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“Incredible Retreat on Magen's Bay” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sand Dollar Estate

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Sand Dollar Estate
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130 Campbell Rd., 07931, St. Thomas   |  
Hotel amenities
Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan, United States
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Incredible Retreat on Magen's Bay”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2013

What's not to like about a house with 9 bedrooms with a private beach on Magen's Bay? Bring lots of friends, fill the place, and have great time! We had a group of 10 (thanks, Katie!!), so it was about half full.

This estate has a gym, spa, pool, sun decks, private beach, kitchen, outdoor grill, and multiple seating areas with incredible views of Magen's Bay. You'll notice from the photos that there are many stairs down to the beach... plan on bringing drinks down there with you in a bag of ice to shorten the supply line.

The most sought-after rooms seem to be the cottage (Little Sand Dollar) upstairs room and the two rooms above the kitchen area in the main building. Definitely rent both the main building and the cottage if you have enough people.

If you like wildlife, there are a couple bonuses... the sea birds (pelicans and turns) make incredible dives from 30 feet up to fish, which is fun to watch. Also, iguanas hang out by the pool in the morning.

Get your shopping list to Bob (the property manager) in advance and they'll stock the place for you. Bob, by the way, is fun, attentive, and always ready to help. We opted for daily cleaning, which worked out great.

Monica, the cook, was very nice and helpful, but the food was just okay. Dinners were generally cooked at 2pm and left on sternos until the evening. Talk with Bob about other options to have better food and/or food cooked closer to the eating time.

Really an incredible experience and you can't beat the view. This has to be the nicest place on the island!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
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45 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Norfolk, VA
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2013

I stayed in the Sand Dollar Estate last December for my wedding. My now husband and I rented the private cottage and 6 couples stayed in the main house. I would definitely recommend renting the cottage. It was nice to get some alone time and I loved that I had a private place to get ready for my wedding.
The only issues I had with the estate centered around the staff and the lack of attention to detail/care of some areas of the house. However, I have spoken to Suzanne a few times and I am confident all concerning issues have been addressed.
The private beach is amazing! I felt very fortunate and grateful that I had a private beach for wedding pictures. I hired Megan Biggs to take my pictures and they are beautiful.
I also loved that Suzanne allowed us to bring our dog. He loved the beach and it was important to us that he was able to share our special day. Thank you, Suzanne!
We are planning going back for our 5 year anniversary.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Minneapolis
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2013

Every year 10 of us take a boys trip to various fishing destinations around the globe. Most of the time we stay in hotels because there are usually not houses large enough to accommodate all of us. This summer we decided to give St. Thomas a try and fish the famous north drop for blue Marlin. One of the guys found beautiful Sand Dollar Estate on the Internet and we were all immediately smitten. When we saw that it had its own beach, we imagined being picked up by our charter captain there each morning and dropped off there after a successful day of fishing. But it was only a fantasy,or so we thought. It was not until we got to this magical place that our fantasy became a reality.
We have been from Australia to Hawaii to the Bahamas,but have never been to any place like Sandollar. The sand was the softest we had ever felt and the beach was completely private. It had all the comforts of home including Wi-Fi throughout the property – even on the beach! We fished for four days and did not leave the estate for the other three – there was simply no reason to. Monica cooked a hearty breakfast for us before we went each morning in our dinner was there waiting for Ross when we got home at night. She even cooked and cleaned the blackfin tuna we caught. Each night Bob would turn the lights on which shined from the beautiful deck onto the beach and water beyond, and that attracted the baitfish which attracted the Tarpon. What a way to end our day!
This was by far the best trip we have ever taken, thanks to the efforts of Suzanne(the owner) And Bob, his staff, and the incredible fishing on the north drop of St. Thomas in the summer of 2013.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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.
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2013

We have stayed two times (May 2008 and November 2012) and are going back for our third stay this October 2013 and cannot wait. The owner Suzanne is awesome to deal with. She remembers you and helps with anything you should need. I even had a welcome back basket with goodies. That was very nice to be appreciated that way. Bob the manager is there for anything you need as well.

The house is beautiful and the views are amazing. Couldn't pick a better place to stay. It is nice to have your own private beach and pool.

Will continue to go back as often as we can. Love this place and have the best memories.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Hartford, Connecticut
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2013

Our family of 22 returned to Sand Dollar for our second consecutive year. What can I say? Fantastic, marvelous, extraordinary. Absolute paradise. Everything about this vacation was enjoyed by every single one of us. For starters, Suzanne, the owner, is a wonderful person to deal with. Her primary concern is that her clients are completely happy. And we certainly were! Bob, the resident manager, is an extraordinary gentleman, who obviously cares very deeply about what he does. We thoroughly enjoyed him. We used local chef and caterer, Shelly Berry of Shelly's Cakes and Catering to provide us with several meals. Her food is fantastic and she is a sheer delight. The villa suited our family to perfection. We are a well traveled family and put Sand Dollar at the top of our list for a fun-filled and satisfying vacation. It was five star week from start to finish.

