We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Sapphire Beach Resort rental question

Which St. Thomas hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
Minneapolis...
posts: 185
reviews: 9
Sapphire Beach Resort rental question

Hi, we are considering renting a unit in the B building from Beatrice B. She seems very nice, (and the online pics look wonderful) but I can't find any other info on her condo online other than vrbo. Should I be asking what unit it is? Thanks for any insight/info.

Boston...
Destination Expert
for St. Thomas, East End
posts: 2,691
reviews: 14
1. Re: Sapphire Beach Resort rental question

Jessie

I don't think it is unusual to not find information on a particular condo. You have seen pictures and talked with the owner so you have done the right things. I am familiar with most of the Sapphire units and if you want to PM me with the vrbo number and a little info on what you want in a condo I will be glad to give you an opinion, but it sounds like you should be fine.

Hurley, New York
posts: 1,747
reviews: 28
2. Re: Sapphire Beach Resort rental question

If you have not already done so, look in the TripAdvisor review section, for reviews of that particular unit..

Steve

New Jersey
posts: 496
reviews: 2
3. Re: Sapphire Beach Resort rental question

I would be sure to ask if the owner you are dealing with pays the amenities fee. Not all owners at Sapphire do. The amenities fee entitles you to use the beach chairs, towels and snorkeling gear from the dive shop. If they do not participate in the program, you are looking at $7.00 a day per chair. Doesnt sound like a lot, but its an extra $98 a week for two chairs.

Edited: 10:34 am, June 24, 2013
Boston...
Destination Expert
for St. Thomas, East End
posts: 2,691
reviews: 14
4. Re: Sapphire Beach Resort rental question

Greg a good point.

One thing may have changes since you were down last. There was a time when the dive shop was giving out the beach towels, but now you have to go to The Exclusive Resorts Management office to get the beach towels. What this means to a guest is that they need an owner who paid the Dive shop for the chairs but is also having Exclusive manage the unit to get the beach towels. Some owners not with Exclusive provide beach towels in the units.

North Pole, New York
posts: 4,354
reviews: 88
5. Re: Sapphire Beach Resort rental question

The amenities are a nice bonus and were included with our unit. But I wouldn't weigh my condo decision too much on that. Also found last visit that on busier days the owner's time allotment for rentals is reduced to 2 hrs.

Of course if I would want to see pics and videos of the unit as possible, and talk to the owner as mentioned earlier. I would also like to have access to reviews from past guests, or past guest e-mail addresses that were given to the owner to be provided to subsequest renters. Most owners don't go that far but that would be good for them too.

Jessie you can try Googling the vrbo# as well, that can sometimes get you a hit on a review you may have never found otherwise.

Enjoy, Sapphire is beautiful!

Hurley, New York
posts: 1,747
reviews: 28
6. Re: Sapphire Beach Resort rental question

crmorres,

A while back there was a thread on the HomeAway forum [which they call "community] about owners asking guests to make themselves available to converse with new potential guests. The overwhelming response that it an unreasonable to ask a past guest to do that.

In an effort to reduce "fake" reviews, both VRBO/HA and TripAdvisor, require a "registration" process that is enough of a hassle that it has becoming difficult to get guests to post reviews. If you have ever posted a review on TA, you know how they badger you to leave more.

I, for one, would not ask a past guest to authorize release of an EMail address or phone number so they can become a "salesperson" for me. Posting a single review is sufficient burden.

Steve

Steve

North Pole, New York
posts: 4,354
reviews: 88
7. Re: Sapphire Beach Resort rental question

Agreed, providing a potential renter wirh contact info for a previous renter would not be good, I would not want people contacting me directly. Reviews on the VRBO and Home Away sites are helpful as long as there are some there. Otherwise googling is the next option.

Unfortunately we're always seeing "suspect" reviews and reports on these sites and one just needs to weed out the extreme pro and con reviews and rely on the rest.

New Jersey
posts: 496
reviews: 2
8. Re: Sapphire Beach Resort rental question

Bill - You are spot on about the towels, I do remember getting my towels in 2012 from a unit in Building A not the dive shop. They limit the snorkel gear to two hours a day, but its never really been enforced, at least with me. I've always kept the chairs all day. Also important is the amount of cleanings of the unit the owner authorizes. I know the owner I deal with includes one mid-week cleaning a visit, but will add more at around 50-75 bucks a piece.

Regarding the reviews, I can only take it from the consumer side, not the owner, but I can tell you the owner I deal with is very flexible, honest and trustworthy. His unit is not as close to as nice as some of the remodled ones, but he is very reasonable. He never asked me to write a review but I gladly did it because I felt I wanted to pay him back on some level. People that are concious of TA can spot the fake reviews. No pictures and low post counts are dead giveaways. There are always one star 'TERRIBLE" reviews and 5 star "PARADISE" reviews. The truth is generally somewhere in the middle.

Hurley, New York
posts: 1,747
reviews: 28
9. Re: Sapphire Beach Resort rental question

Some places have "extreme" reviews because guests have been very happy or very unhappy. Weeding out the extreme reviews will lead you to mediocre places.

There are far more sophisticated ways to spot bogus reviews, such as "does the review include specific information about the ________?" For some reason, the inclusion of the word "husband" is a "red-flag" for a bogus review.

TripAdvisor has developed some pretty sophisticated algorithms to detect bogus reviews. VRBO/HA is not as advanced, although all reviews are submitted to the owner for a possible response prior to publication. There is a lot of suspicion that the reason that VRBO/HA seems to allow bogus favorable reviews to slip through, is because they don't want to anger their paying customers.

Google <reputation management> for a lot of info about bogus reviews, but please do not suggest penalizing places that have a lot of good reviews because someone is doing a good job.

Steve

North Pole, New York
posts: 4,354
reviews: 88
10. Re: Sapphire Beach Resort rental question

>>Some places have "extreme" reviews because guests have been very happy or very unhappy. Weeding out the extreme reviews will lead you to mediocre places.<<

Steve bogus reports are pretty easy to spot and there are many posted everyday. I'm not penalizing any one site - just stating a fact that folks need to use common sense when they rely on information posted on public forums.

And many of the "extreme" reviews I see are simply badly mis-rated or misrepresented by the reviewer as nj said. That is, the reviewer goes overboard on the + or - side of the rating for whatever reason. These are as dangerous to those relying on their experiences as intentionally misleading someone.

Just MHO, not helping the OP at this point....