I went to the Hibiscus in December 2012 to attend a wedding. Foremost, I want to say that there is some truth to both the negative and the positive reviews for this property, and whether or not you enjoyed your stay depends on your expectations. If you are a budget traveler and can rough it to some extent, then you'll do fine. If you tend to stay at mid- to upper-tier hotels or resorts, you'll be disappointed, although on its website I think the property makes it clear that these aren't five-star rooms, so no one should be totally shocked. Here are some things to consider:
ACCOMMODATIONS: When I first walked into the room (or more specifically, the bathroom) I was underwhelmed, to stay the least. It's clear this property has not been renovated in a looong time; the tile has stains in the grout, the ironing board in our room had unidentified stains on it, and the hangers in the closet area were castaways from a department store (let's just say there are a lot of people who wear size XXL in this world). The TV was fine but probably from the 1990s. The bathroom overall...well, let's just say it functions: The water pressure was sufficient and the toilet flushes. But I found myself wondering if I should have brought shower slippers with me. We were in a bottom floor room, so we had to deal with bugs more than the upper-room folks seemed to deal with. There were definitely ants (who like to get into bed with you) and I saw a roach once in the bathroom. I also wasn't crazy about the mold/dust on the ceiling fan (needless to say, we never turned it on). That said, the comfort of the beds were fine (I slept soundly, at least, although I heard complaints from others who attended the wedding) and, if you're in a bottom room, you can just swing open your patio door and 10 seconds later you're at the water's edge.
Tips: Bring your own toiletries. The shampoo was in ketchup-packet-like containers. I used it because I didn't bring any, but you'd do better to use your own. And although they give you two water bottles for free in the fridge, stock up on snacks and drinks. There are no vending machines, and the only way to get bottled water is from the bar, which isn't always open. (Also, you do get daily maid service, but if you're that squeamish about bathrooms, consider some travel wipes or something, if only for peace of mind.) If you're booking during the busy season and am bothered by noise, get a room further away from the bar/restaurant.
BAR/RESTAURANT: The bar/restaurant area is probably the nicest part of the resort. It's a great place to just relax by the water, whether it's the beach or the pool. (The pool is small and the water was Gatorade-green while I was there, so I never partook). The staff is super friendly, the rum punches are good (and deceptively strong). One night they opened the bar when they were supposed to be closed to accommodate the wedding guests, which we all appreciated. The food was an unexpected treat. It's definitely not cheap (entrees are in the 20-25 dollar range) but considering what you might expect, it definitely exceeded expectations. I was never disappointed in either breakfast, lunch or dinner, and the staff was always friendly and accommodating.
Tips: Try the coconut-crusted french toast for breakfast. I also enjoyed my conch dinner. Keep in mind though that there's a reason the local Cruzan rum motto is the "No Hurry" rum. That seems to be a general motto across the island. Not a big deal at all, but if you're a harried New Yorker like me, then it's definitely a bit of a culture change. When you check in, you'll probably get coupons for free rum punches and discounts off breakfast. Use them!
LOCATION: If you want your vacation to be all about beach time, then you're in the right place. You could literally go back and forth between the beach and your room all day if you wanted. Some reviews have said that this is not a swimming beach. I disagree. Yes, there is a lot of seaweed and other ocean debris, but the water is still sparkling blue. Just grab a beach towel from the front desk and lie on a lounge chair all day. As far as what's around the resort...well, there isn't too much. Downtown Christiansted is about a ten-minute cab ride away, and if you want to mix it up, you can check out the resort next door, but otherwise, the location is fairly isolated. The front desk can call a cab for you, so finding transportation was never a problem, but there wasn't any public transportation that I noticed. The town of Christiansted has bars and restaurants and a small boardwalk, but it's a small several square blocks, which you could see in an hour or two. So that didn't warrant a full day of activities.
Tip: Have plenty of cash on hand for cabs if you decide not to rent a car. They aren't super expensive (to Christiansted it was about 10-15 dollars), but that's the primary way to get around if you don't rent a car. Also, note that ATMs are scarce. We had to have our driver take us to a gas station. So when you're near a place with an ATM or other sundries (snacks, water, etc.), take advantage and stock up. If you're looking for spa activities, you can book at the local fancy-pants resort, The Buccaneer, or have a masseuse make a house call to the Hibiscus. When coming back from town, ask the driver for his card so you can call him. We were able to hail a cab, but it did take a while to flag one down.
My friend and I were only in St. Croix for three nights, so there was probably much we didn't get to do/see, but I think the folks at the Hibiscus made our stay comfortable. Yes, the rooms leave something to be desired, but think about what you're paying for. If you want budget Virgin Islands—a roof over your head with easy access to sand and blue seas—then the Hibiscus should do the trick.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hibiscus Beach Resort is a casual and comfortable oceanfront boutique hotel comprised of 38 beachfront rooms in 6 freestanding buildings, set among lush native foliage and sweeping palms. Located on secluded and picturesque Pelican Cove Beach, just 3 miles from quaint historic downtown Christiansted and tourist shopping and just 15 minutes from the island’s main airport.Property amenities at Hibiscus Beach Resort include Freshwater Swimming Pool, Complimentary Pool and Beach Chaise Lounges, Complimentary Pool and Beach Towels, Complimentary Snorkel Equipment, Complimentary Wireless Internet, Beach Hammocks, Beach Volleyball, Daily Maid Service, Lending Library, Free Parking, On-site SecurityGuest Rooms at Hibiscus Beach Resort include Air Conditioning, Ceiling Fan, Terrace or Balcony with lounge furniture, Bathroom amenities (shampoos, lotions), Iron/Ironing Board, Hair Dryer, Coffee Maker with complimentary coffee, creamer and sugar, Alarm Clock, Telephone (most rooms), Cable TV, and also include a Mini-Fridge.Hibiscus Beach Resort is located in Christiansted, St Croix, approximately 8 miles or 15 minutes from the island’s main airport, and approximately 3 miles from the old historic and tourist district of Christiansted. The North shore proximity of Hibiscus Beach Resort just minutes from both the airport and downtown Christiansted provide easy access to island destinations. The Eastern-facing direction of our property also affords stunning island and coastal views, as well as the near-constant Caribbean trade winds. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hibiscus Beach Hotel Christiansted
- Hotel Hibiscus Beach
- Hibiscus Beach Christiansted
- Hibiscus Beach Resort St. Croix/Christiansted, U.S. Virgin Islands