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“A lovely vacation” 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
Perugia, Italy
Top Contributor
86 reviews 86 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
“A lovely vacation”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

We spent 7 days at Caneel Bay and thoroughly enjoyed it. The setting is exquisite on a peninsula on St. John's. The resort has 7 of its own beaches and provides water sports equipment such as masks and fins for snorkeling, kayaks, etc. There are shuttles going around the property constantly so you can get to any of the beaches or other venues within a few minutes. The food is also quite good especially the breakfast which is an impressive buffet. After eating breakfast, we often could skip lunch or just have a snack on one of the beaches. Diner at Turtle Bay was quite good and ZoZo's was excellent. The Caneel Beach Bar and Grill was fine for lunch, but not great for dinner. Our room was large and the bathroom quite adequate, but not luxurious. The personnel were uniformly helpful as well as very courteous and friendly. The transportation provided by the resort to and from the St. Thomas Airport directly to Caneel Bay is very convenient and definitely worth the additional charge. We are already looking forward to our next visit to Caneel Bay next year.

Room Tip: The few rooms near the dock on Caneel Bay Beach can be noisy starting at 7AM with the arrival of the...
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  • Stayed February 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
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259 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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 (110)
Date | Rating
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English first
Minneapolis
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

Just back from eight days at Caneel. We have traveled extensively at some of the best five stars in the Caribbean, Mexico, and the US. This is a five star location in need of room upgrades and staff training (no excuse for anything but Ritz/Four Seasons attentiveness, respect, engaging, type attitudes, which at times ...not all, but at times was not there. This comes from management down, so there is the challenge). Guests should never hear staff berating other staff or complaining about their work situation...inappropriate!.

Hopefully votes in congress will allow new lease extensions that permit banks to provide the capital to invest in the facilities (rooms/baths) and provide the staff training that is in line with a five star rating.

The tennis program and staff (Don,Eric,David) were outstanding. Great drills, round robin doubles,playable courts, great attitudes, cannot say enough about our tennis experience!!

Food...loved ZoZos; nice meal at Turtle; ate at the bar multiple times with great Sushi and attention from Luke, Jackie, and Michael..... some attitudes from the rest. Walked into Cruz on the trail twice...good food and view at Waterfront Bistro; many good little spots for a bite and drink.

Did the sunset sail (six people)...nice; rented a jeep for the day and covered the island; multiple trail hikes...Caneel to Margret Hill and Caneel Hill and Lind cut off.... steep, rocky, challenge when wet, but great workout. Massages at the cabanas were great; used the fitness center daily (had what we needed and not utilized very much); did all the free water sports (kayaks,standup paddle boards; floating matts; sailboat; snorkel ); my wife ran everyday on campus and I brought my fold up bike to "chase" her...little issue with security at first, but then accepted I knew what I was doing and we were guests. Sat on all the beaches...like Scott the best...would likely stay there on our return (yes we will go back).

A shout out to Javier who kept us supplied and iced. Front desk and concierge needs to go to "Four Seasons School" (try smile people).. Most of the housekeeping staff were pleasant and attentive with a smile. Grounds crew and shuttles all a wave and a smile...thank you.

So do go as the location is stunning.

Stayed February 2015, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

I found a package deal for this resort. It was a discount of allure package. This is the most helpful, friendly, service oriented hotel I have ever been to. I had no desire to leave at any time. The activities were excellent, the food superb, service was top notch. I would love to make this an annual visit!

  • Stayed February 2015
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Woodstock, Vermont
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

Tennis lovers should definitely seek out Caneel Bay as a resort of choice. Pro Donald was wonderful- responsive prior to arrival, great on the court. 4-6 mixer was wonderful fun and attended by both locals and guests. Very amiable and fun tennis crowd.

Stayed February 2015, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Apex, North Carolina
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This is a fantastic property with beautiful beaches, great service, wonderful wildlife and outstanding amenities. Yes, they could update a bit, but I can't honestly think why one would spend anytime in their room to notice, when the best offerings are just outside your doorstep. The only downside we encountered is the regular guests seem to be a bit stuffy and unappreciative of what they have at their fingertips. Where else can you have wild donkeys, mongoose, iguanas, sea turtles, and more without leaving your hotel?! This was beyond the norm for us, and we definitely felt like outsiders as we could not find fault in anything on the property. The staff are unflappable and true hospitality professionals. They made sure we had everything we needed for a wonderful stay. We were married on a blustery Wednesday afternoon and Liz Sullivan went above and beyond to make sure we were comfortable through the entire day. She rocks!

