Our stay was for a full week (plus an additional night due to the airport closing over hurricane warnings).
My wife and I found the property to be in pretty good shape. Maintenance personnel are currently revamping underground PVC lines and so there is on-going construction and quite a bit of digging and hammering going on. But that is just a minor annoyance and the upkeep has to be done sometime and so the problem is minor.
The first room we were given was terrible. The shower stall was riddled with mildew and the ceiling (in the shower) was falling down.
Being assertive (and you'd better be) with the front desk yielded a 'replacement room' that was great! Great view and clean and with a working refrigerator and presenting with no problems whatsoever.
As for the beach and the view... excellent!
Airplane noise.... no problem.
Fellow guests... great!
Maintenance people and maids and cleaning people... great!
I would have assigned a better rating but there is a marked problem with other hotel personnel (especially at the front desk). My wife and I were present on one occasion (and in the dining room) when the manager chewed out a couple of workers and on another occasion (also in the dining room) when a waitress was mouthing off to a 'junior' manager.
Also... the Palms (the on-sight restaurant) has a spotty list of menu items (some great choices and reasonably priced and others over-priced and terrible). The 'buffet night' there was like 'happy hour' at a greasy spoon (w/ the exception of salad and dessert) and at a cost of over $55.00/couple.
I could spend more than a couple of paragraphs on the restaurant and the mostly slow moving and unresponsive staff there but I'm not a food critic. So... you'll have to try something in there and judge for yourself or... you can walk the half mile or so necessary to get to Tickles (at the sub base) and get yourself a 'real' meal that is great tasting and fairly priced.
As for tipping at the Palms... that's entirely up to the patron. I don't tip for bad behavior and slow and/or rude service. But when everything was pretty good (as it was some of the time) I tipped the usual 20%.
An example of hotel staff at the Emerald Beach is a different story. Lisa (I think that's her name but anyway... she's at the front desk). Lisa is the type boorish person who totally lacks social skills and who is uncommunmicative and downright hostile (in a passive/aggresive sort of way) and rude to a fault.
There seems to be a lot of that on this island and so it isn't fair to single out the front desk of the Emerald Beach (you'll find more than your share of rudeness and thinly veiled hostility from airport personnel).
There are other unresponsive personnel that are slightly better in demeanor than this Lisa cat but... she is definitely the worst of the worst.
In all fairness, we found other people (both working the front desk and in other positions at the property) to be very nice and very helpful (I approached the manager after finding out about the airport closing and he was very helpful and accommodating. He offered that we could keep the same room and at the same rate and also a late check-out time to accommodate changed travel arrangements.)
But if this review process is about helping fellow travellers and rating on a consistant and fair basis... then I have to say that your personal experience overall and... at any given time... will probably be: half good and half bad.
Just keep in mind that you are paying for this service and so any sort of hostility at all should be considered unacceptable.
Charlotte Amalie and the stores there and Havensight (across the bay) are fun and worth a couple of days sightseeing. Red Hook is also nice (but small) and there is a supermarket there that is fully stocked and outstanding.
Take the bus! You can catch one over by the Domino gas station (a couple of minutes walk from the hotel). And only one dollar per person!
You can rent a vehicle easily enough but driving is a risky bet and cabs are costly.
A trip to St John's is well worth the time and effort (get the ferry out of Charlotte... it's a better trip even though it cost more than leaving from Red Hook). The beaches over there are great and transportation is widely available.
My wife and I had a great nine days in St Thomas but... we won't be going back! It's a beautiful place with beautiful beaches but the people there seem to be dealing with some sort of deep rooted esteem issues and they can take you to task because of it. Also... I don't think armed robbery or larceny is as real a problem as in other towns or locales in the Carribean but, on the day we left, there was an article (front page) in the island newspaper about a murder (and a victim's body "riddled by bullets").
If 'Islanders' are trying to sell you something... there's no problem but... otherwise... watch out!
As for the hotel... if they had upended the place and shook out all the 'bad apples' and changed the menu a little and charged a fairer price then... I would have easily assigned the experience a full 4 stars.
A big plus (at least for now) is that... Lisa doesn't bite!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The only 100% beachfront resort on St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands! Tucked into sun-splashed Lindbergh Bay on the Island of St. Thomas, the beautifully appointed Emerald Beach Resort welcomes guests with the gracious look, style and service of the Virgin Islands' rich heritage. BIG King Size Beds and Spectacular Views from EVERY ROOM! FREE High Speed Internet Access. Flat Screen TVs with Cable TV, 100% Beachfront Views with Balcony and Adjustable air-conditioning. Surrounded by landscaped gardens, cascading waterfalls and lush tropical settings, the Emerald Beach Resort offers a central, convenient location close to the airport, shopping, championship golf and all of St. Thomas's great activities and adventures. With the bounty of land and sea captured in stunning views, it's the perfect place for a memorable vacation. Or an unforgettable wedding, meeting or corporate event. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Best Western Emerald Beach Hotel Charlotte Amalie
- Best Western St Thomas
- Best Western Emerald Beach Resort
- St. Thomas Best Western
- Emerald Beach Resort St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands