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“Unmitigated Disaster; even the managers didn't know the restaurant was closed” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort

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Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort
GreenLeadersGold level
Kenmore, Washington
Level Contributor
267 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 225 helpful votes
“Unmitigated Disaster; even the managers didn't know the restaurant was closed”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 6, 2012

I'll list off our various disasters. Feel free to write if you want to know further specifics. As a quick heads-up: Frenchman's Reef has no beachfront (it's on a rocky cliff). It has three pools where everyone's got drinks in their hand in the pool. Morning Star has a beach with strong waves and one pool that can apparently be rented for private events and is therefore not available for use to other paying guests. Here's the larger picture: We arrived ahead of check-in and were told we'd be notified when our room was ready. Not done. We decided on an early lunch at Coco Joe's to bide our time. After a long wait, our veggie burgers arrived cold, as were the french fries. Our bill (iced coffees and burgers for two) was $38.00 and we added $6.00 on top of that for the tip. Service was s-l-o-w. My husband set alerts for our credit card company and he received a texted communique about a $38 charge. Half an hour later, he received another text message about a $47 charge. He went back to the restaurant, verified that the invoice for our lunch correctly read $44 but then discovered that he didn't have his credit card. We were told the staff at Coco Joe's had sent the card to Security at Frenchman's Reef, so we collected it from there. Four hours after we initially checked in, we inquired about our room and were told it had been ready much earlier. The ONLY pool at Morning Star was closed for a private event. We'd made reservations at Havana Blue via email but it turned out that restaurant was closed for a private party, too (not the same family). There are no common areas that are air-conditioned and there are no elevators, not even to the rooms at Morning Star. Frenchman's Reef, the adjoining Marriot property is more hotel style, and there are elevators there. The thermometer in our room read 84 degrees. We called to reception and someone from engineering came up. He held his hand up to the vents, said it was working fine, and left. After an hour, we called the manager and he relocated us to Frenchman's Reef. He made no reference to our other complaint that the pool was unavailable and to our complaint about the closed restaurant, he said that Havana Blue wasn't run by the Marriott, so he wasn't responsible for that restaurant being unavailable. My husband expressed his displeasure that Aqua Terra at Frenchman's Reef was also unavailable for dinner (according to the website) but the manager at Morning Star said that it was open and he'd ask that the manager at Frenchman's Reef obtain reservations for us after we relocated to that property. When we checked in at Frenchman's Reef the front desk confirmed our 7:00 p.m. reservations at Aqua Terra and we were shown to our air-conditioned oceanview room. The temperature was a wonderful relief. Two hours later a phone call to our room from the Frenchman's Reef front desk (Robert) informed us that the manager had left for the day but she'd asked him to call to let us know that Aqua Terra was indeed closed and would we accept a meal at the Sunset Grill for dinner. I told Robert that I hadn't wanted the Sunset Grill because it wasn't air conditioned and he said the dining was formal but that we could dress casually and he was sure we'd enjoy it. And for a free meal, what's not to like? We came to dinner and asked our server if he had notes to confirm that our meal was to be compensated by management. He said he'd ask the restaurant manager Jai-I-Dah. The manager later stopped by our table and asked us how we enjoyed our day. We summarized our tale of woe and she said we should each order a dessert "on her". I reiterated that our meal was supposed to be "comped" and she said, "of course, but you should each order dessert, too". We thanked her, but we only had decaf coffee after our meals, not dessert. Our meal arrived. Cold. The side of mashed potatoes and peppercorn sauce ended up on my plate, not my husband's, who had ordered it. We added a tip to the dinner bill and I brought the bill directly to the manager, expressing our appreciation for the comped meal. True to form at these Marriott properties, our dinner bill ended up on our hotel bill. The travesty continued. We were woken up shortly after midnight by guests who didn't mind carrying their argument all the way down the hall. Just minutes later, another guest tapped, knocked, and finally called out to his girlfriend to open the door. Not the hotel's fault, but it added to our discomfort. The next morning my husband checked his phone and saw that another charge (at 2 a.m.) had been made on our credit card. He called down to Security to report that he'd be cancelling our credit card as it appeared someone had copied our credit card number. Security thanked him for the information. At 9 a.m., a knock came on our door from the engineering department that they needed access to the room. I called through the door that they could come back after we'd checked out at 11. The fellow said he couldn't hear me, so I unlocked the door. Tried to unlock the door anyway -- the deadbolt wouldn't retract. I called through the door that the door wouldn't unlock and the very unhelpful reply was, "just turn the knob". I reported that I had. He finally gained access to our room from the occupied room adjoining ours. My husband called out to our "neighbor" not to lock his door since that was our only means of egress. The neighbor didn't listen, and before we knew it, we were locked in the room. With the engineer, too. He had to call down to his department and get someone up there to dismantle the lock from the hallway. By the time the rescuer came, the head of Security, Shimon Dan, was also at our door and he, too, entered through the neighbor's room. Shimon listened to our tales of woe and was able to get some of our charges removed, such as the so-called "comped" dinner (we're still waiting for the second lunch bill at Coco Joe's to come off our credit card). To add insult to injury -- the hotel charged us $47.00 for long distance charges when we'd used the outside line for operator assistance to call our credit card company collect to cancel our cards and get new ones reissued. My husband argued that he'd followed the instructions on the phone to get outside operator assistance for collect calls, but he was told by the front desk that the instructions were wrong. Honestly, would you stay here??? Aqua Terra was open for breakfast, but by the time we were able to get out of our room and waited 10 minutes to get menus, we had no time to order, let alone wait for the slow restaurant service to bring our meal. We were benefitted from horror stories of slow service from other guests as we waited to be shown to a table. Consider yourself warned.

