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“If you KNOW what you want, it's a 10!” 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
Nashville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“If you KNOW what you want, it's a 10!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2014

First, let me say you must know what you are looking for in a vacation. This is not a classic 5 star...it is a Beach resort on an island known for its natural beauty (tiny pool...older but clean rooms). If you're looking for a getaway that will make you one with the island this is perfect. Private beaches, friendly but not pushy staff (unlike other islands I've been too), wide open and not crowded. You're in a state park so it's really about the beauty of the island. We LOVED it! One of the coolest places we've been including Hawaii and many other Caribbean islands. Snorkel, Hike and lay on the beach. Great restaurant on site called ZoZo's. The Breakfast buffet is amazing. The rest of the food at resort was just ok. We wen't into Cruz bay for most dinners instead.

Bring $$$...not a cheap vacation but WORTH IT!

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
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333 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 (142)
Date | Rating
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English first
Los Angeles, CA
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2014

When I visited 15 years ago I knew it was a place I wanted to come back to. It took longer than I would've liked, but I'm just finishing up a weeklong trip with my husband and 16 month old daughter. Caneel Bay is exactly as I remembered it. For me, it's paradise.

If you love high-rise hotels with twenty-million bars, a floaty river, two water-slides and a casino - please don't come to Caneel Bay because you'll hate it. Caneel Bay feels like you're vacationing at a very wealthy friend's compound. It's quiet. If you're into mid-century architecture and amazing beaches, it's perfect.

The hotel is the epitome of classic understated elegance with beaches that will blow your mind. The staff are extraordinary. Every single person we came in contact with, whether a gardener, bartender or manager was courteous, warm and sincere. They also LOVE kids - which is a bonus since we're traveling with a toddler.

Caneel Bay is one of the few hotels where the pictures on their website actually don't do it justice - in reality, it is much better (and I've been to Manele Bay, Canouan Island, etc). I hope that we can make this a yearly thing. We leave tomorrow and I miss Caneel already.

Room Tip: Get a beach room. We stayed at Little Caneel, which was glorious, but I think next time we'll do...
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
Poughkeepsie, New York
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2014

My daughter and I just returned last night from spending 4 nights at Caneel. I just wanted a laid back place on a beautiful beach on which to spend my 50th birthday gift from my husband. We found it in Caneel!! I was a bit concerned at first from just a couple of the negative reviews about rudeness of staff. I have to say, we did not find this at all and I really believe you be treated as a reflection of how you treat others and maybe the people doing the reviewing were quite rude themselves??? Our staff were all friendly and warm... went out of their way to serve and make the most of our stay. We stayed beachfront at Hawksnest Beach and really wouldn't have had to have left! With the hotel-provided snorkeling gear, we swam in crystal clear water and saw all sorts of tropical fish on the reefs, stingray and sea turtles everyday! Deer would just walk by as you were sitting there, pelicans, seagull(of course)... you had to watch out for them at breakfast. Speaking of breakfast... the buffet was amazing. I had the lemon ricotta pancakes, eggs benedict, omelets, fresh tropical fruit and juices. But they had an assortment of pastries, croissants, and cereals as well as bacon, home fries, sausage... you name it and more! We filled up on breakfast and didn't need anything else until dinner. Which we did get in town most days. Although we did eat at the grill at Caneel twice. We had the harvest vegetable sushi roll. YUM!!! and their garden burger, fries and onion rings. Also very good. A bit pricey, but when you figure the taxi one way into Cruz Bay (21/2 miles away) was $10 for 2 people, it was worth it to get the bar food if you weren't going into town for another reason (which we did on a daily basis anyway). One day we went in early morning to take a 3 hour cruise(I know) on a Catamaran to Lovango Bay and snorkel there. That was fun with open bar and breakfast food but, honestly, the snorkeling was better right at Caneel. One other thing, Caneel has their own ferry and taxi service, for which you will pay dearly if you don't know better or you don't mind a tiny bit of adventure. We took a taxi into "town" (downtown Charlotte Amalie) for $6 each and on the advice of a local bartender, took the Safari(locals' taxi) to Red Hook for $2 each. From there, we took the Red Hook Ferry to Cruz Bay, St. John for $7 each and paid $5 each to take a taxi to the resort. On the way back, we just took the taxi from the resort for $5 each to the local ferry from Cruz Bay right to downtown Charlotte Amalie and paid $13 each and then took a taxi to the airport for $6each. To pay the transportation fee and take the cushy Caneel Ferry right to their resort dock would have cost $120 each. I would say we saved a good $70 each to do it ourselves. That is not made very clear when you book. Anyway, the resort is clean, friendly, has full use of snorkeling gear, paddle boards, wind sails, kayaks. We had a bottle of rum waiting for us in the room, beds made each morning and turned down each night with shells on your pillow... I could just go on and on.... Highly recommend... though I don't want too many others to discover how wonderful it is here!!! Oh and we loved Eddie our shuttle driver most days... shout out to Eddie!! :) Thanks to all of the staff who made our stay so wonderful!!!

