Nantucket hoteliers purchase a personal Caribbean island for his or her newest resort

The next phases of the project include the construction of 55 cottages and glamping sites and the sale of 14 residential lots. Despite the ambitious scope of the project, the couple said the resort will take up less than five percent of its space. Lovango even has its own reverse osmosis water system and solar system.

“There is a lot of nice, big real estate in the Caribbean,” said Mark Snider. “But they come in and loot everything and the end result doesn’t reflect the location. It could be anywhere in the Caribbean. The mission here is to honor the island and have a location that is sensitive to the topography and vegetation. Something that fits right into the island. So it’s a slightly different strategy. And I think we found the right place for it. “

The Beach Club in the Lovango Resort in the US Virgin Islands.

If their names sound familiar (and they should if you live on Nantucket or Martha’s Vineyard) it’s because the Sniders own the Nantucket Hotel and Winnetu Oceanside Resort in Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard. The Sniders bought the shabby and abandoned Nantucket Hotel, formerly known as the Point Breeze Hotel, nine years ago, and revitalized the sagging shell of a building into one of the best hotels in the country. Since then, it has won a wheelbarrow full of awards, including being named the country’s best hotel by TripAdvisor. Winnetu Resort has also received a number of awards over the years.

The two were looking for a different type of island for their third business, and if you’re looking to open a new resort on an island the Caribbean seems to be as good a place as any other. But the Sniders said their motive for choosing a warm weather destination wasn’t just to escape the boneless winter fog of Nantucket. They also wanted to strengthen their cadre of year-round workers.

“It’s very hard to have people who just want to work seasonally,” said Mark Snider. “People want to work all year round and that’s totally understandable. This has given us a great opportunity to have a back and forth for people from the Virgin Islands to work in New England and for New Englanders to work in the Virgin Islands. I think Nantucket’s credibility gives people the confidence to come here. And because it’s US territory, people can work in either location. “

Lovango Cay is mostly vacant (there are currently three residents on the island) and doesn’t have a particularly prominent history. There is a popular and rather dubious legend that 18th century pirates frequented a brothel on the Cay called Love-and-Go, hence the name Lovango. Here, too, the brothel theory is purely speculative. During the current century, the cay would be home to a development called Lovango Estates. The project failed and gave the Sniders a chance to get in. In order to be able to build, they first had to solve a long series of bureaucratic and environmental problems.

While there are no guest cabins to be built yet (construction will take place this summer), the nightly rate is expected to range from $ 495 to $ 1,000, depending on the season. The three-bedroom villa, currently available for rent and sleeps eight, costs between $ 1,750 and $ 3,500 a night, depending on the season. A private boat takes guests between Lovango and St. Thomas.

The villa in the Lovango Resort in the US Virgin Islands.

“We want the island to be open with trails for hiking and walking and then golf carts to get around. It’s a world of its own, but it’s very close to St. John so you can take the boat out for dinner, lunch, or go to a national park. So it’s very accessible, ”said Gwenn Snider. “But we hope that by next December, when hopefully everything is back to normal, there will be additional accommodations for people to enjoy.”

Much like the properties in Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, Lovango Cay’s decor will nudge its surroundings, but not overwhelm guests with a uniform Caribbean interior. (Sorry, that doesn’t mean palm leaf wallpaper.) Think of a luxurious Caribbean resort over New England. However, the couple first and foremost want guests to notice the stunning surroundings.

“Gwenn and I have visited many different properties over the years,” said Mark Snider. “When we found this one, we both fell in love with it because it allowed us to create what I think people would really imagine the Virgin Islands to be.”

Christopher Muther can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @Chris_Muther.