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Cottages By The Sea
Ranked #1 of 3 Frederiksted B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 22 June 2009

This was our first trip to St. Croix so we didn't know what to expect. We liked what we saw on the web site and hoped that the description and pictures would be at least similar to what we would find when we arrived. My husband and I could not have been more pleased. It was exactly as pictured! Our room was very nice and comfortable, with everything we needed for a pleasant stay. Cottage By The Sea Staff members were very nice, welcoming, friendly, helpful, & pleasant. Other Guests were friendly. Our privacy was respected and no one bothered us or hovered over us. It was like we had our own private beach cottage. Scenery was beautiful with the Caribbean Sea so clean, clear, various shades of blues, greens, & turquoise. The sea was calm and refreshing and there was a constantly cooling breeze that was "just right" keeping us comfortable. The Caribbean was amazingly comfortable as we never once had to experience that first startling cold water and never had to "adjust" to get used to the temperature. Anytime from early morning to late evening was the "right time" to swim. Snorkeling was great. Many times during our stay we looked at each other and at the same time said, "Can you believe this?!!" If you want a great beach vacation away from the hustle bustle of tourism, try it, you won't regret it. Thank You to all of Cottage By The Sea Staff.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank CrazyaboutCarbbean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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283 - 289 of 333 reviews

Reviewed 7 June 2009

My wife and I stayed at Cottages by the Sea in the Calabash cottage for a week in May 2009. We can’t say enough good things about Cottages and loved every minute of our vacation. In order to make this review has helpful as possible I’ve broken it down by: Location, Staff, Amenities, Island in General (stuff to do, food, etc).

Location:
While St Croix is the largest island in the US VI, it certainly isn’t crowded. We thought it was due to the recession but we were told that generally, it’s always pretty quiet. My wife and I like to avoid crowds. We look for great beaches, quiet areas, peace and relaxation and don’t like trips filled with non-stop activities so this place was perfect for us.

Cottages is right outside Frederiksted, the smaller of the two main cities on the island. The beach was unbelievably beautiful and far superior to any other we saw on the island. The snorkeling off the beach is great and we saw a lot of fish, a giant starfish, and an eel. Cottages is about half a mile from main street in Frederisksted which is an easy walk in the day time but we found there wasn’t much to see there. At night you want to drive since there is a local element that isn’t as friendly.

Cottages is a very quiet place and we didn’t see more than 10 people on the beach at any given time, although there were at least 50 staying at the hotel. It’s an incredibly relaxing atmosphere so if you’re looking for a lot of action or night life, this isn’t the place for you. But if you’re looking for a quiet place to stay on a gorgeous beach with friendly staff, you’ve found your destination.

There is a man who comes by on Tuesdays and Thursdays selling some of the most incredible fruit we've ever had. His mangoes and pineapple are to die for. There is also apparently a person who stops by on Fridays to sell fresh bread but he didn't show up while were there but it's supposed to be delicious.

Most of the really good restaurants are on the other side of the island in Christiansted. We didn’t think it was feasible for taxis to pick us up and shuttle us around so we rented a car and that worked out very well. We drove for an afternoon through the nearby rain forest which we highly recommend (and while you’re there, stop by Hailey’s for an incredible fresh fruit smoothie and check out their petting zoo).

Staff:
The staff at Cottages was warm, friendly, helpful, informed, and pretty much everything you could hope for. Paul, the on-site manager who is also the son of the owners, is a great guy and a wealth of information. Everyone there bent over backwards to help us with our accommodations (we have special requirements due to my wife’s sensitivity to chemicals) and worked with us to make our stay as enjoyable as possible.

Amenities:
At Cottages they have a couple BBQ’s (for those sensitive to smoke the wind takes it right out to the ocean), kayaking gear, snorkeling equipment (though I didn’t find any flippers for large feet), rafts, spaghetti floater things, books, games and a PC for internet access. All of this is free for the guests which is a nice perk. Next door there is a restaurant with good food though they are apparently closed Monday through Thursday.

A supermarket called Plaza Extra is about 5-10 minutes away by car and they have all sorts of food although the prices are on par with or higher in many cases to Whole Foods. They even had our favorite organic cereal. We recommend when you get there, do a shopping trip for food during the day or for breakfast food as many of the local restaurants don’t open until 10 or 11am.

Our cottage was very cute, well laid out and had a kitchen so we made coffee and breakfast in the morning, sat on the beach and read. Good way to start the day. It was only about 15 feet from the beach and we had a beautiful view of the ocean from our breakfast nook and from our patio.

