Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Golden Rock: The ‘Hidden Secret Gem of the Caribbean’

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Golden Rock Dive and Nature Resort is a new luxury destination on St. Eustatius (called “Statia”).

The resort offers lush gardens, sustainably powered comforts, and rejuvenating activities. The diving offers vibrant reefs, shipwrecks, and great marine life encounters. It is nestled in the Caribbean between St. Barts, St. Maarten, St. Kitts and Saba. Flights generally fly to neighboring islands followed by a puddle jumper flight or ferry ride to this hidden gem. Though this dive destination is well worth the extra bit of travel.

This Dutch island boasts an incredible history. Over 350 years ago, they had the busiest duty-free trading harbor. It earned them the nickname “Golden Rock” because of all the movement of riches from around the world. Thousands of ships lined the shores, which have led to incredible archeological diving with two shipwrecks (Charles Brown and Chien Tong), old anchors and cannons.

Today, the island has no major commercialism, no cruise ships or mass tourism. The buildings in town remain the same. It’s like a jump back in time.

All dive interests and levels will find something. A large marine park hugs the 11-square-kilometer/4.25-square-mile island with 36 dive sites. With only two dive operators on the island, and a max of 12 divers on one site, great encounters are abundant.

The Quill, a dormant volcano, sets the stage for stunning vistas above and below the waves. The lava from eruptions seeped into the sea making for labyrinths of coral reefs. For those wanting a different view, volcano hikes give witness to the change in flora and fauna at elevation.

The resort sits on over 40 acres/16 hactares on the Atlantic Ocean. The are 100,000 different types of trees, flowers, and plants that have created a beautiful ecosystem of birds and butterflies.

Accommodations are available in luxury rooms, deluxe-suites, or lodges. The latter are like self-contained cottages with gardens that will be available March 2023. Prices begin at US$475 (~€481) per night in the low season (April 15 to December 14) and $600 (~€607) per night in the high season (December 15 to April 14).

The Breeze restaurant serves food locally sourced from the sea and land. There is a wellness center with yoga, Pilates, retreats, mediation, and massages. Children can enjoy the large playground. A multi-purpose sports court offered multiple outside activities. The resort also incorporates numerous sustainable initiates. This includes 2,400 solar panels, a reverse osmosis system, and greenhouse for fruits, veggies and herbs. A culinary component may be coming soon.

Bobbie’s Beach Club is opening in January. This will be a 40-foot/12m-deep saltwater lagoon at the edge of the cliff. Plans to sink a bus will make an artificial reef that is perfect for water activities, kids playing, diving instruction, and more. While the resort is not all-inclusive, diving can be coordinated a la carte and diver specific schedules can be constructed.

Sally Glen, Director of Sales & Marketing, says:

“It’s such a magical island and I love the fact that there’s no McDonald’s. It really is such an escapism where you can get back to nature and just wind down and really enjoy a diving vacation.”

To view the stunning imagery and learn more about this hidden dive destination, visit www.goldenrockresort.com.

Nola Schoder
Nola Schoderhttps://www.deeperblue.com
Nola is a journalist, visual storyteller and award-winning underwater photographer specializing in marine life, conservation and dive travel. A dive pro for 10+ years and an avid freediver, she started diving in San Diego, CA, and traversed the globe until landing in Miami. She holds a master's in Marine Conservation and works extensively documenting research, mostly with sharks and rays, and even has an individual manta ray named after her. Above water, she is generally on a gastronomic adventure or hiking for a view of our blue planet.

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