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“When I can leave D.C. and Move there?!”
Review of Hotel on the Cay

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Hotel on the Cay
Ranked #5 of 14 Hotels in Christiansted
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed October 30, 2007

Here is an overall review for my Honeymoon stay at Hotel on the Cay, STX from October 20th-27th 2007.

First off, I want to write that I have stayed in some FINE hotels - so If you want a 5 Star, look elsewhere; St. Thomas or St. Johns may be your ticket (and I'm sure the St. Croix locals could care less and be happy about their jewel without you!)

Upon arriving at the AIRPORT my Wife and myself were wondering what we had gotten ourselves into. We grabbed our bags, and got a cab from the airport to Hotel on the Cay. We were both a little weary (coming from Washington, DC) about how safe we were, being that we were in a desolate/remote type non-touristy area. After driving with the cabbie for a few minutes, we were pleasantly surprised at how nice, and good natured he was - which put us to immediate ease. He was from Dominica, but had family in our home town, which was great! Total Roundtrip from the airport with 2 bags including tip was $25; not bad at all.

Upon arriving at the docks for our hotel, we looked across the bay at Hotel on the Cay and saw what looked like a 60's Hotel situated on it's own private Island.

Freddie our Boat driver pulled up, took our bags on the boat for us, and as we ferried our way to the hotel on the ferry, gave us FRESHLY picked banana's from his back yard! What a very nice way to invite someone to their Island! Delicious, and fresh banana's withOUT the DOLE logo on it! Amazing! And they were, NO LIE, the best banana's we'd ever eaten.

Checking in to the Hotel was a breeze, and the Woman who handled it (a very nice hispanic woman) did so quickly and with top service.

Arriving into the room was an experience. The Bathrooms looked like the Magnum PI era, and the Sliding Doors were HEAVY and LOUD and very tough to move (you will easily wake up anyone sleeping in your room!). They also did NOT lock. The Front door was similar; it had Wooden slats and a screen separating yourself and the outside world. Not very secure in my Opinion, and security when you're NOT at home is VERY important to my family and my piece of mind. Aside from that, our Suite was perfect - CLEAN and had NICE comfortable beds with CLEAN Linen's; That's All I need in life! It's NOT the Ritz-Carlton as others have mentioned, but one nights stay at the Ritz, equals an ENTIRE week at Hotel on the Cay! But this is a POSITIVE as it Leaves more money for Gaming, Snorkling, Eating, Rentals, Taxi's, etc!

Everyone, and I DO mean everyone on the Island which HOTC resides on was EXTREMELY Friendly! If you are a snot, don't even bother staying here - you have islands you are welcome on!
HarborMaster Cafe was a nice touch to the Island. Even though they are generally CLOSED after 4PM, they have a decent breakfast, and Lunch menu. It was all Fresh tasting, good food! Not Gourmet, but very good nonetheless. Erol the bartender is a beast, and a good guy! You need to talk with him when he's not so busy!

A Few things to look out for: If it rains when you are at HOTC, BE CAREFUL on the Stair Rails, ESPECIALLY if you've been drinking! They are Old, rusted Stair rails, that In My Opinion, would give out if you actually leaned your full body weight onto them. Also, be aware that the tiles on the walkways are sealed tiles, and EXTREMELY Slippery when wet! Broken Ankles in paradise is NOT cool! The grounds are a little worn out, but what do you expect for a NORTHERN most island which bares the storms? The groundskeepers do a good job, and are always working and very friendly.

St. Croix itself, the what to do's:

Rent a car, and drive to Point Udall and just DRIVE around the Island! It's a desolate area, but gorgeous, and you can say you went to the furthest Eastern tip of any US Occupation! Use caution though, and if you feel like you're going the wrong way, then TURN around! It won't hurt.

Visit Fort. Christian, and first Lutheran Church. Amazing!

Visit /Snorkel at Cane Bay! Fabulous beach, with GREAT snorkling and BAR right on it! One word of CAUTION if you are driving from HOTC to Cane Bay: The sign for 80 is TAKEN down <it's a right turn towards the coast>. If you continue I believe SOUTH, it will take you up to a OFFROAD scenic route, which In my opinion is a TRAP for Trouble. I say this, because we found ourselves in a junglelike area, with locals on the streets watching up go this route. When I realized we weren't in Kansas anymore, I turned around and drove back. On our way, we found a wallet in the middle of the road. We ALMOST stopped, but didn't. Upon arriving 'home' we were told it was probably a trap, and if we had stopped to pick it up, would have possibly been ROBBED! SO BE CAREFUL!

