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Renaissance St. Croix Carambola Beach Resort & Spa
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Reviewed June 15, 2011

i booked this thru travelocity and they will not give you a renovated room that i was told was the policy i would have to pay for a studio as they call it, if i would have known that i would have booked somewhere else, i cant believe there still renting these rooms there like rooms from the notell motell, seedy and dirty and worn, and i could have paid 2300 and stayed at much nicer hotels, there over marketing this place, i am a handicapped veteran they put me all the way in the back which is nice in most ways and it was by the good beach, but its bad because its a mile away from the front and you cant drive it, there are golf carts but the help is to busy driving them around to give anyone a ride, unless you call the office and set one up and wait for awhile, there should be a shuttle all the time as there electric and dont cost much, also dont count on ice they hold you hostage for it you have to call the office and wait 20-50 minutes or you can walk a couple of blocks to the bar and get it from the snotty bartenders that try to charge you for anything to bring up the bill then they want a tip, and a pina colada is only $10 bucks served with attatude, the pool has broken glass all over stepped on a peice, luckely i got it out of my foot, got poisened by one of there hamburgers and that was the last time i ate there, over the cliff has much better food cheaper not far away, showed up for breakfast at 11.10 am was turned away since breakfast ends at 11, but the rich people got in at 1105 because they were having a wedding there, first day was awakin by the sounds of busting ceramic tile at 8am and then the sound of saws the rest of the day, the a/c unit didnt work two guys said all they can do is change it at 6pm at nite they pull it out and change it, the toilet was falling off its mounts, i could have got a much better vacation for the money in jamaica or the dominican for this money and they like guests and want you to come back they beg you, and ive never been to a resort where they charge you 30 a day for snorkling equipment its always free and sanitized, had to buy it at kmart for 30 bucks and got to use it where i want as long as i want, had a jeep and i cant imagine what i would have done without it, would have been a $10,000 dollar vacation with out it, after this expirence i will never stay at a marriot again,no handicap provision what so ever,i tried to drive my jeep to room to unload was told no vehicals so i ask how to travel the mile from my room to front with no rides, ask they said, guess what i did and got ignored unless i pushed it,
for the pirates buffet you have to reserve and what a looser all locals and when the food runs out it dosnt get refilled for an hour, and wasnt that good, seems like all they care about is there wedding bussiness, and the staff seemed like they would like to do something but there being held back by cheap management, although some staff helped like stephanie,jackie,eddie, and a bellboy with an unusual name i called kid, nice kid,but i heard from locals the palms is the nicer place, i felt ripped by this place and travelocity, all in all this was a looser, however it could be a good resort the veiws and style compare to places in hawaii ive been, but whoever owns this place is not a very good bussiness man, and ive heard from locals its changed big names a couple of times, i wouldnt go back here when i come back and if your smart neither will you!

Room Tip: unless you have a wedding party, the answer is no
  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank clyde011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 13, 2011

Absolutely beautiful! Our room was amazing. Well-kept beach, friendly staff, great food and gorgeous views. The resort is tucked in a hillside, making it a peaceful retreat - no cell phone reception here, which can be a good thing!

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled on business
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1  Thank DixiePixie11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 7, 2011

No kidding.. Fantastic setting with the mountain range, beautiful beach and nice hotel. From the get go, getting served other than the attentive bartender was next to zip. Room was very large and the screened in porch was nothing but amazing as you could hear the ocean sounds. If the Marriott group can find strong employees to work the hotel, the place would be a fabulous getaway on the island.

Room Tip: Next to water for sure
  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled on business
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3  Thank Alexa8776
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 31, 2011

After landing via a Cape Air Cessna from San Juan, we jumped in the rental and made the drive down 'The Beast' to the resort. As we turned left onto highway 80, which ends at the resort, we had to pull the car over. The view of the Atlantic Ocean from the road above the resort left us speechless. It was just beautiful. After we collected ourselves and got underway again, the scenery just got better and better. The drive was like a Disney adventure, so perfect it seemed unreal. The view from the last corner before the resort's guard station spans out over Davis Beach with the mountains falling into the water in the distance. So beautiful it just left us grinning from ear to ear. We were giddy and we had'nt even checked in yet!

Check in was quick and flawless. We asked for and got an upgraded/remodeled room (A MUST) and Frank loaded our bags onto one of the many golf carts the staff uses and took us to our room. Again, beautiful. We stayed in an ocean front (buliding 2/room 25) which is away from the main resort area, and had complete privacy from our screened in balcony. The only thing we could see were the mountains and the ocean...which was about 25 feet away. No people anywere. PERFECT!

The room was beautiful and well maintained but I noticed right away that weather proofing the doors and windows seemed to be a foreign concept to the maintenance staff. There were gaps and openings everywhere. What this meant is that when we were in the room we had to run the A/C nearly non-stop at 63 degrees just to keep it relatively comfortable, especially at night. I was not thrilled at the inefficiency and waste of electricity it required.

