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“A wedding to remember” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Renaissance St. Croix Carambola Beach Resort & Spa

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Renaissance St. Croix Carambola Beach Resort & Spa
3.5 of 5 Resort   |   PO Box 3031- Kings Hill, 00851, St. Croix   |  
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Ranked #3 of 18 hotels in St. Croix
florida
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“A wedding to remember”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2014

My daughter just got married at this resort. We had 100 guests, and 4 eating events all catered by the resort. Every event went PERFECTLY. I contribute this all to Sarah Novick with the help of Michael. The food was delicious , the staff was friendly and accommodating, the rooms were lovely and comfortable, and if there was a problem (which there were very few) it was handled immediately. I ordered the cake from Jen Jordan which was beautiful and unbelievably good. I rented chairs and other decorations from Reliable Rental and they even purchased the items for the wedding bags for me.

This hotel is a hidden gem. It is secluded, but that is what I liked about it, and all of the guests felt the same way. What could be better then everyone you love being on a beautiful beach, relaxing and celebrating?

I started planning this event 14 months ago, not realizing that the hotel was going through changes because they were not quite up to par with what is expected from a Renaissance hotel. By the time our weekend event started on February 13, 2014, the management was on the ball and they lived up to the Renaissance name and actually exceeded all my expectations.

It's never easy having a big destination wedding, but if you have someone like Sarah making sure that EVERYTHING is taken care of you, then you can sleep at night knowing that all your wedding dreams will come true.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (222)
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English first
Severna Park, Maryland
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2014

The Renaissance St. Croix Carambola Beach Resort & Spa on the northern shore of the island is a huge and beautiful resort with a gorgeous private beach and good amenities. The residences are in separate buildings with several large units in each; ours was a 2nd floor beachfront unit (in building 25) at the farthest end of the complex with a veranda that looked out on the beach (which was about 100 feet away), and a full kitchen. I heartily recommend going for beachfront, and 2nd floor gives you a better view, cathedral ceilings, and no footsteps from above.

The L-shaped room was great -- comfy king bed between a window and the beach-side veranda for a breezeway and the sound of the waves, a sleeper sofa, and two flat screen TVs, one in front of each. The kitchen was fully equipped with everything you might need including complimentary coffee and a coffee maker, and the veranda had built-in bench seating. The bathroom was lovely -- double sink with Kohler fixtures on a granite counter-top, and a large walk in shower with a tile bench. The large walk-in closet was a real plus.

Sprawling palm tree-covered grounds were well-maintained by-and-large, with a huge common area swimming pool, hot tub, on-campus dive shop, well-stocked gift and sundries shop, fair-to-middling if expensive restaurant and bar, tennis court and basketball hoop, and a small barely adequate fitness center. The resort-length sand beach is beautiful -- sand-bottomed the farther into the grounds you go, rock-bottomed closer to the main building. It makes for good snorkeling on-site. Lots of chaise-lounges to use, and a Captain Morgan rum bar set up on the beach after 12 noon to about 5 pm.

Overall, we were very pleased with the accommodations and the grounds, and would not hesitate to stay again on that basis.

Service, however, was somewhat wanting: Generally polite and pleasant staff, but slow and inefficient. Inexplicably there are no ice machines on the huge grounds, and each time we asked for ice to be delivered to our unit in a bag for storage in the freezer to complement our fridge's small ice maker, it either never came, or came long after we needed it. Same thing with the request for a light bulb replacement and extra towels -- it took forever. Perhaps because we were at the end of the grounds, housekeeping often didn't get to us until very late in the afternoon, once not until after 5 pm. The pool is open 24/7, but there are no towels at the pool after 5 pm; you have to go to reception to get them, and one night the sole duty clerk was less than happy to do so when I requested two towels.

House wireless service is spotty on the grounds; it works, but not everywhere. As to cell phone service, if you don't have AT&T, fuggedaboud it...but that applies to anywhere on the island. There is one desktop computer in reception to use for basic online searches and for finding and printing travel documents.

If you want to do anything more than stay on the resort grounds, you MUST have a rental car. The resort is at the very end of a narrow and winding road with no shoulder, and the closest "community" -- Cane Bay and its restaurants and bars -- is about 3 miles away. The towns of Christansted and Fredericksted are each about 8 very winding miles and 30 minutes' drive away. If you rent a vehicle, rent an SUV or Jeep as roads in the middle of the island are deeply pot-holed. And you MUST get a GPS, Street and road signs on most of the island are an oxymoron, and driving at night would be impossible without guidance. Nearest supermarkets to stock your kitchen are about 4 miles away.

