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“Incredibly Beautiful, Peaceful Resort”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Caneel Bay Resort

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Caneel Bay Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Caneel Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Bryn Mawr, PA
Level Contributor
397 reviews
125 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 356 helpful votes
“Incredibly Beautiful, Peaceful Resort”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 13, 2014

Having stayed here once over 20 years ago, my husband and I returned with our teenage daughter, and are now wondering why we've bothered with other Caribbean resorts in the intervening years. In all honesty, we were worried that we would find the place to be down-at-the-heels based on some reviews, but that was not the case at all: Caneel is even more lovely than we remembered -- it's simply magnificent. True, the rooms are not luxurious but functional and could use an overhaul, but the property and setting more than make up for that. Our rooms on Scott Beach were mere feet from the beach and from the much-appreciated Beach Bar. While many of the rooms at the resort are beachfront, we thought the view from Scott was the most beautiful. Frankly, in our opinion it beats the view at every other Caribbean resort, including those on St. Lucia, and that's saying something! The quiet atmosphere at Scott was enhanced by the fact that children younger than 12 are not permitted there most of the year, and by the resort's request that any radios/personal music devices be kept to the lowest possible volume. In fact, the absence of piped-in music at breakfast and in the public areas was a welcome change from many other beach resorts.

My techie daughter was concerned at first about the WiFi service, but we had no problem with internet reception either on the beach or in the rooms. Every staff member was exceptionally warm and friendly and made us all feel completely welcome at every turn. The food at all of the restaurants was very good, so we felt no need to leave the property for a meal. My husband said the zuppa di pesce at Turtle Bay Estate House was the best he's ever had. The level of service was unmatched. When our daughter had a question about having a special appetizer prepared, the chef himself came out to make suggestions in order to provide her with exactly what she wanted.

We are so glad that we decided to return to Caneel, and are now hoping to make it a regular family destination, as it is for so many for such obvious reasons.

Room Tip: Scott Beach is very quiet.
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank BrynMawrBK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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667 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (252)
Date | Rating
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English first
Raleigh, North Carolina
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 10, 2014

My husband and I were married at Caneel Bay this past June. We had the most amazing time. Everything from working with the wedding coordinator, Vera, to arriving at the airport and having to get to the court house on St. Thomas, to the day we departed was nearly perfect.

We chose Caneel because of the ease of everything, plus the staff was incredibly responsive with the planning process. We arrived on a Friday afternoon and the Caneel taxi took us quickly to pick up our marriage license. We hopped on the Caneel ferry and enjoyed a refreshing rum punch after traveling all day.

Once at the resort, we were given a hot towel to refresh ourselves and then we hopped into a golf cart and were taken to our room, Cottage 7B. It was beyond gorgeous. The decor is perfect for an island and the integrity of Caneel has been kept intact despite new ownership.

We enjoyed the all of the restaurants at Caneel and enjoyed all of them. Turtle Bay Estate House was my favorite and the setting was absolutely beautiful. Cannella was really nice for a quick coffee or gelato. We had paninis there which were also tasty.

The beds were comfortable, the shower was spacious, the housekeeping staff was wonderful, the grounds were beautifully kept and it was an all around great time. Of course there are wild donkey and deer on the island so there are droppings but they are not on the paths and are mostly contained to the grassy areas, which is fine, because we spent the majority of our time on the beach anyway. The animals are incredibly friendly and it was a treat to be so close to the deer everyday.

The beaches were gorgeous and it was nice to have adults only space. We did notice some families wandered onto the beach with their kids who were having a good time as kids would, and the beach bar staff was quick to remind them that the beach was adults only and the families were respectful of that and went elsewhere. It was lovely to kick back, read a book, drink a passion colada, and enjoy the days leading up to our wedding as well as the remainder of our trip as husband and wife.

I feel like the staff went above and beyond to make sure our stay was absolutely perfect and magical, from the minute we arrived until we left.

I miss Caneel and cannot wait to go back!!

Room Tip: Cottage 7 is amazing! Excellent ocean view with privacy from beach goers.
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Stephanie H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
16 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 9, 2014

Caneel bay is exactly what you would think of when you say beach vacation! We were fortunate to right on the beach (as I think MANY of the rooms are!) Open the door and walk right out to the water...paradise. The rooms are small, and a little outdated, but clean and comfortable. At first I was a little worried that there were no TVs in rooms, but soon learned why...who needs one when surrounded by all the beauty. Walked into town for breakfast each morning and had a great time. Really enjoyed the trip! If you get the chance hire a boat (and bring your passport) to tour some of the other islands! AWESOME!

