The Renaissance St. Croix Carambola Beach Resort & Spa on the northern shore of the island is a huge and beautiful resort with a gorgeous private beach and good amenities. The residences are in separate buildings with several large units in each; ours was a 2nd floor beachfront unit (in building 25) at the farthest end of the complex with a veranda that looked out on the beach (which was about 100 feet away), and a full kitchen. I heartily recommend going for beachfront, and 2nd floor gives you a better view, cathedral ceilings, and no footsteps from above.
The L-shaped room was great -- comfy king bed between a window and the beach-side veranda for a breezeway and the sound of the waves, a sleeper sofa, and two flat screen TVs, one in front of each. The kitchen was fully equipped with everything you might need including complimentary coffee and a coffee maker, and the veranda had built-in bench seating. The bathroom was lovely -- double sink with Kohler fixtures on a granite counter-top, and a large walk in shower with a tile bench. The large walk-in closet was a real plus.
Sprawling palm tree-covered grounds were well-maintained by-and-large, with a huge common area swimming pool, hot tub, on-campus dive shop, well-stocked gift and sundries shop, fair-to-middling if expensive restaurant and bar, tennis court and basketball hoop, and a small barely adequate fitness center. The resort-length sand beach is beautiful -- sand-bottomed the farther into the grounds you go, rock-bottomed closer to the main building. It makes for good snorkeling on-site. Lots of chaise-lounges to use, and a Captain Morgan rum bar set up on the beach after 12 noon to about 5 pm.
Overall, we were very pleased with the accommodations and the grounds, and would not hesitate to stay again on that basis.
Service, however, was somewhat wanting: Generally polite and pleasant staff, but slow and inefficient. Inexplicably there are no ice machines on the huge grounds, and each time we asked for ice to be delivered to our unit in a bag for storage in the freezer to complement our fridge's small ice maker, it either never came, or came long after we needed it. Same thing with the request for a light bulb replacement and extra towels -- it took forever. Perhaps because we were at the end of the grounds, housekeeping often didn't get to us until very late in the afternoon, once not until after 5 pm. The pool is open 24/7, but there are no towels at the pool after 5 pm; you have to go to reception to get them, and one night the sole duty clerk was less than happy to do so when I requested two towels.
House wireless service is spotty on the grounds; it works, but not everywhere. As to cell phone service, if you don't have AT&T, fuggedaboud it...but that applies to anywhere on the island. There is one desktop computer in reception to use for basic online searches and for finding and printing travel documents.
If you want to do anything more than stay on the resort grounds, you MUST have a rental car. The resort is at the very end of a narrow and winding road with no shoulder, and the closest "community" -- Cane Bay and its restaurants and bars -- is about 3 miles away. The towns of Christansted and Fredericksted are each about 8 very winding miles and 30 minutes' drive away. If you rent a vehicle, rent an SUV or Jeep as roads in the middle of the island are deeply pot-holed. And you MUST get a GPS, Street and road signs on most of the island are an oxymoron, and driving at night would be impossible without guidance. Nearest supermarkets to stock your kitchen are about 4 miles away.
All-in-all, despite our service nits, the resort was an excellent choice.
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- Also Known As:
- Renaissance St. Croix Carambola Beach Hotel St. Croix
- Renaissance St. Croix Carambola Beach Resort And Spa
- Carambola Beach Hotel
- Carambola Beach Resort
- Renaissance St. Croix Carambola Beach Resort & Spa U.S. Virgin Islands