Unveiling a hidden gem: Golden Rock Dive & Nature Resort on Sint Eustatius

I returned from an incredible research trip to Golden Rock Dive & Nature Resort on Sint Eustatius (fondly referred to as ‘Statia’) a few weeks ago and can safely say this hotel and little island has stolen a piece of my heart. It’s not hard to put my finger on it – the natural untouched beauty of the island, the exhilarating underwater world, the warm smiles, and the combination of adventure with luxury will easily draw in the intrepid traveller.

This off-the-beaten-path gem in the Leeward Islands packs a punch with its breathtaking landscape and storied past – don’t let its small size fool you, with a population of only 3,500. I took the boat transfer over from St Kitts and the moment we neared the island’s striking volcanic formation my jaw dropped! I couldn’t wait to start exploring.

golden rock boat trip

The lovely Sally and Sophie were waiting to welcome me to Statia and introduce me to the new kid on the block, Golden Rock Dive & Nature Resort. They whisked me over to the other side of the island (a mere 10 minutes’ drive away!) and we were there. The eco-friendly retreat did not disappoint! This place is a true haven for nature enthusiasts. The botany-keen owner has planted over 130,000 plants, trees and flowers around the highly manicured property sat on 40 acres, inviting in a variety of fauna from butterflies to hummingbirds. This combined with their cosy cottages and spacious suites along with an extensive list of activities and incredible food offering made for a truly fantastic stay. The volcano is the resort’s backdrop, overlooking elevated views of the Atlantic Ocean and neighbouring islands – I honestly felt like I was on another planet.

An in-depth tour of the resort showcased its many qualities. It is successfully working hard on eco-conscious living with reverse osmosis machines providing the hotel with clean drinking water, 2240 solar panels, and a helophyte filter, plus an onsite greenhouse. All cottages, rooms and suites offer ocean views with all the mod cons you’d expect and more, including in room lighting managed by sensors and timers to ensure there is no wastage. Facilities include a multipurpose court for tennis, football, basketball and more, mini golf, yoga, a sanctuary for spa and wellness, and an extensive children’s playground as well as three pools.

golden rock sunset

After settling into my suite, poolside sundowners were on the agenda (hello pina colada!) followed by a delicious mahi-mahi meal at Breeze. A good night’s sleep enveloped in a marshmallow bed, my alarm sounded to meet the sunrise and we were off out to trek to the top of The Quill, their sleeping volcano, with Brian, a local high school teacher who shared fascinating facts about the island along the way. I relished this chance – the rewards were astounding. A climb down into the crater and back up to the peak showed the volcano’s diverse ecosystems and panoramic views. A well-earned lunch and we ventured out on an island tour for the afternoon with Fi, hearing about the island’s rich heritage, storied past, and its emerging landscape for tourism. My first day ended with a Golden Express Train ride down to the hip Bobbie’s Beach Club at the cliff side of the resort, next to their sea fed lagoon – the Caribbean’s largest man made, ocean fed lagoon. The ex-Nobu chef created the tastiest sushi sharing plate for us which we chased down with a couple of Italian pizzas. And the evening didn’t stop there: we decided to go in search of the island’s rhythmic beats from carnival opening night – fun!

lizzie and golden rock team

The following morning started with a relaxing yin yoga class and tarot card reading with Fi – the warm Atlantic breeze was perfect, and it all overlooked the resort’s stunning grounds and panoramic views. I fuelled up with a hearty plate of fluffy pancakes and made my way down to Oranje Bay where I tried my hand at scuba diving for the very first time (when in Rome!). Wow did I discover scuba and I can wholeheartedly say I am hooked. Hello PADI! What an incredible place to have my first introduction to scuba diving. Laurent was brilliant – so informative and patient. After my intro it took me a few goes to get the hang of the concept, but I eventually got moving with Laurent by my side and spent 71 minutes beneath the surface discovering an incredible reef close to shore that was quite literally teeming with marine life – from tiny electric coloured fish to spotted moray eels and numerous types of angel fish, to name a few. A lionfish was even spotted along the way too. The island’s history can’t be missed here either – an old anchor and cannon rest peacefully on the seabed, covered in coral. I barely touched the sides – the marine park around Sint Eustatius is home to 36 different dive sites including lava flows, shipwrecks, and archaeological sites.

I certainly hadn’t failed to build an appetite on this trip so far, and a post-scuba lunch was eagerly enjoyed at The Boardwalk, a casual fare with a mix of local and international dishes on the menu. Sip & Paint with Fi was on the agenda next – a great way to while away an afternoon. And for my last night, the wonderful Sally introduced me to Barrellhouse on the oceanfront – a restored 18th century warehouse – where we watched the sunset accompanied with guava mojitos and an unforgettable fusion meal.

drinks and dinner at golden rock

Nowadays, greatly touristed destination can lose their authentic charm, but Statia stays an untouched paradise. A visit to Golden Rock Dive & Nature Resort on this Caribbean jewel is a transformative experience – you will be left with the most amazing memories and a deep appreciation for the wonders of nature. If you’re craving an off the beaten track getaway where peace and quiet meets adventure, you need to add this hidden gem to the top of your bucket list – you won’t be disappointed!


To speak to our team of  Caribbean experts and receive a no obligation holiday quote, contact Turquoise today


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