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Reviewed January 7, 2008

It was my 50th so I arranged 5 days at Crystal Cove based on TA's reviews with beachdestinations.com. I asked for a recently renovated Suite and we got something out of the 70's with another layer of new paint (C28). Trying to sleep with A/C working overtime was difficult and the elephants upstairs didn't help. The place was basic, like 2-2.5 stars, but then again this is the US Virgins where all the lodgings are pretty basic anyway. Walked past Sapphire Resorts next door, also on the beach, and their accommodations looked like they were up to par, despite the worse reviews here. Not the best beach on the island - arrived after a tropical storm, but the sea was too rough for snorkelling all 5 days. Both the protected Megan's Bay and Coki Point were far better. St Thomas roads are car bumper-to-car bumper with potholes. Don't hire a car - take the ever-present really-cheap taxis (trucks with seats). Restaurants are expensive with mediocre food and service. Buy your own food etc at Cost U Less up the hill (cheap booze) and cook it up in the unit. Lots of (mostly jewellery) stores in town with more scam artists than you can throw a stick at. Shop around for the best price. After a $5 water taxi ride to St John, I'd recommend St John, as preferred to St Thomas, with nicer accomodation, virtually no downtown (traffic, hustlers etc) and much better beaches, snorkelling, scuba and parasailing. I'd recommend Sapphire Resorts over Crystal Cove for overall better lodgings. For 2 people I don't think a Suite is much improved over a Studio. But anyway, that sea and sun is surely lovely and warm.

  • Stayed: December 2007, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank BarakObama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KIFischer, Owner at Crystal Cove Beach Resort on Sapphire Bay, responded to this reviewResponded April 4, 2008

1. The condo is the 2nd floor of a two story building, so there is no way "elephants" could be heard from upstairs - there is no upstairs!
2. I have never rented through beachdestinations.
3. My condo is COMPLETELY renovated, from its new tile floor to new ceiling, new kitchen cabinetry and appliances, granite counter tops and new bathroom fixtures with kapong shell counters!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 28, 2007

Crystal Cove consists of several two-story buildings arranged in a semicircle around a lagoon, with Sapphire Beach a short distance away. Sapphire Beach, with its views of St. John, was by far the most beautiful beach we encountered while in St. Thomas.

In terms of design, Crystal Cove is very 80s, and some buildings are showing their age. We stayed in late November, and maintenance was working hard to get the place ready for the high season. They had plenty to do.

Life can be very nice at Crystal Cove. You can get up in the morning, prepare breakfast in your well-equipped kitchen, stroll down to the beach and spend the whole day if you care to. You can eat lunch and have drinks at the Sapphire Beach Resort, located right next door and owned by the same company that owns/manages Crystal Cove.

There's interesting wildlife around. Every day, a colon of ducks that lives down in the lagoon visits the beach to scrounge food from the tourists. Some mourning doves usually stop by. Several iguanas, some quite large, shuffle through and have been known to climb the trees that ring the beach. It's fun and interestiing. There's decent swimming and snorkeling on a small reef, though choppy water while we were there limited the snorkeling.

Here's the problem. If you stay in a studio or efficiency unit, you get a large room with a pull-down bed. Except it's two twin beds, not a double or a queen. The beds are of better qualiy than a pull-out couch, but nothing like the quality of a bed. My wife suffered through backaches the whole time we were there. My bed bothered me less, but what bothered me most was that I never expected to encounter this kind of arrangement at a facility that is simply perfect as a romantic getaway.Think about it: Romantic getaway.... uncomfortable twin beds....romantic geaway...uncomfortable twin beds..... We expressed disappointment to the manager, and she said that virtually all the studio units had twin beds. Made absolutely no sense to us.

Our unit was very nicely furnished, with a TV and stereo, a phone for local calls and a wonderfully equipped kitchen. If we wanted to, we could barbecue over charcoal outside. The view from our front windows was beautiful -- the lagoon straight ahead, with the beach just beyond.

One other negative: The facility does not have wireless Internet. if you want it, you have to bring your computer to the lobby of the hotel next door. As said, it's very 80s.

In short, I'd stay there in a heartbeat if I knew I had to be in St. Thomas and could get a room with a real bed. If invited to sleep in a room with pull-down twin beds, I'd rather stay almost anywhere else. And that's m advice to you: Stay at Crystal Cove, once you're assured you'll get a real bed to sleep in.

