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“Relaxing Vacation” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Marriott Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Beach Resort

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Marriott Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Beach Resort
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   5 Estate Bakkeroe, Charlotte Amalie 00801, St. Thomas   |  
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Southfield
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Relaxing Vacation”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2012

My boyfriend and I stayed at the Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Resort on December 17 - 19th, 2012. We went to celebrate recent accomplishments/milestones, as well as, scout the venue for our destination wedding. We stayed in building 5 (The sea cliff tower) and had a ocean view room. When we made the reservation (via Marriott reservations) we asked for a room on the cliff overlooking the ocean, when we arrived we were given just that, except we realized the main building provided a better view. Realizing the error was our own, we went to the reception desk and explained the situation, Rashawn was awesome! He gave us the opportunity to look at a new room to see if it would better suited our needs. The room was nice but wasn't a far departure from the room we were in so we stayed put. I do however, appreciate Rashawn's ability to satisfy our needs even when we weren't sure what they were. :)

Additionally, I can't say enough about Zogile! He went over and beyond and gave us countless recommendations about the hotel and surrounding area. We just so happen to stop and ask him about a hotel dinner recommendation and left with so much more to make the most of our short trip. If you ever need ANYTHING please see him, he rocks!!

As for the hotel, the room and grounds were relatively clean however, we were reviewing the hotel to suit the needs for a wedding. We liked the idea of guest being able to decide where they wanted to dine given the variety of restaurants and room options. The drawback was that there were cosmetic imperfections at the hotel, for example the elevator in the sea cliff tower had pieces of the wood paneling missing and there were many finger/hand prints smears on the stainless steel. Something that could have easily been fixed but wasn't the entire time we were there. There were small housekeeping issues such as that that I may be able to overlook when I am hanging out with girlfriends, but for a wedding...not so much.

The food: It was pricey and just OK. Nothing to write home about. However, we raved about CoCo Joe's Restaurant which offered a prime rib and lobster buffet ($59pp) the first night we were there. Delicious! I had 4 lobster tails, in fact. :) Oh, and Angela at Aqua Terra was really nice and hospitable when we went there for dinner.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joyce G, Director of Sales at Marriott Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Beach Resort, responded to this review, January 2, 2013
Thank you for the many compliments! Congratulations to you both and we look forward to providing a tropical and beautiful destination for your wedding. Happy New Year!
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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Rogers, Minnesota
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2012

The hotel is very nice, food options are limited. Check in/out was very easy. My complaint regards the staff. I have never encountered such a rude, nasty, even mean hotel staff in my life. I travel for a living, spending nearly 300 days/year in hotels (mostly Marriotts) and I could not believe the treatment my family I received at this one. Example - housekeeper actually left clipped toe nails (not mine) inside the entrance to my room! Disgusting - cannot recommend.

Room Tip: If you want to endure the treatment - make sure you upgrade to and ocean view room.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Joyce G, Director of Sales at Marriott Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Beach Resort, responded to this review, January 2, 2013
Thank you for alerting us to the service failures you experienced. We would like to follow up with you. If you would be so kind to send us an email with your reservation information to sttfrexperienceteam@marriotthotels.com so we can be in direct contact with you. Thank you again for bringing this to our attention.
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Central Ohio
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2012

Ok, the wife and I stayed at Scrub Island (BVI) last year and decided to stay closer to St. Thomas airport this year to cut down on the ferry rides and taxis. Overall, I'd say that Marriott's Frenchman's Reef and Morningstar Beach Resort is ok, but nothing to write home about. We found ourselves wishing we had booked at the Ritz-Carlton.

First, for those that have not stayed here before, there are three distinct Marriott resorts clustered together: Frenchman's Cove (MGVC - full condo units), Frenchman's Reef, and Morningstar Beach. Of the three, I'd rate the Reef the least desirable. First and foremost, Frenchman's Reef is clearly the oldest of the three properties (followed by Morningstar and then the relatively new Cove). They've done what they can to refurbish the Reef area, but it's still very clear that this resort is old. We stayed in the Sea Cliff wing, but the Harbor wing (adjacent to the Cove and looking out on the same harbor as the Cove) is even older than the Sea Cliff wing. The nicest units at the Reef resort appeared to be the Ocean tower.

