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“Can't wait to return to Caneel Bay” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Caneel Bay Resort

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Caneel Bay Resort
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   PO Box 720, Caneel Bay 00831-0720, St. John (Formerly Caneel Bay, A Rosewood Resort)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Caneel Bay
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Portland, Oregon
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Can't wait to return to Caneel Bay”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2014

Caneel Bay is amazing!!! We loved it and will definitely be back.

I'm will admit, my husband and I were hesitant to go based on some of the reviews we read on Tripadvisor. I'm so glad we ended up going. Caneel Bay is Heaven on Earth. The beaches are absolutely amazing...turquoise water and white sand. There are 6 Private beaches to choose from and they are all quite and beautiful. Our favorites were Scott Beach and Turtle Beach.

We rented a jeep for the day directly from the resort. We visited Trunk Bay and Cinnamon Bay, both are beautiful but just as pretty as the beaches at Caneel Bay. If you want to go to town and have dinner it's very easy to take a taxi right from the resort. We ate once at the Ocean Grill in Cruz Bay and it was good. Our meals at Zozo's and the Turtle Bay Estate house were excellent. Our favorite place to eat was the upstairs of the Beach Terrace where we would watch the sunset and enjoy a great meal. We preferred to have breakfast at the Estate House, felt the quality was better.

I completely disagree with the people who said the staff was unfriendly. The staff was extremely friendly! Anytime they saw us walking they always asked if we needed anything or a ride anywhere. They were very accommodating and extremely pleasant.

We did the sunset cruise offered through the resort which was really fun. It had live music, appetizers and was a great way to see the island.

The rooms are a little outdated but not nearly as bad as I thought after reading some of the reviews. The bed was quite comfortable and the room was very clean. The air conditioner worked great. Loved the shower made of stone. We had a garden view room and it was very nice. We both agreed if we went back we would splurge and upgrade to the ocean view...well worth it!! They don't have TVs or phone and the wireless can be spotty. We have Verizon and were able to call home and get good service.

Overall, Caneel Bay was fantastic. I think the price you pay is well worth it for just the natural beauty of the property and the beaches alone. If you prefer to have a state of the art room then this might not be the resort for you. We really weren't in our room too often, we were too busy enjoying the beautiful beaches.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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297 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (127)
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English first
avon
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2014

We stayed at Caneel Bay Resort for 8 days in February of 2014. This was our second time staying there. I can't say enough good things about the resort. I agree with the reviewers who say the rooms need to be refreshed as they do. However they rooms we have stayed while older were clean in good repair and lacking for nothing.

The reason we have gone there is for the amazing setting. Caneel has at least 5 beaches. None of them were crowded when we were there. There are trees on all the beaches if you want out of the sun. The sand is soft and fine and the water is turquoise. We have found the snorkeling to be wonderful. We have seen rays, turtles and many different varieties of tropical fish. It doesn't get any better. The grounds are well maintained and you wont feel crowded as the rooms are spread out over many acres.

There are two places to have breakfast, one at Caneel beach and the other at Turtle Bay. We preferred Turtle bay because it is much quieter though they don't offer as much as Caneel. We had 3 dinners at Zozo's and the food was wonderful, certainly as good as our favorite places at home.. We had one dinner at Turtle bay which might have been the best dinner we had on the island. I do suggest taking a cab into Cruz Bay for a couple of dinners. There are some great places and it is only 5 minutes away by cab.

I would have to disagree with people who complain about the staff. In every instance when we needed something the staff came through for us. They are well trained, professional,and kind. We saw many of the same faces last year as this year. I suspect there is not a lot of turnover which speaks well of everyone.

We rented a car for a day this year. Keep in mind that they drive on the left side of the road there and the roads are very steep with hairpin turns. We went on a sunset cruise which was a lot of fun and interesting.

Room Tip: We stayed in Hawksnet which offers beachfront rooms and is close to both Turtle and Scotts. If I ha...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rochester
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2014

Caneel is a beautiful resort property with excellent beaches and snorkeling. Kayaks, snorkel gear and various small boats are available to guests. It is relatively expensive, given the rustic nature of the rooms. We found attention to detail is something the new management should consider a high priority. Our room lacked our "starter" beverage and a special occasion drink.
These items were eventually delivered and were appreciated. Our air conditioner failed for about 1 day and the screen door was off the track. Both were promptly repaired, but show the age of the resort rooms.
Bar and food service was adequate, but given the resort prices, we were underwhelmed at times. Staff should learn "yes sir" and "yes madam" instead of providing excuses for poor service.
95% of our visit was outstanding - good food, drink and services were the norm.
Gelato and coffee shop are nice additions. So is the new sushi bar and ZoZo's restaurant on property.
Be alert: room fridge now come at a price, automatic tipping for unsigned bar checks, mosquitos and other insects in rooms
I an confident the new management will iron out the wrinkles this year and make Caneel Bay a "great place in the sun."