  • Stayed: November 2007, traveled as a couple
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12  Thank tomcat33333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 7, 2007

This property is amazing. My wife and I stayed here for our honeymoon in June and were SO happy we read the reviews on TripAdvisor. The beach is steps from the door and the sand was so soft. When we went snorkeling we saw so many incredible fish, including a sting ray! On the private beach, we found so many friendly people, mostly condo owners. The island itself if pretty small (San Diego dwarfs it), so after a few days, you'll practically feel like one of the locals. Go to the little grocery store in Red Hook to buy all the essentials. Exploring the area is encouraged if you have free time. In Charlotte-Amelie, the capital, we found a saleswoman priming us to buy into a time share. But hey, for going to a 90-min seminar we got two bottles of Cruzan Rum, good-as-cash vouchers for select merchants on the island, a 2 for 1 coupon for the Breakaway trip to the British Virgin Islands (which was INCREDIBLE -- we highly recommend that trip, & take a water-proof camera), and a shuttle back to the condo... back to paradise... all for free! And everything you need is there at the resort, so if you want to go from the airport to the resort, stay there a week, then go back, you'd still find so much to do. And if you need help, go ask Alice. Oh, and bring a lot of sunscreen, because any place you go will hideously inflate the price (I think we saw $13-16). All in all, Crystal Cove made our vacation so remarkably memorable. Thank you!

  • Stayed: June 2007, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank JohnSixPack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 31, 2007

My husband and I just returned from our fabulous Columbus Day Long Weekend in St. Thomas, ( but it was not long enough.) We were extremely pleased with our choice of accomodations at Crystal Cove, so much so that I felt compelled to share our experience with you. First, it is my opinion that Crystal Cove is the most beautiful place on Earth. Our view was spectacular. Every morning I would have my coffee overlooking the beautiful private beach with the background of St. John and think have I gone to heaven??. Having traveled to several tropical places, such as St.Croix, Aruba, and Jamaica, Crystal Cove stood out by far above the rest. The suite we stayed in was well maintained, spacious, clean and seemed to be newly renovated. We had a beautiful bedroom, 2 bathrooms, a very nice kitchen, and a big living room where we had gorgeous views. It was stocked with all the amenities that one could need from beach towels to sun hats. In addition, being in A building, right up on the private beach, made it so easy to just relax, what a relief to not have to lug all our beach apparel!! My husband says definitely stay in A building. After he walked around a little he said we had the best of everything, the best accomodations and the best location. He thinks we paid a little more and it was well worth it. We got A8 through bestbeach dot com. But what truly was amazing was the kindness that we encountered from everyone, especially Norma. Norma always greeted us with a warm smile and a helpful suggestion as to where to go and what to do. She was outgoing and energetic and took very good care of us as well as our suite. Traversing the Island was easy and there were several modes of transportation. We were only five minutes away from the Ferry shuttle to St. John and we thoroughly enjoyed a fun filled day at Trunk Beach. We also took the dollar bus into Main Street and enjoyed the many shopping opportunities that St. Thomas had to offer. Well, I admit I enjoyed the shopping a little more than my husband did. My husband golfed at Mahogany Run while I read a book on the beach therefore it was the perfect vacation for both of us. One day we played tennis and snorkeled and at night we went to the Caribbean Saloon to watch the Red Sox and then to Duffy's Loveshack for a little Island flavor music and dancing. We had so much fun that I felt that I was on my honeymoon again. So as you can see, this is a gem of a place that offers so much from music, to romance to relaxation. Overall, it was a fun-filled, exciting yet relaxing five days, so much so that I regretted leaving this place of paradise and am counting the days until our return.

  • Stayed: October 2007, traveled as a couple
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22  Thank michiewareham_Mass
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 3, 2007

We stayed last year as a family and loved it. Went back this year as a couple- even better!. Bernie is always helpful. We go for the beach and the snorkeling. Love the stingrays, turtles and tropical fish and coral. I have pictures from all over the islands and this beach is the one that people Ooh and ahh over when they see the photos. They keep the grounds immaculate, it looks like a golf course and there is a nice little shop on site. This year we got a car through Hotwire and explored more, but we really only need the beach and a quick trip to Red Hook for food or Coki Beach for really fun snorkeling and some local fruit stands on the way. I am not one for nightlife and fancy restaurants- we go very casual and had great meals at Red Hook: Lotus, Molly Mallones, Off the Hook. Went to Iggy's for the Island show- fun and great food. Senor Pizza was good and quick. Lots of people grill at night. at this complex. Try the Marina Market's yummy steaks to grill - also try their chicken salad, and macadamia & coconut cookies- wow! The liquor is reasonable, too. We did the Breakaway trip to BVI. If you want to be on a boat all day- this is the trip. A nice crew, but for what you paid, they were generous with booze all day, but not so much with the food.
I hesitate to recommend this place- I don't want a big crowd when we go back!

  • Stayed: June 2007, traveled as a couple
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13  Thank sharont
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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