Island in General:
St. Croix is a wonderful place and we plan on returning after we see the rest of the world. Christiansted is somewhat upper-scale and very charming although it was a bit too touristy for us. Frederiksted is where most of the locals live so you get a real flavor for the island by staying there which we loved.

Beaches – the beach to the left of Cottages is where the end of Shawshank Redemption was filmed…so you can picture the white sand and turquoise water. Saying it was gorgeous doesn’t do it justice. The water is so incredibly clear and pretty warm. It was glorious.

Point Udall – The eastern most part of the United States. They have a cool looking monument and it’s a great view…of ocean, but still, a great view and worth doing if you have a car since it’s at the opposite end of the island.

Rain forest – this is an incredibly beautiful place and we highly recommend you visit. We drove through it for the most part but it was an incredible experience. Don’t forget to stop at Haileys to get an amazing organic shake made up of seven or so native fruits.

Cruzan Rum Factory - we took a 15 minute tour of the rum factory and it was an interesting experience. Plus, you get a free rum drink at the end which is cool.

There is some really great food on the island and some of our favorite restaurants were:
- Kendricks – Incredible rack of lamb, steak, amazing patio
- Savant – Beautiful patio in the back, amazing food
- Salud – Incredible dipping sauce, duck, mango cake – Indoors

They don’t really drink coffee on the island so the only place we found that saved us in this regard was Polly’s in Frederiksted. Coffee elsewhere was just bad (with the exception of Savant).

We didn’t really see any typical sunsets since there is a ribbon of clouds that seems to hover right over the middle of the island, out to sea where the sun sets. It’s still beautiful, just not the setting sun we’d come to expect from the Caribbean.

Overall, we had a wonderful time at Cottages and as I mentioned earlier, plan to go back. We offer our highest recommendation for Cottages and for St. Croix – you won’t be sorry.

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Jen D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 April 2009

We stayed at the Cottages by the Sea , with a bunch of Coast Guard Shipmates . This was our second time to St Croix. The Wife & I ENJOYED it much more by staying at the Cottages, then the year before ,we found it was More Relaxing & Friendly . We are coming back to the Cottages this Nov 2009 because of the Value , Location & being just a Great Place . We live on Cape Cod ,Ma. and Enjoy going to St Croix & Staying at the Cottages.

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Joe Q
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 April 2009

I enjoyed a relaxing week at Cottages by the Sea. Don't expect luxury. You may see an insect in your room, but nothing crazy. There's air conditioning and a TV for home like comforts. Lovely kitchens to cook in. I was staying in a cottage that had some construction going on nearby. I talked to the front desk about it and was immediately upgraded to the newly renovated honeymoon suite. I could practically jump into the ocean from my balcony. The beach is wonderful, lots to see if you are a snorkeler. There's a restaurant/bar a stone's throw away, next door. Very nice for a midday pina colada. As I said, don't expect a 5 star hotel. But if you are looking for peace, quiet, a nice beach and friendly atmosphere, this place is for you. Family friendly also with bigger suites.

  • Stayed: August 2007, travelled solo
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1  Thank ajax777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 January 2009

This review is long overdue, but after just coming back from Jamaica and realizing how wonderful St Croix and Cottages by the Sea are, I wanted to write a few quick notes.

My husband and I got married at Cottages by the Sea last December, and had 18 family members and friends join us. We and our immediate family stayed for 2 1/2 weeks. We all loved Cottages (and St Croix). The cottages are really cute and clean and all but one has a kitchen (and the ones they are renovating are really nice - my parents stayed in one that had just recently been done.) The beach is gorgeous and quiet; not many people venture to the West side of the island so we really had the beach mostly to ourselves except for other guests at Cottages, the Sandcastle Hotel, and a few locals at the public beach next door. We realized how nice this is after spending a week in Negril, which is nice in its own way, but is very busy and doesn't have any coral. We love to snorkel, so at Cottages it was so nice just to walk out of the cottages, directly onto the beach and slip into the water and snorkel our way down the coast.

Paul, Andrea (who was the wedding coordinator at the time), and the housekeeping staff were all great - friendly, welcoming and accommodating. Our wedding was beautiful – I worked with Andrea in the months leading up to the wedding to talk about all the details. They did a marvelous job of staging the ceremony on the beach and the dinner in the bbq/patio area. I was in love with the ceremony area - we had a beautiful arch with tulle and draped flowers, chairs with white covers, and shells and flowers down the aisle. Aqua West catered the food and did a great job - the food and dessert bar were excellent. The only thing I was disappointed with was my flowers - but that was the florist's fault, not Andrea's, and she handled it well and got some other flowers added last minute.

