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“wow...doesn't get more beautiful!”
Review of Cinnamon Bay

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Cinnamon Bay
Reviewed July 19, 2013

I'm not a camper but thought I would give this a shot since it was a reasonably priced beachfront accommodation in St. John. I was amazed at how well kept the campground was and how beautiful the location. I wasn't surprised when I started seeing people there who stayed for a month or so on an annual basis. The biggest issue I had was that the water was unsafe for drinking or teeth brushing. It's on the far end of the island and renting a car would have made everything more accessible as taxis were pricey and did not want to drive to the far end of the island after a certain time. That meant that we stayed on the campground in the evening. Also we expected to be able to buy meat from the gift shop to cook but their freezer was down. We learned when we got there that most people freeze meat and fly it in coolers with them from the states. The cabins have fridges, cooking utensils and a cooler. The cabins near the ocean are farthest from the communal restrooms. We stayed in 8 which was perfectly halfway between the ocean and the bathrooms. Nice mix for a family with young kids. It is a beautiful area and stunning beach. Snorkeling not bad on far end of beach. Deer donkey and crabs adorn the area. Fall asleep to the sound of singing frogs and wake up dawn to the singing birds. If you love nature, this is a cant miss spot. And the staff was pretty nice. Some people were friendly all the time and some became friendlier as they got to know you. Manners is important here.

Room Tip: Upgrade to the cabin. Spend the money to stay away from the bugs.
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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5  Thank Lara G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 8, 2013 via mobile

We stayed 1 night in a tent and 2 in the cabin room. It is definitely worth the $14 extra pet night to stay in the cabin. It has electricity which means lights and fans and is fully screened. The tent is a basic tent and there was a bug screen but they found ways in anyway. Also there were some poorly patched holes in the roof although it didn't rain much the night we were in the tent. The staff was intermittently bored, rude, and unhelpful bit this is common in the Carribean. It is all very much worth it to be so close to the breathtaking Cinnamon Bay beach. The sand is amazingly fine and soft and the snorkeling was incredible.

  • Stayed: July 2013
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1  Thank liponthemoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 9, 2013

I take school groups to St. John for service. Cost is a big consideration. For three years we stayed at Maho Tent Campground but now that they are closed I needed a similarly inexpensive alternative. We stayed at Cinnamon Bay this year and had a fantastic time. The cabins are more substantial and bigger than at Maho with a really nice cross breeze through them. The ground is flat. The beach is gorgeous with far fewer (almost no) sand "fleas" to bother you. They have reserved parking for those people staying at the campground, alleviating that problem. The people were friendly, warm, and helpful. The food was less expensive but also not as good as at Maho. Off season you have to order dinner early so they know how much and what to prepare. We ordered at around 4 pm every day. My only complaint was getting responses from the business office regarding the food plan. It was difficult to plan the costs because of their unresponsiveness. My advice is be patient. It's worth it.

Room Tip: We liked the cabins near the bathroom.
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled on business
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3  Thank Christine M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 26, 2013

Absolutely terrible. I have visited this island before and the campground too. I have never experinced such bitter service before. The staff at this campground are rude at best. The accomodation are rustic, but they could be maintained in a way that makes them comfortable and pleasant. Unfortunately the staff here do not care,there is nothing good I can say. Mother nature has the only thing left here with any good to offer. The beaches at Cinnamon bay are beautiful. I was very upset that I spent the money and time to travel to this remote destination to be treated the way i was treated, we will not return. Needless to say we left early, we had a wondeful time at Concordia check it out, 101% more friendly and a nicer environment.

Room Tip: Stay at Concordia on the other side of the island, or Caneel Bay if you can afford it.
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank L S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 26, 2013

Camped May 15-21, 2013. Baresite, #60. I've camped many places, deserts, mountains, beaches, so not new to camping. I camped solo on this trip. First off note that this campground is on one of the most beautiful beaches/parts of St John. So it definitely has location going for it. Transportation (if you have no car) to/from Cruz Bay to the campground is never an issue, plenty of open air cabbies coming and going at pretty much all times, save for late evening. Campground itself is large, with plenty of sites, from the enclosed "cottage" sites (I call them more of a bunker, visually speaking) to pre-setup tents, that were in single sites or a couple group sites with tents in a circle. Then there were a host of "baresites" scattered among the forest and tent sites. Mine was in #60, nearly all the way to the eastern end of the campground, and slightly up on a hill, (easy 20 sec hike up) with 2 baresites below it, and one tent site above it. Very private site. Beach was about 30 ft down the hill and just beyond the trees, you can clearly hear the waves at all times, which was nice. Very forested and green surroundings. Lots of little anole lizards here and there. No iguanas, apparently the mongooses on St John have something to do with the lack of them I heard, as St Thomas has tons of them. I had deer running around down the hill from my site twice, in the mornings; I saw them on the beach even down to the water on a couple nights! Saw them at Honeymoon beach too. No donkeys. The bathhouses were sufficient, working toilets and sinks, soap, plenty of paper towels. Showers were fully working, not heated but not cold, and very refreshing when dealing with the constant heat.

The check in was seamless, all the staff I encountered were very friendly, though I must say I always made it a point to say Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening before starting any conversation, as I hear is customary in the VI and is appreciated. I read some reviews that said staff was a bit icy, but I never encountered that. Restaurant staff were very helpful, and food was prompt and very good, though I must say I only ate a few meals (breakfast and dinner 2x) at the restaurant, the rest I made on my own at camp. The staff at the little store were very friendly, and it has the basics of what anyone would want. $3 beers are great too! For a larger selection of food I recommend the Dolphin Market in Cruz Bay, everything you need is there.