Room Tip: Good luck.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Wave R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joyce G, Director of Sales at Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort, responded to this review, November 13, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to describe your stay and issues. I was disheartened to read that so many things didn’t go right while you were with us. Please accept our sincerest apologies. If there is anything further you would like to discuss or need a resolution for, don’t hesitate to reach out to me and our leadership team at sttfrexperienceteam@marriotthotels.com. Thank you again for highlighting the direction of our improvement.
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4,098 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Jacksonville, Florida
Level Contributor
673 reviews
55 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 207 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 6, 2012

We stayed at the Morningstar part of this resort, which is located down the hill from the main building, directly on the beach. The view (if you are don the ocean side) is lovely - the ocean is literally steps outside your door. But the rooms are fairly run-down: they have added some updated furniture in the last 10 years but the whole building needs an extensive gut rehab. One thing to remember here is that St. Thomas is very much as island place: everything moves slowly and things might get done and they might not. Things are also very expensive here, which is odd. A 5-minute taxi ride in New York City might be $8. in a metered, clean cab and 5-minute ride in St. Thomas in a broken-down cab with no meter and no AC is $15. What? Really? You need to negotiate EVERYTHING up front, which is a little tiring. The sign at the airport says a taxi for one person is $10.00 and for two or more persons it is $8.00 per person. When you arrive at your destination it is $12.00 per person. There is a scam at every turn.

Room Tip: If you are at Morningstar Beach Resort, request a second or third floor room - the first floor rooms...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 493Ron
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joyce G, Director of Sales at Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort, responded to this review, November 13, 2012
Thank you for your review of Morning Star Resort. We’re happy you enjoyed the view and proximity to the beach. Before your next visit, feel free to contact our pre-arrival team and they can assist you with all your transportation options and general tips for enjoying all aspects of St Thomas!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Racine, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
24 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 5, 2012

