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“Wonderful Resort, Staff and Location” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Renaissance St. Croix Carambola Beach Resort & Spa

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Renaissance St. Croix Carambola Beach Resort & Spa
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   PO Box 3031- Kings Hill, 00851, St. Croix   |  
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Ranked #3 of 18 Hotels in St. Croix
Certificate of Excellence 2014
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Wonderful Resort, Staff and Location”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2011

This was our first trip to St. Croix, but we have travel to many other islands in the Caribbean and always use trip advisers to help with hotel selection. The resort is amazing!! Large clean room, food was delicious, beach with lots of beach chairs was beautiful, pool and hot tube was clean and always had beach towels available. You can tell that all the staff members take great pride in what they do because they are amazing and so helpful. This is the basic info about the resort.

Before selecting this island make sure to do your research. This island is not your typical Caribbean island. Everyone speaks English and you have access to most things there is a k-mart and a large grocery store 15min drive from the resort. The hotel staff was the best I have ever had the pleasure of interacting with. They were extremely polite and friendly. But you have to make an effort as a guest to their ISLAND all you have to do is say GOOD MORNING, GOOD AFTERNOON or GOOD EVENING. This is a part of their culture and I recommend you make the effort. The rooms are large, extremely clean and include all the needed amenities (coffee maker and aveda products). We stayed in one of the up-dated rooms, if you are booking through Expidia I advise that you pay the extra money for the suite. The resort is currently renovating the outdated rooms so it might only be the discount sights which books the older rooms and do not tell you this. The beach is wonderful with great waves for body surfing or boogie boards and they have lots of beach chairs!! There is excellent snorkelling. We brought our own gear, but they do have rentals at the dive shop on site. We did not dive, but heard great things about the diving they also had night dives. There are great hiking trails close to the resort which are clearly marked and lead to the water, some old plantation buildings and great look-outs. I recommend renting a car, the driving is on the left, but the car is made to drive on the right so it makes it easier to drive just think your shoulder always to the shoulder of the road. If you can, bring a GPS with downloaded maps for the island we did and it made travel so much easier!!

Overall amazing resort!! I am very surprised at the lower reviews and I am a very picky and critical traveler. I was a little concerned by the lower reviews, but did not encounter any problems. Loved it and look forward to returning. Make sure to have some of the drink they have in the reception office in the afternoon sooo good and they have fresh coffee there in the morning.

  • Stayed January 2011, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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679 reviews from our community

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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
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Top Contributor
207 reviews 207 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 120 cities Reviews in 120 cities
125 helpful votes 125 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2011

