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“Remember your camping”

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Cinnamon Bay Campground
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
69 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Remember your camping”
Reviewed April 20, 2013

If I was the type that only liked clean 5* hotels then I would not rate this place more than a two but you can't go to a place like this and rate it for what it isn't. That being said, You can't ask for much more in a camp site. We got the beach cottage, 9A. It is a bit of a walk from reception but the higher the cottage number the closer to the water you are. Section 10 is as close as you can get but you are also the furthest from the communal showers and bathroom. Section 6 and 7 are the closest to the showers.
There are many amenities offered. You can rent almost any type of water activity toy. There is a beach "store" with refreshments and souvenirs and also a small convenience store by reception along with a restaurant (closes at 8pm) that we did not eat in (you can grill at your site). The also have a small museum of sorts. We were going to go through it but to tell you the truth, I was more interested in getting a beer at the connecting "store" and forgot to go back and check it out.
The beach is long enough to have a morning jog or a nice walk. Even though we did not snorkel here the east end (see photos) looked like a great spot to do so.
We did not use a tent site but it looked like they were much more private than the cottages.
Although we did not notice any sand flees during the day (we laid in the sand w/out towels) when we went down to sit and watch the sunset they came out pretty strong but once we moved so the water would wash over our feet it wasn't to bad.
The communal shower and toilets are clean. It's not an outhouse, toilets flush, and the showers are outside but still private. The water is cold, if you could call it that, not any colder than the ocean. If hot would have been available I would have never used it, even at 7am.
We found the whole staff (especially the reception ladies) very friendly and helpful. If you think they may get grumpy you have to realize they probably deal with a lot of people wanting 5* catering and accommodation so if your happy and friendly and not condescending then they find you a breath of fresh air and are very nice to you.
Just remember, your camping. There will be a few bugs, birds and animals hanging out, some walking and a little less privacy but go for the adventure and enjoy it or what it is, not for what you think it should be.

Room Tip: For the cottages #9 and #10 are the closest to the beach, furthest from the showers
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
7 Thank monstrt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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283 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (74)
Date | Rating
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English first
BOSTON
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed April 16, 2013

We stayed in a tent site, only two of us, but it had cots for 4. So we had plenty of room. Each cot had a mattress (not a thick one), but perfectly fine. We loved the isolated tent sites, allowing for some privacy. We arrived after dark and when we walked to the beach the next morning our jaws dropped. Perfect white sand, the bluest water I have ever seen, two picturesque islands just off the coast. It was a stunning site. Perfect place if you don't mind no air conditioning, TV or electricity. You will need to rent a jeep though, getting to the campground is a trek with steep hills and one nasty switchback. I am not sure a small rental car would get there. The only real negative was the showers, cold. The sea water was warmer. We are already planning a return trip.

Room Tip: Stay away from the "group sites" we walked past them late at night, and there was some lou...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank kevboston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Portland, Maine
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed April 10, 2013

You are camping in a National Park, just like Acadia, Yellowstone, or for our Canadian friends, Prince Edward Island National Park. It is dark at night. There may be bugs. The showers are cold. It's a little run down in places. But you are on St. John, one of the prettiest Virgins, mostly because 2/3 of it is a National Park, and not a Disney themed island with gated and locked hotels and condos. There is no pool, but one of the prettiest beaches you will find anywhere. There are no game rooms, videos to rent, and the store closes at 8. What you will find are friendly campers who have lots of advice to share, who will leave you bags of food when they leave, and may even leave you a float or two.

I first came here in 1976 when a bare site cost $8 per night. It really has not changed all that much in the years following, except site rentals will set you back a bit more than that....but a real bargain compared to anywhere else you could stay on the island. With Maho Bay closing May 15 it will put more pressure on campground reservations and services. Since the NP has made this a concession service to Caneel Bay, it will be up to them to respond accordingly to an increased demand.

It is one of those places you hesitate to review on TA, simply because you want to keep it all to yourself. But this is a National Park, and if you are a US citizen, you own this land. It is yours to use, to enjoy and to preserve for generations to come. A national treasure on a little out of the way spot in the Caribbean.

Be nice to the staff. A smile and a good morning goes a long way here. Things take longer, it is island time. Take time to learn about the natural history of the island. Take time to learn about the cultural and political history as well. The National Park tours and talks are a wonderful way to do this. The ghosts of slavery hang over the ruins of the sugar plantations, as does the memory of a bloody slave revolt, the first in this part of the world. Many of the island residents that you meet here have direct ties to that history. It is truly an amazing place to visit.

