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“Morning Star Resort at Frenchmen's Reef”

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Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort
GreenLeadersGold level
Vienna, Virginia
Level Contributor
28 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Morning Star Resort at Frenchmen's Reef”
Reviewed August 15, 2013

We asked for a beachfront unit and were told they were fully committed even though we are lifetime platinum members and I called 3 times in advance. If the foliage was cut back a bit on the patio I would almost consider this room a partial ocean view. The room is nice. Though it has 2 connecting doors to adjacent rooms and I can fully hear all conversations. We are 25 steps to the sandy beach. I think most reviews are of the main property or villas. If you want to be close to the ocean stay at Morning Star. The room has a small frig and separate ice maker. The staff is all friendly with exception to the restaurant Blue Havava. The waiter was smug and I felt we were an impassion to him. The food was good but not great as most reviewers have posted. The resort charges $35.00 a day as a fee but you do get free use of floats, boogie boards, kayaks and beach chairs with umbrella as well as Internet and bottled water daily. Coco Joes restaurant is a short walk down the beach from our building. I wish they offered the breakfast buffet during the summer like they do in season. Parking at the hotel has not been a problem but we seem to get the last open spot every time we return. We still have 3 more nights and I hope it continues to go well.

We rented a car since we wanted to explore all of the island. We shopped for snack food at K-Mart not far from the docks in town. Al Cohens discount liquor store is also nearby. Know your prices the rum was cheaper at K-Mart. Mixers and other items you may have forgotten can be picked up at K-Mart and very similar prices to mainland on most items. Plus duty free.

Room Tip: With 5 buildings at Morning Star many rooms are garden views. Unless you pay for a beachfront view...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Luvu2travel
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, August 21, 2013
Thank you for this great review! We are delighted to hear your visit has been successful so far! I do apologize we were unable to upgrade you to one of those front units; they are usually booked well in advance. But before you plan your next adventure to the islands, feel free to reach out to me personally. I’d be happy to assist you in any way that I can. Thanks again for staying with us and sharing your experience.
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Rating summary
  • Location
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Rooms
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  • Service
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  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
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College Station, Texas
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed August 14, 2013

We were really excited to arrive at the resort as we had had a long day of travel and were very ready to relax. When we entered the lobby/check-in area at the Morningstar, we were not greeted in a friendly manner. The person behind the desk did not even say "Hello...How are you" etc until he was spoken to by myself and my husband. He wasn't unfriendly either, just seemed as if he did NOT want to be at work. We were directed to our "garden room" view in room 5513 which really consists of a tree and then some cement stairs that leads to the housekeeping building. (This will be your view if you stay in buildings 4 & 5 garden views) There were also some grounds-crew working on the stairs when we arrived using very loud sanding tools to sand the freshly laid cement stairs. (This went on the entire stay and it was extremely obnoxious) Our room was nice, not great, not poor either. The bed was freshly made, full stock of towels, linens, pillows, and bath products. (The hotel offers Bath and Body Works products incase you forget your own) The balcony was spacious and clean. Our housekeeping lady was Joyce Stevens and she was the most friendly person we encountered at our stay at the resort. She made sure we had water all of the time and completely cleaned and refreshed our room every day. Joyce made a point to say hello to us and ask us how we were doing on a daily basis. (This may seem trivial, yet, it went a long way with us, as most of the employees at the resort are not overly friendly by any means). The bed was hard as rock and we could feel the spring coils from the mattress in our backs. (not typical of a Marriott bed)
We went to Coco Joe's Restaurant (located on the beach by the Morningstar) for a drink and they were not very tasty, nor were their beers very cold. If you are wanting to save the $9 per drink at the bar, do what we did and buy 3-4 beers at a time at the resort store. They are $3 a piece and you have a fridge in your room to keep them cold. The Morningstar rooms are literally only steps away from the beach and it's no problem to quickly retrieve a cold drink from your room especially if you are on the ground floor. (Even though our ice-maker did not work in our room, they quickly responded with ice to store in there and keep frozen)
A quick note about the Sand Bar restaurant that is located below the Havannah Blue Restaurant. The smell that permeates from the bar is utterly disgusting. One can smell this all the way down on the beach and also from the road in front of the lobby. STAY AWAY FROM THE FOOD HERE. IT IS EXTREMELY OVER-PRICED AND IT WILL UPSET YOUR STOMACH!! Yuck!!! (The waitresses behind the bar were not very friendly either and were upset when they learned they got our order incorrect)
Moving on to the Sunset Grill Restaurant. This one is located at the Frenchman's Reef part of the resort which is just near the Morningstar Rooms. The walk on the beach and up the stairs is worth the calorie burn, rather than taking the hotel trolly to and from the main resort. Plus you get to see iguanas on the way and check out the makeshift resort waterfall which is a nice photo op. This restaurant seemed to be very clean and one can definitely tell that there are different cooks making this food. Very large portions and a great price. Our waitress was "sort-of" friendly, and made sure we were taken care of. This restaurant offers views of the infinity pool, the ocean, and the harbor. Picturesque!
My suggestion is to take the ferry over to the island of St. John and eat your lunch and dinner there as you explore the island and become immersed in the scenery of the most gorgeous beaches in the world!
If you are wanting to save a few dollars on breakfast, they offer pastries, bagels, fruit, juice, yogurt, etc. at the main hotel store. This seemed to do the trick each day before we headed out to explore!
We ordered room-service twice which arrived very quickly and was actually pretty decent. Any mistakes to orders were quickly corrected.
The beach at the Morningstar is actually quite nice. We enjoyed a few relaxed late afternoon swims, although the water is more rough than the other beaches and coves in which one can explore on all the islands. Its a beach though, and that's what we wanted. We enjoyed early walks in the morning watching the sun-rise and late evening strolls too. The water is clear and if you go at the right times, you can spot some fish with your snorkel gear.
Overall, the hotel was pretty decent. The grounds were neatly kept (except for some trash here and there on the beach), and the views are to die for. Don't forget you are going to a tropical island, which is practically a jungle, and there will be bugs and other minor inconveniences. Make sure you take a lot of money with you as everything is extremely costly (especially at the resort).