Room Tip: Beach front
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Kikiheff1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 9, 2014

I was worried about the rooms from other reviews but they were great - and we usually like to stay at Four Seasons, One and Only type places when we go away. Only complaint is no TV but we just used our ipads at night.

Beaches are unbelieveable!

Several great food options onsite but town is a short cab ride away with many, many options (we ate at Fatty Crab two nights in a row).

Service is slow - but - its the carribbean.
We will absolutely go back.

Room Tip: I think we had room 31 which was not beach front but 1 level below that - and it was the perfect dis...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank CBKenny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
94 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 8, 2014 via mobile

I can't say enough good things about Caneel Bay. This was our first trip to Caneel with our kids, and we can't wait to get back! We were in an oceanfront room which was set up perfectly with two twin beds and a king.
We spent very little time in the room anyway, as there was just too much to enjoy around the resort and the islands. The beaches around Caneel are unreal, a great place to see turtles, rays, fish, barracudas, etc.
The service is FANTASTIC. Everything is attended to and immaculate. We've travelled there as a couple several times previously, and service is always nothing less than spectacular.
Can't think of a better place to relax and unplug. Won't stay anywhere else on St John (assuming I can afford it). Will be back soon!

Stayed June 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank mtomko
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 7, 2014 via mobile

Caneel bay exceeded all of my expectations! The food, accommodating, my kids had the best time, the beaches were amazing, staff was lovely. We paddle boarded and kayaked everyday. We stayed in The main beach Caneel bay and it was perfect! Breakfast every morning was delicious, zozo's was super yummy and so was the turtle bay house! I love it here and I cannot wait to come back!

  • Stayed July 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Christina C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 7, 2014

Lovely location, but the service is horrible. The majority of staff members I encountered were either indifferent or rude. For the price, I expect at least courtesy, if not true effort to make me feel welcome.

My garden-view accommodations were quite nice, and about what I had expected. However, the customer service was the absolute worst. My arrival started on a negative note with the team who met the incoming ferry at dockside. They were were short tempered and curt. One of them repeatedly tried to check me in under my father's room (we have the same last name) and was downright rude when I tried to correct the error. My room key didn't work, and she left me standing outside my door while she went to get a new one. When I pointed out that my "porch" light was burned out, I was told I'd have to take that up with maintenance (which I did; it was never fixed).

The next morning, I asked the concierge desk for directions to my sister's wedding at Hawksnest Beach. I was told that I needed to check with my sister on how she expected guests to get there. I experienced this sort of behavior throughout my stay -- rude, bored, indifferent staff who took no time and even less care to make me feel welcome. From the bartender who grudgingly made me one drink when I arrived at the bar and then closed my tab because it was "nearly last call anyway" to the waitstaff at breakfast who huffed and made a face when I asked for a bigger table because my parents would shortly be joining me. It truly got to the point where I was surprised if someone was nice.

This is truly inexcusable at a self-described "luxury" resort charging upwards of $400 a night. Other hotels in this tier make sure my every need is met, and then meet some needs I don't know I have. They learn my name. They fix problems. When I'm lost, they walk me to my destination, not point vaguely and turn away. Oh, and they don't charge extra for things like bottled water in the room. I mean, come on.

This was the experience of everyone in our wedding party, including the bride and groom. They were mortified that they'd brought family and friends to a place that treated them so indifferently. As a group, none of us would recommend this hotel to anyone. It may have been elite at some point, but it's not anymore.

Room Tip: Ask in advance for a room near the main building. My sister's room was at the other end of the 1...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
19 Thank Anne H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MDCaneel, General Manager at Caneel Bay Resort, responded to this review, July 8, 2014
Dear Anne H,
Thank you for sharing your review on Tripadvisor. While I am pleased to hear you enjoyed your accommodations and our property, I would like to extend my personal apologies to you for the disappointment you have shared regarding the service provided by our staff members. We take great pride in extending all the courtesies Caneel Bay has to offer our guests, and it is always our goal, collectively, to provided our guests with a most memorable experience; it is truly unfortunate that we fell short in the experience provided to you and your party. I have shared your comments with our entire team, to ensure each experience provided is most gracious and pleasant as our guests have come to expect. Once again, thank you for sharing your experience and providing us the opportunity through your most important feedback.
Sincerely,
Nikolay Hotze
Managing Director
Caneel Bay Resort
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Caneel Bay Resort

Property: 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 Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Caneel Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Caneel Bay Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 166
Reservation Options:
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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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