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Caneel Bay Resort
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Reviewed November 17, 2013

This resort, situated in the Virgin Islands National Park, was extremely beautiful. We had read former reviews about chilly staff but overall we found this to be the exception rather than the rule. Most staff were warm and friendly and made every effort to make us fee welcome and well taken care of.

This was our first visit to this resort and to St. John. We can see why so many people return to this place over the years to experience its serene and peaceful beauty. This is not the place to go if you are seeking a party atmosphere or night life. The beach bar and grill was open late an there was a tv at the bar, many folks happily hanging out together but other than that or if you were there for a wedding it was relatively quiet.

We had a room off of Paradise beach which was away from the main beach and restaurants. Not too far as to be inconvenient, but far enough to feel like we had more privacy than those who may have been booked by the main landing at Caneel Bay beach.

The breakfast buffet was our favorite meal of the day. Everything was fresh and there was a huge variety of choices. The Beach Bar and Grill was good, especially the sushi bar which was excellent. Cleo, the hostess at both, was always a pleasure to chat with and catch her up on how our day went! We did eat at Zozo's one evening which was also very good. I wish both dinner restaurants had more vegetarian options but I was able to find something each time I sat down to a meal. For such a large resort I would have anticipated a third dining option at dinner time but Turtle Bay Estate House was not open nor another option. The gelato shop was really good for a cold treat, I think we ate some every day!

Christina at the concierge desk was extremely helpful and patient in assisting us to plan various excursions and share tips on good snorkel spots.

Overall it was lovely, but at the rates paid the rooms could use updating.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank LK3333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 17, 2013

I booked Caneel Bay Resort based on TripAdvisor ranking and price comparison shopping. It was priced more then I've EVER paid for a hotel, but based on the location, we decided to splurge and take a chance even if it was just a few nights (over my birthday as well :) Let me add a disclaimer : we went into this knowing the prices would be inflated. We knew that it was not going to be like our other resort-we thought we were ready- we weren't. Prices adding up sucks the fun out of it rather quickly. We stayed for 4 nights. If you are on even a somewhat budget, consider researching further. One of my frustrations were the misc. charges. (I had a confirmation email sent to me, and on the very bottom it explained that there was a 110$ charge per person to take the resort ferry directly from the airport in St. Thomas. I realize that the service is a convenience to those who are staying, but my frustration was that it wasn't an option, it was an added additional charge that I had to request to have taken off - we were already on the island and didn't need the service. They didn't give me any trouble to remove it which was nice. I guess I'm the type what like to know exactly what I'm paying for when I sign up. For those interested, we chose to taxi and take the public ferry for 1/2 the cost).

As a resort: It is a nice property. Do not go to this resort thinking you'll get nice snorkeling in. The beaches, as pretty as they are have little no reef. There are some fish amongst the rocks along the edges, and Hawksnest did have sea turtles, but other then that our experience for snorkeling was far better on the southwest and northeast sides. There were also a few cruise ship excursion boats that were there snorkeling in Solomon and Honeymoon bay, which added to the volume of people on the beaches. They have golf carts and taxi buses to get you from one end to the other, but it's not so far that you can't walk.

Location : It is somewhat far out so if you don't have a car, you have to rely on a taxi to get you into town. The concierge said they didn't offer taxi service (or call for a taxi for you , for that matter, which I thought was a little odd) so we had to wait at the taxi stand to get a ride out. The first time we caught one immediately, the 2nd time we had to wait 15mins. Doesn't seem like much, but in 90 degree weather, the wait bench is out in the sun, it feels like an eternity. We ended up walking the Lind Point trail back to the resort from town- about a mile and the terrain wasn't bad considering what we were expecting. It's a direct route, so that is an option for those ok with a bit of a hike.

Room: We had a beach view room- on first glance we were happy, (air conditioned and clean:) The downside - the entire roadside wall was screen covered with a shutter type outer (looked as though it could be opened into one big wall window). cool concept- failure in application. We heard every , EVERY noise. from flip flops walking past, voices and the worst was the late night loud, golf cart taxi back to the room (my husband suggested upgrading to electric carts as an option, they'd be a little more quiet). The bathroom was also the same wall type, with a shutter type slotted door. Over all, if you're looking for quiet and privacy this is not they place. Also loved the air, but the unit kicked on and off constantly.

Food: They of course have dining options. 3 (well, 4 if you count the sandwiches in the Gelato shop). We ate at the least expensive (still pricey) option of the grill. The food was average at best, which I guess doesn't surprise me. Unless you go into town these were our only options, so we just went with it.

Pricing: I personally don't think it was worth the price that we paid. I do feel it was a nice resort, and most everyone was friendly and helpful. The prices are too high for the quality of the room, the food, and the strength of the drink. You are paying for a name, which to me isn't quite worth what they are selling it for. It feel exclusionary, not exclusive. At one point, we were on our way to go hiking (there are 2 trails on the resort map) 3 days into our stay and a security guy stopped us, asked us if we were guests and questioned us on our room number and last name. We had never had this happen, and we felt somewhat frustrated that we were stopped. ( we were clean, showered and minding our own business :)! not even riff raffish in the least.

Room Tip: Bring earplugs, it may help cancel out the background noises and help you sleep a little more soundly. Maybe get a room that a little further away from the "road" to minimize traffic noises
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8  Thank cass20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 19, 2013 via mobile

We checked in 4 days ago with our two daughters for spring break. From the first day the showers in both (adjoining) rooms have drained so slowly that the bathroom floods. Tonight in our room after one shower the flooding extended into the bedroom. I have asked for help 4 days in a row. The last two involved the manager on duty. They show up with a plunger and declare all to be fixed.

Here I sit waiting to shower so that I can take my family out to dinner with no repair. I'm going to shower anyway and let them deal with the water. This is ridiculous.

It gets better. 6 weeks ago I called the Caneel Bay dive shop to schedule diving for my oldest daughter and myself as well as an open water certification for my youngest daughter. I called them again before coming. We arrived and they then told us their boats were both broken and they couldn't accommodate our requests. We have to go to Cruz Bay now daily. No offer to even pick up the daily can fare.

The food so far has been good to excellent. The service poor to excellent.

Will I return? That's up to Caneel Bay.
They had better offer something profound for this inconvenience or this will be my first and last visit. Not to seem petty but 2 rooms at spring break was over $14,000. I expected better given the reputation of the resort. If they step up and appease us, I'll amend my review. If not, it stays. Beware.

  • Stayed: March 2013
    • Value
9  Thank mphillmd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 12, 2017 via mobile
Google Translation

Stayed: August 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 12, 2017 via mobile
Google Translation

Stayed: August 2017, traveled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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