First the pros/cons of the Reef units.
Pros
->great view
->mid-way between the main pool area (next to the Ocean tower) and the Morningstar Beach area
->rooms are of decent size and appear to have been updated in the last several years
Cons
->a bit of no mans land . . . between the beach and the pool . . . nothing is really AT the Sea Cliff units
->food at the resort is not very good and over-priced. Please note: we're used to Caribbean food, which typically lags most mainland food in terms of quality and price, but the food at the Marriott main building (both the Sunset Grill and Aqua Terra) was below even Caribbean "average". Interesting enough, the food at the Morningstar restaurant (Coco Joe's) was noticeably better
->only one elevator in the Sea Cliffs tower for what appeared to be 80+ units
->we stayed here during the busiest of the busy season (Christmas week), but the pool lounge chair situation was out of hand . . . not nearly enough lounge chair space for the number of folks staying at the hotel (this was true for the Cove MGVC resort too) -- on top of that, there did not appear to be any "policing" of people saving lounge chairs by putting their towels on them (we got up at 6:30 a.m. on our last day here to go down and save a couple of lounge chairs and many were already taken . . . and remained vacant for *HOURS*)
->the same over-crowding issue existed in the gym . . . again, may be a function of the week we were here, but while the gym was above average in terms of equipment, it was far too small, square footage wise and very crowded

The Morningstar beach area was actually quite nice. We spent several days down in that area and if we returned to this resort (which, I don't think we will) we'd probably book a room at Morningstar portion of the resort.

I would recommend this resort for families (there were a lot of kids around and a section of the pool had a "play area" including a water feature / fountain). I would not recommend this resort for couples looking for quiet time or a get-away . . . . at least not during this particular week of the year, maybe it is different during less peak portions of the season.

We took two excursions and they were ok -- the 1/2 day snorkel with the Turtles and the dinner cruise . . . both on "the Cat". The crew on the Cat were great, but the snorkeling at the turtle preserve was . . . "meh" (compared to our experiences in the BVI an Hawaii).

Our only good "on property" meal was at "Havana Blue" at the Morningstar. Interestingly, Havana Blue is not associated with the hotel, so you can't charge the tab to your room, BUT the food, ambiance, and presentation were far, far better than anything at the resort, and only marginally more expensive.

Overall, the Marriott Frenchman's Reef is not a resort I would recommend to friends, nor will we probably return to. We would consider coming back to Morningstar, however.

Room Tip: Get the Ocean Tower or stay at the Morningstar portion of the resort. Avoid the Harbor wing and Sea...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Joyce G, Director of Sales at Marriott Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Beach Resort, responded to this review, January 2, 2013
Thank you for your review. If another vacation should bring you back to St. Thomas, please contact me through the hotel so that our leadership team can assist in your room style choice at Morning Star. Our highest goal is your total satisfaction. We look forward to showing you the level of service our reputation us built upon. Happy New Year!
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LOS ANGELES
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2012

my family and i stayed at this hotel mid december. When we arrived at the hotel, we checked in almost hassle free. I made my reservation with marriot themselves but at check in she couldnt see that i had paid for a room including breakfast. I had to call marriot from my cell phone and have the lady talk to the agent on the phone who explained to her my reservation. I did get a nice upgrade so i cant complain. The hotel is nice, its not the most convenient to get around but its a very nice resort. The breakfast was great, a lot of variety with the food. The outdoor sitting area that marriot shows in its pictures looked very big in person its much smaller then i thought. What i didnt like about the hotel was that it didnt seem to be run my marriot but by the adventure center. You cant do anything in the hotel unless you go through the adventure center. I am not kidding we went to one of the "nicer" of the 4 restaurants in the hotel, they said oh you need to make a reservation. they had plenty of tables, it was a joke. You couldnt book any scuba diving excursions, since the adventure center didnt do it. they wouldnt even call someone for you, they said we had to call. I guess the scuba place didnt bribe them enough to be in the adventure center to do manual. It gets better. The conceirge (hopefully i spelled that right) that a lot of people rave about was all about 2 things. Trying to sell you time share or not leaving the resort so we spend our money at the hotel. We asked the gentleman about renting a car, his reply was why do you want to leave the hotel. Its dangerous driving on the other side of the road and dangerous driving around town. What the hell? Everything was about the hotel was nickle and dime. I have stayed in a lot of hotels, much more affluent then this hotel, so its not about why is a hambuger $18.00, its about why the games. I am not sure how much this adventure center is paying the marriot to run the show, but its a huge turn off. I would go back to st thomas, but i wouldnt tell anyone to stay at this hotel. You pay $35.00 a night resort fee, but you dont get anything back from it. other hotels offer free snorkel, kayake, etc, even with marriots resort fee, you still have to pay. Its the marriot nickle and dime hotel. Dont stay here.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Joyce G, Director of Sales at Marriott Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Beach Resort, responded to this review, January 2, 2013
Thank you for the feedback. I am sorry to hear you did not feel that the service you received was comprehensive. We do use preferred vendors for activities based on consistency and safety. Perhaps that is what you encountered. If anyone reading this is planning travel, feel free to contact the Adventure Center via their website or call directly. Also, our resort fee does include the use of all non-motorized beach equipment that includes snorkel gear and kayaks. If there is anything further you would like to discuss, please feel free to contact me directly at sttfrexperienceteam@marriotthotels.com. I would welcome the opportunity to work with you. Thank you again and Happy New Year!
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atlanta
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2012

The Reef is a very lovely hotel overlooking the beautiful waters of the Caribbean. Our room faced the bay and the city of Charlotte Amalie, which we both enjoyed. Food prices are definitely high, but no more so than other restaurants in town (with an import of 98% this is understandable). All of the staff were very polite and accommodating, but one stood out among the rest, which is Nilda at the front desk. She is fabulous and was extremely helpful!