  • Stayed April 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2013

We stayed at Sand Dollar Estate in St. Thomas on February 2013. The property was perfect for our large group. The setting was wonderful and relaxing with a lot to do. The interior of the house was spacious and clean with a well-stocked kitchen and all the modern appliances.

Bob, the manager, was very friendly. He met us at the airport and made multiple trips to meet our friends who arrived at different times. It saved us a lot on taxi fare. He also pre-stocked our groceries. We had everything we needed to start our vacation. He was always pleasant and willing to help while we were there.

We had Monica cook for us for several nights. She was delightful and accommodating as must of us have very different dietary requirements.

The fishing right off the private beach was incredible! We caught tarpon, bonefish, and grouper. Best beach we ever stayed on! Plan at least one day to see the other islands. Dine out a couple of nights, I'd recommend Old Stone Farm House and Mafolie. Book a massage at the spa. Try the Mahogany Run Golf Course, only 5 minutes away. Check the cruise ship schedule and avoid downtown when they are busy. Don't use Verizon Wireless, they will hit you with roaming charges for phone and data. AT&T is much better in the islands. Ask Suzanne, the owner, for suggestions for activities.

Overall, we had a great time! We will definitely return next year.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norfolk, Virginia
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2013

The house and location are absolutely beautiful although some of the pictures are outdated. I've stayed in many vacation houses as we live near the outer banks, NC however this house needs some work and believe me-the staff is rude. While this location is amazing, the house has many issues that were never addressed. Bob is the property manager who also lives below the Little Sand Dollar. The week started off getting picked up an hour late from the airport, arriving to the house only to find all patio furniture stacked in one corner of the patios. We settled in an had a wonderful week however here is a list of the issues that we had that were never fixed despite alerting Bob several times: 1. light bulbs were out all over the house-in one of the rooms we were told the light just didn't work. 2. the dishwasher didn't drain and our handyman friend actually had to fix it as it was never installed properly into a sink with a garbage disposal-Bob yelled at our friend and his pregnant wife for fixing it. 3. the refrigerator leaked 4. the bathroom in the gym was broken with an apparently old sign saying not to use it-one of the guests at our wedding did, and was yelled at by bob. 5. the sheets were never changed despite paying for it to be done twice. 6. The DirectTV on the lower level not only doesn't work but DirectTV said there is not even an account for these TVs when we called. 7. The pool table is broken.
Despite these issues we still had a wonderful week and enjoyed the scenery. It would be a great place with just a handyman who knew how to fix things and completely different and courteous staff. Listen to the people about Monica- she is one of the rudest people we ever met. Two of our friends are GMs at hotels and were appalled by the staff and poor maintenance at the Sand Dollar. We were not a high maintenance group, we just wanted lights, toilets and kitchen appliances to work or at least be fixed. Again loved the location but too many issues to overlook to stay here again.

  • Stayed December 2012, 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
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
sanddollarestate, Owner at Sand Dollar Estate, responded to this review, March 28, 2013
We wish to thank you for taking the time to submit your review of our home, Sand Dollar Estate, on 2/22/2013 and 3/22/2013. Both reviews were related to a wedding which took place at the Estate during the first week of December 2012. I truly wish we had been made aware of your dissatisfactions during the course of your stay. My husband or I would have flown down (we live in New Jersey) to help rectify the problems. We are truly sorry that you were not satisfied with every aspect of our home.

Providing our guests with the best possible experience, including hospitality, service, and location, has been our mission since we purchased Sand Dollar 15 years ago. We have hosted President and Mrs. Clinton, Vice-President and Mrs. Gore, and countless celebrities and dignitaries over the years. We have never had a negative review like this, and this is undoubtedly why we were awarded the Best Vacation Villa by TripAdvisor last year.

My husband and I returned from Sand Dollar just last week and I cannot express the impact your reviews have had on our staff. They took your comments extremely personally, which shows us how dedicated they are and how much they value their jobs. Every issue which you noted has been addressed. Should you ever decide to give Sand Dollar another "chance", I can assure you that everything will be perfect.

On a personal note, Stephen and I wish you a long and healthy life together as husband and wife, and please let me know if there is anything we can do for you in the future.

Sincerely,
Suzanne S. Levine
Owner
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sand Dollar Estate

Address: 130 Campbell Rd., 07931, St. Thomas
Location: Caribbean > U.S. Virgin Islands > St. Thomas
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 31 Specialty Lodging in St. Thomas
Number of rooms: 18
Also Known As:
Sand Dollar Estate Hotel St. Thomas
Sand Dollar Estate St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

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