Room Tip: Sites are not preassigned. If you see a better site once you are checked in, ask about it. Some are...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
9 Thank Irv W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Haddonfield, New Jersey
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed March 11, 2013

What an incredible island! We rented a cabin for our family of four and would definitely recommend it for people who want to be close to nature. It was cool and functional. I do not think there is any other place on the island you where you are on the ocean's edge. It is camping- lite. The staff is lovely. The water rental outfit provides good equipment, instruction and is reasonable. I snorkeled right of the beach to the island and saw a spotted Moray and Barracuda( at which point I turned around to take off my jewelry) and found it to be one of my favorite spots. We put our family (3yo and 1yo) on a kayak and went from beach to beach-- it was way cooler than driving and really easy to do--I highly recommend trying this. It is a 10 minute drive to Cruz Bay. The facilities were clean and we met tons of nice people. There is something to be said for waking up, putting on a pot of coffee and taking your cup to the beach for a quick stroll, having a bowl of cereal and getting on with your day. The beach is gorgeous, the water was fine for my 3.5 yo.--It's calm with a tiny break on shore. Will definitely return! All you need to pack is block, beach towel, bathing suits an a light blanket for your bed!

Room Tip: Cabins in the 10 unit are a bit of a walk but on the water. 8 and 9 have really good views.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
7 Thank AJRDO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Penfield, New York
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed February 28, 2013

Camping right next to the beach, with the sound of tree frogs and the surf, geckos on the screens, hermit crabs, migrating butterflies - how can you beat it? The facilities themselves are a little beat up; duct tape on holes in screens, toilets that frequently had stuck chains, but they're easy to overlook. We rented an existing tent, which comes complete with 4 cots, clean sheets, pillows and pillowcases, propane stove and lantern, picnic table, cooler and food storage box. Upon request, you can get pots and pans, dishes and silverware. You also get matches for the stove/lantern, but they're pretty lousy. You're better off buying some good matches. If you're one who is always cold at night, a light blanket might be nice, but just sheets were fine for us in February. Don't forget a flashlight! Other than group sites, individual sites are fairly separate, although sounds do travel at night, just like any campground.

Staff was friendly and helpful if treated with respect. The cab drivers were the best! Kendall at the watersport rental place is the man!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank CampingMom_42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed February 26, 2013 via mobile

I wanted to go to the Caribbean island, but I wants to avoid the resort experience. Cinnamon bay campground was the answer. I camp a lot, so I can compare this campsite to others. The location, obviously, is hard to beat. Campsites themselves are far from each other, so you feel privacy. I was fortunate do the campsite I originally reserved was not available, so they gave me the one with the tent platform and blue tarp already stretched above it by some kind soul. Blue tarp improves the quality of life tremendously when it rains - it would have felt too constraining in the backpacking tent. Many sites have them, and many people bring their own. The bathroom are average - moderately clean, there's toilet paper and towels, but the toilets themselves move sometimes, because they are not bolted too securely to the floor. Still, even wobbly, they function. Shower is outdoors, cold water only, but decent enough to use without reservations. There's a restaurant on premises - the food is honest and you don't have to cook. They even play live music there. Generally, facilities look a bit shabby, but I've seen worse. As a bonus, there are couple cats, chickens, and a rooster on premises. Bottom line - if you like camping, go; if you want fancy surroundings, look for a resort.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
8 Thank Oolahclaire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
17 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed February 17, 2013

We went here for a trip to get out of the cold and our experience from almost the beginning was poor. The people working the front desk seemed very unpleasant to have to be there. The restaurant and bar there closes relatively early in my opinion, as does the front desk with that l closing at 8pm so make sure if you have a later flight in that you give yourself about two hours from the time you land to get to the campground otherwise you may be having to stay elsewhere. Also on our last there noticed a sign that started they did not pass the water quality test in November and they put the notice up to let us all know but since we didn't see notice until our last day there I thought I mention that give a heads up to bring your own drinking water the campground. I would also recommend bringing your own underwater gear there add well since it is a hassle to rent there and an even bigger hassle to return since most times they have no clue where to look for your rental slips. Plus a full day rental is from I believe 10am to 3pm so you do not have much time to do a day only rental so you would have to rent for more than one day. Renting the kayaks and boards was just fine, no problem there at all. The other part that we really did not like was the fact that a garbage truck goes around every morning around 6/7am through the campground. Is it hard to wait to do that until later in the day?? I've never experienced that at any campground ever so this was not pleasant to wake up to every morning. I also would not recommend asking the front desk about information on the island. We did that and at the end of our 5 mile hike we were told that there would be bus transportation for us and we later found out that the buses no longer went to that location so that added an additional 4 mile hike or hitching a ride from someone for us. In regards to any transportation I would ask the taxi drivers. They may not be that pleasant but they can tell you more of what to expect in regards to getting around unless you rent your own vehicle then you should be better off. Other than all of that it is a nice campground, the beach view is wonderful and we did enjoy ourselves but if we were to ever go to this island again we would rent a house and a car so we would not have to deal with all the unnecessary stress that a vacation should not consist of.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Ekeats
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Cinnamon Bay Campground

Property: Cinnamon Bay Campground
Address: 1 Great Cinnamon Bay, Virgin Islands National Park 00831-0720, St. John
Location: Caribbean > U.S. Virgin Islands > St. John > Virgin Islands National Park
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Virgin Islands National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 126
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Also Known As:
Cinnamon Bay Campground Hotel Virgin Islands National Park
Cinnamon Bay Campground St. John/Virgin Islands National Park

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