Subject: Our 25th Anniversary trip to St. Croix

Date: Thursday, June 3, 2010, 11:06 PM

May 27th - June 1st, 2010 for our 25th Wedding anniversary.
Very warm, daily low and high temps only ranged from 86-89 degrees, and very humid, with showers on the first 3 of the 6 days, and an 83 degree ocean water temperature.
The location seems to be among the best on the entire island. Carambola (named after the fruit) is at the end of it's own road at Davis Beach, abutting the rainforest, with a beautiful beach for swimming, snorkeling, or scuba diving, and an excellent swimming pool, with beach views. Saturday and Sunday each featured a wedding, 50 feet from the ocean, and they didn't disrupt the others guests usage of the pool, restaurant, bar, or beach.
A rental car ($35/day from Centerline rentals) will permit the explorer in you to take a short drive through the rainforest to Frederiksted, or a shoreline drive to Christiansted, although the first day we paid $16 per person, round trip, for a shuttle to Christiansted.
The resort has a limited selection of food offerings for a weeklong stay, and is a bit pricey, so picking up groceries for the in room kitchen is a plus, as well as having the freedom to visit the many small local establishments along the North shore, and enjoy touring the island at your own pace.
Driving on the left side, keeping your shoulder to the shoulder, takes a little getting used to, especially making right hand turns at busy intersections. The traffic was very light, except in downtown Christiansted.
The reviews we read of Carambola scared us into booking s Superior room for an extra $80/night, and I believe our room (#22) was one of the better ones as our AAA agent had requested an upgrade for our special 25th anniversary trip. We were away from the center of the resort, about 75 feet from the ocean, with terrific views for a lower level unit.
The upper units are said to have vaulted ceilings and stainless steel appliances with larger TVs, but as long as it's one of the recently remodeled units, the lower ones are fine. We were informed that Marriott has pumped money into renovations, and the process is slowly progressing.
The days are 2 hours shorter than New England's at this time of year, so we found that early to bed, early to rise worked well for us, and we too, missed watching TV from our bed (it was around the corner in the living room, with no local channels for news or weather). The clock radio and car radio had local info, and you never can out drive the signal from a radio station on an island that's only 5 miles wide by 20 miles long.
The 10 foot window at the foot of the large king sized bed offered spectacular views, but a curtain would prove invaluable for a night with a full moon, a late sleeper, or someone sensitive to light when trying to sleep.
The Friday night Pirate's buffet was delicious, but the show merely consisted of 3 talented dancers in costume on stilts collecting dollars from the dancing public for 45 minutes. It was none the less very entertaining and festive.
On Saturday there were a dozen people around the pool area, compared to the usual none to two, so when I noticed everyone wearing an orange bracelet, I asked a gentleman if I had been missing something, and he said that they were on a day trip from the cruise ship Serenade of the seas that makes port in Frederiksted. We had planned to avoid the town on on that day to avoid the crowds, but were told by another Carambola guest that Frederiksted was a ghost town unless a ship came into port, then all the vendors opened up shop. So we went into town, and it still wasn't crowded, but since it was the end of their cruise, many felt shopped out and opted to stay on board.
The Chevy Cobalt we rented allowed us to visit point Udall, the Easternmost part of the U.S., and experience the monument built to celebrate the sunrise on the turn of the millennium. If we had a Jeep, we would have been more adventuresome with the scenic mountain trail/roads, and the steep traverses to some beaches.
The locals were full of information, and glad to share it. Everyone was friendly, everywhere.
Brian, a 20 year resident of St. Croix. owner with Jill of Virgin Kayak rentals gave us a wonderful tour of Salt River Bay, with my wife and I in a tandem $2800.00 Hobie Kayak you pedal (pump, really) rather than paddle, which was much faster, effortless, and permitted closer visiting than when the paddles are splashing about. Brian's visiting shared a wealth of historical information, from Columbus' landing in 1493 through modern day issues, relating to the National Park, and a true concern for the ecological future of St. Croix.
The shop owners in Christiansted also shared interesting details about their lives and the island.
It was too hot and humid to hike, but the trail to the tidal pools from Carambola came highly recommended, and we learned that Brian from Virgin Kayak tours had worked on that trail years ago, when he put in 10 years as head groundskeeper for Carambola. Small world, I mean Island.
Tan Tan tours also were recommended for the tidal pool trips.
There were few Franchise type businesses, yet diligent searching netted us a McDonalds, KFC, IHOP, Wendys, Subway, and 2 KMarts. The locals grocery stores were about 50% more expensive than ours at home, but gasoline prices were in line at $2.90/gallon.
We were told that 60% of the residents are employed by the oil refinery, 30% by the Government, and 10% for everything else, meaning tourism isn't what runs their economy.
It did seem quiet most everywhere, and very relaxing.
And despite limited sunshine, I still managed to get sunburned.
Airfare on American Airlines from Hartford, $412/person.
5 nights hotel in Superior Room, including Airport transfers, $1150.
Air conditioning: PRICELESS

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Saint Louis, Missouri
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2011

There are a few positive aspects about this property: the mahogany woodwork is beautiful, the proximity to the beach is ideal, and the reception/pool area is well-kept.

