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“Great location for non-motorized tourists”
Review of Cinnamon Bay

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Cinnamon Bay
St. Paul, MN
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Great location for non-motorized tourists”
Reviewed December 28, 2013

I stayed in tent 31 with two friends in mid-December. We had no neighbors the first 4 nights, but the campground had begun to fill up by our 5th (last) night. We were lucky in many ways. I think the campground could have felt a bit tight if all the tents had been occupied the whole time, but as it was it was very quiet and the surf lulled us to sleep. We also were fortunate to find very few insects, so we could enjoy sitting at the picnic table. I came home with a few bites of unknown origin, but they quickly faded. We had two dinners at the restaurant at the campground and they were excellent. We explored much of the central part of St. John on foot (we didn't rent a car); the trails are well marked, though we did have to walk along the road occasionally to get from one trail to another. Snorkeling was a highlight at each bay we visited. I don't think we could have chosen a better location than Cinnamon Bay for our first trip to St. John.

Room Tip: Check under the mattress to see if there's a piece of plywood - the costs sag and squeak otherwi...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
4 Thank XuxaL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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287 reviews from our community

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California
Level 6 Contributor
96 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 136 helpful votes
Reviewed December 19, 2013

Stayed in a "cottage." I was told that a few of the cottages now have small refrigerators but ours had a cooler which wasn't all that helpful. Grill was so rusted as to be useless. Propane stove worked fine. Cold showers. But it has a wonderful location by the beach.

What was weird was that there was no NPS presence while we were there. I asked about ranger talks and was told by a staff member that they probably hadn't started yet - but she was guessing and didn't know for sure. Would recommend stopping at the NPS Visitor Center in Cruz Bay when you arrive to find out what's going on, but as we arrived around 10 pm that wasn't an option for us. We had a great time while there but it didn't feel like we were in a national park. Felt more like we were in a private campground.

Price goes up about 60% during the high season but isn't too bad during the off season. St. John is beautiful but expensive.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank jaimexplorer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
newport
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed December 16, 2013

Bugspray, spf 50, a good book and a sarong are really all you need for a great, relaxing beach camping adventure. This place is great to restore your connection to nature and the real world. Just so you know that means a lot of bugs and cold showers but it's worth it.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
7 Thank NewportBuddy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Whidbey Island, Washington
Level 6 Contributor
131 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
Reviewed December 12, 2013

We stayed Nov 12 - 16 in a beach front cottage. The interior was super clean. There were 4 twin beds, comfortable beds and pillows. Towels for the shower were provided which was a bonus as was the small frig. All the cooking utensils you need are available. If you go during the same time we did bring EVERYTHING you think you will need. The store shelves were pretty bare and what they had was expensive. We shipped a USPS flat rate box full of freeze dried food and floating devices. Very happy we did. Bring lots and lots of Deet if mosquitoes like you. When you check in ask for a book of matches. Why they don't just give you a pack at check in I have no idea. It's basically the only thing free at the campground. Internet access is offered but it is expensive and inconsistent. Go into Cruz Bay and use the free access at the park across the street from the ferry terminal. The grounds were a bit rough but we attribute that to the season getting underway. The best part of this location is the beach. Sure it can get windy when the waves kick in but that is Mother Nature. When it is calm, the water is clear turquoise and warm. Check out Starfish Grocery in Cruz Bay. It is large, has a great selection from soup to nuts and is reasonably priced considering you are on a Caribbean Island.

Room Tip: The beachfront cottages are terrific. We loved looking outside and seeing the water just steps away...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank KMills1960
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seaside Heights, New Jersey
Level 6 Contributor
261 reviews
82 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 394 helpful votes
Reviewed December 11, 2013

The campground offers bare tent sites, platform tents and cottages. The difference in price across the three types is not that much of a gap. Unless you really want to sleep in a tent, I highly recommend you check out the cottages. The cottage price differs by how close you are to the beach. The gap between the closest and furthest cottage from the beach is only about 100 yards.

