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“Absolutely beautiful” 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
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Absolutely beautiful”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

You have to take a ferry to the resort, but it's really convenient because you give your bags to the resort staff at the airport and they transport you by cab to the ferry stop in St. Thomas. It's a rocky boat ride to St. John but it is an adventure. We stayed Sunday through Friday and we never experienced any crowds or waiting for any amenities at all. There were always enough chairs at the beach and we had plenty of access to the water sports equipment, which was complimentary. The beaches were as beautiful as any beach on the island and the snorkeling was wonderful -- we saw many turtles and a stingray on the property. You can take a 30-40 minute hike to Cruz Bay or alternatively a $5 per person cab ride and eat, shop, and drink within minutes. You could also do this on the property but it is pretty expensive to do so. For instance, a pina colada is $11 and a lobster roll is like $28 bucks...pretty expensive right? But to be honest, this isn't out of line with how much food costs at most of the restaurants on the island (but you can get better food at one of the many restaurants within minutes). Zozo's restaurant is delicious but definitely get reservations. The concierge is very helpful and will make all your dinner reservations for you. They even have an iPad with all the menus of most of the really good restaurants in Cruz Bay, which is convenient. There are donkeys that roam the property and mongoose as well. It is well-manicured and has a lot of hiking trails if you want to do something other than go to the beach. Drawbacks are that there are no TVs or phones in the rooms and the wifi isn't super fast -- I mean you don't need these things in paradise necessarily but it is something to note. We definitely would stay here again.

Room Tip: If you don't plan to spend a lot of time in your room, choose a garden view room. The ocean view...
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  • Stayed April 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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)
Date | Rating
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English first
Opelika, Alabama
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

Close your eyes... Now imagine paradise, Aqua water, soft sand and no screaming kids. You have arrived at Caneel Bay in St. John. There are no tvs in the rooms which scared me at first but I ended up never thinking about it again. Our room was actually on Caneel beach and we literally would take 10 steps out of the bed and would be on our beach. The room was a decent size that came with a cooler which was very convenient. We went to the grocery store in town and loaded up on food and booze.. Which is actually encouraged since there's not a wait staff on the beach. The property is gorgeous and there's beautiful greenery and floral eye candy everywhere. I wish I lived there part time...this resort is definitely a slice of Caribbean heaven. Go ahead and cut you a piece!

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Richmond, Virginia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

We never really thought we'd go to Caneel Bay more than once, but on the ferry to the resort, we met an older couple who said it was their 12th time. They were genuinely in love with the place. By the end of the first visit, we understood why. The resort is designed to take you away from civilization for a while and it succeeds admirably. No phones in the rooms. No TVs. (Of course there's Internet if you must check in, but you won't want to.) The rooms are a laid-back mid-century modern design with exceptionally comfortable beds and patios that open to stunning views. If you're accustomed to tall hotels on small footprints of land with elevator rides to get to ground level, think again. Here the hotels are horizontally laid out, no more than two stories tall. With vast open land between section. Scott's beach is only one story. Every room opens to the water, just a few steps away. The grounds are a spectacle themselves, well landscaped with exotic foliage, but you'll have a hard time focusing on them because the beaches are the best I've seen anywhere in the world. Coral teeming with life, every manner of fish and ray and so many friendly sea turtles, and nothing in the water seems to have any fear of humans, swim right up and enjoy. Even on land, you'll find the animals are as friendly as those in Eden's gardens. Deer and donkey freely roam the grassy hills, close enough to touch, the iguanas on the beach came up for a few grapes from our lovely beach picnic and hummingbirds swarm some of the trees, enjoying the bright flowers. There are plenty of great restaurants in town, but we didn't go often because the food is great at the on-site restaurants and who wants to leave? In fact the only caution we'd give newcomers is to book for as many days as you can afford, because you won't want to leave when the time comes. But don't worry, you can always come back.

Room Tip: For couples, there's no better beach than Scott's and Turtle Bay, in that order. They are bo...
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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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Spring Hill, Tennessee
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

The beaches are just breathtaking, our pictures don't even look real. We loved trying kayaking and paddleboarding and the hikes were fantastic for enjoying the wildlife on the island. Duane did a great job hosting on the ferry boat from St Thomas to St Johns and got our week off to a wonderful start with the rum punch! Jamie from Mixed Bag took us out on a deep sea fishing adventure and the chef from the Bar & Grill prepared our catch for great eats. You can't stay here without trying ZoZo's restaurant - hands down our best meal of the trip. Island time is the pace so make sure you are ready to unplug and slow down and you will have a wonderful time.

