The Pink Fancy Hotel, located a few blocks from downtown Christiansted, first opened its doors in 1948 but has been closed for about a decade. Recently the property has been given a facelift and new life – re-opening as the Sugar Apple Bed and Breakfast.
The historic landmark that includes buildings dating back to 1780 spent many years painted Pepto Bismol pink, but the new owners Ryan Flegal and Corina Marks took the color down a notch to vanilla, with a new sign out front.
The couple came from California, sailing their boat to St. Croix from Florida. Marks has a master’s degree in marine science and Flegal worked at renovating historic buildings, so they have a lot of exploring to do – under the sea and above. Marks and Flegal had been looking for a while for a property to buy and transform with modern amenities and vegan food.
First they visited St. Croix for a month after Hurricane Maria struck, then sailed back to St. Croix in December 2017. Despite the hurricane-ravaged appearance of the island, they fell in love they said.
“We felt St. Croix was unique and we liked the people. Just months after a hurricane, there was a spirit of working together,” Marks said.
“And caring for each other,” Flegal added.
The B&B consists of 12 rooms surrounding a swimming pool and a shady turtle garden. Sunday brunch buffet is enjoyed at umbrella-covered tables around the pool. The freshly painted walls gives the poolside area an expansive feeling.
The Pink Fancy Hotel had been closed for 10 years. Along with general cleanup, paint, and replacing tiles in the walkways and around the pool, the couple added smart televisions and air-conditioning splits. New vanities in the bathrooms were carved from mahogany found after the hurricane.
“We’re trying to keep the historic charm with modern amenities,” Flegal said.
Flegal and Marks said they changed the name of the hotel to that of a “treasured fruit of the island” that has meaning to the local population and brings on a discussion about tropical fruit with visitors.
The Sugar Apple has been attracting repeat travelers from St. Thomas and Puerto Rico and is a popular spot for weddings and parties. The hotel was full, so no photos of rooms were available.
The Sunday brunch is attracting the public – both vegan and non vegan – with offerings such as sweet potato hash, scrambled vegetables, banana waffles and a variety of smoothies and mimosas. During the week, hotel guests have access to the breakfast buffet.
Although they don’t expect the hotel to be very profitable, Marks and Flegal are opening a west end facility in December. They purchased the former Butler Bay Great House and are rebranding it as Feather Leaf Inn. It will also feature vegan fare. They said they have become just as fond of Frederiksted as Christiansted.