All-in-all, despite our service nits, the resort was an excellent choice.

Room Tip: Beachfront unit, 2nd floor a must. We were in building 25 and were very happy with it despite the lo...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denville, New Jersey
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2014

When you first approach The Carambola you will be on an elevated roadway overlooking the Caribbean Sea. As you go around a bend in the road, a majestic mountainside that drops directly into the sea comes into view and you begin to notice the tops of red roofs peaking through the trees just below. As the road begins to descend you are welcomed at the gate and feel as though you've arrived at the end of paradise. Everyone at this hotel is very polite, from the bellman, to the front desk, to the cleaning staff you pass along your way. Actually, most of St. Croix is very polite, so best to remember your "Good Mornings, Good Days and Good Evenings" whenever you cross paths with anyone local.

This resort is a nice blend of Danish and British West Indies design w/lots of dark mahogany wood and natural stone tile. The open air lobby is covered by a series of peaked roofs with dark wood pillars descending from them. A tiled path is under neither and leads through tropical gardens down toward the beach. On either side of this path are entranceways to the front desk, the spa, the gift shop, two restaurants, the bar and finally a pool to the left and beach a few steps below.

Our room was located on the east end of the property. A little further from the beach, but directly above a small rock outcropping overhanging the sea. When we opened the doors to our private, screened in balcony, the ocean view was fabulous and the waves were crashing immediately below. Since we are not big A/C fans and since St. Croix has an average yearly temperature of 82 degrees, we turned the A/C off and spent our week with the louvered doors open, allowing the Caribbean breeze and the sound of rustling palms and crashing waves to come in (btw - while on island, we learned that electricity is 5x more expensive in St. Croix then on the continental US, so whenever possible please consider saving a watt on this environmentally-conscious island). This trip was a romantic getaway for my husband and myself; however, a family with smaller or older children will enjoy having these balconies that double as an extra open-air room. They would make great enclosed play spaces for attended younger ones and teens will have a little space to lounge and text away. Our bathroom was very spacious, clean and well appointed. It included a walk-in closet large enough for us to fully unpack and hide our suitcases. Beach towels, robes, even umbrellas awaited us. The shower was large, bright with a vaulted ceiling. The room also included a sitting area, small kitchen (which we only used to make a few of our own Caribbean cocktails) and a desk area.

On our first night at the resort we stayed on site for dinner . While enjoying our meal outside The Flamboyant Bar, a band played a mix of Reggae and Calypso just outside the Saman Restaurant. As we finished, we overheard an announcement that a show was about to start. With drinks in hand we walked over and were surprised by an electrifying show of music and Mocko Jumbie dancers. These costumed Mocko Jumbies dance, jump and contort while standing on stilts. Children and adults were encouraged to approach, participate and take photos. Tipping is politely encouraged and well earned. The show was a great introduction to Crucian culture, lots of fun and should not be missed by young or old. Attendees are encouraged to make reservations for the proceeding buffet dinner, but eating from the menu at the bar did not prevent us from joining. My understanding is that this show only takes place on Fridays.

This hotel also boasts its own Dive Center called Sweet Bottom. Staying for 5+ days? Consider getting certified at this perfect location. The waters off the Carambola are great for both snorkeling and diving. Any gear you could need for either activity can be rented here. I'm 45+ and have been certified for only 2 years. It's one of the best decisions I've ever made. Our teen daughters and my husband have been certified longer and words can not express how wonderful it has been to finally join them under the sea.

Finally, the grounds of the Carambola are beautifully manicured, spacious and teaming with nature. The property is home to a variety of birds, mongoose, geckos and the occasional iguana. The pool is a nice size, is surrounded by lounge chairs with views of the surrounding hills on three sides and the ocean on the other. The beach spans 2/3 of the property and has a number of units overlooking it on the west end of the resort. Kicking back with a drink at sunset is a perfect way to close out the day. You will also find hammocks tucked along the beach and in a variety of quiet spaces around the property.