Room Tip: Honeymoon Beach view was fantastic and convenient location to everything.
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  • Stayed April 2015, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW via mobile

The expansive estate is gorgeous. There are a number of activities and beaches but you MUST research before you travel. The rooms are duplex type units scattered all around. You could be staying a mile from friends/colleagues or the beach you want to visit so you need to be aware of the who/what/where ahead of time. There is no phone in your room so you can't call the concierge randomly and ask last minute questions. Phones are located outside, close to the unit. There are little "bus stops" and staff periodically drives through to shuttle you around the property. The room was large and attractive in a rustic sense. Food and drink at Caneel are excellent. Siobhan at the bar was wonderful!!! She made great drinks, gave helpful recommendations, and even lent me a hair tie. Spa/salon was lovely and I love the woman who took care of me. I also enjoyed afternoon tea service with scones. If you are a spa/tea/secluded beach type, try to get a room near Turtle Bay. Keep the property map with you as you move about! I cannot overemphasize the size of the place. It was Rockefeller's estate, after all...

Stayed April 2015, traveled on business
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
United States
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

Without a doubt the Caneel Bay property is beautiful and includes seven of the finest beaches found anywhere in the Caribbean. The accommodations (we stayed in a Beach Front room) were a bit dated - the bathroom was particularly in need of a remodel - but the views were wonderful and more than made up for it. The housekeeping staff was also very attentive and did a great job during our week-long stay.

Unfortunately, we found many of the other staff members to be quite disinterested in providing the level of service you'd expect at a resort in this price category. None of the employees were overtly rude, but they weren't particularly friendly either. Little things like a smile, a warm greeting, or a simple "how can i help you" would have been nice, but instead we were more often greeted with blank stares or a look of indifference. It seemed like we were inconveniencing the staff if we wanted to buy something in the shop or be seated for lunch and dinner, and the food/drink service was noticeably slow even for the Caribbean. The menu at the Grill changed very little during our time there, which left very little on-property dining variety since the Turtle Bay Estate House (our food there was average at best) was only open one night of the week. We ended up eating off-property a lot, mostly in Cruz Bay, and had excellent food and service at Morgan's Mango, Vista Mare, Waterfront Bistro, Ocean Grill, and the North Shore Deli (lunch). The one on-property exception as far as dining goes was ZoZo's, which was outstanding - in terms of service, food, and atmosphere - and probably the best dining experience of our entire trip.

This was our second trip to St. John and our first to Caneel Bay. We love St. John for its laid back atmosphere, removal from the hustle and bustle of St. Thomas, and its unbeatable beaches / water. Trunk Bay is beautiful, but over-crowded, so we spent a lot of time at Maho and Francis when we were off-property. On-property, Hawksnest was very nice (lots of turtles) and Caneel was calm and offered lots of watersports activities, but Honeymoon was the stand-out with its excellent beach and great snorkeling. A day-trip to the BVIs is also worth the time and money (we had a great time on Bad Kitty's trip to the Baths, Cooper Island, Indians (or Norman Island depending on the conditions) and Jost Van Dyke).

Would we go back? To St. John, absolutely. To Caneel Bay, probably not because of the disappointing service relative to the price. All of the beaches on St. John are public, so you don't have to stay at Caneel to access its beaches (but you do have to be a hotel guest to use its beach chairs and watersports equipment).

Likes: property, beaches, views, ease of transport from STT airport to resort
Dislikes: dated rooms, hit-or-miss service and employee friendliness / helpfulness

  • Stayed April 2015, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Portland, Oregon
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

Just returned from yet another amazing stay at Caneel Bay on St. John. We traveled with 4 other couples for 3 nights of relaxation before 4 nights on a catamaran through the BVI. This is a fairly well travelled group and everyone LOVED Caneel Bay. Where else can you get 6 gorgeous beaches on one resort? Its beautiful!! This place has history and character. Its unique. Scott Beach is hands down one of the most beautiful in the Virgin Islands and to have that right outside my door (on this trip) is one of my favorite travel experiences. The ability to explore a new beach every day within the resort is worth every penny. The rooms are kind of dated but they are trying (freshly painted and clean) and the linens and beds are all crisp and new (which is the most important thing). If you read resort reviews long enough on any hotel you will find someone unhappy with something. I will take Caneel's few shortcomings (slightly dated rooms and beach chairs) over other resort's "man made" atmosphere any day. The only reason NOT to stay here if you are on St. John is if you can't afford it because it is a splurge depending on which rooms you choose (especially if you are trying to come with kids as it wasn't built to accommodate families very economically). Unfortunate because its a great place for kids! But if you can swing the cost, stay at Caneel!

Room Tip: Scott beach for couples. Otherwise some rooms near tennis court are larger if you have kids.
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  • Stayed April 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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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