of the Elysian Beach Resort. As our guest at Nancy's St Thomas Vacation Rentals by owner, you have Owner's privileges and access to the Owner's Lounge.


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VRBO Vacation Rental by Owner

VRBO Vacation Rental by Owner

Ice

There is an ice maker in each refrigerator.  There are also two soda machines and an ice machine at the front of Building H, albeit the ice machine is frequently out-of-service.



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Getting Around

While staying at Nancy's St Thomas Vacation Rentals by owner, we recommend that you rent a car at the airport.  You can optionally travel by taxi or shuttle bus if you prefer not to drive.

If you elect to rent a car, go online and reserve a rental car at the St Thomas airport (ATA: STT) prior to your departure from the US.  Make sure you select a rental agency that is located at the airport.  We have found Budget car rentals to be the cheapest.  If you prefer a taxi, be aware that the taxis do not use meters.  You should ask the taxi drivers about the fare before you get in the cab.






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If you are driving a car, pay attention to landmarks such as stores, obscure turns, and mail boxes, wherever you go.  You will quickly learn St Thomas after just a few spins around the island.  The islanders, who are very friendly, don't pay much attention to street names and addresses so won't be much help when asked for directions.

Once at the Elysian Beach Resort, for a taxi, stop at the hotel lobby and ask.

As of this writing (January 2014) you can try contacting Joseph at 340-473-8034.  Joseph drives a passenger van and a trip to the airport will be around $30 for two people plus luggage.  A typical taxi ride into Red Hook is $5-7 per person.



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Driving in the USVI 

Quote from local: "We drive on the left in the USVI.  We also have a few rather peculiar habits.  Mostly on St. Croix, honking is the island way of indicating a hello, or an acknowledgment of some sort.  All the islands have drivers who stop in the middle of the road to load or unload passengers or talk to friends.  You have to be aware of this habit and drive cautiously.  Also pedestrians & animals must be watched for at all times, driving carefully and at the speed limit is recommended."

Some of the roads in St. Thomas can be very steep!  Driving should be done with caution. You should be prepared for the slow speeds at which everyone travels. St. Thomas is very small and you can usually drive to most destinations within 15 minutes, even while traveling at an average of 35 mph.   On St. Thomas and St. Johns, you drive on the left side of the road.  Most cars will have their steering wheels on the left side.  Stay alert!  It is not unusual to come across a stray cow, goat, or sheep in the middle of the road.


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Getting to other Islands

The village of Red Hook is less than 2 miles from Nancy's St Thomas Vacation Rentals.  In Red Hook you can rent sailboats and powerboats (with or without a Captain).  You can also hop on the People Ferry and go to St. Johns or Tortola.  The Ferry to St. John is about a 20 minute ride.  The Ferry's leave on the hour from 8AM to midnight.
  • Click HERE for Ferry Schedule and Rates to St. John
  • Click HERE or HERE for information about all Ferry Schedules
There is also a Car Ferry (Barge) if you prefer to take your car to St. John instead of renting a jeep.  A car is fine if you are going to Trunk Bay or Caneel Bay.  But, if you want to go into the hills or to one of the remote beaches (e.g. Lamepshur Bay), rent a Jeep!  The roads are steep!

If traveling by Ferry, make sure you verify the time for the last Ferry back to St. Thomas in the evening.  You won't want to miss it!



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Researching the USVI

For some general info about St. Thomas and St. John: http://www.vinow.com

For general information about Tortola, Jost Van Dyke, and Virgin Gorda:  http://www.bviwelcome.com/

St. Thomas is a great base camp from which you can visit the British Virgin Islands of St. John, Tortola, Jost Van Dyke, Virgin Gorda, and many of the smaller islands, such as Cooper and Peter islands.

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To help enjoy your adventure, familiarize yourself with the geographic layout.  Do some research through wikipedia:



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The Swimming Pool!