Room Tip: Stay in the MAIN hotel (Reef)...an ocean view room will have the day and evening sun and noise from...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joyce G, Director of Sales at Marriott Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Beach Resort, responded to this review, January 1, 2013
Thank you for your compliments of our restaurants. We also appreciate the specific mention of Nilda; she will be recognized for her fabulousness! Happy New Year!
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DRESHER
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2012

Our stay started out well, easy check in with reception and the staff at check in was great. Her name was Carissa. The facilities are gorgeous with great views of the bay and Charlotte Amalie. The pool area is a little small but hotel rooms, which were recently renovated, are relatively spacious. We fit 5 in one room, a little tight, but doable.

First, the restaurants were fine. Havanna Blue, which I understand is not owned by the hotel, was the best food we ate all week. Food was flavorfull, ample, and the wait staff were great. A little pricey, but, you have to get used to that if you go to any island in the carribean. The food in the other restaurants was good to fair. Fine for food by the pool in the middle of the day.The wait staff at the pool was great, Dee, who has lived on the island for 27 years, gave great advice and insight. The other restaurants that we enjoyed and I would highly recommend were, The Banana Tree Grille, at Bluebeards Castle, with great food and brilliant views, and the Old Stone Farmhouse, near Mahagony Run Condo's, with different choices of meats, such as Bison and Kangaroo, what a meal!

Breakfast at the hotel a complete rip off. The only game in town and $25 a person for a buffet. When my daughter asked for pancakes, you would have thought she asked for gold and diamonds! The kitchen is too busy, it takes 20 minutes... Management however did take care of the bill whenon top of this they managed to bill my wife $4 for a cup f coffe that came with my childrens buffet that they never drank!

Now the bad! For and island that survives on tourism, the locals just don't get it. They are rude, unhospitable, and downright nasty! I don't think they understand their jobs. Just a little smile goes a long way. In fact, my oldest son, was harassed by one of the pool workers with a broom and loud voice just because he moved his chair to be in the sun. When we spoke to management, they explained that it was a porblem that they continue to work on!!!

All in all, I don't think I would go back to the island. Great food, beautiful hotel, but the hotel staff just plane rude. When your spending that much money, I think a little smile and good day goes a long way!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Joyce G, Director of Sales at Marriott Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Beach Resort, responded to this review, January 1, 2013
Thank you for your comments. On behalf of the team, I apologize for the service failures you experienced. We would like to investigate the incidents you outlined and would be grateful if you would send an email to sttfrexperienceteam@marriotthotels.com so we can be in direct contact with you. Thank you gain for sharing your experience and giving us the opportunity to take corrective measures. Lastly, we will give the positive recognition to Carissa and Dee for the warm service they provided.
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Houston, Texas
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2012

We stayed here and arrived early the receptioniist Antoinette Gomez was wonderful.She made sure that we not only had a room but got us a room that was better than expected. The whole stay was a total pleasure thanks to the great staff there.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joyce G, Director of Sales at Marriott Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Beach Resort, responded to this review, January 1, 2013
Thank you for pointing out Antoinette’s great service! We’re delighted your stay was perfect!
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Additional Information about Marriott Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Beach Resort

Address: 5 Estate Bakkeroe, Charlotte Amalie 00801, St. Thomas
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > U.S. Virgin Islands > St. Thomas > Charlotte Amalie
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 7 hotels in Charlotte Amalie
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Marriott Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Beach Resort 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Frenchman's Reef Resort has just completed a $48 Million Dollar Renovation, and is now open and all new and refreshed. Now featuring clean crisp new guest rooms, with flat screen TVs. All new resort experience featuring a new resort infinity pool, children's splash zone, adult infinity pool and bar; and private spa pool. Our all new Lazule Sea Spa is now open featuring extensive treatment rooms, salon, state of the art fitness center, and private pool spa with cabanas. Aqua Terra is our new restuarant at Frenchman's Reef which features spectaular views of the harbor. Come visit us at Marriott Frenchman's Reef and Morning Star Beach Resort; and discover the most luxurious stay in the US Vigin Islands. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Marriott Frenchman`s Reef And Morning Star Beach Resort
Marriott Frenchman`s Reef & Morning Star Beach Hotel Charlotte Amalie
Marriott Charlotte Amalie
Charlotte Amalie Marriott
Marriott Frenchmans Reef
Frenchmans Reef St Thomas
Marriott Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Beach Resort St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

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