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!!
- 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