I noticed a wide variety of people staying here, from young peeps in their 20's (many) to older folks in their 70's or so, and a lot in between. Not a lot of young kids. There was always plenty of room on the beach and everyone was friendly. I noticed a volleyball game was regularly going on most days on the beach. The beach was fantastic....turquoise water, clear and warm, small to moderate surf most days. No one would be disappointed with the beach, and is generally what most come to this campground for. 5 stars for the beach! I also visited Trunk Bay, Hawksnest, Solomon, and Honeymoon beaches, and Cinnamon has everything these beaches do, and more, if you include the watersports rentals, etc. Just can't go wrong with the beach and amenities at this location.

So far this review has been positive, and it is well deserved, as none of these factors are within the campground's control......but here is the true reality of what you will deal with while staying here, particularly if you are staying in a baresite. At most times, and usually all four if daytime and in the sun, and you will be dealing with these four factors:

Tropical heat
Tropical humidity
Tropical strength sun
Mosquitoes

Again I am not new to camping, but these factors were quite a challenge during my stay here...as one constantly has to apply either bug spray (I went through 2 spray cans in 5 days) seemingly every couple hours, or sunscreen, if you are in the sun. And you will be sweating constantly in the heat and humidity (only drops out of the 80's in wee hours, and dewpoints well into the 70's at all times), no matter what time of day or night. At my campsite, while I was out of the sun (or at night), you had three of the four..... heat/humidity, and worst of all the mosquitoes...a constant annoyance. You can't seem to keep enough bug spray on to keep them at bay. At camp the only retreat from that factor was in the tent....after quickly zipping it once you were inside. Gotta pee at night? Zip out, get out quickly as to not let any in, hope your spray you had on already will keep them off while you quickly go (usually doesn't), then unzip tent, quickly get in, and zip that sucker right back up without delay...or your tent will be hell until you kill the ones that made it in. I checked out the Tent sites, and those tents don't even zip at the bottom! Yikes...the buggers would make it in no matter what...in addition to the lizards (and, as I heard in one case, a tarantula). So FYI if you get a Tent (not bare) site. So aside from often feeling trapped in the tent at camp, the only other place to get relief from the 4 factors was in a SHADY, hopefully BREEZY, spot under the sea grape trees at the beach. Bug factor was very minimal if breezy. (Or you could be out in the beautiful water, but one can't stay out there all day of course). There were several little carved out spots in the sea grape trees one or 3 peeps could find to hang out and not have the sun cook you. And mind you, in May at this latitude (or any time of year really, this is the tropics after all), the sun is FULL strength...and will burn even moderately dark skin quickly. Do not underestimate the power of the sun....use that sunscreen liberally and often or you will get smoked and be miserable for the remainder of your trip. While we're on the sun topic, few do this.....but know it is imperative that you sunscreen up your BACK before snorkeling....or even better, wear a white T shirt....or again, the sun will smoke your back quickly. Now, hopefully all this hasn't made those considering camping here change their mind, it is a great place with great people in BEAUTIFUL surroundings with a Grade A beach, but just know the four factors will be the challenge. Truthfully they greatly reduced the enjoyment factor of the whole experience for me. There is just no Air Conditioned, bug free, place to retreat to, anywhere here. The bunker/cottage sites are screened, but no AC....so you have the heat/humidity factor...though I hear they do have fans. The front desk/store are all "outside"/open air, and the lil' store keeps the front door open all the time too. So aside from sun, you still have the other 3 factors. I love tropical beaches, and thoroughly enjoyed this one, and knew when planning this trip it would be hot and humid, but man the mosquitoes were just something else. I did hear a couple times from a local or 2 that there had been a soaking rain a few days before I arrived, so a lot hatched out, but I would tend to think there are buggers there most of the time regardless; I did see standing water in the campground in a few places. Oh and speaking of rain it only rained once, at night, for about 20 minutes....generous rain, but not a downpour; I lucked out....when leaving ST Thomas forecast was for a tropical wave to come through and be rainy for a few days.

Overall, again great place/location/staff/people/price, but the BFF (Big Four Factors) will be the challenge. Decide for yourself it you think you are up for it, if so, it's a beautiful place!! Contact me if you have any questions.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled solo
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24  Thank cocotan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 5, 2013 via mobile

A disappointing visit to an island we know well, cinnamon bay camp ground's staff was at best cordial and at worst unfriendly and unhelpful (with the exception if the water sports hut).
The food was okay but you were rarely guaranteed you'd get what your ordered and while the location is A+, it's a hard balance to the general unwelcoming feeling you get from the staff. This is so contrary to our experience on St. John in general it's alarming. I would not go back but would go try Concordia ecoresort or Ms. Vies campground.

  • Stayed: March 2013
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3  Thank kabry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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7  Thank monstrt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Cinnamon Bay

Address: 1 Great Cinnamon Bay, Virgin Islands National Park 00831-0720, St. John (Formerly Cinnamon Bay Campground)
Location: Caribbean > U.S. Virgin Islands > St. John > Virgin Islands National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Virgin Islands National Park
Price Range: $27 - $140 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Cinnamon Bay 2*
Number of rooms: 126
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Cinnamon Bay Resort, a Redwood Parks Company, is an authorized concessioner in Virgin Islands National Park. We are honored to serve the role of stewards in this Park. Cinnamon Bay and Trunk Bay are considered two of the prettiest and most pristine public beaches in America. It is our privilege and responsibility to help care for these beaches and the water environment so they can be enjoyed by future generations. Please join us in respecting and protecting this special place. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Cinnamon Bay Campground Hotel Virgin Islands National Park
Cinnamon Bay St. John/Virgin Islands National Park

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