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“Decent Stay close to beach and boardwalk, not exactly what we expected” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel on the Cay

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Hotel on the Cay
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Protestant Cay, Christiansted 00822, St. Croix   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #5 of 16 Hotels in Christiansted
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Decent Stay close to beach and boardwalk, not exactly what we expected”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2014

This review in no way reflects an attempt to gain retribution and compensation from the hotel but rather offers an honest and respectful account of our experience.

My girlfriend and I just got back from a 5 night stay at Hotel on the Cay in Christiansted.

This place is certainly not a luxury resort but it was a decent spot to stay and it seems that it has the potential to be groomed into something a little less dated once the economy picks back up a little and some more funds are available to update the place.

The Hotel does have direct access to the only beach in Christiansted which was an added bonus to us since we traveled to St. Croix to relax. I'm not sure if the beach is directly associated with the hotel, but you have to pay to rent umbrellas and cabanas for the day. At least the white lounge chairs are free to patrons of the hotel. This is only my opinion, but it seems cheap that you have to rent those items as a patron of the hotel. There are some permanent umbrellas which are spread around the beach but you have to fight for a spot around them.

The first thing we noticed when we got to the place was that the blue water feature which surrounds the south side of the hotel was all dried up. I'm not sure why, but I'm assuming costs play a factor. I think the general dated vibe of the place would have gone up had this been operational.

Once we were received at the front desk, it was apparent that we were on "Island Time." The staff that we met were friendly enough but slow to respond.

We were given our keys and a magazine with some local information but were not directed by the front desk staff to fill out the room inventory checklist which we later found was a requirement once we settled into our room and discovered it within the magazine. I'm not sure why a hotel would have this kind of a list considering that the cost of dishes, silverware and towels is small compared to the price of a room stay. Having to fill out this kind of list made the place feel cheap and unwelcoming, especially considering the fact that we paid a decent amount of money to stay here and the rooms are serviced daily. We were also not directed to read the hotel information packet which was hidden within the nightstand and gave us some useful information about the hotel’s amenities (i.e. access to the pool with your room key, etc…) It seems that some of the information about the hotel’s amenities could have more easily been described to us verbally at the front desk to ensure that we had a smooth and enjoyable stay.

We did have one issue with our Air Conditioning Unit during the second night of our stay. When I pointed this out to the front desk staff the following morning, they instructed me that they would take care of it. Upon entering the room in the late afternoon, it was apparent that it had been cleaned, however the AC unit was still not operating. I mentioned this to a staff member which directed me to go back to the front desk. I was told that the maintenance person said "it was frozen and needed to defrost" which I had a hard time believing considering the fact that it had been inoperable for 10+ hours and the temperatures were near 84 degrees all day. It seemed more likely that nothing was done at all and it was just assumed that was the issue.

It appeared that another staff member also had doubts about frost because he accompanied me back to the room and immediately tried to resolve the issue by checking electrical breakers and the like. He finally offered that we change rooms which was the best solution to the issue and one which we appreciated. The service staff that helped us with the AC was a young man however his name escapes me. He was the friendliest and most helpful person I met during my entire stay at Hotel on the Cay. I would suggest that his management commend him for his helpful attitude and professional demeanor.

The sliding glass and screen doors in both of the rooms we were accommodated in were hard to open and not sitting properly on their tracks. From reading other reviews, it appears this may be the case throughout the hotel which is unfortunate because the balcony areas are truly an enjoyable place to enjoy a morning coffee or breakfast.

The captains which drive the ferry boat back and forth from the mainland to the Hotel were also extremely friendly and very helpful. They were also very responsive when asking for opinions on local activities and seemed to take a genuine interest in making our stay as pleasurable as possible.

In regard to the rest of the staff, it was just kind of a weird vibe the whole time we were there. We sometimes got the feeling that we were bothering the service staff and we were not always sure that their top priority was to make our stay as pleasant and smooth as possible.

Overall, the stay was decent and it was nice to have a kitchenette (with toaster oven) in the room because the restaurants around the area can become very pricey. For anyone looking to save some money on a couple meals, I would recommend taking a trip to the Pueblo Supermarket so that you can take advantage of the refrigerator and toaster oven in each room.

The only thing that really ticked us off was the fact that we had to rent the outdoor grills at a cost of $5 to $10 per use. We opted out of doing this and used the toaster oven instead. I would have been much more inclined to use this hotel amenity had it been included with the room. The cost of propane is well worth the enjoyment of a hotel patron in my opinion.

