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“Nice Property, Disappointing location”

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Marriott's Frenchman's Cove
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 17, 2008

This Marriott property is very nice and the accomodations overall were excellent. That being said, anyone travelling here needs to know that St Thomas is a 3rd world country. Poor roads and road conditions, hairpin turns, flooding , mudslides, and overall
poor infastructure make this island nation a stressful and disappointing vacation destination.

We traded a Marriott Hilton Head timeshare week for a week here
and would never do it again here. Do Not Rent A Car here. Leave the driving to experienced taxi drivers if you must come because every outing will be stressful. No parking facilities downtown anywhere! Police are agressivee and hate tourists from USA that are unfamiliar with driving on the opposite side of the road.

I had travelled to St Thomas back in the 70s when this island had reached its peak. Today however, St Thomas is a tired , dirty and an old travel destination with rampant poverty, poor infastructure and unwelcoming residents.

The island of St Thomas had rejoyced when Marriott comitted to build this timeshare resort here and many hailed that decision as the rebirth of St Thomas. Never happened ! Marriott would have done better to build on Puerto Rico where that island has the infastructure that is lacking elseware in the carribean.

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank ANELSON1013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,384 - 1,390 of 1,458 reviews

Reviewed October 1, 2008

As an owner this was my first visit to the resort since we purchased our week two years ago. We had visited St Thomas before so we knew what to expect, so that made the visit a little more predictable. My family, wife and three kids under 7 all had a great time at the resort. While still under construction, this is barely noticeable except for the huge cranes and trucks on display as you enter the property. Despite my initial concerns, the noise was barely noticeable and was nonexistent on the weekend.

While the weather was not perfect the first few days, the last four days offered typical caribbean weather. This will truly be a top notch property once construction is finished but my family and I were very impressed with the rooms and the service of the staff.

I read a few earlier posts about the check in procedures and I must say that my experience was very positive. It took all of 5 minutes once I entered the office to have my room key and a schedule of the week's activities. We had a wonderful room in Bldg 5 with a view of Haskell Island and the small narrow channel where all the cruises ships pull into the Charlotte Amalie harbor. It was a beautiful view!

Below I've listed a few tips that saved my family considerable time and money and for those travelling with small kids here are a few tips.

1. We bought steaks, chicken, cereal, snacks, and other comforts from home. We mailed a box prior to leaving with pasta, spaghetti sauce, etc. and it arrived before we got there. The box was waiting for me when I checked it. The meats we bought from home we froze and packed in one of our checked bags. It would be wise to pack them in a large ziplock bag to prevent spillage. They were still frozen when we arrived in St Thomas. You could buy these things on the island, but its considerably more expensive and the quality is not as good.

2. Bring your own sunscreen and sun tan lotion unless you want to pay $17.99 a bottle at the marketplace at the resort.

3. The beach at the resort is small, but nice and clean. I would advise bringing some neoprene diving shoes to wear in the water because of the rocks and coral about 5 feet into the water.

4. The liquor and spirits are much cheaper in town and half the price than if you buy at the resort.

5. The resort has a limited amount of movies to watch in your down time and very limited kids movies, so bring your favorites if you want to watch them.

6. Don't shop at Pueblo for groceries, you'll pass by two of them on the way to the resort. The prices are the highest and the stores are not that clean. We went to a store called cost u less that had a pretty decent selection of things and was far more cheaper.

7. Bring lots of insect repellant!!!! The mosquitoes are relentless.

8. We rented a car, much cheaper than a taxi. The shuttle vans at the resort only go to the Marriott hotel and the resort.

9. You must try Pizza Amore, probably some of the best pizza we've ever had, hand down. The kids loved it, the adult too!

In all we had a wonderful time. We are looking forward to our next visit. I'll post more thoughts as they come to me.

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled with family
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9  Thank pears36
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 24, 2008

The timeshare villa is a very nice property with all of the latest amenities.  It is nicely furnished and the decor is very attractive.  However the support services for guests staying at the Villas is sorely lacking.  There is insufficient staff available especially in the evenings.  There is a small poolside restaurant now open that serves very good food but a little pricy like everything on St. Thomas.  The pool is very nice and the beach while small is very nice.  Lots of beach chairs and umbrellas are available making a day at the beach very convenient.  The iguanas at poolside were very interesting and fun to watch.We chose not to rent a car because of the narrow (and I do mean narrow) roads on St Thomas and the steep (and I do mean steep) roads that have to be negotiated.  The courtesy shuttle between the hotels was helpful, but since you were expected to tip the driver each time, they were not cheap either.  There is still not a good walking path between the Villas and the Reef Hotel so the shuttle is just about the only option.  Other transportation on the island is very expensive.  We spent over $50 round-trip for 4 people to go into town to dinner.  This was about a 5 minute cab ride.We booked a tour from the Activity Desk to St. John on our last day.  Unfortunately there was a driving rain on that day and the Activity Desk did not cancel the tour as they should have done.  Therefore we spend out last of three very rainy days sopping wet in the open ferry to St. John and while touring the island.  It rained so hard that we were not even allowed into the water at Trunk Bay and therefore missed seeing the Underwater National Park.  Coming back to the ferry from Trunk Bay became a real adventure with water over a foot high running over the road and into the tour bus.  Really scary when the driver began slipping and sliding down the steep hills.  Defenitely never go to St. John in the rain.  However I think it would have been lovely otherwise.  Bring mosquito repellant and the mosquitos are terrible on St. John.  I am still covered with bites.  We complained about the tour to the Activity Center Manager and she refunded our money.  It was reassurring to know that they were willing to do that.My husband and I are really beach people and while the beaches on St. Thomas and St. John appear to be beautiful, the logistics of getting around the island make them very hard to enjoy.  In fact the logistics for doing anything on the island are complicated.  Even if you rent a car, parking appeared to be limited in many places making for a long hike each time.  The roads are so narrow that walking is totally out of the question.One other thing to remember if you are going for the shopping.  All stores downtown are closed on Sunday and even some are closed on days when there are no cruise ships in the harbor.  The entire island definitely revolves around the cruise industry.  If you want to shop be sure not to count on doing it on Sunday or if there are no ships in port.   Unfortunately if it rains on Sunday, there is absolutely nothing else to do on St. Thomas other than sit in your room and watch TV.This was our first trip to the Virgin Islands and the rain definitely put a damper on things.  I would never recommend going in the fall.  Plan a spring or early summer trip before hurricane season.  There is a reason why they have the really good deals in the fall.