Room Tip: Garden and beachfront rooms are a good value. Remember the beach is open to all Caneel visitors, so...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Maine
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2014

Recently spent some wonderful days at Caneel Bay. This is a beautiful, spectacular resort. It's very expensive, but generally, you get what you pay for. Most of the staff are friendly, warm and helpful. The food at their restaurants is very good. We loved Turtle Bay House for breakfast and Zozo's for dinner.

All that said, there were minor irritants that loomed larger than they should have. Our recommendation to the management is to double back on training regarding the way staff interacts with guests and give more authority to the reception desk staff. Not all the staff understand that the guests are paying a lot of money and with the resort's reputation, they expect a very high level of service. An example of disappointment and surprise, a cook at breakfast refused to give my husband a full order of eggs benedict one morning, telling him that only 1/2 an english muffin was the order and ignoring his request for another 1/2. My husband is a very patient and polite person, but this was crazy. The response should have been, "I'm sorry I must have misunderstood your order, let me cook you up another egg right away." Instead, the cook told him he could not have another and ignored him until he went away fuming. Another morning, a different cook was muttering and complaining about her fellow employees and ignoring her breakfast guests. It's really sad to see a resort's stellar performance undermined by a few people who treated the guests like they were doing them a favor to wait on them. And, guests, make sure you sign your beach bar ticket, if you don't the resort automatically adds a 15% tip, and if you want it changed, it will require a lot of time and determination. While most beach wait staff were excellent and received in excess of 20% tips from us, one day, one waiter was not good in skills or attitude. Rather than risk receiving the tip he deserved, he did not bring the check and in our vacation mode we did not realize this until the next day. When we tried to address, office staff said it would be changed, but 3 days later, we were told that upper management had vetoed that action and we would have to pay the 15% tip. Again, our otherwise excellent experience was undermined and colored by the inability to have $11 removed from our final bill. After insisting that they produce a manager to discuss it with us, the charge was finally removed, but not until after we had to explain the whole story again, wasting our precious vacation time and leaving us irritated.

Notwithstanding the above, go to Caneel. You will love it and we think that if management will just do some small adjustments, your vacation will be wonderful.

Room Tip: There's really not a bad room, but we like the garden view and ocean view as a better value.
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  • Stayed February 2014, 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ely, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2014

setting and beaches exceptional
.zozo's [franchise restaurant] interesting,excellent service and
imaginative food at reasonable prices
.hotel restaurants food and service average and generally uninspiring.rooms functional but overall pleasing.and suit the natural surroundings and character of the hotel
a stress free relaxing hotel where you are paying for the location not necessarily the service and facilities

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
Boston, Massachusetts
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2014

We just returned from a 4 day stay at Caneel Bay Resort. The physical beauty of the place can't be described. We went snorkeling every day, paddle boarded and just generally enjoyed the natural relaxed beauty of a very unspoiled gorgeous island beach paradise. The downside is the rooms are rustic, shabby,old and overpriced. The clientele is elderly, but very charming. The food, service and sushi in the resort operated as "The Beach Grill" are extremely disappointing. ZoZo's was decent but very expensive. The Turtle Bay Estate House was fine for breakfast, despite surly, unwelcoming and unfriendly lax service. Travelers are better served to hop into a taxi and head into the town and go to local restaurants for dinner such as Morgan's Mango which is delicious and half the price of eating at the resort. Caneel is resting on its loyal elderly following in the "over 60" crowd who have been coming here for decades and appreciate its faded, Yankee understated beauty. Younger travelers will find this place very sedate and very overpriced. There are many strange, inexplicable rules, such as no drinks served from 5-6pm other than at the main bar. Avoid the hotel transfer process. It took us 3+ hours to get from the airport in St. Thomas to Caneel Bay, thanks to an extremely inefficient "check in" process that occurs at the airport. You are better off to take a taxi to Red Hook and take the ferry. Overall impression is that you should come here only if you appreciate nature, snorkeling and the ocean. If you are a spoiled luxury traveler you may find the expensive $1000+/night rooms very out of date. The humble accommodations are a total let down at this price point, and combined with mediocre food and unpleasant service it feels like it was not a good value.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sylvania Township, Ohio
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2014

I don't think you could find a hotel in the Virgin Islands with a better location. The snorkeling is more than great, the restaurants are excellent, and the service staff are knowledgeable and helpful. The rooms need a major remodel, that is my only complaint, a beachfront room at over a thousand a night ought to be world class, everything else here though is wonderful. I think the rooms are pretty much the same as they were 30 years ago. I would come back

Room Tip: My room 14 beachfront was a perfect location.
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Caneel Bay Resort

Address: PO Box 720, Caneel Bay 00831-0720, St. John (Formerly Caneel Bay, A Rosewood Resort)
Location: Caribbean > U.S. Virgin Islands > St. John > Caneel Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Caneel Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Caneel Bay Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 166
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Also Known As:
Caneel Bay, a Rosewood Hotel Caneel Bay
Caneel Bay a Rosewood Resort
Caneel Bay Resort St John
Caneel Bay St John

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