We also had a slight issue with the price of rooms being described as much cheaper at the front desk then when we had booked online. Since we had booked online, we were ok with paying the price we signed up for. However, when we asked if there was a way to compromise on the price, we were directed to call the management company which was apparently not associated with the front desk staff. It felt as though we were getting more of a run-around than dealing with a staff member that was willing to help by directly calling management and resolving the issues of a paying guest.

Other than what was described above, we have no issues with the hotel itself. I would however recommend to anyone planning a stay that you do not eat at the Harbormaster Restaurant which is also located on Protestant Cay. The Restaurant is not associated with the Hotel but everything kind of meshes together on the Island and you may think that it is. Feel free to read the review of my experience at the Restaurant for further information.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
HotelOnTheCay, Guest Relations Manager at Hotel on the Cay, responded to this review, January 31, 2014
Dear JimboT1,

Thank you for your feedback. It is good to hear that you have enjoyed the variety of offering at the hotel including the kitchenette and complimentary lounge chairs. On the other hand we would like to apologize for not meeting your expectations during your stay regarding maintenance concerns.

We do hope that you consider a return visit as we would be too thrilled to have the opportunity to welcome you back in our hotel.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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297 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 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 (83)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Delavan, Wisconsin
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2013

We just got back home from another great week at HOTC. This was our 5th visit and was the best ever. The hotel has been making improvements without losing it's charm. The beach was as good as ever and the landscaping looks amazing. The bathroom in our room has been completely remodeled and the room has new mattresses.

Room Tip: We prefer a room with a view of the beach.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Holland, Michigan
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2013

We had a wonderful time at HOTC!! The hotel is in need of some help on the grounds. The rooms were nothing to brag about but they were not trashy as some may have you believe. The AC worked as well as the small appliances. Nothing was "bad" during the whole trip!! We will be going back again. The people were very nice. We will be going back again. Mary from the shop by the dock is a fun lady to talk to.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Chagrin Falls, Ohio
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2013

We just spent a week at HOTC and absolutely loved it. We coordinated a taxi with the hotel, and they were waiting for us when we arrived. Stopped at the grocery store for some beer/water/snacks on the way, and were taken to the boat dock. Hopped the 90 second ferry to the island, captain was great (all week). Easy check in, up to our room, Suite #316 overlooking Christiansted Harbour. Truly beautiful! Unpacked, settled in and went to the bar for a beer, met some very friendly timeshare owners from New York. In the morning, I happened to be in the room when housekeeping came in, and she noticed the sofabed had been slept in. Our 24 year old daughter travelled with us. She kindly offered to put the full mattress on the sofabed so our daughter would have a more comfortable sleep. Extremely thoughtful! We enjoyed fishing off of the dock, snorkelling off shore, kayaking, steel drum band on Tuesday, and wonderful island music playing all afternoon. Very good food in the restaurant, and really friendly staff, from the lobby, to servers, bartenders, housekeeping, watersports, and the boat captains. Loved to see the pelicans, seagulls and egrets fly in and dive for the fish, Found an iguana on the hill and fed him a few maraschino cherries too. The water was crystal clear, the colors amazing. Loved watching the seaplane take off and land several times a day. The little shop on the island had bottled water, juices, pop, snacks and toiletries (no beer) and Mary who runs it is very friendly. The pool looked clean, but we enjoyed the ocean so much, we never went in. The beach was never crowded, and we felt extremely safe. Trips to Christiansted once or twice a day for shopping, drinks at Comanche Yachtless Club, and dinner at Rumrunners & Angry Nates were great too. Added bonus was Jump Up on Friday night! Never had to wait for the ferry more than a few minutes. I would recommend Hotel on the Cay to anyone. We didn't even venture further than Christiansted Harbour, we were so happy with our own little island!

