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.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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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