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“Paradise-Not so much!”

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Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed April 13, 2013

I visited this resort on St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands this week. I have a lot to say, some of it good, much of it not.

Arrived to find the reservations made by Marriott Hotels & Reservations was incorrect. There were no reservations for our stay of 6 nights. After considerable discussion the Reservations Manager agreed to allow us to stay three nights, but I would have to check back for the other three nights on Thursday, having arrived on Tuesday. However, they would check and call us with a a room or a reservation in another hotel. Thursday came and no phone call was received from Reservations. I contacted them and was told straight out that there were no rooms available and that no matter what I was told no one was going to call me. At that time, I went back to my room, changed flights and flew back to the United States. So much for good service and even attempting to follow thru.

Now to the three day stay:

No explanation of the resort, resort services or transportation options were reviewed or discussed by anyone. It was on the second evening that we found a very nice Marriott Vacations sales person who explained that there was ferry service from the resort to downtown. This would have been a great option to the taxi service. I had asked for information at the concierge but was told they were there to book tours and they could not help me.
The building our room was located was really old, it has been updated somewhat, but the lobby had a strange odor, not overpowering, but nonetheless bothersome. The elevators were old, not well maintained, very slow and the stainless steel walls had fingerprints all over it which did not change from day to day.
Our room had an updated bathroom, and an incredible view, but was at best average in quality. The internet service in our room was intermittent at best. The signal was weak and most often offline.
The beach was beautiful, the lounge chairs well maintained and the pool clean and nice. Be warned, this isn't a smoke free area.
Restaurants: Coco Joe's was awesome, good food, good drinks, great breakfast buffet and wonderful wait staff. There were two waitresses who went out of their way to make us feel very special. The Seaside Grill was less friendly. We arrived 10 minutes before it opened for dinner, one waitress was very nice and offered to sit us in the area which was already open. However, another waitress simply told us "NO". I would have understood if they had just asked us to wait until it was open, since we didn't understand until later why we weren't seated, but to just say "NO" in a very rude manner and turn away is not the kind of customer service either I or Marriott should expect.

Fitness Center: Outstanding! Clean, lots of equipment, towels and other amenities.

Overall much has been said about the renovations made by this resort. Indeed they have been. The lobby is pretty, the patio(s) beautiful. However, the attitude of the supervisory team took away this beauty and made it a resort to which I will never return.

By the way, I am a Silver Elite Marriott traveler so I have stayed at many domestic and international Marriott resorts. This may be my last.

Room Tip: Ask for rooms in the new building
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Keith L
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 reviewResponded April 18, 2013

Thank you for your feedback. On behalf of our leadership team, I apologize for the service failures you experienced. We are sorry you felt neither appreciated nor informed. Please know that all your comments are taken seriously and help us to continuously update and improve our product. Your opinion is valuable to us. Based on the generous compliments of the beach, Coco Joe’s and our fitness center, I do hope you will reconsider and give us another opportunity to show you the level of service our reputation is built upon. If you would like to follow up directly or have any questions, feel free to contact me at sttfrexperienceteam@marriotthotels.com. Thank you again for your comments.

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Reviewed April 13, 2013

Six college friends treated themselves to a massage at the Lazule Spa and Sea Salon. We were greeted warmly by the staff, given a tour of the facilities and were encouraged to use the relaxation area and pool before our massages. All of of my friends raved about their massage and their masseuse. The newly remodeled facility is beautiful. We followed this pampering with a wonderful dinner at the Havana Blue Restaurant join down the road. I would highly recommended doing both of these together.

Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
Thank maureentrenary
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 reviewResponded April 18, 2013

Thank you for the warm compliments of our Lazuli Spa. We sincerely appreciate you sharing with the members here on TripAdvisor that may be planning travel to Frenchman’s Reef and Morning Star Beach Resort. Please feel free to join us again on your next St. Thomas journey!

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Reviewed April 13, 2013

Great beach, great room, excellent price. Hotel staff was amazing. We booked this place after 30 minutes in our original hotel (Bolongo) that place was a dump. This place was so nice. Food is a bit pricey but other than that I would not change a thing.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Charles B
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 reviewResponded April 18, 2013

Thank you for the awesome photos! We are honored you chose to stay with us and that your expectations of Frenchman’s Reef were exceeded!

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Reviewed April 13, 2013

We had a wonderful 5-night stay, split between the Morning Star resort down on the beach and the hotel on the hill. The Morning Star units are quiet and have a large-ish deck--ours faced the beach and made a wonderful shaded spot to read and enjoy the sound of the waves. Room was not luxurious, but very comfortable with a good size bath. Convenience to beach, pool, and restaurants was great. Took a while to check in, but staff were very friendly.

Moving up to the hotel to join arriving friends, we found the facility to be very nice, but more typical of the hotel experience. Our high-level room had an amazing view of the pools and the sea, and sunsets were lovely. As the cruise ships leave the harbor, you feel like you can almost reach out and touch them. The bathroom was smaller, as was the room, than the Morning Star units, but not cramped. Multiple pools, including an infinity pool facing the sea with its own swim-up bar, made for a relaxing visit. We enjoyed light meals at the Sunset Grille, and a dinner at the hotel's main restaurant was surprisingly good. The beach can be reached by a frequent shuttle or by walking down a combination of stars and optional elevator. We took the ferry to town for a lovely day of strolling through the typically aggressive tourist selling area. Lots of other activities could be arranged through the Adventure Center at the hotel.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank PeripateticTwo
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 reviewResponded April 18, 2013

Thank you for your excellent review and helpful tips for guests! We’re glad you were satisfied with the service you received at both our hotels and the cuisine at our restaurant, the Sunset Bar and Grille. Also, your descriptions of the patio at Morning Star and the pools made them sound very inviting. We appreciate your business and hope to see you again!