However, the service in the restaurants was quite poor, the prices for simple food items were outrageous (e.g., $3 for a mug of mediocre coffee served always without a spoon; you could do better at Starbucks), and the dining was neither healthy nor varied. Basically, you are stuck eating greasy beach food, unless you choose a salad. They clearly have food shipped in, and it is not clear whether any of it is organic, and they definitely do not make good use of foods native to the area. The tomatoes were hard and colorless; the strawberries were firm and white inside, and there were hardly any in-season, tropical fruits and veggies to be found, despite the fact that the property is littered with palm trees, many with ripe coconuts. The dining was disappointing, to say the least, and it would have been nice to have gotten a full set of silverware during a meal. The service was also extremely slow, and given its expense, not worth it.

The room was very dark and not well-sealed, as we found out when we woke up covered from head to toe in mosquito bites after a bad night's sleep on a completely unacceptable mattress. The sheets were not changed all week, I am sure, and the shower was not cleaned. The plumbing ran all week, despite my requests to fix it, and only one faucet worked in each sink (the hot water on the left sink and the cold on the right). Frankly, I have had a better hotel experience in a $60 hotel in Mexico City.

By the pool, the restroom went 5 days without toilet paper, rendering it obviously unusable, and the restroom by the reception had toilet paper but no paper towels for almost the entire duration of our stay.

In short, this property clearly does not even have a mastery of hotel basics, let alone Marriott resort expectations. I went here expecting a similar experience to Frenchman's Reef in St. Thomas, and it was like night and day. I wish I had spent my holidays at home instead, to be honest.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2010

This is the type of place you want to go when you REALLY want to get away from all of lifes distractions and get back to being you. We honeymooned here and it was divine. The service is fine. Cruzan women are very strong and respectable, and need to be treated with respect. If you're rude to them, they'll be unfriendly back, it's just their way. Also, "service" in St Croix isn't FAST anywhere, again, that's just their way. Heard of island time?If you're in a hurry, go to SANDALS.

We had a delightful time enjoying this resort that's truly tucked away from everything else on the island. The area is beautiful, and so was our newly remodled seaside room. No detail was left untouched, a huge bathroom with walkin shower, full kitchenette, and even a hammock out back so that you can read a book by the CARRIBEAN.

We recently went back for a return visit and the resort was exactly as we left it. Beautiful, a pocket of untouched happiness that you will truly enjoy if you want to ESCAPE from all the standard tourist fare.

This food is their weakest link, but historically speaking they've significantly upgraded their menu to a finer style of food in 10/10. Their website still doesn't show the new food.
I wish they had more guests, because it's never full, but maybe that's good for me! I'll be sure to go back.

St. croix is the quietest, but most desirable island in the carribean. It's a real "vacation spot". Not a tourist trap with all the tourist distractions.

  • Stayed December 2010
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2010

We are currently here for a week and I strongly urge you to not stay here:

Service is poor
Rooms are very dirty
Restaurant and bar is slow and food is lackluster

This is the first time I have ever added comments about a place I have stayed - this is how strongly I feel about this. I am former military and do not mind roughing it but this is completely unsatisfactory.

- Frequent power outages
- Rooms are filthy, floors are dirty, antiquated and smell. The walls were painted without moving the furniture, no light covers on the ceiling lights, the phone doesnt work, refrigerator is broken, and the closets are so dirty I couldn't place my clothes in them.
- Tonight at dinner i filled my own drinking water and after waiting 45 minutes for my meal it was served raw
- I made a list of items I wanted fixed several hours ago and have not receivved a response

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Tinley Park
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 25, 2010

Great hotel!! We stayed in a newly remodeled room. It was beautiful. I'm sorry to hear people have not been upgraded because they all sound very unhappy. Bad advertisment.
Our experience was beyond what we expected. We ate all our morning meals, several lunches and dinners at Saman restaurant and did the Pirates buffet. All meals were priced fairly and delicious. Did the spa 1 day with Anita and a great massage. Loved the gift shop, carried just about everything including laundry soap. We used Sweet bottom Dive Shop. My husband did 6 dives with Ryan off shore all were fantastic and Gwen slowly persuaded me to take a refresher course and dive with Mary Ann for which I am greatful for. She was patient and slow and made sure I enjoyed myself. With mountains that envelop the beach and a surf that hums you to sleep I have only great things to say about this hotel. The pool is newly remodled and just beautiful.You do need a car. We brought our GPS. It worked great. My husband programmed it at home before we left and it did a good job on the island. A few times it was off a little but not bad. The hotel is hard to find at night. Total trip report on forum.