Room Tip: Definitely get a beachfront if the beach is your thing. We stayed on Hawksnest and loved it!
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Providence, Rhode Island
Level Contributor
32 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2014

This private Island resort is just short of Gilligans Island . You must take a ferry to get here. You have your own private beach which is a mile long and you'll be alone. We bumped into 5 people in a week. A true couples getaway. The accommodations are Awesome. No phone no light no motorcar. Primitive and cozy as can be. 2 thumbs up

Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Texas
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2014

Just got back from Caneel Bay yesterday for our 25th anniversary; and this place is wonderful! Clean, immaculate rooms with twice daily service, great food, friendly staff. The rooms have plenty of windows and shutters to let the light and views in. Yoga with Elizabeth was great, the studio has screened sides and is on a hill overlooking the bay, just gorgeous. Did my first wheel pose there. My husband and I did the ecotour with Patrick and it was great! He was knowledgable and patient and took great pictures. I called it the "tropical triathalon" because we kayaked, hiked, and snorkeled. Make sure you get the picture CD, worth the money. The donkeys and deer were fun to watch and photograph. And of course the island is breathtaking! Crystal water and white sand with beautiful forest covered hills. The pictures don't do the island justice, it is incredible. Usually when we were out I could count the number of people I saw who were not staff with one hand. Only when we were out for meals did we see people gather.
Can't wait to go back for a longer stay!

Room Tip: Ocean view is the best but you really cant go wrong with any selection. All are either near the bea...
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, TX
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2014

Gotta take a sec to give Caneel Bay major props on their facility and service :) Both were unreal!! Loveddddd Debbie and Mugsy!!! Both went out of their way the entire time to give us top notch service.... As did all other staff but one particular bartender who did nothing but take away from our experience every single time she worked. Won't let her affect my review though. ;)
Scott Beach is breathtaking!!!! I can't imagine a beach more perfect and romantic!! Room was really nice.. Daily breakfast buffet was wonderful!! I had waitstaff refuse a tip and go on to give the most refreshingly, genuinely fabulous service I think I have ever had... And that was the case the entire time!! Just an amazing stay overall.. I could go on and on with all the tiny details that made it so impressive... Highly recommended!!!!

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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.
Sioux City, Iowa
Level Contributor
22 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2014

Caneel is the most accommodating vacation haven I've ever experienced. We arrived a day before our scheduled date and sat in the Caneel Hospitality Room at the airport while we waited for our luggage off the belt. My suitcase was split wide open when it arrived off the airplane, and the Caneel receptionist graciously let us remain in the room for more than two hours as we waited for airport services to deal with the broken suitcase and missing items. The room's air conditioning was heavenly, considering the heat of the day and my personal heat generated by mishandled luggage.
I also appreciate that we didn't have to deal with my (repaired) luggage from the time of its arrival at Caneel's hospitality room until we found it neatly set down in our room at the resort. It's all done for us ... regardless, we did check to make sure it made the boat (it did), and that it made the check-in area before being delivered to the room (it did) ...
We were there during Tropical Storm Bertha and the heavy rains and winds that accompanied it. There seemed to be little disruption in service, even though the seaports were closed throughout the islands ... in short, the only Caneel employees (including administrators) available to work the resort on the Saturday of the storm were those who live on St. John and can drive to the resort. The St. Thomas employees were landlocked over there. A big part of any resort, of course, is the food ... and Caneel's food services -- servers, chefs etc -- seemed to continue without a hitch during the storm even with the missing scheduled workers; kudos to the St. John staff who filled in. During the storm, we ate breakfast in the Caneel Beach diningroom as well as lunch and supper at the bar, the grille and on the veranda -- as usual, meals were beautifully prepared and tasty -- we were never told that something wasn't available. I never heard any of the guests complain.
Additionally, the housekeeping staff was right on top of things, and the beach staff looked out at the rain with us and said, "It seems to be letting up, don't you think?" :-) Bottom line: hats off to Nickolay, JT, Vernesta, Shamal, Frank and Chad, and their crews for keeping life on the level during this storm weekend.
Here is the youtube video that I shot at breakfast Saturday morning during the storm. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pW-Z28xadU . As you can see, neither the staff nor the guests are concerned about it beyond its awe-some-ness. The Logans

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
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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
Reservation Options:
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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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