The ABSOLUTE "MUST DO" when you are there, is to book a 2 hour waverunner tour with Duane and Dustin - From the WaveRunner Rental place on the beach at Hotel on the Cay. They came from Pompano Beach, S. Florida about 1 year ago, took over the business and in My opinion, made an awesome choice of residence! We chose to do a 1 hour Waverunner, plus 1 hour of snorkling at the Barrier Reef. It was amazing! The fish and coral you see are some of the best I have ever seen. I have been to Belize, which is the second best snorkling reef in the world, and this place KILLED it! Duane, his Wife, and Dustin are great people, and run a top notch business. They could not have been friendlier! We look forward to meeting them again in the near future! If you do not use them for a tour, you are severely missing out! You can also rent Snorkling gear for $40 each for a week, and the snorkling right off of the beach of HOTC is excellent as well. We Say Sea urchins, Eels, Starfish, Lobster, Flounder, Crabs, BONEFISH, and about 30 other species of very colorful fish. We even found live CONCH with Beautiful Pink Shells! The $80 for a couple for a week is a bargain, unless you bring your own.


Eating in St. Croix on the first night was tough to adjust to - But we adjusted rather quickly. I recommend stopping on the way from the airport and having the Taxi Driver (or yourself) stop at the Pueblo Supermarket just before you enter town. Grab your suntan lotion, your Chef Boyardee's, Chips, Dips, Water, ETC before you arrive. You'll be happy you didi! Our first night though, we chose to eat at Breezes. It was a $10 Taxi ride from HOTC and was a nice setup IMO. The food my wife thought was great, I thought it was too. Total bill with Lobster, Scallops, tip and drinks was $88. After leaving the joint, we noticed a Police Officer with a German Shepard he was parading around the grounds. We found out later, that Breezes FREQUENTLY gets robbed <and when I say robbed, I mean EVERYONE>. A Native American told me this, and I completely believe her. The next few nights we ate at Rum Runners, which is very good food, and within WALKING DISTANCE from the ferry let off, and it will NOT disappoint. Average Dinner with Tip was $100. Worth every penny IMO.

For our 'nice' Dinner out, we ate at Bacchus . Our Bill including tip was $177, but the service, food AND Staff were worth TWICE that! This restaurant is another MUST do if you like fine dining and service! Seriously, if we could find that food/service/and yumminess for $177 including tip in the DC area, we'd not eat at another place! Highest regards for the owners, restaurant, food and wait staff! FIVE STARS!

For Breakfast, Senanigans ALL the way! Their sausage gravy biscuits were AWESOME! And the service was fantastic! $25 a pair for an excellent breakfast. Hotel on the Cay actually had a VERY good breakfast at the Harbormaster, so you don't even have to leave the grounds!

All in all, we didn't just enjoy our first trip to St. Croix/ Hotel on the Cay, we FELL in love with the place! So much, that I am actively pursuing a time share there! We miss it tremendously, and wish we were there as I write this!

If you don't go there based on my review, then THANK YOU! St. Thomas or St. John's are more your speed!

Much love to everyone residing on St. Croix!

  • Stayed: October 2007, traveled as a couple
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29  Thank WashingtonDCLocal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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452 - 458 of 506 reviews

Reviewed October 17, 2007

This older property has, arguably the best location in the Caribbean--on its own island with increible views of old Christiansted, the impossible blue colors of the ocean, views of surrounding mountains and fantastic sunsets. The property itself is old and not luxurious but for the price well worth it. If you're expecting Ritz like accomadations and service you'll be dissapointed but if you understand that a room is a place to sleep come on down. It has the only beach in Christiansted with a beach front bar that serves lunch too. The property is accessed by a < 2 min boatride. Plenty of shopping, bars and restaurants a short walk from the dock, historical buildings too and the prices are good for the caribbean. St. Croix doesnt have cruise ships (they are trying to get them according to the local newspaper-but they will dock on the other side of the island) a plus in my book--great place to relax for little dinero.

  • Stayed: October 2007, traveled with family
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6  Thank SwampGas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 10, 2007