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank Oceanlover30
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, August 21, 2013
Thank you for this wonderful view of Morning Star Beach Resort! I really appreciate the detail you added that will assist other TripAdvisor members planning St. Thomas travel. We hope that you have another opportunity to visit. Please let me know if I can ever be of assistance!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Syracuse, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed August 13, 2013

We stayed for our honeymoon at the end of July. First arriving was tough, it was poor weather, and we were very disappointed with our room. We stayed at Morningstar Beach. The doors on the room were not sealed properly and we had Mosquitos in the room all the time. We brought this up with management, they brought someone out but didn't fix the problem so we let it go. There was also mold around the air conditioner. These problems didn't really phase us though as the views were amazing and the Morningstar side of the resort was quiet and we were not in the room too much. The beach was a couple steps away and you could easily get a lounge chair. Co-co Joes was a great open air bar at night and euston? Spelling? Was a great bartender and Zane. Food was very good, wait staff was hit or miss on the quality of service. One time we waited almost 1.5 hrs for food and service at co co joes, the next day it was 10 mins. But again we tried to be relax the whole time and not let things like that ruin the trip. This seemed to be a theme at every restaurant. We mostly stayed in the resort and do not regret one second of it. I would go back. Oh and to add we did go out on a catamaran sunset ride, the crew was nice. However you pay around $75 a person and the crew was really pushing extra money for tips on the ride.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank cside86
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, August 21, 2013
Thank you for choosing Morning Star Beach Resort for your honeymoon! We’re happy to hear you enjoyed the beach, proximity to Coco Joe’s and all dining choices. We’re also glad to hear your vacation overall was not dampened by the maintenance issue you experienced. Would you be so kind to send an email to sttfrexperienceteam@marriotthotels.com so that we can investigate the room you stayed in? I would welcome any further discussion regarding your stay. For the bartenders at Coco Joe’s, I’ll be sure to pass along your compliments. It’ll make their day to be remembered. We hope that another special occasion brings you back to St. Thomas. I am confident that we can assign you to a room that will exceed your expectations!
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Marina Del Rey, CA
Level Contributor
29 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed August 12, 2013

Please note that as of August 2013, only 67% of tripadvisor users would recommend this place. That is an F! That should tell you something. Do you want to stay in a place with a failing grade?

We had a family vacation here. We got there, looked at our room, and immediately wanted to leave. There were so many problems with our stay that we left a day early. We spent so much time on the phone trying to get another room, trying to get comfortable, trying to improve our stay, that we didn't enjoy our time here.

We were given a handicap accessible room. (Even though we did not request it.) The shower was so scary that we refused to use it. The biggest problem is that there is zero light in the shower. How could anyone with special needs be comfortable showering in the dark? We were offered a second room, it had a view of a huge roof. Our third room had a terrible moldy smell, but we were so tired of looking at rooms, we just gave up and took it. We purchased an $18 candle from the spa to make the moldy smell go away. My sister's room at the beachfront Morning Star area was full of mosquitos. Her kids got 13 bites between the two of them. They asked to switch rooms to the Frenchman's Reef building, but had to wait so long, they suffered through the bites and slept with sheets over their heads. Well, it is the tropics. Not much you can do about mosquitos in your room.

The service was very uneven. Some of the worst we've ever received on any vacation. But them a few people, like Danielle at the front desk, and Emaline (sp?) at the Sunset Grill, were very lovely. I wish everyone was trained better at service here.

This property's saving grace is that the location is so beautiful. The beach is gorgeous. The iguanas were fun to see everyday. The views are magnificent. They do offer some free water sports.

I would warn tripadvisor readers to know what you're getting here. Amazing location. But the resort itself is in need of renovation and repair, the service is inexcusably bad at times, the food is not good and it's very expensive (because it's the Caribbean). The breakfast buffet is worse than Denny's. And you're stuck here. There's nowhere to walk and taxis into anywhere in town start to add up.

