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“Fabulous” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Grande Bay Resort

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Grande Bay Resort
Bay Street | Cruz Bay Quarter, Cruz Bay 33908, St. John   |  
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Hotel amenities
Newburyport, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Fabulous”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2014

This was a perfectly lovely few days in Cruz Bay. We had a 2-bedroom suite with was spacious, immaculate, lovely kitchen, stocked with everything you could possibly need. Top quality linens, washer/dryer and comfortable furniture. Sitting on the balcony over-looking Cruz Bay with a gentle breeze was heaven. We had no problem with elevators during our stay. St. John has many steep hills and this resort is built into a hillside which enables every unit to enjoy a spectacular view. Staff was friendly and helpful. And you can walk to everything in Cruz Bay. We would definitely return.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paul H, General Manager at Grande Bay Resort, responded to this review, March 17, 2014
Dear Mimi1952-8,
As the movie saying goes "This ain't heaven it's St. John" not an exact quote but close enough for us! So glad you enjoyed your stay with us and thank you for the kind review. We all look forward to your next visit to "heaven".
Paul
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200 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (54)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2014 via mobile

We did not rent directly from Grande Bay Resort, but that is where we ended up, which was fine. Our condo faced the harbor so we had the water view, but did not have the quiet beach experience we had hoped for, as it is across the street from the sand. The beach is really in the harbor, so not a great place to swim. That's not a negative, just a note so you know what you are getting. It was a lovely view and the location could not be more convenient, as it's just a block to restaurants, shops, etc.

Everything in St. John is on a hill, so those who complain about the stairs and the steep hill are unrealistic in their expectations. There is no place to build except up.

We rented a car and went to several beaches every day, coming home for cocktails and to clean up before dinner. We were with another couple so we rented adjoining one bedroom/studios, which worked out wonderfully. One unit was a one bedroom with full kitchen, the other a studio with a microwave, coffee maker and dorm fridge. If you expect to cook, you will want a full kitchen unit. We had planned to cook, but found grocery prices so high that it was about the same price to go out for dinner. We did appreciate the convenience of the ice maker in the full kitchen unit as well as the amenities the owners left us, which included beach chairs and coolers.

Based on other reviews, I would make sure to rent a unit that is individually owned vs. resort owned, as the extra touches of individual ownership are nice. We only used the pool a couple of times, but found it to be refreshing. There was a nice breeze coming off the bay which made it very comfortable.

Be forewarned that this is a timeshare property, so they have "free" Danish at breakfast and cocktail parties several nights a week to try to give you their sales pitch. Just skip those parties if you are not interested, it will be more enjoyable.

Some say you do not need a car on St John. I agree that you can get by without one, but it was really nice to have to trek to different beaches. We could have taken the taxis that are plentiful and go to the most popular spots on a regular basis, but they are basically open air vehicles with row seats and the roads are very narrow and winding. It would not be a car with a trunk to stow your gear, so you have to pack light. And the taxis did not appear to be the safest way to travel on these narrow roads. We took advantage of our vehicle every day and appreciated the assigned parking space at the resort.

Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore, Maryland
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2014

The rooms are new, appliances are modern, furnishings are nice. Location to Cruz Bay is perfect. Pool is shaded a lot of the time and the hot tub is against a side wall with almost no view of the beautiful harbor right across the street. Probably why it's always deserted. Looks like the site designer dropped the ball on that aspect of the property.

Gallows Point 100 yds up the street and on the water side, has much better views while in the pool or hot tub, and the property is full of green grass and lush trees/ shrubs etc. Grande Bay, while nice looking at first glance, really is just a close grouping of pretty concrete buildings bunched together. As another recent reviewer stated, the property is very steep. If you have bad knees or back you may want to reconsider. Also, the elevator in our bldg. was out of order too.

All the staff were very nice and helpful. Wifi signal really only works outside the buildings. Cell reception is very poor/ non existent in the rooms.