I was at Cinnamon Bay as part of a group volunteer vacation. We did trail maintenance in the National Park for 4-5 hours and then had the rest of the day free. We slept in platform tents. The platform tents for groups have 3 cots. They also have a large, heavy tarp over the top to help protect against rain. They also have a tarp for the floor of the tent to help keep water out of the tent. The tents have no electricity, no plates/cooking equipment. You will need to buy ice daily to keep your food cool.

The cottages are cement buildings so you have a solid floor, roof and door. They have 4 beds with sheets/pillows, electricity, small refrigerator, 2 fans, propane stove and BBQ grill. They also have plates, cups, and cooking equipment, cooler, picnic table and clothes drying line. They have no water so you do need to use the campground bathrooms and utility sink for washing dishes and clothes.

The campground has a beach equipment rental hut with kayaks, sail boats, boards, etc. There is also a small shop on the beach selling sun screen, bug spray, beer, soda and snacks. The main building has a store with some food items, beverages, and other items campers may need. There is an onsite restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. (closed at 6pm.)

We stayed for 2 weeks in November/December 2013. This is the rainy season. It rained 3-4 times per day. Most of the time, the rain lasted about 20-30 minutes. Between the rain and humidity we were always wet. Our clothes took multiple days to dry to a level of damp. They never completely dried.

When the sun goes down (5:30pm in December), the campground is very, very dark. You need a flash light or head lamp. If you are in a tent, bring a lantern.

Bring bug spray, beach towel, flashlight/headlamp, water container for water at your site.

Taxi – The taxi costs $7 per person with at least 2 riders to/from Cruz Bay.

Grocery – There are 2 grocery stores in Cruz Bay: Dolphin and Starfish markets. Prices are higher than mainland so bring what you can and fill in at the markets.

The Cinnamon Bay beach is the longest beach on St. John. The sand is white and soft. This is an ideal location to stay for a vacation. Remember - you are camping. This is not a hotel.

I hope you find this review helpful.

Room Tip: Review accommodation options (tent sites vs. cottage) and the difference in price vs. what you get f...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
16 Thank Mary K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sterling Heights, Mi
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed November 22, 2013

Stayed November 9-16. Was okay, but to be honest, I was disappointed. Beach was beautiful for a few days until the waves kicked up and then it disappeared. Too dangerous to swim in. The parking lot was about a half mile from the campsite. The campsites were extremely small and most could not hold two small tents. The path through the park was muddy. The mosquitos were terrible as were the sand fleas. The restaurant was not open for breakfast or dinner. The lone Coke machine was always empty. The tap water was not drinkable (per the posting I saw after I drank it). No activities by the park rangers. Archeology museum was always closed. Bathrooms were, well, no comment. Rain at night made everything a muddy, wet mess. Not the best experience. Would try it again but not during November.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
5 Thank PaulSterlingHeights
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Petersburg, Florida
Level 5 Contributor
59 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed September 17, 2013

In August 2012 I stayed at Bare Site #56 at Cinnamon Bay for my birthday. It was amazing!! Secluded and just a stones throw from the beach. Thank goodness they offer large wheel barrows to assist getting your gear to the site because site 56 is quite a walk with full camping gear. I would recommend this site to any avid camper.

At the end of August this year I returned and stayed in "Cottage" 1C. This was a decent upgrade form a Bare Site stay as they do provide almost anything you may need (Charcoal grill, gass stove, beds, pots/pans, utensils etc). It was close to the bathroom and beach. I could not see paying more for a cottage just a few feet closer to the beach. After all, I do not spend my time in the cottage anyway.

As some people have noted, it is not the Ritz but come on people. This is a National Park Campground not a star rated hotel. Besides if you are spending more of your time at the campground and are not out exploring the beaches, trails and local sites you are out of your mind. St. John is a wonderful vacation spot and I can not wait to return next year.

Room Tip: Bring a multi socket wall plug. There was only one outlet for the fan and I had to unplug the fan to...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank GryGst
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Cinnamon Bay

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $
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 
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Also Known As:
Cinnamon Bay Campground Hotel Virgin Islands National Park
Cinnamon Bay St. John/Virgin Islands National Park

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