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“Did not meet our expectations”

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Two Sandals by the Sea Inn - Bed & Breakfast
Ranked #5 of 21 St. Thomas B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 6, 2014

Our stay at the Two Sandals got off to a bad start when we accepted the offer for an airport pickup. Instead of the routine meeting procedure where the driver holds a sign with your name on it in the airport reception area, our instructions were to please stand by two flagpoles across from the baggage claim area and watch for a silver Yaris to drive by. Willing to go along, I sent an email that I would be wearing an orange shirt so I could be easily recognized. So out the baggage claim area and across the street to stand beneath the two flagpoles, which by the way, is not a well lit area at 8 pm. And there my wife and I stood waiting for a silver Yaris to drive by. After waiting some time, I spotted a small silver looking car that was parked along the curb some distance away. We carried our luggage back across the street and when near the car I asked a man standing near it if he was from the Two Sandals and he replied that he was. Still not quite comfortable with the situation, I asked him if he worked at the Two Sandals, and his reply was "sort of". I thought the response was quite peculiar when I later found out that he was the owner Jun. So into the Yaris with my wife, luggage, Jun and Lucy, the dog. Since there were only three seats, Jun held Lucy on his lap while he drove. Along the way, Lucy proceeded to throw up all over Jun and at this point, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. After our arrival at the Two Sandals, Jun immediately asked for an ID and a credit card. Not exactly what had been our customary greeting while staying at many other B & B's in the Caribbean. But wiling to go along, I asked Jun if the charge would be in US dollars? This question had become automatic for me after 3 weeks of island hopping where often due to exchange rates it maybe better to pay in the local currency rather than USD. I guess Jun thought I was being funny because his reply was "Mexican Peso's" which I thought was rather rude. His next response to my question as to how soon one should call a cab to be picked up at 7:40 am the next morning was "I don't own the cab company". You would think the owner of a B & B would have a clue as to how to advise a guest on calling a cab. Not exactly the welcome we are accustomed to receiving at a B & B. We stayed in the Malibu Room because it sounded that their best room. When we looked into the bathroom, there was a floor lamp standing in the corner with an extension cord running on the floor to an outlet in the bedroom. The light on the ceiling and the wall outlets in the bathroom did not work. When I asked Helen the next day about the bathroom lights being out, she said that they would have to tear into the wall to fix it. I also asked Helen if we could have two drinking glasses for the bathroom, she agreed to provide them but when returning from a day of activities, none were provided. Since we had to leave early the next morning to catch the 8 am ferry to St. Johns, Helen was gracious to put a hard boiled egg and a freshly cooked muffin in a bag for us. She also gave us breakfast to go on our last morning due to an early plane departure. The Malibu Room is a nice room with private deck with a nice view of the Red Hook Harbor. The mirror in the bathroom is over the toilet which required one to straddle the toilet if you want a close look in the mirror. A window is over the bathroom sink which I think was how the mosquito's were entering the room. To operate the sink stopper you had to reach under the sink to push in up or down. There was not a soap dish or dish of any kind in the shower, which was another oddity in a very odd bathroom. The room walls are not well insulated for sound and noise from the road traffic was very noticeable at night. In addition, the neighborhood rooster seemed to begin crowing at 4 am each morning. Other than at the morning breakfast, we never saw Jun or Helen. In fact, during our three days at Two Sandals, we only saw one other couple who were eating breakfast with us during the only morning we ate breakfast there. No lively interaction with other guests as one normally experiences at a B & B, especially around breakfast time. The walk to Red Hook via a shortcut across the Two Sandals property requires walking for about 100 yards along a congested and narrow road with lots of traffic before reaching a sidewalk on Smith Bay Road. We did it in the daylight, but I would not recommend it when it is dark. The taxi to Red Hook charges $5/person for a one-way trip. During a conversation with Jun, he said he had a degree in finance and was involved in several business enterprises on the island. I was left with the opinion that Jun is not a good fit for the hospitality business. Helen, on the other hand, although she was pretty much invisible during our stay, seemed to be the gracious and helpful host you expect at a B & B.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank JOE A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JunHelen, Manager at Two Sandals by the Sea Inn - Bed & Breakfast, responded to this reviewResponded February 28, 2014

Joe, we are sorry to hear that our property did not meet your expectations but hope that you enjoyed your time in the Virgin Islands.

There are just a few things we would like to respond to for our future guests. We do offer airport pickup service as an alternative to taking a taxi shuttle from the airport. We typically do curbside pickup and ask for the cell phone numbers of our guests so that we can call and easily locate guests. This system has worked well with all of our past guests and we are sorry that this did not work out for this particular guest.

Upon check in, we always ask our guests for an I.D. and credit card for security purposes and this is typical at any hotel or B&B. We hope that guests can understand that we need to verify certain information before handing over keys and other access to our property, not only for our own safety, but also for the safety of our other guests.