  • Stayed December 2010, 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
    • 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.
Traverse City, Michigan
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2010

My husband and I just got back today from Carambola. We took our honeymoon and although we enjoyed ourselves, I wouldn't choose to go back.
We opted for a room that had not been renovated, thinking that it would be fine considering the price. The first room we checked into was a disaster. The floors were stained with mildew. The room smelled very bad. The phone did not work at all. The TV got MAYBE 5 channels and some of those were too stat-icky to watch. It was late so we slept one night and asked to switch rooms the next day. They moved us upstairs which smelled better but the floors were just as bad and that room came with it's own problems. The toilet clogged often. The lightbulb sockets in the lamps were very unstable and loose. The fridge was set at the coldest temp and still wasn't cold enough. The air conditioning unit was full of nasty growth. It was just dirty, so much so that we felt we needed to wear sandals in the shower.
We knew that the resort was remote so we opted to rent a Jeep through Centerline, very reasonable and delivered to us. We rented it for two days. The first day we headed East to Point Udall, which was very pretty. We also stopped in Christiansted. We ate at Rum Runners and had a good meal and got to see them feed the Tarpon. Christiansted felt very unsafe and was very rundown, similar to the city we went to college in.
The second day we headed West and South to Sandy Point. This is a turtle nesting beach and wildlife refuge that is only open on Saturday and Sunday. It was by far the most beautiful beach we saw and is worth the drive. We took the Scenic Road, which was an adventure in itself. I can't imagine driving this road in anything BUT a Jeep. Towards the end we had to straddle three feet deep craters that the hard rains had created. It was scary but ended up being one of the highlights of the trip. We also stopped in the rainforest and fed the beer drinking pigs. That night we headed a few miles to Cane Bay and ate at Off the Wall, very good food.
There are only two places to eat at the resort: Saman and Flamboyant. We ate at Saman or breakfast twice and both times it was good. Flamboyant was also very good! The Pirate Buffet on Friday is now $36/per person. I thought the food was great although I didn't eat nearly $36 worth due to being 6 months pregnant and not having the stomach room. The Mocko Jumbie show was fun and entertaining.
Unless you want to spend $100+ per day on food (for two people), find a way to get to a grocery store. We went to Plaza Extra in Sunny Isle. The Kmart down the street is limited, crowded, and not worth it. Cost U Less is probably fine too but it's more of a warehouse store, selling bulk items. However, if you are in an "old" room there is no way for you to cook anything so groceries will also be limited.
I would NOT recommend this resort unless you pay for a remodeled room. That would have cost us $100 more per day.
The service was a bit slow but who's in a hurry on vacation? The staff was nice enough and the pool was amazing.
My biggest complaint is that we paid over $200/ night and the room we had wasn't worth close to that. We didn't expect the Ritz but for that amount of money we expected cleanliness and working equipment. I grew up well below the poverty line and am a very appreciative person. However, the money spent on this trip would have been better spent elsewhere I fear.
We live in Northern Michigan, left a foot of snow and temps in the teens. That said, I was happy to get home. St. Croix IS beautiful but the interior made me appreciate Michigan and our hometown. I would not go back and would recommend somewhere else for vacation (Grand Cayman is amazing). We DID enjoy the warmth and occasional sunshine, anything was better than a foot of snow and frigid weather though.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 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.
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Additional Information about Renaissance St. Croix Carambola Beach Resort & Spa

Address: PO Box 3031- Kings Hill, 00851, St. Croix
Location: Caribbean > U.S. Virgin Islands > St. Croix
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:4 star — Renaissance St. Croix Carambola Beach Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 150
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Also Known As:
Renaissance St. Croix Carambola Beach Hotel St. Croix
Renaissance St. Croix Carambola Beach Resort And Spa
Carambola Beach Hotel
Carambola Beach Resort
Renaissance St. Croix Carambola Beach Resort & Spa U.S. Virgin Islands

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