Doubt I would return unless it was a lot cheaper. We paid almost $500/ night. We've been to St. John 15 times over the last 15 yrs. so I've seen everything on the island. Even though the Westin has some very poor reviews I would stay there instead. Pretty grounds, very nice pool/ bar and location is still very close to Cruz Bay.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Louis, Missouri
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2014

Just got back from staying at Grand Bay Resort! This is the place to stay. Only steps away from the ferry, shops and restaurants. The studio apartment was perfect for the two of us. Our balcony overlooked Cruz Bay and we could see all the outer islands. Within a 30 minute hike along the Lind Trail just behind the National Park office you will arrive at a secluded beach! The Grande Bay resort supplies the beach chairs and a cooler! The staff at Grande Bay are very helpful and happy! Always a good sign that they enjoy working there as much as we enjoyed staying there!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 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.
Paul H, General Manager at Grande Bay Resort, responded to this review, March 11, 2014
Dear LindandButch,
Always nice to hear that the resort was "beyond your expectation" and as you correctly pointed out that s due mostly to our wonderful employees! Thank you and we all look forward to your next visit.
Sincerely,
Paul
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Easton, CT
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2014

Having stayed all over St. John for over 25 years, we opted to try Grande Bay this time. We were met by the 'concierge' upon arrival who kindly explained how this place operates. We're very familiar with timeshares, condo & villa rentals, etc. so it was no surprise to learn that housekeeping came midweek only. They were happy to organize any outings or rentals we would like.

As for Grande Bay, here's the scoop, the developer built these units during the heyday of the real estate market and was unable to sell about 30% of the units, so it was determined to furnish them well, rent them out and provide a 'resort' experience with an in-town location. Keep in mind, there are few resorts on the island and Gallows Point (25+ years old) is the only other 'resort-like' place to stay IN town. But after staying here, we'll return back to the units at the Westin or Lavender Hill (albeit, a bit dated) and have a more enjoyable and relaxing stay.

Here are some pros/cons

PROS
* Location doesn't get any better than this. No, it's not on a beach, but you can walk to all the shops and restaurants in town.
* Private parking. Cruz Bay has gotten busier and parking is limited, upon checkin, you're assigned a parking spot in the garage. A nice touch is the calypso music piped into the garage area.
* Well furnished, comfortable rooms. Quality linens, towels, etc.
* Very Clean
* Lovely pool area, plenty of seating and tables
* Great Views of the harbor

CONS:
* The pool is in the shade most of the day and it was COLD. My unheated pool at home in Connecticut is warmer!
* The layout of the building is very vertical. The roadside building with the circular checkin area is a walk up from the road. This building contains the gym, sales center, etc. You need to go up 3 flights to get up to the pool area. Once there, the residence buildings are set further behind and up on the hillside. To get to our room, that entailed walking across the pool area, through the parking garage and up another 3 flights of stairs. It's a hike to fetch towels and such from the front desk.
* Throughout our stay, the elevator broke on several occasions, so we used the Grande Bay Stairmaster plus
* We rented a studio unit which was a very poor choice. Dining in St. John is not great, and it's pricey. Our kitchenette was no more than what you would find at a Days Inn: a microwave, a coffee maker and a dorm-size fridge. We've stayed in many studio units at other resorts and while the kitchenettes are small, you could make a meal. But, here there were no serving dishes, cutting board, collander, pitcher, can opener etc. Simply a set of 4 plates, bowls, glasses & coffee mugs...that's it.
* Concierge Service. There was someone available to tend to your needs until 6 pm. Afterwards, there was only a security guard. Every day we would head out to explore the island and would return home at 6:15 in time for a cocktail. Problem: THERE IS NO ICE AVAILABLE! The only ice machine is kept locked up in the basement and the security guards did not have a key. Our dorm fridge didn't make ice. Similar situation with pools towels.
* As mentioned earlier, dining in St. John is not enjoyable (compare to home: about 2x the price for about 1/2 of the quantity & quality). That said, we usually try and pick up some fresh fish from local fishermen to grill. Grande Bay does not have bbq grills for guests to use. So, without a kitchen or grill, we ate out every meal during our stay.


