I gave the Crystal Cove Deluxe Suites an "excellent" rating because having been there and viewed some of the other resorts, I believe that Dave Paresky's "A" building suites are the best value on the island. 1) Are they the fanciest? -- No, but plenty nice and well maintained (realistically, in that salt sea environment, there will always be something that needs a little work). And, I didn't see any snobs on the beach trying to impress us there, either. Between Crystal Cove and the resort next door, there were people at the beach of all ages. 2) Is the help good? -- Definitely. Norma is terrific and one of the best assets you'll have while there. She'll come daily, except Sunday, to take care of your room for you. If you have any issues with your room, tell her and she will work to take care of it. Try to find her on your first morning there and spend a few minutes getting to know her (she's very personable). She will help you know where to get the groceries/supplies you need and also provide very helpful suggestions to get your vacation started in the right direction. All during your stay, you'll find that she is a great sounding board for formulating or fine tuning your plans for the day or week. 3) Is Crystal Cove an "excellent" location? -- from my perspective, the best beach location I saw on the island -- and the whole island is beautiful.
Like many of you, I researched the options as well as I could because I wanted to make the right choice for our experience. I can say I have no regrets. If you want to impress your wife/family with the best building on the island and desire to be waited on hand and foot, then Crystal Cove is not for you. But if you're wife/family can handle a couple of trips to the grocery store, washing clothes once or twice, doing without a video arcade or room service at midnight, then they will be impressed with you when you choose this place! We stayed in two of the Deluxe Suites while there due to scheduling, but both of them were very nice and are as described on the web.
For perspective, my wife and I were celebrating our 25th anniversary there between August 14-22. We rented a car and traveled to various parts of the island daily during our stay, did the shopping trips 2-3 times in different areas of Charlotte Amalie, ate out at least once a day somewhere on the island, etc., which was all great and part of the adventure. Before the trip, I expected us to use the Crystal Cove area as a place mainly to keep our things and spend the night. I expected to spend much of our waking hours touristing elsewhere, but the plan quickly evolved so that we spent at least 50% of our day at Crystal Cove because we enjoyed the beach and snorkeling there so much (the "why go anywhere else" mentality set in after a while) and the "on the beach" (seemed like about 200 feet away) convenience of our condo was a great asset.
We rented a car and like others have said, the driving there is an exciting experience in and of itself. I thought I would see several accidents while there (maybe even my own), but I did not see a one. I think renting a car is the way to go and if you do, consider renting from some place other than Hertz. Not because of the cars themselves, but because a day trip or two to St. John by ferry is recommended and you cannot take a Hertz rental car over there. However, taking a car is the best way to go (see Norma about this).
There is a resort next to Crystal Cove on the same beach and there is an open air restaurant (I know at least for buffet breakfast and it probably has something for lunch and dinner as well) that's probably only about 2 minute walk from the condo down the beach. Great for coffee in the morning and sitting out on the beach with it. The resort also has a little souvenir shop next store to the restaurant as well as a place to rent kayaks, snorkeling gear, etc. I would recommend bringing your own snorkeling gear or buying it at a store on St. Thomas if you are going to snorkel daily.
Oh, yeah. Did I tell you that my wife was completely satisfied with my selection? What else do I need to say?
- Also Known As:
- Crystal Cove Villas Hotel St. Thomas
- Crystal Cove Villas Hotel
- Crystal Cove Villas St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands