Accommodations Part 2, the Eco-Resort: What Footprint?

At first blush you are going to say, “This isn’t a category. It’s an item.” And, you are partially right. But it follows a natural, no pun intended, progression from roughing-it on Cinnamon Bay to the comparably luxurious camping that was introduced by Stanley Selengut 38 years ago. Stanley’s eco-resorts have had such a vital role in the history of tourism on St. John that we thought we would give it its’ own special posting. The original Maho Bay Camps introduced so many people and young families to the island and those people continue to return year after year that we wanted to give special recognition to that vision of Stanley’s a model eco-resort, a self-sufficient hotel integrated seamlessly into the surrounding natural vegetation. And it was a huge success. According to yourtravelchoice.com, “…Stanley Selengut of Maho Bay Camps in the US Virgin Islands was already proselytizing around the world about his low-tech, low-impact green model for hotels. Stanley …never shy about discussing the “amazing profits” his firm was earning from simple tents on platforms by a sugary sand beach on St. John. And, he was the first to point out that travelers frequently care more about simplicity than they do about luxury, which as far as he was concerned, only improved the profit margins.”

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Photo courtesy of The New York Times

Sadly, the lease on the property that the Maho Bay Camps were built on expired in 2012. After one or two extensions, the original island families that owned it put up the property for sale. The property is now in the hands of an “environmentally conscious private buyer for his personal use,” according to Stanley. In preparation for the end of the lease, Stanley had purchased another parcel of land on the southern shore of the island. Though not quite as bucolic nor its’ beach access quite as convenient as the original Maho Bay Camps the Concordia Eco-Resorts continues the original vision of Stanley Selengut. If your requirements for accommodations lean more to Stanley’s quote about caring “more about simplicity than … luxury,” this is a place that you should seriously consider and your travel footprint will be washed away in the sand.

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Photos courtesy of Concordia Eco-Resort

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2 thoughts on “Accommodations Part 2, the Eco-Resort: What Footprint?

  1. I must be rare as I would want to stay in some what of a luxury setting. Roughing it on a tropical island is best left to those that want to pretend they are on LOST or being Tom Hanks in that one movie where he and that soccer ball were beached. Me? I want nice sheets, maybe some A/C if I get too warm while out looking at the sights on the beach. Maybe I am just getting old.

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  2. This is a lovely write-up and a St. John’s experience that my family would certainly be interested in. Our few vacations when I was growing up were all camping vacations, and there’s something to be said for being a part of the environment you’ve traveled to see, rather than insulating yourself in the sameness of a hotel.

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