As was explained to this guest, unfortunately we were informed by our electrician that the overhead light in the Malibu bathroom will require extensive construction work, including breaking down a wall and ceiling. We do apologize for the inconvenience of using a floor lamp. We will fix this problem in the summertime, when we close down and complete our construction/renovation work.

We also inform all of our guests at check in that we live on property and provide them with our cell phone numbers. We are always available during breakfast to provide information and recommendations on how to spend the day. All other times, we try to be unobtrusive and give our guests privacy during their vacation. We want to provide the opportunity to our guests to enjoy our property without the presence of the owners lingering around. However, we are always available should any problems arise or if you have any questions or concerns.

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112 - 118 of 196 reviews

Reviewed January 22, 2014

We loved our stay at Two Sandals. Jun and Helen were so helpful and kind. We had a last-minute emergency (literally, as we were about to board our plane) that delayed our arrival by a full day; they were very accommodating, didn't charge us for the night we didn't use, and Jun was still there to pick us up at the airport as scheduled.

The location was great for us, without having to rent a car - an easy walk to Secret Harbour Beach (I've read some complaints that the beach gets too busy - it does get a little crowded in the early afternoon when people from cruise ships arrive, but they were always gone by late afternoon and the beach was quiet in the morning) and to the ferry at Red Hook. The beach is wonderful - very calm water and some great snorkeling (you can rent equipment right on the beach), and convenient to have a restaurant/bar right there as well.

Jun and Helen are very helpful and knowledgeable and gave us some great suggestions of things to do while we were there. When the taxi we called to take us to the wedding were were there to attend didn't arrive when it was supposed to, Jun hopped in his car and drove us himself.

We had one of the standard rooms. It was very comfortable and well-furnished. We liked the large bathroom and the bed was really comfortable. It was nice to have beach towels too. I'm always a little hesitant to stay at a B&B because it can feel like you're just in someone's home the whole time, but Two Sandals has a great setup and feels very private. Breakfast on the deck was delicious every morning and always kept us full until lunchtime. If you're looking for a full-service resort where you can hang out all day, this place isn't for you, but if you want a clean, comfortable and welcoming base for adventuring during the day, Two Sandals is perfect!

Room Tip: Our room was the closest to the entrance, but we were never bothered by people coming in and out.
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank esbmullen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 27, 2013

We flew in for a one night stay as a lay-over en route to BVI, a ferry ride away. Jun picked us up at the airport, which we had arranged prior (they charge $40 but given you likely don't know where the heck you are when you land and if you are like us, have come a long way and are tired and don't know where Two Sandals is exactly, it's worth it). He and Helen, two 'retired' Californians own and manage Two Sandals.

The B&B is clean, friendly, quaint, secure, comfortable and still feels as if you have some modicum of privacy (it is, after all, a B&B so you are essentially sharing a house/building with strangers). We had a room with a private bathroom (clean and tidy, includes shampoo and body soap, clean towels, etc) and balcony but I don't know if all rooms have these same accommodations. We had AC, a ceiling fan and a functional TV that seemed to have decent reception although we didn't watch it much. Jun and Helen are both really nice people and are obviously very dedicated. Making reservations was no problem -- and any time we had questions, they were really responsive by both phone and email. Jun picked us up at the airport and then hung out with us after we arrived at their lovely place as we chatted over a beer ($2 each for whatever they have handy; ours was a good local Caribbean beer). They are both unassuming but responsive too at the same time. If you are looking for a "hotel experience" you won't find it here but you also aren't paying through the nose either. Another great feature of Two Sandals is its location: a five minute walk to the Secret Harbor beach (which has a very nice, white sandy beach and clean bar), as well as a seven- or eight-minute walk to Red Hook where you will find everything from a fully-stocked pharmacy to myriad bars and restaurants (including the infamous Duffy's Love Shack -- fun, btw). We spent our Sunday evening watching football in a typical "sports bar" venue in Red Hook. People are friendly(ish) but NB these restaurants and bars are obviously targeted to attract Americans and non-Islanders.

Breakfast. Forgot about breakfast -- really good: yogurt and granola, hard-boiled eggs, pastries, coffee (French press) and juice served by Helen on the terrace. Nothing too extravagant but perfect. Helen took care of us without being too obtrusive and yet, made sure we had everything we needed. Finally…we tried to call for a (quasi-unreliable) taxi to take us to the ferry the next day but no luck. Helen took us there free of charge. Bottom line: you get what you pay for and then some with this place. I've traveled a lot for work and have stayed in all sorts of different places…Two Sandals is what you need -- very clean, convenient, friendly and reasonable. Don't hesitate to book there. Jun and Helen run a great place -- many thanks to them for making our stay a good one during our Christmas holiday!