...that is the reason we stay at Hotel on the Key. We absolutely love it there. There is no where else that you can stay in St Croix, and have such a fabulous view of Christiansted and the harbor. I just never get tired of gazing out at the beach, the sailboats, and the beautiful historic Danish architecture. St Croix is so beautiful to look at, and this is the place to be able to soak it all in. The beach is nice and relaxing, the water is clear and the snackbar is just a few steps away. Jet ski rentals are on site. The ferry service (about 30 seconds) to the boardwalk in town is so friendly and efficient, you are never kept waiting. The hotel is a pretty solid 3 stars, quaint and clean, nothing fancy. Yes, there are some improvements that could be made--mostly aesthetic, but nothing to serious complain about. For $100 a nite, you just can't beat the view and location to everything in Christiansted. Some of the rooms have been updated with small kitchenettes which is a nice addition--to have your own refridgerator, microwave, wetbar sink and coffeemaker. Our wireless internet was hard to pick up unless the sliding patio door was open or you sat on the balcony and the A/C in our room was a bit noisy, but all in all, it just wasn't a big deal. I would love to see the fountains out front put in working order or just replaced with more tropical landscaping since the hotel/site is loaded with lots of charm and potential. But I do see improvements from our stay 5 years ago, and am happy to report things seem to have been upgraded instead of deteriorating since then. The pool is nice although we never spend any time there because of the beach, and the tennis courts are in disrepair and unuseable. This hotel isn't for everyone, but for us, there is no place better to appreciate the beauty of Christiansted, and watch the boats sail in, while sitting on the beach under a palm tree with a frozen drink in my hand.

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled as a couple
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12  Thank talmon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 2, 2007

I'm currently staying at Hotel on the Cay. I bought a time share for this week of the year and this is my first stay. I am impressed with the great location, its a cute little island. The hotel offers ALL waterfront view rooms. There is no elevator and lots of stairs to the different levels. The tennis court is in complete disrepair. Don't know why they use pictures of it in their advertising! Great swimming pool..it's huge! Food service not available after 5PM. Suggest you bring snacks and beverages..pick some up at one of the grocery stores on the way from the airport..there is also a store about 1/2 mile hike from the dock. Rooms have a microwave, small fridge, kitchen sink and coffee maker. AC works fine. Food is expensive here, but I stocked up at the local grocery where I bought some salads, deli sandwich, precooked shrimp, coke, etc.

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled solo
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7  Thank MensaBrite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 23, 2007

This was our second trip to this property. It's an RCI timeshare property and was built in the 60's sometime. Like most timeshares, they act like a hotel to get use of rooms that are not "bought" for a particular week. Two years ago we arranged our stay through RCI - this year we booked directly with the "hotel." On our last stay we were placed in a 1 bedroom suite, this time a "studio" - which is more like a standard hotel room. All rooms have a microwave, a toaster oven, and a small refrigerator. The first room they tried to put us in this time had a broken A/C unit - the compressor was working, but not the blower and it was dripping water all over everything. The manager on duty (Matt) put us into a different room immediately. They have an ongoing program of room renovation - several per year - so the rooms seem to be pretty well kept up and nicely decorated. We had no issues with cleanliness. All the staff we had contact with were nice enough and friendly. The only problem was at check-in. The "weekend help" at the front desk had a very hard time locating our reservation. Finally did, but it seemed she didn't quite have a tight grip on the job. Might have been new or something. The cay is accessible only by boat. It's nice and quite, very private. The hotel operates a ferry that runs continuously back and forth between the cay and the boardwalk in town. We have never had to wait more than about 10 minutes either way. There is a very nice beach right on the property, and the water in the harbor is amazingly clear and clean. There is excellent snorkeling (or diving if you like) right off the seawall on the north side of the cay. One of the managers takes a group out for a guided snorkel tour weekly - FOR FREE! They hold a buffet barbeque and floor show on Tuesdays that is a pretty good deal considering the cost of a normal meal at most restaurants on the island - and the food is pretty good too. There is a water sports rental shop right on the property for wave runners, snorkel gear, etc. The beach is open to the public, but others have to pay $3 round trip for the ferry that you can use free whenever you like. In general, most things here cost more than you would expect unless you live in a major metropolitan area. Dinner is going to run you in the neighborhood of $20-30 each, not counting liquor, lunch $10-15. Don't expect salad or fresh bread most places -- unless you are willing to pay extra. The restaurant at the hotel is open for breakfast and lunch only, except for the Tuesday buffet - you have to take the 90 second ferry ride over to the boardwalk for dinner at one of many nearby restaurants - unless you can get by with your microwave and toaster oven. I guess it's obvious since we went back a second time, but we like it here. I'm seriously considering going timeshare myself. St. Croix is not as crowded as some of the islands nearby, and much more laid back. You will likely want to rent a car - although if you don't want to explore the island, you don't really need one as the ferry drops you off right in town. The hotel has a web site for photos and more info. Don't believe the photo of the tennis court - it's been defunct for several years. The property IS showing some signs of age - multiple layers of paint, plumbing problems, obvious repairs, etc. -- but it's pretty well maintained and quite serviceable. If you want, or are accustomed to 5 star resorts, this place is NOT for you.

