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“Most Beautiful Hotel on the Island”

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Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort
GreenLeadersGold level
Ct
Level 5 Contributor
59 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Most Beautiful Hotel on the Island”
Reviewed November 16, 2011

We have been coming to this resort for over 10 years. Yes, it was time for renovations and we scheduled our vacation with the hopes everything would be done. But on island time we were pleased so much was finished. The main infinity pool is gorgeous, especially at sunset. We were told the adult infinity pool with swim up bar would be finished during our 10 day stay but it never was. Our check in was quick and Robert upgraded our room without a problem. We were so happy to see Antoinette at the desk and we greeted her with a hug. She is always so helpful. Bertile at the concierge desk gave us some great tips for restaurants and beaches. Try out Glady's in town for lunch and say hi to Pauline. She and Gladys are always singing and the Bloody Mary's are great. Chez Le Caribe, formally Herve's, was wonderful and the new owners are so friendly. We also loved Malofie's, especially the night view of town. Our biggest complaint was the new valet service at $25 per day. We always rent a car as cabs are so expensive. A few days in to our trip they sub-contracted the valet service without notifying guests or even the Marriott staff in advance. The bellman, who we are so used to greeting us, especially Luis and Jonah, were so frustrated because the valets were running up to the cars and getting the tips. The walkway from the parking garage was not open yet so you had to walk the winding road if you did not valet. We refused to and complained to the assistant manager about how disappointed we were about the attitude of the valet personnel and the unfairness to the Marriott bellmen. We parked our car one evening to unload our beach gear and one of the valets asked my husband to move the car immediately. When he told him it would be a few minutes he threatened to tow it for $250. We made sure this event was reported. I am afraid the Marriott needs to re-coup their 48 million renovation investment and are trying to be like thr Ritz, which they are not. We hope we can afford to go again in the future. In spite of these annoyances it is still our favorite resort. Be sure to go to St. John. There are so many unique stores and the most beautiful beaches in the world. You may find yourself on a beach with only a few other people or if your lucky you may be the only ones there. Be sure to stop in at the Spyglass in St. John for Happy Hour near the passenger ferry. It was just re-opened by Brant and Mona from Texas. The view is very nice and the prices reasonable. Try the mussells.It has a casual and fun atmosphere and friendly staff. Havana Blue at the Marriott has a nice happy hour, too. Their Cerviche is great. We had a wonderful time and hope to return next year if the Marriott keeps their prices reasonable. We also hope they are aware how wonderful their staff is and the reason we keep returning. They need to treat them with openess and respect during this time of transition and renovations.

Room Tip: Don't be afraid to ask for an upgrade especially if you are really disappointed with your room...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
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3 Thank CtIslandgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Boston, Massachusetts
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed November 15, 2011

So we went to St. Thomas with high expectations that this Marriott was going to be the end all/be all for hotels on the island. It wasn't what they did, it's what they didn't do. Here are the positives: they allowed us early check in since we arranged prior with a travel agent, so I empathize with the folks who weren't able to check in until later, but fortunately we didn't have that happen. The front staff was extremely slow - listen, I understand island living....everything is at a slower pace, no rush to be anywhere, I get it. But there were times where there was a line 20 people deep, with only one person working. And then you'd see 3 front desk people (you had to guess since they didn't wear a uniform, a nametag, or smile at you and ask if they could help you) messing around on a computer at another counter. What's wrong with this picture? The lobby is nice and inviting, but the last day of our stay (I saw this on another person's review) there was an extremely foul smell (like vomit almost) and there were drink spills all over the tables that were dried and sticky. The pool staff is nice offering drinks and food, and they are actually very prompt. The room was clean, no huge issues theres. Now for the negatives: no entertainment at night, not even music or a steel drum band to offer an "island experience", the bars all close super early (you feel like a geriatric almost!) and you have to take cabs everywhere. You'd think they'd offer some kind of a coupon where you can get a free ride to Red Hook or the port (at least one on your vacation?) but nothing. It's $6-$12 per person depending on where you're going, and you can't walk anywhere because the roads are way too narrow. Service is sub par, no one goes out of their way to help you. Even the folks at the so-called adventure desk in the lobby were not very helpful. They said that one side of the island had some excellent snorkeling and they offered the name of a guide (who had reasonable pricing) and we took a cab there only to realize we needed reservations and couldn't go snorkeling at all. We were steaming mad, came back to the hotel ($45 in cab fare later) only to have them shrug and say "we didn't know you needed a reservation?." Really? it thought you directed people for a living RE: island activities? I could go on for a while - but the bottom line is this: it's not the worst place I've stayed, but definitely not the best. The staff at the hotel definitely need an attitude adjustment - I've received better customer service at a Hampton Inn for half the price. Marriott, please step up your game - for the amount you're charging people for rooms, food, and drinks, you should be offering top notch service and nothing less.

