After reading all the mixed reviews, I was worried about staying at Chenay Bay, but we just came back from a week there, and I had a very good experience.
The staff was helpful and friendly. The grounds were well kept. The beach and pool were clean, quiet and uncrowded. The restaurant service and food were very good. Our room was clean, cheerful and comfortable, and the price was very reasonable.
I couldn't agree more with the prior reviews about getting a "renovated" room, which comes with new appliances, new floor and bathroom tile, etc. (Note that a "refurbished" room is merely repainted, so don't be confused.) I had some initial difficulty upgrading to a renovated room, because I called many times over the course of several weeks and was always told "the computers are down". But two days before my arrival, I called again and suddenly had no problem upgrading to a renovated room for an extra $25 per night, which is more than worth it.
Some prior reviews complain that the "ocean view" of most rooms is actually blocked by trees. That's true, but it didn't bother us, and we much preferred having a renovated room facing beautiful trees (and still only a few steps from the beach), than an older room with a view.
We don't like ordering every meal off a menu while on vacation, especially when travelling with our children who don't sit quietly at restaurants. The kitchenettes at Chenay Bay were perfect, and allowed us to enjoy one or two meals a day at our own pace on our own porch.
The maids provided daily towel service, made our bed and emptied the trash every day. They don't wash your dirty dishes, as one review said, so bring your own maid from home if this is really your priority when going on vacation in the Caribbean.
As others have noted, the water fountains and hot tub don't work. So what? And yes, during our 7-night stay, we found one cockroach and one centipede in the bathroom. This is the tropics and to be expected. Yes, we got some bug bites outside at night, but again it's the tropics, and the time we were bitten worst was during a visit to the Buccaneer beach. Just use bug spray.
One review complained there were no beach umbrellas. We sat under the palm trees. No tragedy there. Other reviews complained about too many shells on the beach and/or too much vegetation in the water -- which I didn't find to be the case, and which is no different from anywhere else on the island. The snorkeling was good at Chenay Bay, and we even saw a sea turtle while snorkeling off the rocky point to the right of the bay.
One review noted the resort isn't walking distance to anything, which is correct -- except for the pool and fabulous beach -- which presumably is why anyone goes there in the first place. Chenay Bay is a 10-minute drive from Christiansted, and visitors should rent a car if they're staying for more than a couple days or plan to see anything else on the island. Chenay Bay is easily accessible to the whole island, so don't worry about being out on the "east end".
It would be nice if the Chenay Bay website provided more information, including about amenities, but if you call they’ll tell you whatever you want to know. They have free WiFi access in the lobby area. The rooms come with coffee makers and two coffee packets, so beyond that you should bring your own ground coffee and filters to avoid shopping for these locally.
All in all, we had a very good stay at Chenay Bay. It's not the Buccaneer, but that's not what we were looking for. We'd love to go back again.
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