Caribbean Connection, From the Bay to the Blue Ridge

This Caribbean Island Has a Cool New Hotel

By Alexander Brittell

In case you haven’t been following, the historic downtown of Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas is in the midst of a renaissance.

There is a new energy here, new life in these centuries-old streets and a dramatic waterfront transformation project undertaken by the USVI Department of Public Works.

And now, perhaps most importantly, there’s a very cool new hotel.

For the first time in more than two decades, St. Thomas as a new hotel — and, crucially, it’s in the heart of historic Charlotte Amalie.

It’s called the Pink Palm, and it’s a hip, retro-chic hotel that’s the sister hotel to the American Beech hotel in Long Island, NY.

The 27-room hotel, which began welcoming guests last month, is a significant boost to downtown Charlotte Amalie, with a bright, colorful, fun aesthetic that’s a new kind of hotel for the island.

“We also have two hotels on the North Fork of Long Island, American Beech and Aqua Beach, and as that area is pretty seasonal to summer and fall, I was looking to open another hotel that was seasonal to winter and spring. I first saw the listing for the property online. There were a couple of other places I was considering, but as soon as I came down to St. Thomas and saw [it], I fell in love,” says Brent Pelton, owner and CEO of the Pink Palm. “We’re the first fully new hotel on the island in over twenty years. We’ve been working to create strong relationships with the local businesses, galleries and restaurants, as well as organizations like the St. Thomas Historical Trust, and overall there is an air of excitement about what’s happening in Charlotte Amalie.”

It’s the history that really makes it unique, Pelton says.

The hotel is set at what was once Smith’s Fancy, a popular guesthouse in the 1940s and 1950s that at the time drew artists, celebrities and Hollywood stars before becoming an apartment complex for decades.

“We kept the original architecture of all six buildings on the property, and worked to make design choices that kept in the spirit of an “artist’s guesthouse” with a mix of different colors, textures and prints,” said Pelton. “The location is also incredible. We’re tucked into the hillside with amazing views and surrounded by native plants, while also being steps away from the restaurants and shopping of downtown.”

So what can guests expect?

The hotel has a pool, a hot tub, outdoor showers, a restaurant, a bar area and a lush landscape across the property, from mango trees to lignum vitae.

Every room at the hotel has a unique layout, with king-size beds, bathrooms with Frette bathrobes and towels, bath amenities from Ortigia, Smart TVs and mini fridges.

Executive Chef Bruce Miller is leading the culinary program, coming to the island after stints at top eateries in New York and Long Island.

And then there is the location: with easy access to all of Charlotte Amalie’s sights and sounds.

“There is an air of excitement about what’s happening in Charlotte Amalie,” Pelton says. “There’s a surge of creativity right now, and everyone is working together to highlight the beauty, culture and history of the island and city by supporting each other’s businesses and with projects that both preserve and breathe in fresh air, like the Step Street Project and the recent street lighting project. With that, I think there is a ton of potential for Charlotte Amalie, and St. Thomas as a whole, to really shine in a new way.”

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Publishers Note: We are happy to partner with Alexander Britell, Founder and Editor in Chief of the Miami, Florida based Caribbean Journal and his staff contributing to the OTC and our Caribbean Connection Section. Check out the popular online magazine/website at for valuable information on all fabulous travel options and things of interest in the Caribbean.

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