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“Caneel Beach” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Caneel Bay

Caneel Bay
Virgin Islands National Park, St. John
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Beach Day Pass at Honeymoon Beach in St John
Type: Beaches, Outdoors
Activities: Sunbathing, Swimming
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Attraction details
Owner description: Made up of seven white-sand beaches along St. John's north shore, all but one are part of the private playground for Caneel Bay Resort guests.
Long Beach, California
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Caneel Beach”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2014

This review covers the beach know as "Caneel" with the passenger ferry dock, right in front of the lobby. This beach is somewhat smaller than the main northshore beaches, and has less shade available as well. Also, much of the beach has lounge chairs which are only available for resort guests. The resort "restricts" day visitors from bringing coolers and chairs (I wonder if they can really enforce this on a public beach (all St John beaches are public, though the land access route can be private) but I didn't want to sour a day of our vacation by challenging them on it). The Caneel resort has 7 beaches...they allow day visitors land access to Honeymoon and Caneel, while you must get to the other 5 via water. They place restrictions on Caneel to encourage day visitors to go to Honeymoon, which is out-of-sight of the resort guests. I think the party crowd would be happier somewhere other than Caneel (namely Trunk, or better yet just stay at the bars) as they'd at a minimum get dirty looks all day at Caneel and maybe get chased off the grounds, but someone who is comfortable without their beach chair and in a "button-downed" environment can have a very relaxing and enjoyable day on Caneel. The water is always calm and beautiful, and the beach is maintained at least as well as any other northshore beach. We've seen turtles and stingrays in the grasses in the center of the bay close to shore every time we've been there. There's an OK reef on the north side (the right side, looking out to sea), though it seems to have declined between 2010 and 2014. There's a nice floating dock about 100 yards out that the kids enjoy swimming to and diving off. This time, it charmingly hosted a school of sargent majors and a crazy trumpetfish that was trying to blend in with the metal ladder. Almost like a strange variant on a coral head. The best part for us was getting full beach service from the café, meaning a delicious sushi lunch and drinks delivered direct to our towel. You must pay $20 to park at Caneel, but they will credit your purchases on-site towards this so you don't actually pay for parking unless you don't throw some business Caneel's way.

Visited June 2014
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35 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
St. John
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Canella, gelateria”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2014

I know this is relatively new and there is not a category for it on Trip Advisor but I highly recommend gelato at the Canella which is part of the gift shoppe. Gelato to die for and very reasonably priced. If we go more than 1 week without a gelato from here we are hurting. Our favorite is salted caramel but there are always many flavors to choose from. You can get it on a cone or in a bowl with a cone wafer cookie. Delightful and you should check it out, again and again. One of these times I will have a scoop of pink grapefruit.

Visited June 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Top Contributor
120 reviews 120 reviews
51 attraction reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
“Nice for snorkeling”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2014

Clean quite area for snorkeling. Lots of fish, conch and other creatures. Nearby resort with restrooms, bars, stores and restaurants.

Visited February 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
15 reviews 15 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Pretty, but nothing there”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2014

It is a very small beach. When we went it was pretty deserted. It's beautiful with clear waters, but there are much better beaches in STT and STJ.

Visited August 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Out of 7 beaches there's only 1 open to the public”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2014

After making a wrong turn on our hike from the entrance at the National Park in Cruz Bay we finally got to Caneel Bay. To get there you have to get off the trail at Honeymoon Beach and then walk another 5+ minutes along the access road to Caneel. OR you can take a taxi to Caneel Bay Resort and they'll direct you to the public beach.

We stopped at the very first beach and heeded the sign that said the chairs and other equipment (there were floats) were for hotel guests only. We had our own beach chair and set up away from the lounge chairs set in the sand. There was good snorkeling especially around the underwater pipes that run parallel to the shore line. We were there about an hour before a resort employee bounced us. He was very nice about it. Apparently we could have used the main beach (that you could see from where we were) but we couldn't take our chair on that beach. Since Caneel was our first stop of 3 (we still had Honeymoon and Salomon to go) we packed up and left.

Visited January 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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