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“Great family choice”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Sand Dollar Estate

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Sand Dollar Estate
Certificate of Excellence
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Great family choice”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 27, 2013

Just got back from a week at the Sand Dollar estate. It was the perfect destination for our 3 generation family of twelve. The views from the house were amazing. The workout room and spa room were beautifly appointed. The owner was very nice, helpful and easy to work with. Bob the caretaker did a good job correcting the many small things that were broken or that needed attention. One couple was moved to a separate building called the Little Sand Dollar when water started coming through the ceiling during the night. It was worth sleeping one night in a puddle to get to stay there for the balance of the week. It was spectacular. Now the bad stuff.
If you decide to have a cook as we did, you might want to ask who it will be.
We had a very disagreeable woman named Monica as our "chef". None of us had ever been talked to
like she did to us. The time she was with us each day was very uncomfortable. Maybe we caught her on a bad week.
Other than that I doubt you could do better than the Sand Dollar.

Room Tip: Get dibbs on the bedroom at the little Sand dollar
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
2 Thank ltrprs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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76 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (11)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Germantown, Maryland
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 11, 2012

Our family of 13 were fortunate to enjoy Sand Dollar for a second year in a row. We ranged in age from 8 to 76 and had a wonderful time again. We had a rocky start to our vacation with missed flights, delayed departures due to illness in one family, but we made it and are so glad we did. We truly feel that this was a trip that was meant to be because our mother passed away a few weeks after our return home. She insisted on us all going back again and was adamant that all her children and grandchildren join her even if they could only go for a few days. We will always remember our very special trips to Sand Dollar...spending quality time as a family and enjoying dinner together every night and really talking without distractions. We have so many gorgeous photos that are now huge collages hung in our homes...memories that will forever be frozen in time. I can't say enough positive things about this villa and the Owners and Bob...they were wonderful...so attentive. We had Shelly Berry cook our meals again and she did not disappoint! Go if you can!! Someday, we hope to return...in memory and honor of mom :)

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank cottonberg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 4, 2012

We were invited to Sand Dollar five years ago for our friends' wedding and spent a wonderful week in paradise. Last year when we planned our own wedding, we decided to get married at Sand Dollar. The weather was a bit cooler than our friends' wedding in June, but only by five degrees or so. Both the main house and the cottage were extremely comfortable and well thought out. There were many new additions to the house since our last visit; we especially enjoyed the gym and spa. The rooftop deck can be hot during the day but was gorgeous at night. The private beach was as beautiful as it was five years ago.

At first, we were concerned about the expenses of a destination wedding. Between the accommodation, air fare, food, activities, etc, our budget was tight. But the owner was very nice and understanding. She was willing to work around our budget and gave us a lot of money-saving tips. We shopped online for all the groceries from Cost-U-Less (like Sam's Club) and Bob, the manager picked up the orders and delivered them to us upon arrival- he is the best! We hired a cook for the week and had a private chef cater the wedding; it saved us a lot not to eat out every night. We had a spa day and a fishing day for the bridal party. We saved one day to charter a boat for the entire family to visit nearby islands. We took a car ferry from Red Hook to St. John, and spent a day exploring the island. Most of the time, we just relaxed on the beach: sunbathing, snorkeling, kayaking, and, of course, preparing for the wedding.

I highly recommend Sand Dollar for a destination wedding. Call Suzanne, the owner, for suggestions. She will introduce you to the others who have had their weddings there, so you can share their experiences. Check the airfare, and avoid downtown and Magens Bay Beach on the days when there are many cruise ships. Pick up a yellow guide book at the airport; it has the ferry schedule and coupons for activities.

We hope we don't have to wait another five years to return!

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
4 Thank John L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
18 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 20, 2012

We just returned from a wonderful week at Sand Dollar. I highly recommend the home. Not much to add to the review from February 2012, but I will say it was nice to have the exercise equipment in the room overlooking Magen's Bay. Also enjoyed the pool table adjacent to the swimming pool. The owner was very helpful in the weeks leading up to our stay. Finally, I recommend accessing the Cost-U-Less website, where you can order tons of groceries on-line.
Bob picked them up for us and had everything at the house when we arrived.
Hopefully next year they will have HDTV for the beginning of March Madness :-)

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank DreamingofSTT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, Massachusetts
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 12, 2012

We stayed at Sand Dollar Estate in December 2011 with our extended family. The entire property is stunning with every detail carefully considered. There was ample space for 20 of us to get cozy or have some privacy to read a book and relax. The beach was unbelievable and right below the main house and cottage. We rented a power boat and kept it on the mooring in front of the house for 7 days. It was definitely one of the best beaches we ever visited, very calm with tons of wild life and fish. You can fish and snorkel right off the beach!

Bob, the manager, was the best. He was attentive but discreet. He did is all, from pre-stocking groceries, running errands for us, to showing us all the fun local places on the island. The rest of the house staff was very helpful and polite. The house is meticulously clean.

There are plenty of thins to do in St. Thomas. Plenty of great restaurants and fun activities for everyone. We chartered a boat to visit the other islands. It was definitely the highlight of the trip.

We have stayed at 5 star resorts and other luxury beachfront properties in the past, but Sand Dollar was by far the best. We will try to return next year.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank elizabeth a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
42 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 13, 2011

For our three-generation family vacation for a 50th anniversary, including infants, older children, teenager, and adults of all ages, we wanted something special, and we looked long and hard and hoped that we had found it. Well, we did!!