The Elysian Beach Resort has one of the most exquisitely designed and landscaped pools on the Island, complete with a rock grotto waterfall and hot tub.

General pool hours are 7AM – 10PM (subject to change).

YOU CAN PICK UP A FRESH TOWEL EVERYDAY!  Drop used towels off in the hotel lobby or swimming pool area and pick up fresh towels.


Tennis

While staying at Nancy's St Thomas Vacation Rentals, you are welcome to use the tennis court whenever you like.  Sign up for a tennis time at the front desk of the Elysian Beach Resort.  We have 2 tennis rackets and tennis balls in each unit for guest use. The front desk can also provide you with loaner tennis equipment.





VRBO Vacation Rental by Owner


VRBO Vacation Rental by Owner

Groceries

Moe's Fresh Market in Red Hook (6205 Smith Bay Road) is the most convenient and is a great little market.

Cost-U-Less and Food Center on the East End are also good.  Cost-U-Less is the equivalent of a Costco or Sam's Club.

Plaza Extra in Tutu is very good and has some of the best prices.  Cost-U-Less, Plaza Extra, and Food Center always seem to be well stocked and clean.  There is a Pueblo in town that is a bit run down, but has reasonable prices.

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Lost Keys!

Option 1 - There is a lock box containing spare keys located near the front door of each of Nancy's Vacation Rentals.  Call Nancy at 301-792-2263 and she will provide you with the combination.  You must return the spare set of keys to the lock box prior to your departure.
Option 2 – Call Nancy at 301-792-2263 and she will contact the maid service.  They hold a set of spare keys to each of our Nancy's St Thomas Vacation Rentals and for a small fee can get them to you in an emergency.

Option 3 – Sleep on the beach until the hangover wears off so you can remember where you left the keys … ;-)


In Case of Emergency

Option 1 - Call Matthew at 340-514-8994.  Matthew works for the Elysian Beach Resort owner's association and is generally on the property weekdays until 4:30 PM.

Option 2 - Call Nancy at 301-792-2263 (cell) or 301-963-5912 (home)


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Check-Out - 10:00 AM Sharp!

Nancy's St Thomas Vacation Rental Check-Out time is 10:00 A.M. sharp on your departure date so that the housekeeping staff has enough time to properly prepare for our next guest.  Any exceptions to the regular Check-out time must be requested and approved in advance.  Late check-out will only be considered if there are no guests arriving on your departure date.

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Departing:

  • Close and lock all balcony doors.
  • Turn ALL air conditioning units to "80" - "Dry".
  • Close ALL shades and blinds.
  • Leave the ceiling fans on and set them to the medium speed.
  • Load dirty dishes in the dishwasher and turn it on.
  • Place all trash in the trash can at the entrance to the building.
  • Make sure the house is generally “picked up” and ready to be vacuumed and cleaned.
  • Put all dirty towels in the clothes basket.
  • Remember to take the keys with you so that you can mail them back to us.
  • Lock the deadbolts on all doors.
Please make sure the property is empty of your personal belongings. Owners and/or Property Manager(s) are not be responsible for items left behind.



Returning the Keys

Along with keys that will be sent to you, you will receive a prepaid and self-addressed stamped envelope for you to return the keys.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE ...

  • Do NOT drop the keys off at the front desk!  They will not know what to do with them!
  • DO leave the two pool keys on the kitchen counter for the next guest.


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Your security deposit will be refunded as soon as I receive the keys and verify, through our maid, that there has been no damage to the unit or its contents.

We hope you enjoyed your stay at Nancy's St Thomas Vacation Rentals!




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Visitors:

Also see my VRBO listings at these link:
C-Unit - http://www.vrbo.com/238465
E-Unit - http://www.vrbo.com/181754
Welcome to Nancy's Vacation Rentals

Links to my VRBO listings:

C-Unit - http://www.vrbo.com/238465

E-Unit - http://www.vrbo.com/181754
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