100 Women We Love: Sheryl Smith and Simone Palmer
by Kat Long, Jacqueline Frances and Andrew Collins
June 14, 2013

Life and business partners since 1978, Sheryl Smith (a former sales rep for Nabisco) and Simone Palmer (a physical therapist) own and operate Sand Castle On The Beach in St. Croix. Having always wanted to cultivate their very own tropical paradise, the partners have turned the beachfront resort, which they once described as a “diamond in the rough,” into a gorgeous, lesbian-friendly vacation destination complete with scuba diving, yoga and an alfresco bar and restaurant right on the coast. “This space was created as a safe haven,” the women say, encouraging visitors, particularly lesbians, to take advantage of the USVI experience. Recently, the former New Englanders have gone green by transitioning to solar energy, an important part of their sustainable mission. “Our vision was to implement a sustainable philosophy that honors the human mind, body and spirit and to embrace diversity respectfully,” Palmer says. “Our mission is to create the premier beachfront resort destination that we initially were searching for, and to consistently deliver that welcoming atmosphere.” Sandcastle continues to grow with wellness classes and a spa. “Our guests’ feedback is very positive about meeting new friends from all walks of life,” the women say, “whom may not have otherwise crossed paths.” -NHM

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