Room Tip: If you would like to feel "one with the ocean" (hearing waves crash softly below your balc...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nancy W, Director of Sales at Renaissance St. Croix Carambola Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, February 15, 2014
What a beautifully written and descriptive review! You paint the perfect picture of the resort. Thank you so much for taking the time to tell us how much you enjoyed the beauty of our unique beachfront location. We are truly lucky to be able to offer our guests such an unspoiled vacation expereince. I truly hope you will return to visit us again!

Warmly,
Nancy William
Director of Sales
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Long Island, NY
Top Contributor
108 reviews 108 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
101 helpful votes 101 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2014

We chose Carambola specifically because of its isolation. Location is ideal: on the quiet North Shore and right on the water. The view of the green mountains as your backdrop is out of this world. The entire resort is relaxing, laid back and has a calming effect. I’ll give you a good example: during our stay construction was performed intermittently around the pool area. At first, I was irritated about the noise and the fact that this was high season and any work should be done off season. I was about to complain to management regarding this “major inconvenience”. Then the calming effect took place: we simply left the pool area and found 2 very comfortable chaise lounges on the beach. Problem solved. No hassle. No worries. (Maybe they spike the food and water with Valium)

As for the rooms, we booked an oceanfront 2nd floor unit. Very spacious, clean, huge bathroom and shower, full kitchen, 1 cup coffeemaker, 2 plasma TV’s, walk in closet, comfortable king bed, and that much talked-about screened in porch. Nice having the crashing waves of the ocean as your background music. In hindsight, we should have stopped at Plaza Extra on our way to the resort and stocked up on food and snack items because of the extensive kitchen facilities. You could easily make breakfast and lunch (maybe even dinner) if you’re pinching pennies or not in the mood to dine out. Daily maid service is provided.

The grounds were meticulously maintained. Pool and hot tub area a great place to relax (when construction was not being done). Beach was also very beautiful – plenty of chaise lounges available. Also plenty of beach towels available at all times contrary to some reviews. It rained from time to time, but the showers were brief Hawaiian style.

We ate at the Flamboyant Bar the first night we were there and had a good, not great, meal - but that was what we expected and were not disappointed at all. Drinks were well made and potent (see picture of drink menu). We also had breakfast and most lunches on site. Breakfast was menu or buffet – the buffet was about $23, but included many items and made-to-order egg dishes. Lunch was more burger and fries pub grub but very good. ALL wait staff during our stay were friendly and efficient. I must mention that contrary to some reviews, meals didn’t take forever to reach the table – definitely not slow at all. We had a rental car and took the short drive to Eat@CaneBay and a longer drive the Kendrick’s in Christiansted. As others have mentioned, most roads in St Croix are in pretty bad shape and signs are almost nonexistent. Getting lost is very easy and we did it a bunch of times.

The Friday night Pirate’s Buffet at Carambola was a treat – entertaining fire dancers, Mocko Jumbo dancers and full dinner buffet was worth the price.

Bottom line – Carambola is a great place to unwind and chill out in a gorgeous atmosphere. It’s not for party people and is not especially kid friendly, but that’s the reason we chose it. Friendly staff from check-in to check-out. We had a great time and would return in a heartbeat.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kansas City, Missouri
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2014

Being fans of kaui hi this place is compairable in beauty.We had the privledge of staying here 14 days without plans of doing any excursions.We were unsure of being in one spot for the duration of our trip but after leaving the resort for one day it was quick to note we were at the best spot on the island.The resort is very secluded and taxis are expensive.We did not rent a car for the fact i did not want the responsibilty of driving on the left side of the road.We were here thru the holidays making it their busy season but never seemed to be crowded or clustered.The layout was perfect and the water is clear and warmer than hawaiis pacific ocean.The staff couldnt have been better.Andrew was our favorite.He would serve us coffee on the beach early mornings even tho he was off the clock.he would always go out of his way to greet us and ask if we needed anything.sometimes we did and he always took care of our needs.We were here with my family a group of nine so we are not always easily pleased,however the staff (too many to mention them all by name) was great in making our vacation and holidays the best.Now the dive shop .Wow! we arrived non certified with little intrest.But after a few minutes of meeting Greg and Mel we were hooked. Mel took my wife and daughter under her wing and had them comfortable under the water in no time. Greg went one on one with my 11 year old son and taught him the basics of diving. Very first class.Cant wait to get back to dive with them again.the resorts food and drinks are expensive but come with a priceless view.The only bad experience we had was the taxi service from the airport to the resort for nine of us on a twenty minute drive was agreed at $120 .00 we asked him to stop by a grocery store we saw on the way.Only two of the nine of us got out and he never left the fire zone out front of store. I thought a heavy tip would pay for the stop but after giving him $150.00 he kept his hand out and said keep it coming at a $175.00 I stopped and said that is enough.I felt taken in the first few minutes of being here.We found better taxi service there later but ask a local or one of the staff you gotten to know who to call.thanks to the staff of the carambola cant wait to get back