Room Tip: I know they are currently going through some renovations and two of the units (lower level) will app...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank DCMurphy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 12, 2013

We stayed here Thanksgiving night for one night before boarding a chartered catamaran the next day for a 5 day romp thru the BVI. Our plane was 1.5 hours late but Helen was waiting on us when we arrived. It's a little secluded which was jsut fine with us. The property is very nice and the rooms were nice. We dropped off luggage then went out to get a bite to eat and some drinks at Cruzan Beach Club. The next morning my wife and I were up before anyone else and Helen made us a pot of coffee while trying to get breakfast ready. The breakfast was fabulous!
We walked around the property a bit to shoot some photos before hopping in a prearranged taxi to take us to Food Center, then on to the boat. Overall a very good experience.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with friends
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4  Thank RockhillNative
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 29, 2013

We enjoyed staying at Two Sandals, but there is room for improvement. The room ("Redondo") was small but comfortable. It seems like the place was recently renovated. The breakfast was nice: yogurt with granola and jam, a hardboiled egg, and a different fresh-baked goodie each morning (e.g. muffins, scones, etc.) The B&B is walking distance from Secret Harbour beach, where we had some fantastic snorkeling (saw sea turtles, stingrays, and Caribbean reef squid!).

A few unusual things to note: the bathroom has no door, and the shower has no door or curtain. This is definitely a place for couples or close friends. :) My biggest complaint is that the windows have no screens. We would have preferred to leave the windows open for sleeping, but with no screens we had to leave them closed and run the AC all night. Also, the website says it's walking distance to Red Hook, but when we arrived Helen recommended driving there instead because the roads are dangerous (I agree).

Overall, it served the purpose of giving us a nice, affordable place to stay on St. Thomas. I hope they install window screens!

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Tiffany N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 12, 2013

We had the Malibu room for a 4 night stay and had a great time exploring St Thomas and nearby St Johns. This will not be a "resort experience", if you are looking for that then there are plenty of resorts nearby. If you are looking for something more unique with a iguanas in the trees outside your bathroom window, a beautiful view of the Red Hook harbor and a completely unobtrusive host at a bed and breakfast then you'll enjoy the Two Sandals.

Breakfast was a yogurt/granola/jelly combination, muffins, hard boiled egg and a delicious juice combination served on the patio overlooking the harbor. Our host was friendly and more than willing to help with advice on things to do but other than that gave us our privacy and space.

There was construction going on at the property during the day, it didn't bother us at all and the owner did offer to work around our schedule if it did bother us. Internet was spotty, it was beyond the control of the owners and we were able to use our own (iPad with AT&T and tethering to an Android phone using Spring worked perfectly).

We would stay again, it was a different experience from a hotel and we chose it for that very reason and weren't disappointed.

Secret Harbor is a short (1/3rd mile) walk, bring a flashlight if you do the walk after dark, and is a beautiful small beach for snorkling or just hanging out on the beach. The water is warm and clear. We had dinner twice, once casual dining and once more upscale, at the restaurant located right on the beach. Sunset was captivating.

Walking to Red Hook harbor was a bit longer, call a taxi if you don't enjoy walking in warm/humid weather, don't forget the short cut through the back gate of the property. Take a ferry ride to one of the nearby islands, $7 per person each way, we went to St Johns.

One of the other guests recommended eating at Room With A View in the main city, taxi was $20 for the two of us each way and the view didn't disappoint.

We spent a day snorkling at nearby Saphire Beach, about a $12 cab ride for 2, rent all the snorkling gear for $10/person for the day at the beach. Great warm water and you can get food and drinks delivered to you right on the beach.

Loved our stay, we'd stay again.

Room Tip: We enjoyed the Malibu room, best view and largest room didn't disappoint.
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Dana W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 26, 2013

I was not impressed. The rocky road to the site, the minimalist furnishings, the continental breakfast. It wasn't what I thought I would get. Our hostess was very kind and sweet natured, but once out of sight, we were on our own. No ice, no cup for water and no response when we rang the bell, or called the two phone numbers provided. The breakfast consisted of coffee, a slice of dessert bread, a small yogurt parfait and a tropical juice drink. All very tasty, but not "breakfast", in my opinion. We were asked to leave the air conditioning "off" if we were not in our rooms - a minor inconvenience until you added in all of the others. No wash cloth, just two towels and two hand towels. I was nearly finished with a cold shower when the warm water began to flow. I won't be back and I won't recommend Two Sandals.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Kaye J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Two Sandals by the Sea Inn - Bed & Breakfast

Address: 6264 Estate Nazareth, 00802-1112, St. Thomas
Location: Caribbean > U.S. Virgin Islands > St. Thomas
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 21 B&Bs / Inns in St. Thomas
Price Range: $216 - $339 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Two Sandals by the Sea Inn - Bed & Breakfast 2.5*
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Two Sandals - Bed & Breakfast is located in the beautiful East End of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. It is the perfect place for a family trip, a romantic getaway, or short-term rental. The property overlooks American Yacht Harbor in Red Hook and boasts spectacular views of the Caribbean Sea, including the neighboring island of St. John. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
2 Sandals By The Sea Inn - Bed & Breakfast
Two Sandals By The Sea Hotel St. Thomas
Two Sandals By The Sea Inn - Bed And Breakfast
Two Sandals By The Sea Inn - Bed & Breakfast St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

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