Of all the Marriott Vacation Club resorts we have stayed at this is the best. Very nice location and beautiful views from most villas. Plus, there are many things to do that are not far away. We would gladly return on another vacation.
Like others have said, there are very nice restaurants, pools and other services easily available at Frenchman's Cove and also at Frenchman's Reef (the nearby Marriott hotel). All restaurants are easy to walk to (or if you prefer not walking the short but hilly path, there is a free shuttle bus). Rooms are in very nice condition and it is fun to watch cruise ships coming in and leaving each day. The pools were not overly crowded even though it was school vacation week. Although the beach in front of the resort is small, it was big enough. Also, there are other beaches within walking distance at the Frenchman's Reef and Morningstar resorts.
The staff went out of their way to make our stay enjoyable. Because it was so convenient, we ate several meals at the Sunset Cove Grille. Once, when we had to wait a long time, the server reduced our bill. Marika, the food and beverage manager, was wonderful. She went out of her way to make vegetarian dinner options available.
The little store near the Grille (the marketplace) really does not have much available. If you are planning on cooking anything in your villa and you don't rent a car, you might want to bring easily transported items with you in your luggage. We chose to not cook much ourselves, however, since there are so many good restaurants nearby. The restaurants at the Frenchman's Reef and Morning Star resort are close and it was pleasant to walk to them along the beach and through the Frenchman's Reef hotel. We particularly enjoyed the Havana Blue restaurant. It is expensive, but well worth it. The buffet breakfast at Aqua Terra in the Frenchman's Reef hotel was very convenient and provided a nice view of the harbor.
Before our trip, we went back and forth about whether we would need to rent a car. We decided to take taxis and this turned out to be a good choice. Since there were only two of us, we saved a lot of money. They are always waiting at the main entrance, and are plentiful at the beaches and other locations you might want to go to. Sometimes you might have to wait while the taxi picks up other persons or stops to drop other persons off at their destinations, but you are on "island time," and it did not seem like a big deal. Also, I was glad to not have to drive on the left side, particularly when arriving tired and at night...
If you want to go into Charlotte Amalie, it is best to take the shuttle boat. There is a charge for the boat but it is no more than a taxi and drops you off right at the downtown area after a scenic and enjoyable 20 minute ride. You will also get some narration about the sights on the way. There are two shuttle boats, which run every half hour.
The Adventure Cove Shop does a good job of helping you find excursions. We booked ours, however, before we visited St. Thomas, largely based on tripadvisor reviews. We went to St. John and did a reef hike with the National Park Service. We also went on a snorkeling trip on the Fury. Marriott used to have a relationship with the Fury, but replaced the Fury with a much larger Catamaran excursion. If you want a more intimate experience on a sail/snorkel excursion, choose the Fury.
We had booked using Marriott Vacation Club points about a year before our visit, and based on tripadvisor reviews, we asked for a higher floor. When we arrived, however, we found that we had been given a villa on the first floor of the St. John building (which is behind another building), so our views were restricted. When I said I was not happy about the location, Andrew, a manager on duty, did a good job for us finding a better room, moving us to the first floor of the Virgin Gorda building. He explained that owners of dedicated weeks at the Cove are able to block their stays before points owners' requests are considered. If you are considering buying MVC points, keep this in mind. Since we visited during a peak time of year, we had to take what was left after owners' preferences were satisfied. This means that if you invest in MVC points you are at a disadvantage compared to persons who joined MVC prior to the institution of the points system.
Higher rooms are best but you may not be able to get them if you are not an owner of a week at the r...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.