Room Tip: we had the best of rooms available upstairs ocean front but not in my room much when on vacation i t...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nancy W, Director of Sales at Renaissance St. Croix Carambola Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, February 13, 2014
Thanks for taking the time to write such a wonderful review. We often are compared to Hawaii as our mountain vistas and beach views are similar. Sounds like overall you enjoyed a wonderful stay with us. I am sorry you had a less than great arrival experience with a taxi. Most of them are quite good and reliable, but sounds like you got one that wasn't up to standards.
I hope you will consider visiting us again!

Warmly,
Nancy Williams
Director of Sales
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Binghamton, New York
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2014

We booked this place with points, and we were upgraded to an ocean view room. The room was large, and the configuration was great. There is a walk in closet opposite from the double vanity, so it feels as if you have a dressing room. The kitchen was more than adequate for us to make breakfast, which we did each morning.
The real treat was the screened in porch. Our room was about thirty feet from the ocean, and we spent most of the time I our room on the porch. Lush greenery was all around, and the sound of the ocean was fabulous. At night you can sleep with the porch doors open and the shuttered doors safely closed and locked, so your hear the night sounds and the ocean. It was heaven.
We found ALL of the staff to be wonderful. The manager, Jackie, was professional, knowledgeable and helpful, right down to her hand drawn maps to help get us where we wanted to go.
The restaurant had a small but good selection of food. We ate there several times, and each item we ordered was quite good. The drinks are a little pricey, but you expect this at a hotel restaurant. And the rum drinks were great. Service was good, sometimes a touch slow, but hey, we were on vacation, and in no hurry. This is island time, people.
We read some reviews about the condition of the hotel and the construction going on. Our room was very clean. Yes, there was some construction. We did not find it to be a problem. If you complain about the condition of the place, you can't complain when it's being fixed.
We made a reservation for the pirates' buffet before we arrived. When we arrived, I checked, and sure enough, our reservation was in their book. No problem there. The food was plentiful and varied, and good. The show was great. Live music, fire dancers, mocko jumbles and a d.j. Well worth the money.
We debated on a rating between four and five stars. What was lacking were things to do at the resort. It would have been nice to have a few activities during the day other than sitting on the beach or at the pool. (We're not scuba divers.). But still, this is an absolutely beautiful setting, peaceful and serene. We had a wonderful time.

Room Tip: We loved our ocean view room. Beautiful view and we thought much better than a beach front room.
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2014

We are headed home after a week at one of our favorite vacation spots ever! We loved the layout of the "rooms" which are more like bungalows. Extremely private and even when it's at capacity does not feel busy. Views are amazing, the private screened in porches are perfect for an afternoon siesta:). Rooms are also large with big bathrooms. Very casual atmosphere - don't need a lot of dressy clothes. I would suggest renting a car to get around the island but stay on the north shore if you are looking for less touristy options. We did have room service and ate several meals on property- all were very good especially the Mahi-Mahi sandwich. All staff were very friendly and accommodating.

Only complaint is they started working on the lawn service at 7am:(. Raking leaves and backing up golf carts when everyone has their doors open to listen to the waves isn't so great.

Would defiantly stay here again!

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Renaissance St. Croix Carambola Beach Resort & Spa

Address: PO Box 3031- Kings Hill, 00851, St. Croix
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > U.S. Virgin Islands > St. Croix
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in St. Croix
#3 On the Beach Hotel in St. Croix
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Renaissance St. Croix Carambola Beach Resort & Spa 3.5*
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Also Known As:
Renaissance St. Croix Carambola Beach Resort And Spa
Renaissance St. Croix Carambola Beach Hotel St. Croix
Carambola Beach Hotel
Carambola Beach Resort
Renaissance St. Croix Carambola Beach Resort & Spa U.S. Virgin Islands

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