Coconut. Calabash. Castaway.
The names evoke the idylls of the Caribbean – a nap under a dancing palm; the soundtrack of the quiet froth of the sea.
They just don’t make Caribbean hotels like this anymore.
That’s because the first of these charming, breezy cottages, Coral, opened on the beach back in 1949, amid the post-war tourism boom to the island of St Croix.
And it’s been owned by the same family, the Benedicts, ever since.
“It’s the best-kept secret in St Croix,” Paul Benedict says.
This is Cottages by the Sea, a place that remains one of the little under-the-radar treasures of the Caribbean.
It’s another reason why St Croix is emerging as a sought-after spot for in-the-know Caribbean aficionados; like the best destinations, it reveals more layers as you journey back.
There are 27 cottages here, some with a view of the sand here on the outskirts of Frederiksted; others with a window to the palm trees.
Most (25 of them, in fact) have their own kitchens; they’re all colorful, with a kind of cheeky-rustic aesthetic that will instantly take you back in time – and in the age of social distancing, they’re the perfect recipe for the needs of travelers right now.
As for the amenities: there’s housekeeping; a gazebo a library; games and water sports and a yoga deck, along with free Wi-Fi and access to the adjacent Beach Side Cafe (set at the also terrific Sand Castle on the Beach hotel next door).
And then there’s the greatest amenity: the island dream in its raw, unadulterated form, with nothing keeping you from the call of the beach.
It’s what we all want right now, now more than ever – and there’s a very simple name for it:
For more, visit Cottages by the Sea.