Room Tip: Ask for a high floor, one away from the elevators but in the main building. There are other building...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank boslady123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nassau, New York
Level 5 Contributor
81 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed November 14, 2011

After a wonderful week's day stay at the Marriott Vacation Club up the hill, our departure from St Thomas was delayed by hurricane Irene airport closures on the east coast. We were able to book rooms on-line at this resort for two nights. We arrived at about 11AM on Saturday only to discover that they had no record of the confirmed on-line reservation we had made the night before. Apparently they do not "sync up" to the corporate reservations system on weekends. It took another hour + to sort this out - then despite the circumstances of our early arrival, and expediting every 90 minutes or so, the 4PM check in time came and went - we did not see a room until about 4:20. Between 11 and 4 we were on our own. About 20 minutes after we checked into our room, another guest was able to unlock the door and tried to enter the room as one of the staff was able to program another set of keys for our room and issued them! (Nice people, we had a laugh over it at the bar - apparently they were more sorry about it than the staff). On our second day, we lost power late in the afternoon. Having spent the entire evening the prior Sunday at the bar in the vacation club, at the height if Irene's visit to STT enjoying cocktails and food in comfort, we expected the generator to kick on in the same 45 seconds it had the prior week. It did not. Staff was nowhere to be found and the ones that did surface had no clue as to what was going on, or when generator would kick in, and appeared to not really care. We hopped in the car and went back up the hill to the Vacation Club. A chance meeting with the recreation director we'd met during our stay yielded the following : they too had lost power, the generator which is shared by the three Marriott resorts was being worked on, the faulty part had been identified, the bar/restaurant had power from their own generator, she also told us of a place we could charge laptop or cell phones and asked if there was anything else she could do for us. Oh yeah - her workday was long over and she was on her way home when we ran into her. What a difference !!! It went on from here. Being a cashless resort with no working credit card machine was another obstacle that had to be overcome. They were happy to serve us as our cc info was still on file from our recent stay and then they honored happy hour pricing well past happy hour! We enjoyed dinner, 2 for 1 drinks, then live music. Hard to believe both resorts have Marriott labels on them! The Reef resort itself was nice, pricing was fair, rooms spacious but a bit dated, many literally on the beach. In room fridge and separate ice maker a real plus in a tropical climate with no free water fountains on the property. Beachfront had suffered some storm damage which was unrepaired a week later. Really needs the update rumored to be coming. I would expect much higher prices when this is complete. Resort is near nothing - need a car or a big budget for cab$ if you plan to leave the property.

Room Tip: Garden view rooms not preferred. Top floor would be quieter. Avoid rooms too close to Coco Joe'...
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank 78chevy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed November 14, 2011

I booked this trip somewhat hesitantly after reading the reviews, but then realized the renovation should be done when we visited! The Hotel was renovated, but not the beachside MorningStar Resort. The rooms were nothing to rave about, nor most of the restaurants. Havana Blue however was WONDERFUL!!!!! The beach is spot on and fabulous, but the towel guys are NOT NICE!!! Don't even think about trying to get a towel before they open. I think they almost wrestled me for it!!! The servers and one bartender at the Sand Bar were pretty shotty, but I still love St. Thomas!!

Room Tip: Definitely get beachside!!!! You cannot beat the location and for the price is soooooo worth it!!!
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank mdrimmel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed November 14, 2011

We just returned on November 7th, 2011. We were scared to go after reading all of the bad reviews but decided to take a chance and I'm glad we did! We chose the all inclusive option and stayed on the morning star side of the resort so our view was gorgeous and we were just steps from the ocean. Check in was not a problem for us and Kahlua at the front desk was very accommodating. The room was clean and ready immediately. The beds are very comfortable!
This hotel has been under renovations for the last 6 months and I believe the week that we were there things started to come together, so our experience was much better than those who visited in weeks prior.