Room Tip: We requested an upper floor overlooking Christiansted and had a gorgeous view
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  • Stayed November 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pompano Beach, Florida
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2013

While the beach is okay and the view of historic Christiansted is good, one ought to think twice before booking or visiting this one. While the hotel/timeshare has been struggling with maintenance for years, they don't seem to be making much headway. Visitors must pay for the rental of lounge chairs for the beach. Visitors must pay $5 for the ferry trip to get there. The restaurant with marginal food has increased their price for a frozen drink to $10--highest price on the island. Have better luck booking or visiting another spot.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2013

Basically the place is a run down dump. The room doors are basically screen doors with slats. The screens and slats were falling out and you can see into the rooms. It's like not even having a door on the room. Since there are no real doors you can hear every thing going on in the rooms as you pass by and all the noise outside when you are in the room. We stayed for 5 days and they never cleaned the room once, I had to retrieve clean towels myself. The facility has a large fountain system that is dry and falling apart. They also make you take an inventory of silverware and dishes on a check list as if you planned on stealing the sub par flatware. Sliding deck doors didn't close or lock which is an issue due to the crazy high crime rate. They also hit you with a $95 a week energy charge. Why not just put that in room rate and cut the deception. They only could find one room key for us we had to share. Last and worst thing are the beds. The bedding is all ripped and tattered. The mattresses are so old and are smashed flat with all the springs poking into you. I couldn't sleep at all and now my back is killing me. Do not waste your money coming here. I wish we hadn't.

  • Stayed November 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HotelOnTheCay, Guest Relations Manager at Hotel on the Cay, responded to this review, November 14, 2013
Hello ADDICT,

Thank you for the review. The readers of Trip Advisor appreciate candid responses. However those that are misleading and inaccurate, such as yours from a new TA user, greatly diminish the reputation of the contributor.

We're quite surprised to learn about your concerns since they were never voiced to management. The false claims of bath towels, doors and fountains...to name a few...are a pity to read. It is noteworth to let readers know that you were advised of the energy surcharge at time of reservation. We would have appreciated the opportunity to dicuss your concerns ~in person rather than misleading readers in an attempt to gain retribution and compensation from the hotel.

As a NEW MEMBER of the TA community (under an anonymous handle), we wish you many successful reviews and appreciate the opportunity to be the FIRST to respond to your feedback. May all of your local travels there in your neighborhood area be enjoyable!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wallingford, Connecticut
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2013

Who ever their photographer was is great in the art of deceiving you. This place is incredibly run down, the staff is quite rude, with the exception of the ferry drivers. The rooms are severely bellow average, and we stayed a week in the " secluded " honeymoon sweet. The room is in a building shared by two other owners, who have apartment like attachments. The room was dirty, and really felt disgusting just laying in the bed. One a/c didn't work at all.. Of course during a heat spell, and we had to endure it dripping our entire time. The room made our quiet honeymoon on our own tropical island into an adventure everyday. That's fine except when your paying top dollar for privacy. We ended up having to move out of our room into a "sweet" which ended up being in better shape than the honeymoon, minus the rock hard full beds and tacky motel bedding. The people at the bar / restaurant were extremely rude... And lazy as all. Getting attitude for a drink or fruit bowl in the morning... Really had us feeling ready to go home. Outside the hotel our vacation was awesome, just please think twice.. Make that three times before ever considering this place.

Room Tip: Look at a different hotel
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 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 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel on the Cay

Address: Protestant Cay, Christiansted 00822, St. Croix
Location: Caribbean > U.S. Virgin Islands > St. Croix > Christiansted
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Christiansted
#5 Family Hotel in Christiansted
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel on the Cay 3*
Number of rooms: 53
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Step into an atmosphere of casual elegance during your visit to our inviting private island retreat. If your idea of a Caribbean vacation includes unforgettable sunsets, white sand beaches and the simple phrase “no problem,” this is the place for you! Hotel on the Cay offers you the best vacation value in the Caribbean. Located on a private cay in the Caribbean Sea, our 53 room resort provides for an unforgettable vacation experience that is ideal for couples, families and adventure seekers.Here guests can dine at our on-site restaurant, unwind with a refreshing swim in the pool, enjoy water sports at our activity center and explore the historical sights, eateries, shops and entertainment located on the boardwalk just minutes away by private complimentary boat. A quaint, pristine beach overlooks Christiansted Harbor’s beautiful boats, which makes for perfect photos at sunset. As the only beach in downtown Christiansted, you will enjoy swimming and snorkeling the amazing undersea world surrounding the cay.Hotel on the Cay will provide bountiful sunshine, bright turquoise seas teeming with life, refreshing trade winds and a place to lay your head at the end of each memorable day. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
On The Cay Christiansted
On The Cay Hotel
Hotel On The Cay St. Croix/Christiansted, U.S. Virgin Islands

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