Spent Thanksgiving weekend in Caneel Bay, a first for both of us, and discovered that this is one of those rare places that exceed your hopes, the promise of the brochures, and the ravings on these travel sites. Well, believe me, it was even better. This place is one of those "bucket list" locations that you have to get to.
Arrived at the airport and found our way to the Caneel office, and were whisked off to the ferry in short order. The ferry was delayed a bit, but a Caneel employee stayed with us, giving us all a history of the island governance and other fascinating stories. The boat arrived and we zoomed off to the resort.
We were met at the dock by an employee who took us on a golf cart to our second floor room in Turtle Bay. It was dark by then, so no real "tour" of the property at this time, but she did give us a room orientation and answered any questions we had. The room was clean, spacious, well stocked with towels, etc, and a bottle or rum and a few sodas. We asked for an additional fridge (instead of removing things from the mini-bar and putting our stuff in there) and it was delivered before we got back from dinner. Nightly turn down service and room refreshing was a treat.
Restaurants were all great. Dinner first night in the bar area was good with lots of options (didn't try the sushi...apparently everyone else who goes there does!) Breakfast was included in our room rate, and it was a plentiful buffet with hot options, fruits, breads, cereals, something for everyone. We ate at Zozo's one night in a torrential downpour (they fit us in without reservations at the bar) and it was so good we went back the next night and sat at a table with a great view of the bay and St Thomas beyond. Afternoon Tea at the Estate House was a delightful break in the afternoon, surprisingly well attended.
The grounds were immaculate, with wildlife everywhere, reminding you that this is a National Park. The beaches were all incredible, seven total, and each had a different feel to it. Ours at Turtle Bay was a bit rough with strong waves that soothed us to sleep each night, and gently woke us in the morning. We snorkeled at Caneel Beach, Scotts Beach and Paradise, and saw an amazing assortment of fish, rays, turtles and coral. The watersports booth was well stocked with anything you might need, and floats are available there as well.
We rented a Jeep at the on-site rental office, and it was a blast seeing the entire island in a day. We taxied to Cruz Bay one night for dinner and shopping and it was the exact opposite of Caneel's peaceful vibe...it was busy, loud, and a bar every eight or ten feet it seemed. Couldn't wait to get back to the tranquility of the desert Island of Caneel.
The staff at Caneel was top notch, ranging from quiet to super friendly. Miss Stephanie at the restaurants stood out as excellent, remembering our names. Water Sports staff, including Desmond, Wednesday and Chico were all super accommodating, and Beryl who took care of our room was like a doting aunt, fussing over our every need. Even the shuttle drivers all had a quick smile and greeting.The guests were great too. It was fun to meet people who had been there many times over the years (one lovely woman we met had been coming for 46 years!) They were all happy to take us under their wing and offer us suggestions and tips on making our stay exceptional. Gelato was great in the little coffee shop, and even the gift shop had something for everyone.
Any complaints? Sure, if you let the little stuff bother you....like the guy downstairs smoking his two dollar cigars and polluting the air in our room, or the slobs that sat in the shuttle in wet bathing suits, soaking the seats and covering them with sand. But that has nothing to do with the resort itself. Go here for that special occasion, or for no reason at all, other than to get away from it all. It is even better than you can imagine. We will be back.
Spend the little extra for a beachfront room. The sound of the ocean, plus the proximity, makes it p...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.