The food is delicious in all of the restaurants, we did not have one meal that didn't impress and never ran out of options. The staff is super accommodating and friendly - shout outs to the bartenders Danny, Sean and Zane who made our trip so enjoyable and kept the drinks flowing!!! The views are absolutely stunning and the pools and beach are amazing!!

The only thing that was a small disappointment for us is that there is not much night life or entertainment but we ultimately made our own fun. You have to remember that St. Thomas is a true island atmosphere and everything moves at an island pace. Everything seems to close down at 11pm so that's why we started our days so early to get the most of the vacation. It's definitely a place to party during the day and early evening and then you are exhausted at night!
All in all, half way through our trip they started to add the finishing touches to the renovation and filled the hot tubs and added music.. so you can tell it was all coming together. It rained for the first two days of our trip and it was still such a great time!

I could go on and on about how great our vacation was and we can't wait to visit this place again!

Room Tip: pay the extra $ for the morning star side if you like to be close to the ocean and want an extraordi...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Jessica S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Copenhagen, Denmark
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
Reviewed November 11, 2011

My family and I have travelled Caribbean for 16 days and got to stay many different hotels. Nothing got us as upset as Marriott.

First of all the location. Hotel is located far away from everything of interest, Charlotte Amalie, shopping, nice beaches. If you are considering staying there you have two options: 1. Staying at the hotel at all time or 2. cab it everywhere. There is no way you can walk anywhere from hotels remote location, neither are any cheaper (public) options available to get downtown or to other points of interest. You are looking at additional cost between $$45-100 only in cabs a DAY!! We are family of 4 and taxi’s a charging per person, Marriott to downtown $6 a person, Marriott to beaches $10 (Megan’s bay, Coki Bay) and up, simple math = $48 to go downtown for a day and $80 to the beach. Not including the cost of chairs and beach fees.

Even though the terrible location of this hotel has affected our experience of St. Thomas most, it’s not all.

Hotel service – or should I say lack of it?!
When arrived, the desirable bed setting couldn’t be provided. Even though it was booked like that at all times. Eventually, after discussing with many layers of staff the bed problem was solved. This was still not it, telephone in one room was not working – in the other room the remote control was out of order.

As many other hotels, there is a travel desk at Marriott - the difference however is that they either know nothing or just pretend to not know anything besides the prepackaged brochures that are available for purchase at the desk of course. None of cab drivers felt to inform us about beach entrance fees and that for the same price we could have gone to another less expensive and less touristy beach.

Did I say they charge $18 for Internet access?! All other places we stayed it was either complementary or at much more reasonable cost.

I hope that this review would inform future hotel guests of additional headaches and cab expenses. Also I wish Marriott cared about guest satisfactory and had at least provided us with a survey-form…

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
7 Thank Rejsefugl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort

Property: Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort
Address: 5 Estate Bakkeroe, Charlotte Amalie 00802, St. Thomas
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > U.S. Virgin Islands > St. Thomas > Charlotte Amalie
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 7 Hotels in Charlotte Amalie
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort 4.5*
Number of rooms: 453
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Surrounded on three sides by stunning Caribbean ocean views, the Frenchman's Reef Resort combines modern luxury and the unique Virgin Island style of St. Thomas. The hotel features clean, crisp large guest rooms with flat screen 50" TVs. Experience new resort features including an infinity pool, children's splash zone, adult infinity pool with bar; and private spa pool. Our Lazule Sea Spa is now open featuring extensive treatment rooms, salon, state of the art fitness center, and private spa pool with cabanas. Aqua Terra is one of three restaurants at Frenchman's Reef which features spectacular views of the Charlotte Amalie harbor. Our mission is to host you brilliantly... To make your every event and stay with us unforgettable and effortless. Come visit us at Marriott Frenchman's Reef and Morning Star Beach Resort and discover the most luxurious vacation destination in the US Virgin Islands. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Marriott Frenchman`s Reef & Morning Star Beach Hotel Charlotte Amalie
Marriott Frenchman`s Reef And Morning Star Beach Resort
Marriott Charlotte Amalie
Charlotte Amalie Marriott
Marriott Frenchmans Reef
Frenchmans Reef St Thomas
Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

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