We attending a wedding in St. Thomas and stayed at the Marriott Frenchman's Reef, our room was actually at the Morning Star Resort, so we were VERY close to the beach. All the Morning Star rooms are steps from the beach, so needless to say, the view was gorgeous. The beach was clean and there were plenty of chairs and umbrellas to go around. The property and the grounds were lovely and very well maintained. The infinity pool has the most beautiful view and a swim up bar! So we enjoyed the view and some cocktails from the water, definitely can't complain about that! The staff was extremely friendly and very helpful with getting taxis, etc. The rooms were clean, a little worn in some spots but overall the were nice and comfortable. The restaurants had good food but we arrived after 9pm the night we got there and had trouble finding restaurants/bars that were open late and could serve us some food, so just be aware of that. Also, the drinks and food are expensive. I'm not sure exactly what I was expecting but when I ordered a mixed drink and it was $15, I was a very surprised. A breakfast without coffee or juice was $19-$24 and that just seemed a bit outrageous to me. And since you can't walk to any bars or restaurants and a cab ride is $20 for two people (one-way) you're a little bit forced to eat on property. Since the food was good, we didn't mind the prices but it's definitely something to prepare for as you're budgeting for a stay at this resort. If we return to St. Thomas, we'd definitely consider staying here again.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank TinaW31
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joyce G, Director of Sales at Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort, responded to this review, November 13, 2012
Thank you for your review and great ratings! Sounds like you really enjoyed your stay with us. We host many weddings and other special occasions and we’re always grateful to hear how things went. Morning Star is a beautiful location for these occasions with the beach and all the beautiful photo opportunities throughout our property. Regarding your comments about the prices of our restaurants, we can tell you that most food is imported to the island which does naturally raise prices for all the restaurants on St. Thomas. For what we offer, we do feel that our pricing is in line with comparable properties. Thank you again for the generous review and congrats to the wedding party!
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Walnut Creek, California
Level Contributor
18 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 5, 2012

The property is really nice -- pools, beach etc. Love the location and it's easy to catch a water taxi to get into town. The rooms are clean and comfortable. There's WiFi, which is great. The only downside is the service. I've read it in other reviews and it's true -- the service is iffy. Some of the staff are great and will go out of their way to pack sure you're happy. Other staff would act like you weren't there at all. There were times when we'd call down to the front desk and no one would answer the phone.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Leslie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joyce G, Director of Sales at Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort, responded to this review, November 13, 2012
Thank you for letting us they ways we succeeded and the places where we need to improve! I am glad you enjoyed our pools, beach, rooms and WiFi service. We are committed to continuing to raise the bar on our service and based upon that, we hope you will consider choosing us again on your next trip!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alpharetta, Georgia
Level Contributor
56 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 4, 2012

Great location but still have a little way to go on staff training and the small details. Some of the staff would do anything to make sure that you had a great experience and some just did not care at all. I am a Marriott Platinum Premier member and I was not 100% happy with this location.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank NortonG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joyce G, Director of Sales at Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort, responded to this review, November 6, 2012
Thank you for your feedback! Your satisfaction is very important to us and I apologize for the service failures you experienced. If you would be so kind to send me an email at sttfrexperienceteam@marriotthotels.com (and reference this review) if I may follow up with you, I would appreciate it. Thank you again for staying with us and I hope that you will give us another opportunity to meet and exceed your expectations!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jupiter, Florida
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 3, 2012

Beautiful property! Really pretty pools!! Great location! We had some hiccups with our room/building that we reserved being changed, the staff was very accomodating and helpful.

We received great recommendations from Zogisle, from restaurants to tours to activities!! See him on your visit for suggestions.

We look forward to going back to this hotel!

Room Tip: Stay in the main tower or by the beach.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ElenaJupiter_Florida
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joyce G, Director of Sales at Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort, responded to this review, November 6, 2012
We also look forward to your return and will be sure to give Zogisle recognition for his assistance! Thank you for your review!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gulf Shores, Alabama
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 3, 2012

Our previous trips to St Thomas were via cruise boat. We used our points and stayed at the Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star hotel. The best experience was the 1/2 day of fishing off the shores with Blue ? - through the Adventure Centre desk at the Marriott. It was our Captain - Colin who made the experience so grand... we had a pleasant chat, caught 12 fish - some very nice yellow tail snapper and learned alot about the local area and waters. He knows the area well and was determined to give us as good a chance as possible to really experience ocean fishing. Very nice!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Gramma J
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 00801, 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 star — Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort 4*
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 And Morning Star Beach Resort
Marriott Frenchman`s Reef & Morning Star Beach Hotel Charlotte Amalie
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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