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled with friends
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5  Thank beachduo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 15, 2008

Just returned from STT. Stayed at Marriott Frenchman Cove, Sept 7-14, 2008. Nice place. Rooms are decent size. Each bedroom has balcony overlooking harbor and Charlotte Amalie. The property is kinda off the beaten path. Nothing close to walk to. Did not have a restaurant or ATM on premisis. It did have a poolside cafe and small bar. Served burgers, tacos salads etc...nothing spectacular. We were in building 1 top floor. Check in is on 5th floor and quite simple and pleasant. They are still building in spots and resort did not have a main entrence complete yet. This made for tricky 4 and 5 point turns for cabs shuttles and cars to turn around at the check in/"main" entrance. Did have shuttles to/from the Reef and Morningstar. Ran every 1/2 hour or so. Restaurants at reef and morning ok...just average everyday food, however we did not go to Havanna Blue. If you like to enjoy your meal in air conditioned comfort call before you go. Most places are outdoors (even Havanna) and can be quite uncomfortable if its sticky out. The people at the Cove were pleasant and helpful and are happy to arrange tours, give directions, etc. All in all it is a nice place.

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled with family
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Thank jtcjr818
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 14, 2008

We absolutely loved our stay at the Frenchman's Cove. The units are in great shape, and although the resort is still under construction, it is really coming along. While the "restaurant" on site isn't the greatest (just an outdoor poolside cafe), it worked just fine for those days we were too tired to go somewhere to eat. The Havana Blue adjacent to the Marriott hotel is fabulous, with our best dining experience being at Mafolie's - primarily for the views. A rental car at this resort is a must - especially if you want to explore St. John - which is even better than St. Thomas. Highlights of our trip included Magen's Bay, snorkeling at Cinnamon Bay & Waterlemon Cay (both on St. John), scuba diving, and a day trip to the BVI's.

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled with friends
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2  Thank nac259
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 12, 2008

We recently returned from a week at the Marriott Frenchman's Cove in St. Thomas. We traded a week at a Marriott Vacation Club to go to St. Thomas. I was looking forward to a vacation but got a lot more than I had hoped for. I have been to the Caribbean several times and don't generally get all that excited about the Caribbean anymore, but St. Thomas was great, especially this resort. It is always nice to go away and have the space of a timeshare and the kitchen. But, this resort was nice as there is a restaurant there and complimentary shuttle to the hotel with more amenities. The ocean was great for the small children and older people, who we travelled with, very calm, however; at the hotel had more waves for those wanting the action. The pool, with a slide, was a big hit with the kids, ours ages 3 and 5, who we had a hard time getting away from the slide. As I have read in other reviews, the elevator did go out from time to time, but we were on the 1st floor so walking was not an issue. There was plenty of parking at the resort for our rental car, which is a definite must, there is no where to walk from the resort. The resort is close to the town, but you definitely need a car. Definitely be friendly to the locals, a friendly good morning seems to go a long way. Definitely bring bug spray, don't spend the week itching like we did, spray when you arrive. We will definitely be back to this resort, it was a great experience and all of the staff we experienced were very nice, especially the valet staff, they were always friendly and willing to help.

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled with family
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4  Thank springb3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 1, 2008

My wife and I just returned from the Marroit Frenchmans Cove and was completly dissapointed with the following:
1- We needed to take three different elevators just to get to the beach and pool.
2- The electricity on the island goes out everyday. Be prepared to walk up numerous flights of stairs to get to your room.
3- The locals on the island are not friendly or welcoming. Fortunatly, the Americans who work at the Hotel and all of the restaurants we visited were very friendly.
4- Good luck trying to catch the shuttle that takes you back and forth from the cove to the hotel. There was no organization while waiting. Crowds of people would show up and just jump in ahead of the people who were waiting.
Overall, I would never go back to St Thomas even if it was given to me for free. Save your money and go someplace else.

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled with family
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4  Thank browvale
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Marriott's Frenchman's Cove

Address: 7338 Estate Bakkeroe, Charlotte Amalie 00802-3011, St. Thomas
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > U.S. Virgin Islands > St. Thomas > Charlotte Amalie
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Charlotte Amalie
Price Range: $312 - $1,353 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Marriott's Frenchman's Cove 4*
Number of rooms: 221
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Also Known As:
Marriott`s Frenchman`s Cove Hotel Charlotte Amalie
Marriotts Charlotte Amalie
Marriotts Hotel Frenchmans Cove
Marriott Charlotte Amalie
Marriotts Frenchmans Cove
Marriott's Frenchman's Cove St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

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