If I could do it all over again, I would spend more money and stay at the Ritz. I am so mad I spent money at this place. Never again.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank marinasurferchick
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, August 20, 2013
Thank you for your feedback. I was disheartened to read your review which explains how your lack of satisfaction with your room and service, dampened your overall enjoyment of the resort. After being disappointed with three rooms, your frustration is understandable. If you would like to discuss your stay directly including any assistance you received from our leadership team, please send us an email to sttfrexperienceteam@marriotthotels.com. I would welcome the opportunity to be in direct contact with you. On a positive note, we will be sure to recognize Danielle and Emaline for their warmth and helpfulness. We’re also happy to hear the location, beach, views and amenities were bright spots of your stay. Thank you again for leaving this feedback as it helps us improve as a business.
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Camden, South Carolina
Level Contributor
91 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed August 12, 2013

Okay, maybe 3 years later is a little late for a review but I just started doing reviews on Tripadvisor so I wanted to add my two sense. We loved this resort. My wife got sea sick the day after we got married on Megan's Bay (2nd day on island) so I spent two days relaxing while my wife tried to make it through it. Even though she was sick we still enjoyed the resort. The beach area is beautiful, the food was great, and the views were perfect. We can't wait to go back.

Room Tip: Room with pool view also gave view of the ocean. Gotta love it!
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Parishve
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, August 20, 2013
Welcome to TripAdvisor! We’re delighted you chose to stay with us and had a memorable experience. We hope another vacation is in your plans. Look for specials and extra value here on our page throughout the year!
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Fairport, New York
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed August 11, 2013 via mobile

My family and I stayed at this Marriott in July of this year on a 'Welcome Back' certificate courtesy of the management of the hotel. The experience was EXCELLENT! This is a complete turn around from the prior year - which led to our four night stay on the house. We ended up spending about $1200 on meals and drinks - which we knew would happen and we were happy to do. All the meals were great and the staff was wonderful. We especially enjoyed the Hostess at breakfast who 'adopted' our son as her 'grandchild' and the service we received from Brian at the pool. We will definitely be returning next year! This is a great location with an excellent beach and wonderful pools that look over the harbor and the Caribbean Sea. Thank you Ms. Rios for responding to our initial trip advisor review and thank you for allowing us to see how wonderful your hotel can be!!!

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Mark G
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, August 20, 2013
It was our pleasure! We appreciate the opportunity you gave us to win your loyalty. Thank you for leaving this excellent review!
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Mahopac, New York
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed August 11, 2013

There were two major issues we had with this property. One is that the service is very unpredictable. There were too many times where the staff treated us with obvious indifference and then other times where they were gracious and willing to help. The worst experience was with the outsourced concierge, Adventure Center. We wanted to book a snorkeling trip and the person who was on duty was completely uninterested and unqualified to help us. The company doesn't train their employees very well and they don't seem to send all of them on the different excursions so they can have a first hand experience which they can share. My suggestion is that if you don't feel the person you're dealing with is being helpful, wait and try again. They do seem to have others who are knowledgeable and willing assist. (On a separate note, make sure that if you are booking a snorkeling trip find out ahead of time if there are any jellyfish around. The captain of our trip didn't really make that clear till we were well on our way. I would have liked the option to go a different day. It was still nice trip none the less.)
The other problem with the property is that the beach area is a little bit of a hike to get to. Plus you better get there early or you won't get a chair with an umbrella...and don't expect anyone to help you . If there is someone, don't bother asking, they'll just tell you "first come, first serve." For me, I don't like to vacation and feel pressured to get to the beach super early so I can get a chair and umbrella. The good thing about the beach area is that it's in between two snack bars where the drinks and food are excellent!

Now, for the things we really enjoyed...the beaches and water in St. Thomas are fabulous! It made up for the things we didn't like!.
Also, if you go to this Marriott you must eat at Havana Blues. It's separate from the hotel but on the property. The food is outstanding! We ate there 3 times! Usually we like to break it up and try different places, but we enjoyed this place so much we had to go back! If you do go, ask to sit at Travis's table. I'm certain there are other servers who are excellent, but Travis goes above and beyond! He takes his work seriously and knows food! You won't regret his suggestions.

There a many different day trips that you can take, St. John's being one of them. It's only a 15 minute ferry ride and worth it

And finally, when you need to take a cab call David's Taxi. He was absolutely delightful! He'll drive you anywhere you want to go and take you on a personal tour of the island if you want. He knows all the beautiful places and delivers personal service. We used him all week and it was worth it, especially since he charges the same rates as any other taxi! When he took us to the airport he made sure that we were taken care of before he left!

With all that said, it was a nice vacation. However, since there are so many hotels to choose from these days, we wouldn't go back mainly because the service was weak and inconsistent. We've been long time Marriott rewards members and this property is our least favorite.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Svillamena
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, August 20, 2013
Thank you for your loyalty to Marriott and for staying with us here at Frenchman’s Reef. I am sorry to hear you were underwhelmed while our guest, by the service issues you outlined. I am investigating your comments with our concierge team in order to make corrections in our communication and procedures. That information, as well as your island tips, is appreciated. We hope that you will consider another visit to St. Thomas! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me through the hotel if I can be of assistance.
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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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