  • Stayed: April 2007, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank JoeBlowe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 4, 2006

We were pleasantly supprised to find Hotel on the Cay. Originaly we were booked at another hotel (it was hell on earth) and had to spend the entire night there because it was so late (but thats a whole other story). Hotel on the Cay saved us! We arrived there in the morning and paid (the exact amount in cash) for our five day stay. The receptionist was very nice but made a mistake and gave us $95 back. Honestly, I would have kept it if she wasn't so polite to us. Our room was ok. We had the basics: Bed, TV, lamp, fridge, balcony. Nothing special about it, but we did have a wonderful view of the water. The balcony was nice except for the ants. I liked the beach in the hotel, It was shallow and clean. We spent most of the day sight seeing on the island and not in the hotel. We never had water issues. Housekeeping was not what it should have been. But over all this is a great place to stay if you dont want to pay much and plan on doing fun things ON the island.

  • Stayed: January 2004, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank adorlia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 3, 2006

This place is OK - barely. If you're paying a cheap price to stay here, it's fine. I got a very cheap deal, so the accomodations and inconveniences I encountered were digestable, but if you pay any "normal" price, I strongly suggest you stay elsewhere.

If you don't read anything else I say below, let me say if you are looking for a cheap place to stay that you only need to sleep and shower and you are going to spend the rest of your time away from the hotel, then this place is acceptable for that. Just don't expect much.

Again, everyone has there own experience, but here was ours.

As far as positives go:

The location is really the only big plus of this hotel- just a 2 minute boat ride from the heart of Christiansted and with a good view of the town. The boat ride seemed a bit inconvenient at first, but you never have to wait more than 5 mins to get picked up. They WILL pick you up after midnight, you just have to call the front desk.

The Tuesday night buffet looked pretty cool (we're veggies so we skipped out). You can dine on the beach while being entertained - it looked much busier than most of the restaurants and bars we saw on St. Croix.

Our room looked a lot better than those in the main building (try to get the room HM 1 or HM 2 if you can). It had the essentials including a mini-fridge, microwave, and utensils. But it seemed very outdated and "used". It also had a very musty smell whenever we came home. We could also hear the people in the room next door (with a crying baby) very clearly because a thin door was all that separated us.

And now for the negatives:

The hotel looks like a place that reached its heyday 30 years ago and has done little to improve it since - stained concrete exteriors, overgrown plant life, messy beach, broken fountains, musty smells, and I could go on. It's really a shame given it's small island location that they didn't do more with it.

The front desk was very unwelcoming and unaccomodating There was a mix up regarding our reservation and the girl at the front desk was on the brink of turning us away until I finally convinced her to clear the mix up with a phone call which she should have done in the first place.

We didn't have water for several hours one night. The shower didn't work, the toilet didn't flush, nothing. There seemed to be little urgency to fix the problem which affected the whole building.

Although there is a beach with a nice view and a bar/restaurant there, it's a place to sunbathe but NOT to swim. The water was very shallow, littered with seaweed, and a little bit rocky. Not too mention that if you swim more than 30 feet you're right in the middle of the active harbor.

I could go on and on, but that's the jist of it. You've been warned. If you decide to stay here just please make sure you're going on the cheap and you know what to expect.

  • Stayed: November 2006, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank ianbikenj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel on the Cay

Address: Protestant Cay, Christiansted 00822, St. Croix
Location: Caribbean > U.S. Virgin Islands > St. Croix > Christiansted
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in Christiansted
#4 Romantic Hotel in Christiansted
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Christiansted
Price Range: $150 - $372 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel on the Cay 3*
Number of rooms: 53
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Step into an atmosphere of casual elegance during your visit to our inviting private island retreat. If your idea of a Caribbean vacation includes unforgettable sunsets, white sand beaches and the simple phrase “no problem,” this is the place for you! Hotel on the Cay offers you the best vacation value in the Caribbean. Located on a private cay in the Caribbean Sea, our 53 room resort provides for an unforgettable vacation experience that is ideal for couples, families and adventure seekers.Here guests can dine at our on-site restaurant, unwind with a refreshing swim in the pool, enjoy water sports at our activity center and explore the historical sights, eateries, shops and entertainment located on the boardwalk just minutes away by private complimentary boat. A quaint, pristine beach overlooks Christiansted Harbor’s beautiful boats, which makes for perfect photos at sunset. As the only beach in downtown Christiansted, you will enjoy swimming and snorkeling the amazing undersea world surrounding the cay.Hotel on the Cay will provide bountiful sunshine, bright turquoise seas teeming with life, refreshing trade winds and a place to lay your head at the end of each memorable day. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
On The Cay Christiansted
On The Cay Hotel
Hotel On The Cay St. Croix/Christiansted, U.S. Virgin Islands

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