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Reviewed April 11, 2013

We needed a hotel for one night before we boarded the ferry at Charlotte-Amalie the next morning to catch our boat charter in the BVI. Our friends chose the cheaper hotel right across from the ferry but I'm glad we splurged a little for the Marriott. Our two teenage girls really enjoyed the beautiful pools and the beach. We had a first-floor room that looked out onto the ocean and some nice landscaping. Fun to watch the boats go by from the beach, and the bar is steps away too! Don't miss the Havanna Blue restaurant. You can walk there and it is open air, very modern and chic. The main dining room also overlooks the harbor. MIsses being a 5 star because it is a little old and quirky and there were hoards of people checking in so we had to wait in line.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Dann159
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 reviewResponded April 18, 2013

We are delighted you chose to stay with us too! Thank you for taking the time to share your experience. We are thrilled to receive a big thumbs up from your teenage daughters!

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Reviewed April 11, 2013

We just got back from staying at the Frenchman's reef for a girls trip (we are professionals/graduate students in our late 20s/early 30s looking to relax/recharge on the beach) & it was just perfect! The resort is great & has everything you would need. The Marriott portion has several pools & a spa as well as restaurants & the Morningstar portion has another pool & long strip of beach where you can use snorkel gear, boogie boards, kayaks, etc. The beach has some waves & is gorgeous to relax on. On the beach there are a few more restaurants--Coco joes & havana blue. The food overall isn't great (don't expect Hawaii type fresh fruit & poke, instead expect burgers, fried food...altho the ceviche at coco joes was a nice surprise. it's also overpriced, but this is the case on the whole island). The people working at the hotel are incredibly nice and perfectly accommodating when it comes to the important things...but they tend to forget the little details when it comes to the service, so if you are overly particular & tend to not just go with the flow, you will be disappointed (hence some of the negative reviews on here). But the attitude is so relaxed & the beaches are just so gorgeous that it's hard not to enjoy the beauty of the island & have an amazing time. We were pleasantly surprised the hotel didn't feel overcrowded or loud. In terms of rooms, we were lucky with a gorgeous view of the Harbor. If we're being perfectly honest, the rooms themselves aren't as nice as other Marriotts we've stayed at, but this is barely noticeable. Another huge plus is that the Marriott also conveniently offers excursions directly from the hotel--the Turtle cove snorkel on the Cat was amazing as was the night kayak (expect to get an arm work out tho). We were very pleased that we were just able to show up without having to plan much beforehand & have so much to easily choose from. If you are looking to leave the resort, everything is taxi accessible. Overall we were incredibly happy & would definitely come back!
Additional random fun perks: zumba & yoga is offered in the mornings, there is rum punch offered in the lobby during happy hour, there is live music at night at the Sunset bar. There are also two little market shops at the hotel, so if you forget sunblock, a water camera, hats, etc you can easily buy it here.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank ing1103
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 reviewResponded April 18, 2013

Sounds like you ladies got just the rejuvenation you needed! Thank you for giving this great detailed review of our property and amenities. We certainly do appreciate all that you have to say, including your overall impressions of the ambiance and spacious feeling you had while staying at Frenchman’s Reef. We never tire of hearing guests tell us they can ‘get away from it all’ or ‘be in the action’ due to all the choices of restaurants, pools and of course, the beach. Thank you again for staying with us and best wishes for your studies! We look forward to that return trip!

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Reviewed April 11, 2013

I have to admit that some of the reviews had me a little nervous before we arrived, but our experience at this hotel was one of the best we've had in a long time. We stayed at Frenchman's Reef the last week in February. It started with the Front Desk Manager, Robert, who was most accommodating and bent over backwards to make sure we were well taken care of. In fact, all of the front desk staff were so welcoming and friendly. They really made a difference. Check in and check out were both a breeze. Maybe it was the timing, but there were no lines at all. The free rum punch in the lobby every day was a very nice touch too. Our room facing the harbor had everything we needed -- a wonderful view, extremely clean and modern, 2 bathrooms, a fridge and nice large flat screen TV. A special thank you to Maria, Director of Housekeeping. She and her staff were wonderful! Frankly, I have never encountered a more friendly staff at any other hotel (and I have traveled a lot)!

The property is well taken care of. Loved both infinity pools, although I will agree with another reviewer that the main infinity pool was a bit chilly. The views, however, are to die for. We never had trouble getting chairs by the pool and the pools were never too crowded. We also loved Morning Star Beach and enjoyed having drinks, lunch and dinner at CoCo Joes. However, the best meal we had was at Havana Blue. The atmosphere there is wonderful and the Sea Bass, their signature dish, is a must. Yes, it's expensive, but hey, it's vacation and travelers from the NYC area will find prices on par with what they are used to.

We explored the island a bit, but we were always glad to get back to the hotel. We thought Megan's Bay was a bit overrated -- but if you do go, be sure to go when the cruise ships are not in town. We hopped the ferry to St. John one day and that is definitely worth it -- absolutely beautiful island.

All and all, it was a wonderful vacation.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Joan A
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 reviewResponded April 18, 2013

Thank you for the thoughtful review. Robert and Maria especially will be recognized for their efforts in making sure you we were taken care of. Also appreciated are your compliments of our cleanliness, property condition, amenities and views! We love hearing that you had a wonderful vacation and we look forward to your return to St. Thomas!

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Additional Information about 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 Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Price Range: $312 - $472 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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, Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort combines modern luxury and the unique Virgin Island style of St. Thomas. Our US Virgin Islands hotel in St. Thomas 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 Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott 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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