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“Great Beach, Fairly average hotel”

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Cottages By The Sea
Ranked #1 of 3 Frederiksted B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Great Beach, Fairly average hotel”
Reviewed 30 July 2014

We stayed at Cottages for a week this summer. I chose it based on the Trip Advisor reviews. While we had a great time, the stay at Cottages was about average. When I read through the reviews now, it almost seems as if I stayed at a different place. The main thing that drew me to the Cottages were the rave reviews of the staff, the owner and the family like atmosphere. It brought to mind Norm from Cheers - "where everybody knows your name". However, what we encountered was a standard hotel, great location, and generally apathetic staff. We might stay here again but with tempered expectations.

Location - right on a beautiful beach frequented by locals. We enjoyed interacting with the local children and met several dogs on the beach which we loved. The water is beautiful and Cottages provides snorkel equipment which we used.

Room/ Cottage - Adorably decorated and has everything you need for a long stay, including the cute kitchen. Our issues with the room were related to noise and supplies. The rooms do not seem to be built to reduce noise - we were able to hear our neighbors and their infant regularly and loudly. We got to hear the morning wake up cry, the nap time cry and the bedtime cry. All rooms were booked so we were not able to change rooms. We also got to hear a nasty argument between two staff members outside our back window (which was closed, to no avail). One man was accusing another of stealing his laptop and much yelling and swearing occurred. No one was at the front desk to address the issue and honestly, we were a bit frightened.

Room/ Housekeeping - our housekeeper was great, very friendly and probably the staff member we spoke to most often. The issue was that as the week progressed, we got fewer and fewer towels. We stopped getting hand towels and wash cloths by the 4th day. We would come in to just the bath towels and maybe one beach towel.

Staff - by this I mean the front desk staff. This was my biggest disappointment with Cottages. Through all the prior reviews that I read, the one constant seemed to be how great the staff is - how friendly and helpful they all were. We did run into two staff members that were friendly and helpful. We were in a great mood, we were on vacation - I say this because I approached every staff member with a smile and a how are you? I did not get that in return. The two women who work the front desk were seemingly annoyed each time we approached them and at one or two points, rude. One woman never seemed to recognize us and asked us on two occasions if we were staying there before she helped us. I was pretty shocked as we had full interaction with her for several minutes, and the number of guests isn't so large that you would think you would be recognized. But within a day or so of meeting us, she looked at us as blankly as ever. Both women would answer my query of "how are you today", but not ask in return, staring at me until I got to the point. They never said "Good morning", "how are you", "how's your stay"? never any sort of greeting whatsoever. It was up to me to greet them and state my purpose. In fact, through about half a dozen interactions with these two women, neither ever smiled. It was very weird and quite different from the reviews.

And, we never did meet the owner. From other reviews, it seems it would have been lovely. Maybe he was out of town - just our luck. If we go back to St, Croix I am not sure if I would stay here again - they do seem to have the best beach in town and definitely have reasonable rates for the island. All said, we did have a wonderful trip. We really loved the people of the island and the activities that we did. However, Cottages by the Sea was just the place we stayed, not a factor that would bring us back.

Do the ATV tour with Gecko Tours - it was a blast!!

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank MonBelle2300
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Proprietor_127A, Owner at Cottages By The Sea, responded to this review, 30 August 2014
Thank you for your review. This is Paul, your owner and host. I am sorry that we did not meet. I was off island for the funeral of a dear friend of Cottages by the Sea when you arrived, and when I returned I was busy getting caught up on missed work. I usually do not go door to door to meet guests, because most guests prefer their privacy, but if anyone wants to meet me then just leave a message at the office for me to come to your Cottage to say hello and I will.

I apologize profusely for the altercation outside your back window. We were made aware of the argument, at that time, by another guest. The argument was between the man who fixed our computers and another client of his. We want to assure all potential guests that there was not a computer stolen and this computer technician was asked to leave the property permanently, so hopefully we will not have this problem again in the future.

You indicated in your review “that the rooms do not seem to be built to reduce noise and that you could hear a baby crying from the cottage next door”. We want to assure everyone we have been working diligently for years to reduce the noise in the rooms and we rarely get complaints. The windows in your Cottage are impact resistant, glass louvered, windows that seal at the seams, so it is reasonable for us to expect these windows to keep the bulk of the noise out of your cottage for the average person if they are closed tightly. If your windows were open, then there is little we can do to keep out potential noise from the outdoors. Also, the cottage that you stayed in has cement walls and a cement ceiling. We also made sure that the front doors and all the windows in each cottage are located far apart – just to reduce noise. The adjoining door between cottages really consists of 3 adjoining doors and a closet, and placed in the kitchen also to reduce noise. We really did our best to reduce the noise in your cottage and feel these efforts are more than reasonable and acceptable to the average person. If we had another cottage available, we would have been more than happy to move you and even upgrade you to waterfront for no additional charge. July is one of our busiest months of the year, however, because so many families are traveling, so unfortunately we had no other cottage available to move you to.

We also apologize that you did not care for the two ladies who work the day shift at our front desk. Both ladies work part time and are responsible, sophisticated, mature individuals and I am scratching my head over your comments. We have never had a complaint before about our office staff, but I have read your comments to them, they feel bad, and have both told me that they will try to smile more often and be more consistent in the future.