Overall, it's a shiny, new, in town residence. But there were too many cons to make us want to return.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paul H, General Manager at Grande Bay Resort, responded to this review, March 11, 2014
Dear SueF,
Thank you for your insightful and extensive review of our property. I am sorry we didn't meet your expectations but I was glad to see that you will still return to St. John. I did share your comments and maintenance deficiencies with the entire team so we can use them as means to improve in the future.
Sincerely,
Paul
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San Francisco, California
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2014

I can't speak highly enough of the Grande Bay Resort. Our trip to St. John was one of the best we've ever had, and a large part of that was thanks to our stay here. First, the service was top-notch. When we had a hard time finding the hotel (while St. John is small, it is confusing to get around thanks to a distinct lack of street names), the concierge stayed on the phone with us and provided us turn-by-turn directions until we arrived. This is after offering to send us someone that we could follow. Upon arriving, they showed us to our room and provided complimentary rum and cokes and were full of tips of things to do around the island. Throughout our stay they were continuously kind, helpful and professional.

Our room was absolutely beautiful. The decor felt fresh and modern, the bed comfortable and the shower was nice and spacious. You are also able to hear the ocean, which is nice to fall asleep to. The nightlife can also be heard, but that didn't bother us. (Just shows it's in a prime location!) We also loved our balcony — some of our favorite memories from the trip were having a nice cup of coffee in the morning while sitting out there.

Finally, as I alluded to, the location is key. The driving around St. John is a little precarious, so it was awesome that everything in the town was accessible via a very short walk. It was great to have a few drinks and not worry about a DD. It also allows you to get a better feel for Cruz Bay, feel like you are a part of it.

All in all, one of the best hotel experiences we've had in a long, long time. Thank you Grande Bay!

  • Stayed January 2014, 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paul H, General Manager at Grande Bay Resort, responded to this review, January 22, 2014
Dear Kaitlin W,
Thank you for taking the time to do such a delightful review. I am always pleased to read how our guests enjoy the location but more importantly the service they received while staying here. I have already shared your review with the entire team and we all await your return to "America's Caribbean"!!
Kind regards,
Paul
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pipersville
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2014

My family has spent the last twenty years vacationing in St John
It is literally paradise on earth
We always rented houses from various rental companies and
decided to buy an ownership at Grande Bay
Since we have purchased our unit at Grande Bay
we feel even more inclined to think of St. John as our second home
The staff are attentive to all your needs whether its getting you ice for the beach, setting up
excursions, or just caring about you as a person-they are our second family
The property is always immaculate, our unit is beyond beautiful
and it strategically located so that you can walk everywhere in town
This is one of the best decisions my husband and I have ever made..
Until next October...

  • Stayed December 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paul H, General Manager at Grande Bay Resort, responded to this review, January 22, 2014
Dear pamandcarl,
Welcome home! Always a pleasure to welcome new members to our growing family and rest assured all of us at your "Southern Home" will continue to work hard so that you can just "lime" and enjoy your time here!!
Best,
Paul
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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 Grande Bay Resort

Address: Bay Street | Cruz Bay Quarter, Cruz Bay 33908, St. John
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > U.S. Virgin Islands > St. John > Cruz Bay
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 19 Specialty Lodging in Cruz Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Number of rooms: 21
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Grande Bay Resort & Residence Club is situated hillside overlooking Cruz Bay on St. John in the US Virgin Islands. Set near Wharfside Village, this St. John condominium resort overlooks the emerald and blue waters of Cruz Bay and St. Thomas to the east and the British Virgin Islands to the west. Offering nightly rentals (min. 2 nights) and fractional ownership opportunities in the heart of "Love City". ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grande Bay Hotel Cruz Bay
Grande Bay Resort St. John/Cruz Bay

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