Housekeeping was awesome, room service was quick and the food everywhere across the resort was 1st class. From day 1 the staff was incredible. I already mentioned Frank, but there was also Joan and Mark in the bar area. Outstanding! Made you feel like you were part of their family.

If you are looking for picture perfect scenery for your beach this is the single best spot on the island. We logged over 800 miles in the rental car over the 10 days, so I know what I'm talking about. The resort is secluded and even though all beaches on St. Croix are public, there was never any sign that anyone other than resort guests used Carambola's. It's not a huge beach but there were so few people it seemed sometimes like it was our private hideway. The Friday night buffet and show is fantastic. You must not miss it. Reservations required.

Once you get used to driving the seriously twisty roads you can make Christiansted in 30 minutes and Fredericksted in 45. Highway 80 and the Mahogany Road sometimes feel like a long disney ride. It's just so darn beautiful.

Just outside the resort, about 1 mile away is Cane Bay. You simply MUST MUST MUST eat at The Waves restaurant. I could write 1,000 words about how much we liked that place but suffice it to say, I've been to over 60 countries and never had I experienced a better view from the table than at The Waves.

In Christiansted you need to eat at Kendricks. The food was incredible. INCREDIBLE!. It's a small restaurant so you need to make a reservation. The best thing to do is have Victor the taxi driver stationed at the Renaissance take you and pick you up. That way you can have a really good time and not have to worry about driving highway 80 in the dark. It's intimidating enough in the bright sunshine!

We will be back to St. Croix and Carambola. There is no doubt about that. We loved this place.

Aside from the issue with the room efficiency, the resort was perfect.

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank simspektor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 27, 2011

I chose St. Croix and Carambola for my destination wedding and vacation after an amazing trip to St. John a couple years ago. Please feel free to message me for advice on having a wedding at this location. St. Croix is very beautiful and not very touristy, but has more restaurants, shops, and nightlife options than St. John which made it a great spot for my friends and family as well. Carambola feels secluded and is on a beautiful, lush side of the island but there are great restaurants within an easy 5-10 min drive including EAT (nice atmosphere, great views & food, reasonable prices), Off the Wall (good beach bar w/ amazing view for lunch or happy hour), and Rowdy Joe's (awesome drinks & food but no views). I did enjoy the food at Carambola, mostly had breakfast at Saman Terrace. Expect to be there for a while since service is slow... be patient, people have a different mentality in St. Croix. The eggs benedict and banana rum pancakes with caramel sauce were both delicious. I also enjoyed the pirate buffet dinner with Mocko Jumbie dancers on Friday night. The beef tenderloin on the carving station was delicious! Overall servers were friendly and also the bellhops which take you & your bags to your room in a golf cart.
Carambola's largest two issues at this time are service and the room issues. I reserved a studio to make sure I received a renovated room which was absolutely gorgeous inside and had amazing views of the ocean. I was in building 5; buildings 1-6 face the rocky part of the beach and the rest of the buildings are by the sandy beach area. Many of my guests did not have renovated rooms. Some of the un-renovated rooms are totally fine (although incomparable to the renovated rooms), but some are filthy and moldy. If you decide to save money and get a unrenovated room and have a dirty one with moldy lampshades, then kindly ask the front desk to switch you to a cleaner room. From what my guests said, the front desk did not adequately handle the rooms issues. You only see beautiful renovated rooms on the website and they act surprised when guests are shocked with the un-renovated rooms. Also I heard some of the ppl who had rooms furthest from the lobby did not have very hot water. I didn't use wifi while I was there but the computer in the lobby was extremely slow. The pool was very nice with free towels to use there or at the beach and also free beach chairs. The pool bar served great frozen drinks like lime in the coconuts and something that had banana, chocolate, and coconut flavors but I forgot what it's called... BCP-?? It didn't feel like too many other people were at the resort which was nice.
In terms of activities, my husband and I hiked the Annaly Bay trail from the resort which was nice and more strenuous than I expected, and I hike quite a bit. As a previous reviewer mentioned, at the 2nd fork on the trail take a left to detour to sugar mill ruins which will be on the right; you'll see a short overgrown trail leading to it.
The best activity was the hike to Jack's and Isaac's beach on the eastern side of the island (45-60 min away). Parked in a private neighborhood off Grapetree Rd with no issue. The hike was fairly easy and we were the only one on Issac's beach. The snorkeling was the best on the island with reefs all along the shore. Visited Point Udall while in the area. I also enjoyed driving through the "rain forest" on the west side and stopping in Montpellier Domino club.. you gotta stop here to feed the pigs N/A beer although they smell. The charter to Buck Island was nice. Went with Caribbean Sea Adventures. Amazing that none of the charters provide food or drinks for a half day charter and they all charge around $65, unlike the same types of tours I've taken in the Keys and St. John. I think Big Beard's boat looked a lot nicer but enjoyed our tour. I bought beautiful handmade jewelry from IB Designs in Christiansted.

Room Tip: Reserve a studio and be kind to the front desk!
  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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5  Thank atltravels10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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