Thank you for all your other positive comments about the hotel and our location. I think Trip Advisor really benefits small hotels by helping guests to find unique accommodations that they feel comfortable booking. Please keep in mind that 5 Stars on Trip Advisor does not mean we are a 5 Star Hotel. It does mean that guests have been pleasantly surprised at the quality of their unique stay while at the same time considering the price they are paying and the location of the hotel.

I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for taking the time to post these reviews! We do read and appreciate all feedback from our guests!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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324 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (86)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Albany, New York
Level Contributor
15 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 July 2014 via mobile

If you're like us and want the best beach possible--smallest waves, clearest water, best snorkeling, super easy access for kids--and you don't mind renting a car and driving for groceries (or anything, for that matter), then this is your place!!
We loved it from the first second we got there (though the town of Fredericksted took a few days to warm up to).
Best features for a family:
--got two connected rooms for a reasonable price
--they are willing to move beds/furniture around to accommodate families
--snorkeling/beach directly out your door
--big private patios
--numerical, 4-digit entry codes to your cottage (I can't stress enough how awesome that is with little kids!)
--kayaks to use whenever (we paddled down to Sandy Point)
--swam with a sea turtle up by the condos closer to Sandy Point!!
--horses swimming and training for the track in the morning right in front of the cottages
--bedding was high quality (ours was Tahari--super-soft quilts!)

My suggestions for those traveling here:
--if you only like gated communities and squeaky clean areas, this is not the place for you--Cottages is super clean but not Fredericksted (or the area between Cottages an the town)
--if you don't feel comfortable renting a car, this is not the place for you
--if driving 20-25 minutes to Christiansted sounds like too far, don't stay here
--the grocery stores are a little sketchy, so heads-up
--I would bring my own snorkel and mask--there weren't a ton left in the communal cabinet

Next time, all I would bring (in a carry-on) is a bathing suit, flip flops, sneakers (for awesome nearby excursions), coverup, snorkel, mask and lots of $$$ for the restaurants and groceries!!

Stayed July 2014
Helpful?
5 Thank SarahAndBray77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
24 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 July 2014

If you're expecting this to be a 5 star hotel, you will be disappointed. But it is clean. The staff are extremely friendly. The price is great. One really nice touch was that when we were shown to the room, there was a bottle of Rum and a couple of cokes on the table waiting for us.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Christopher W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
L.A., Ca.
Level Contributor
34 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 July 2014

We wanted to NOT be in a large touristy hotel and Cottages By The Sea was highly recommended by our friends living in Frederikstead. There are maybe a dozen little cottages sprinkled amongst a nicely landscaped garden most with a view of the Caribbean and each decorated with a different motif. Our cottage was Caravelle and we were delighted with the large spacey light filled accommodation. We had a partial ocean view, decently comfortable king size bed plus a twin, full kitchen, sofa and large bathroom with a huge walk in shower. The outside covered dining area and gas grill came in handy for entertaining. We spent our days strolling the beautiful beach and visiting with other guests staying at the cottages. It seems that many of the guests have been coming here for years and had so many nice things to say about the place. Cottages does have its quirks there can be the odd power failure but Paul the owner was quick to fire up the generator or to relocate us for the evening to another cottage with power. This is not a place for those looking for the amenities offered by a hotel it is a charming idyllic funky little spot for those who wish to have peace, the sea and simple yet comfortable accommodations !!!

Room Tip: We had a chance to view most of the cottages all of them have their own charm and are very nicely de...
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank DTousche
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Conover, North Carolina
Level Contributor
27 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 July 2014 via mobile

Every day just gets better and better. The staff waited up for us after our plane was delayed. The rooms are not 5 star but they don't claim to be and the sunsets make up for that. Maid service is respectful and helpful.

Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
2 Thank Chuck F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 June 2014

This was our second annual trip to St. Croix and this year was even better than the last. Last year we stayed at The Buccaneer which was very nice but, we wanted to be able to make our own meals and we wanted to be on the West End of the Island for the amazing beaches. Cottages definitely did not disappoint!. We stayed in Cowry Shell which is actually promoted as being 40 steps from the beach. To be honest, I don't think the distance matters as every cottage is essentially "on the beach". Don't let this be a concern when booking your room. It is a smaller cottage but, the kitchen is fully equppped with everything that you need and the beds and bathroom are very comfortable and clean. We met some amazing people and enjoyed lounging on the beach in addition to taking a daily bike ride with the free bikes provided by the hotel. The restaurant located next door had good drinks and food and offered amazing views of the island. We plan to return again next year and will definitely be staying at The Cottages.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank rybnole
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lubbock, Texas
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 June 2014

Great beach, accommodating staff. Loved being able to cook in the room. Frederiksted not very inviting but the cottages were a great sanctuary. The have a bottle of Rum and cokes in your room when you arrive. Extras at no charge like snorkel gear, kayak and suntan lotion. Staff friendly and I felt secure in the accomodations

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Dana G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Cottages By The Sea

Property: Cottages By The Sea
Address: 127A Estate Smithfield, Frederiksted 00840-4048, St. Croix
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > U.S. Virgin Islands > St. Croix > Frederiksted
Amenities:
Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 B&Bs / Inns in Frederiksted
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Cottages By The Sea 3*
Number of rooms: 27
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Established in 1949, Cottages by the Sea is a family owned and operated, beachfront, boutique hotel, located just south of the town of Frederiksted on the island of St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands. Our goal is to provide our guests with a quiet, friendly, relaxed, truly authentic Caribbean beach vacation. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Cottages By The Sea Hotel Frederiksted
Cottages By The Sea St. Croix/Frederiksted, U.S. Virgin Islands

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