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“Mixed”
Review of Caneel Bay Resort

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Caneel Bay Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Caneel Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 16, 2013

5+ star beach. 3 star restaurants. 2 star room. 1 star value. I used to love this place when it had a clearly defined identity - very luxurious eco resort. There was no phone, no AC, but the property was full of charm and atmosphere. But great beach and rich history spoiled the management, especially since it became a part of Rosewood chain. I heard the local capital bought it back from Rosewood and now it became independent. I hope they get the old glory back. You need a lot of facelifts. A lot.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
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8  Thank okiyu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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717 - 723 of 768 reviews

Reviewed December 16, 2013

Second stay at caneel in great beachfront room on hawks nest. Housekeeping did a great job. The beach was pretty dirty each morning but was then raked by workers. We found the no phone issue annoying this time. On three occasions we were told Zozos was full and each time we showed up there were at least ten open tables. This was very annoying. Zozos is excellent. Biggest issue came day after sushi at the beach grill. Doctors were not able to confirm food poisoning or some kind of infection but I was subsequently sick for a week. Caneel is beautiful and the beaches are great but for the money it misses the mark.

Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
7  Thank travelnut2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 15, 2013

Having traveled all over the Caribbean islands and Hawaii, no resort comes close to the natural beauty and gorgeous beaches like Caneel. We are spending our 35th Anniversary here this week . The staff and service has been amazing. The restaurants have all been wonderful and tonight I had the best Mahi Mahi I have ever had at ZoZos/Sugarmill. We love our cottage. Simply elegant and so comfortable. This resort has none of the overdone artificial glam of so many other places. It is just beautiful paradise!

  • Stayed: December 2013
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9  Thank CharZ3858
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 13, 2013

The hotel property on St. John's is amazing. They have 170 acres and they do an outstanding job of maintaining the property. They spread the rooms out along the beach in 5 and 10 room clusters of one or two stories so you almost feel you have the island to yourself. You see some people but not very many. It is a great couples location. It is a place for relaxing and enjoying the scenery. It is the polar opposite of a resort like Atlantis in the Bahamas.

The service at the resort was excellent. They make an effort to be friendly and accommodating.
The restaurants on the property were excellent also. We stayed 4 nights and never left the resort.

My only negative comment is that the air conditioner in the room is loud and sometimes made it difficult to sleep.

Room Tip: Scott Beach, Turtle Beach, and Hawk's nest beach all had great views and privacy. I would recom...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank John L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 12, 2013

So, I never write reviews but felt compelled to write this in hopes of saving someone else the money/headache. I had a destination wedding of about 15 people at Caneel Bay (at Turtle Bay) in August 2013 and the service was shockingly terrible. My previous experience with Rosewood (and the amount of money I was spending) led me to believe that it would be upscale/nice but instead, the staff was rude, lazy, and honestly, kind of mean. And- note that most of the rooms do not have phones in them, which causes a myriad of issues (for example the night before my wedding we wanted room service so my fiance had to walk around the resort searching for a "phone station" to call in our order). Although we asked (and offered to pay more for) a large/nice room (because the bridesmaids would be getting ready there), we were put in a tiny room with no phone. Finally, after asking twice more once we got there, we were switched to a larger room (after being treated like they were doing us a favor and already spending 2 nights in the other one).

But, the room issue was just the beginning-The day of the wedding, I requested access to a full-length mirror three times (so I could fully see myself in my wedding dress) and, although a mirror was supposedly "on its way," I never got one. The wedding dinner table set-up literally looked like it was decorated with purchases from the Dollar Store (for example, the main decoration was fake candles-without any kind of decorative votives- throughout the room). The "wedding coordinator" LEFT THE WEDDING literally 20 minutes after the ceremony. The guy that books events for the venue served as the dinner "wait staff" (and was, apparently, put off by having to do so because he threw our plates in front of us like he was mad at us for even being there). My fiance and I had to coordinate the cake cutting (as the wedding coordinator had left- see above) and were instructed that we had to cut the cake as soon as the ceremony was over (before anyone even sat down to eat dinner) because, although we had paid for and chosen a separate dessert, they were using the cake as the dessert and they had to start cutting it right away. The ENTIRE STAFF LEFT THE WEDDING so that, at the end of the night (the entire wedding lasted about 3 hours- it was only about 10 pm), THERE WAS LITERALLY NO STAFF AT THE VENUE- seriously- they left myself and my guests just at the venue by ourselves without even notifying us that they were leaving. I had to go to the entrance of the venue, find a "phone station," and call for a bus to come get us to take us back to the main part of the resort.