Cottages was a great place to relax with our family. We spent lots of time on the beach, swimming, snorkeling, and then cooking our dinners together on the bbq in the evenings.

The only thing that went wrong while we were there was that we had 3 rats in our cottage (we stayed in Charthouse, which is closest to the open field next door). One came on our wedding day and two on my birthday, so while I was freaked out, I chose to believe that they were good luck, as is thought in some eastern cultures. We notified Paul right away though, and he took care of the problem. And the only drawback about our particular cottage was that it was loud most nights – the bass from the nightclub in Frederiksted carried down the coast and came into our cabin. Since there are no windows and just shutters, and the cottage is so close to the water, it was quite loud.

I will also write a full review of our trip to St. Croix in the St Croix forum if you’re interested.

  • Stayed: December 2007, travelled with family
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3  Thank SMKad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Proprietor_127A, Proprietor at Cottages By The Sea, responded to this reviewResponded 29 August 2009

It was a pleasure and a joy to arrange the wedding and to get to know these two guests and their families. They also referred us to a friend of theirs who has stayed here as well.

I wanted to respond to the mention of a mouse in their cottage because we have gotten several comments about that.

There was a small crack in the wall behind the electrical panel in the closet where the conduits entered the cottage and this is where the mouse got into the cottage. Since we patched it up we have not had any problems.

Overall, mice and rates on this property are virtually non-existant. We have been exterminating the property for more than 50 years and we have 3 outside cats. We also do not have a restaurant on the property (next door) and we dispose of our garbage properly. A sandy beach property is also not a favorite habitat of rodents.

We regret that this review could have had the unintended consequence of hurting business. Please rest assured that you will not be disappointed with any mice if you choose Cottages by the Sea as your vacation destination! Thank You

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 December 2008

I stayed at Cottages with two of my best friends in the beginning of December and we all loved it. Coming all the way from snowy Northern-Europe, we didn't want to pick a resort - we wanted to stay somewhere a little more authentic and I'm SO glad we picked this place.
We stayed for 10 days and had the best of time. Our cottage was literally on the beach - just 10 steps and you meet the sea. The beach itself is so lovely, we just couldn't get enough of it.
From what I could gather, our cottage (Chart House) was also the most private one, which we totally appreciated as I am sure other guests did too - three girls can make a lot of noise you know. We had our own little patio (we actually shared it with the local tiny lizards, who were a lot of fun to watch) looking out to the sea, had breakfast and lunch there every day, thoroughly enjoyed it.
We only rented a car for a couple of days of our stay, so most of the time we walked to Frederiksted to get some food - it's the best 10-minute-walk on earth if you choose to walk on the beach instead of taking the road.
However, it is true that Frederiksted is pretty quiet. Not a lot of shops there - and quite hard to get fresh meat, fruit and vegetables from the little mini-marts in town. Restaurants tend to be pretty expensive there as well, which wouldn't be a problem if there were decent food shops around, as you have a fully equipped kitchen in the cottage and the BBQ that you can use as well. When we had the rental car, we got food from Plaza Extra, but that's a good 6-7 miles away I'd say, so you definitely need a car to move further than Frederiksted.
Do go to Turtle's Deli in Frederiksted, you won't regret it! Also, Christiansted is good fun, and if you go, do not give Buck Island a miss. We have never snorkeled before, so we didn't exactly know what to expect, but decided to take one of the Buck Island sailing+snorkeling trips (with Big Beards) and we absolutely loved it! It was fantastic, truly one of the best experiences in my whole life and worth every single penny spent. Would have never ever thought snorkeling is such a magical experience, just a completely another world down there...
All in all, St Croix was a great holiday destination and if I ever venture out to that part of the world again, I'd stay at Cottages again and again and again. The friendly staff, simple but tasteful cottages and just the best beach would always get my vote!

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled with friends
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4  Thank Applefee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 November 2008

We had a fairly large group (15 rooms) of mostly US Coast Guard veterans plus some relatives for this one week get together. Some had been to St. Croix with the same group last year. Paul, Lyndi, Donovan and the staff of Carmen and Rose made the stay enjoyable for all. One of the premiums of the trip was having the snorkeling boat from SCUBA pick the people up right at the beach of Cottages,
Our people enjoyed their accomodations, complete with kitchens and most with awesome views, so much that leaving the property for sightseeing was secondary. The pavilion area was just great for socializing.
This trip was so successful thyat we have booked it again for next year for seventeen rooms.

  • Stayed: November 2008
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1  Thank Eastwind279
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

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: £113 - £168 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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