Room Tip: We splurged and stayed on Scotts Beach and would definitely recommend staying here, Hawksnest Beach...
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  • Stayed February 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
New York City, New York
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This was our third visit to Caneel Bay, so clearly we love the resort, and there is a long list of reasons why we chose it as the place to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary this year. Rather than reiterating what hundreds of reviewers have said many times about this utterly unique resort (arrival by boat! natural beauty! 170-acres attached to a national park! seven beaches! simple elegance! high tea! unparalleled blue of the sea! best yoga studio on earth, etc. etc.) I'll focus on new features we noticed during this first visit under new management -- all positive changes (save for one offensive fact I'll save for the end):

1) The resort has renovated the rooms which are brighter and cheerier, and added air conditioning and WiFi -- a definite plus -- but wisely avoided installing telephones and TV's which preserves at least that illusion of "rusticity" we've always enjoyed! Bathrooms have also been upgraded and seemed more spacious than we remembered.
2) The grounds are better maintained, well lit at night, greener, and regularly cleared of donkey residues. Always liked the donkeys but this made their regular visits to our
"watering hole" (basin for washing sand off
your feet) all the more pleasurable.
3) The expert team of masseuses (one of whom recognized me from a decade ago!) have always been a main attraction for us and the thwat-thwat of tennis balls in the background never disrupted the soothing mood of the courtside massage rooms for me. But they have now added massage cabanas at Hawksnest Beach -- a stunning and even more serene setting. Despite the expense, this became a must-do daily activity for us.
4) I don't think there was a beauty salon
in the past but in any case, the opportunity for a refresher manipedi mid-way through the trip was a welcome addition, and I heard others had daily wash-and-blow-drys which seemed like a wonderful luxury. The manager is a lovely woman. This provides a convenient segue to:
5) Staffing - service has always been very good at Caneel but the staff seemed happier, or at least friendlier, and unfailingly polite, attentive and helpful. This should be a given at any luxury resort but often is not the case, and alas was not always the case at Caneel Bay in the past. It was nice to feel your presense was welcome, rather than an imposition.
6) M-otion Studio - OK, so this is just the old Self Centre (yoga studio) with a new moniker but I wanted to highlight it because it is situated in one of the most spectacular settings imaginable for practicing yoga/meditation -- a short walk from the main desk (so nicely secluded), up on a bluff overlooking the sea with a 180-degree breath-taking view. I would have sat there happily all day if there weren't so much else to enjoy. I hear a rumor that management wants to move in the direction of pilates and Zumba and phase out the more "spuritual" stuff. If anyone from management is reading this, PLEASE PLEASE DON'T ELIMINATE YOGA. It is among the top three reasons I come to Caneel Bay. Frankly, it is one of the more reasonably priced activities, too. I'd rather see you raise the fee than phase it out! Though I miss Jan Kinder, The two instructors were first-rate teachers and lovely, inspiring women.
7) Food/Restaurants: this is a bit of a mixed bag. With dinner no longer being served at the Caneel Beach restaurant (really, really missed the weekly buffet speeads with unlimited shrimp, clams, oysters!) and offered on an erratic schedule at the Turtle Bay Estate (still the best food at the resort) the choices felt more limited -- either the Caneel Bar & Grill or the new ZoZo's (run by outside management) at the old Sugar Mill site which features a mostly Italian cuisine. Reservations at ZoZo's are hard to come by, so it pays to book ahead. Definite plus: The Bar & Grill now offers wonderful sushi & sashami - a welcome addition to the otherwise decidedly ordinary fare - and the new ice cream parlor adjacent to the gift shop is an inspired addition.
Here is virtually the only negative comment I'll make and really the only sour note I can recall during our 10-day stay -- and it is not the fault of Caneel Bay management but appalling nonetheless: the ENTIRE staff at ZoZo's -- and I mean EVERYBODY -- is white. I won't repeat what a waiter said about this when I asked the reason.
8) Lastly, these observations are not new but worth repeating for anyone considering a first visit to Caneel Bay who happens to have read this far: this is NOT a resort for children. For starters, the "pool" is truly dinky (but why spend any time at the pool when you have the glorious sea -- unless you are travelling with little ones) and Scott beach (where we stayed) doesn't allow children. Period. The other word of warning is that if you are looking for an active night-life scene, this is definitely NOT the resort for you!

  • Stayed January 2015
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Sterling, Virginia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

I'm a little late with this review - my wife and I stayed at Caneel Bay for 7 nights in April 2014. We had a beachfront room on Hawksnest beach. I saw a review where someone said to stay away from Hawksnest beach - I have no idea why anyone would way that... we loved it. I'm attaching a photo of the view from the back patio of our room (now the screen saver on my computer at work!).

We took the short hike to breakfast at the resort every morning before heading out in our rented Jeep to explore the island. It was nice that you are able to borrow snorkel gear from the resort - one less bag to pack for the trip. The breakfast there is pretty good - nice selection of food and fruit juices. We usually ate lunch and dinner off the resort, except for 2 nights at ZoZo's which is awesome. There is also a great ice cream shop on the resort. The staff were very friendly - they came by the room daily to fill our ice buckets & coolers.

The resort is expensive considering we would spend each day driving around the island - and most dinners in town - but it was our honeymoon so we didn't care! The cheapest thing on the island is Cruzan rum - $7 / bottle. We spent the last day of our trip relaxing on the beach at the resort, sipping drinks all day before having one final dinner at ZoZo's.

I recommend splurging on Cannel Bay for a special occasion like a honeymoon or anniversary (or if resorts are just how you roll!). The next time we go to St. John, we will probably travel with another couple and split the cost of a condo & Jeep rental. A place with a full size refrigerator would be nice - that way you could stock up on groceries in St. Thomas and save some money on lunches. Personally, I feel it would be a big waste to spend the majority of your daylight hours on the resort... the other beaches & snorkeling spots on St. John are just too good to not take advantage of.

Regardless of where you decide to stay... I'm sure you'll have an unforgettable experience on St. John. It is a beautiful island and a great place to explore!

Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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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