Other examples of my honeymoon experience at Caneel Bay include: ordering ice cream room service and not bringing us spoons and them being mad that they had to send someone back to our room to bring us spoons (they suggested that we go to the front and get spoons ourselves); At the wedding, when my husband asked a member of the staff to remember to put the drink garnishes that we provided on the drinks, he was literally ignored; When we asked to use a sailboat (which Caneel Bay touts as being complimentary to guests), we were told that the “owner’s children” were using the only one that was not broken (although there were 3 other sailboats in the rental area, we were told they were all broken) and so we would have to wait until the children were done; Total lack of communication/coordination leading up to and including the wedding.

The above examples are merely events that are at the top of my head right now- we were there for a week and a half and there are many more examples of the terrible service. Overall, they just treated us like we were a burden that they had to deal with.

There was one woman that seemed to work at the front desk a lot and she was the only staff member that seemed to care about anything- in fact, she went out of her way to get us a golf cat when we were running late for the pre-wedding rehearsal. She was the one person whose attitude/service would generally be deserving of “Rosewood quality” (I don’t remember her name but she has very light brown eyes).

Notably, gratuity is included in everything so the staff doesn’t appear to have motivation to provide good service… Frankly, I dont know what the deal was- maybe everyone was being lazy because it was the end of their season or maybe I got the "skeleton crew" because the normal staff was on vacation but, in any event, it doesnt matter- the entire experience was simply overshadowed by the staff's general rude attitude and carelessness.

Also, note that there have been multiple reviews as to the terrible service that have somehow been removed from review sites.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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37  Thank Michael_Shoemaker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 12, 2013

The resort grounds are incredible, with beaches, warm waters and wildlife. The staff was in general excellent with everyone happily greeting. I would have loved to give this resort more stars, it certainly has the potential for 5, but it needs an overhaul. The rooms need to be updated, in particular the wood slats do not keep out the noise or the bugs. We all have cell phones and internet so what is the point of not having phone or tv in the room other than saving the resort money, meanwhile at this room rate I should be able to phone concierge or front desk to get me what I need. Not having a phone, not being able to reach the hotel staff without physically walking to front desk was more frustrating than I could have imagined. The resort is also very large, so if you have an event, be sure to try and get rooms near the event if you need to carry anything, otherwise you will be carrying the items to the bus stop and waiting around for the bus since you can't call front desk for a ride. Overall I am happy I experienced the resort, but when looking for this type of trip there are certainly much better resorts this distance from mainland US.

Room Tip: Room near activities and group, so don't need to wait for bus. As resort is very large.
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled on business
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8  Thank Parity
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 11, 2013

I had the opportunity to play tennis today at the Caneel Bay Resort. This review is strictly limited to the tennis courts and the play there.
First, the courts are outstanding; a carpet that is very slick is modified slightly by the addition of sand that makes the play somewhat slower. The surface is very new and in immaculate condition and this greatly facilitates play. The facility has about five courts and all are in great shape.
The venue, in fact, is outstanding due to its location on the beautiful Caneel Bay Resort with a mixture of hills and vegetation providing a stunning backdrop. During today's play, I was asked to join in for a game with two guests at the resort and another player staying at the St John Westin, where I'm staying. As it turned out, one of the guests cancelled, so Eric, the tennis pro at the facility, was the fourth. The game was excellent and we had a competitive match, at least in the second set. Eric was gregarious, entertaining, and established a strong standard of play. I hope to have the opportunity to play there again and there is a very nice arrangement for players staying in other hotels or homes on the island to join in.
I strongly recommend the Caneel Bay Resort tennis facility.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank yajiprof
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Caneel Bay Resort

Address: PO Box 720, Caneel Bay 00831-0720, St. John (Formerly Caneel Bay, A Rosewood Resort)
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > U.S. Virgin Islands > St. John > Caneel Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Caneel Bay
Price Range: $535 - $791 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Caneel Bay Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 166
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set on a 170-acre peninsula amid the lush beauty of the Virgin Islands National Park and seven picturesque beaches, Caneel Bay is one of the most breathtaking vacation destinations in the Caribbean. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Caneel Bay, a Rosewood Hotel Caneel Bay
Caneel Bay a Rosewood Resort
Caneel Bay Resort St John
Caneel Bay St John

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