Fun times, fantastic food and friendly people. This has been the mission of the family-owned Bolongo Bay Beach Resort on St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands since it began nearly 40 years ago. Originally founded by New York native Dick Doumeng and his wife Joyce in 1974, Bolongo Bay Beach Resort is currently managed by the second generation with the third in training. The once 36-room resort is now comprised of 62 beachfront and ocean view rooms, the popular Iggies Beach Bar, The Lobster Grille and 53’ Heavenly Days catamaran, as well as a Beach Hut with water sports, Waverunner Shack and the St. Thomas Diving Club all literally steps from the sand and water’s edge.
“The fundamental concept of Bolongo is really kind of simple,” says Managing Director Richard Doumeng. “We created a place where we would want to vacation and we treat people like they are guests in our home.”
And it’s “All in the Family” with this resort. Richard’s wife, brother, sister, sister-in-law, cousin and even some of the kids work at Bolongo. The Bolongo family extends to many long-time staff, three of which have been there since the beginning, and many loyal, repeat guests. “As a family-owned, local business, we are able to provide an authentic Caribbean experience and extend real hospitality at a place where staff get to know our guests. It’s a way of doing business that’s very hard to duplicate at a large resort,” comments Richard.
At Bolongo Bay, flip flops are welcome and the norm. Iguanas sun on the sand. Hammocks invite afternoon naps and turtles swim offshore. It is a place where locals and visitors meet, and everyone knows your name. “Our guests ask where the best place is to meet locals, and we tell them its right here. We’re the only place on St. Thomas with live entertainment 365 nights a year.”
“We’re proud to be part of this community and offer a unique blend of visitors from all over the island, locals and a lot of our staff who spend time here when they are not working. Music is playing, people are chilling on the beach, the beer is cold and the rum is local. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?”