The single biggest amazing feature of this house is the beach. This is not to take away from the rest of the features, which I don't have to list here since if you're reading this you can just go to their website and find out all about it. The place really did live up to the photos. We were on the beach every day before breakfast and again before supper, swimming, kayaking, and even wading -- you can wade all the way to Magen's Bay Beach if you want, although it's a long walk. We kayaked over there before breakfast one morning, though, and saw turtles and fish along the way.

The beach can get small at high tide, but it never fully disappears, and most of the day there is plenty of room for a family of 12 to stretch out, read in the beach chairs, and of course at ANY time of day there is plenty of room to enjoy the warm shallow water.

The second beach at "Little Sand Dollar" is rocky and we never used it, but we didn't need to -- there was plenty of room for all of us on the main beach.

Sometimes someone would go by fairly close on a paddle board or even with a dog, but we always felt that the beach itself was all our own.

The house itself was also fabulous -- we could give master bedrooms to three couples, and kids could also have their own rooms and bathrooms. Some of us ended up using the spa shower -- a nice "rainfall" shower head -- since it was convenient after the early morning swims.

We had Passion Fruit Chefs prepare most of our breakfasts and dinners, and they were great and a huge load off everyone's mind. The meals were prepared right in the kitchen and they served appetizers out on the porch or in the living room and then we could all sit around the table with more than enough room for 12. I'll have to review them separately, but in one word: YES! The people who came to prepare and serve the meal were really nice, as well as great chefs, and we learned a lot about St. Thomas talking with them. The kids even got some recipes they were able to try back at home.

The kitchen, by the way, was VERY well stocked. I have never seen that many glasses of different shapes and sizes in one place before, but also there was plenty of silverware, plates, etc.

Bob, the caretaker, was often around cleaning the pool, sweeping the beach, fixing things, and was always available within 2 minutes by phone for anything else we needed. I think he lives somewhere on the property, but you wouldn't know it except for how fast he came when you needed him -- we felt like the place was completely ours.

Things to be aware of (I won't call them negatives, but some people may find these more bothersome than others):

-- Mosquitoes and sand fleas. We did get bitten a lot. Buy some DEET and don't be afraid to use it! The bug repellant helped, but only when we used it consistently and all over.

-- Steep driveway. We got used to this (and to driving on the left) very quickly, but it was scary the first time we reached the house and the car sat apparently suspended in the air with no idea what was below us! Someone had to get out and guide us down. Much easier by the second day. Most of the roads were really fine, and driving on the left was a breeze since the car itself is a standard left-side-drive. You MUST have a car (or several cars for a large family; we had three) -- there is no place to go that is within walking distance, and I can't imagine getting around only by taxi out there.

-- The pool is small. It was big enough for our family since mainly a couple of the kids used it; the adults (and most of the kids) preferred the beach. But if you plan to spend a lot of time in the pool as a family, it is on the small side.

-- Hot porch floors mid-day; I burned my feet walking barefoot. Make sure you've got flip-flops or something to get from the house to the pool, or from one level to the other. Note that the main level and the pool level do not connect inside the house -- you have to go outside to get to the lower three bedrooms, the hammock, lower living room, etc. It wasn't a big deal but it was one thing I didn't realize from the photos online.

Would we stay here again? Absolutely, if we could afford it. Going with a large group means you can split the costs, so person-for-person it isn't all that much more expensive than many of the other options, but still, this is the luxurious end of things.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank Two_if_by_Land
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lake Worth, Florida
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 16, 2011

I just returned home after spending a week at this place and I have to say it is one of my favorite vacations ever. The private beach is a selling point. Just walk down the stairs whenever you want and swim. There are floodlights at night that may actually make it better than swimming during the day. The location is a selling point. Magen's Bay is incredibly beautiful. During the day the view of the mountains surrounding the bay is literally the cover of one of the tour guide books in the house and at night the lights of the houses spinkled thoughout the hills make it very romantic. The pool is great. It lights up at night as does the gazebo. The pool deck is great for swimming, suntanning and barbecuing. The cushions on the roof deck are so thick you could sleep outside everynight. The spa is awesome to have whenever you want and the gym is modern with great views. I was with a group of 10 people age 23-48, some of us had just met ,most of us were couples and we had all the private space we needed for alone time and the proximity we needed for party time. The best part by far for us was Bob. Bob is the property manager, taxi driver, tour guide, bodyguard, reservation maker, towel washer, cigar buyer and all around concierge. Bob knows everything on the Virgin Islands and all locals know him. The attendants at Coki Beach give people that show up with Bob a discount. The waitresses at The Pleasure Point bar atop of the Skyride dance with him. The owners of the best souvenir shops give you a discount when he's with you. The captain of the ferry to St Johns knows him by name. The Maitre d' of The Old Stone Farmhouse will take a reservation for 12 given only a couple hours notice if Bob calls. He keeps the property clean constantly and is available any time. Bob says "Sleep is the cousin of death". The downside. The bugs ate us alive. We had at least six candles within five feet of each other burning all the time and all the "Off" spray in the world and still got it bad.

Room Tip: Top floor=best, Main floor=next best, Lower floor
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank niskybob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sand Dollar Estate

Property: Sand Dollar Estate
Address: 130 Campbell Rd, 07931-2303, St. Thomas
Location: Caribbean > U.S. Virgin Islands > St. Thomas
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 28 Specialty Lodging in St. Thomas
Number of rooms: 18
Also Known As:
Sand Dollar Estate Hotel St. Thomas
Sand Dollar Estate St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

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