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“B-11 is the "Bargain on the Beach"”

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Crystal Cove Beach Resort on Sapphire Bay
Ranked #13 of 22 Hotels in St. Thomas
Certificate of Excellence
Staunton, Illinois
Level Contributor
89 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“B-11 is the "Bargain on the Beach"”
Reviewed 16 April 2014

One of my bucket list items was to go to St. Thomas and St. John and stay longer than the few hours you get when you are on a cruise ship. Luckily, I stumbled upon unit B-11 in Sapphire Beach Condominiums West. The unit was large and clean and incredibly well stocked with everything you might need to make your beach vacation the best. This unit is on the lower floor----a big plus----- and it is literally a 100 feet from the beach. You even have chair attendants when you get to the beach that monitor and care for the section of the beach in front of Sapphire and provide you with several varieties of lounge chairs. There is plenty of shade, sand, sun, and surf. If you want to snorkel there are reefs on the right and left hand side of the beach and I know some beach goers saw sea life in the sea grass right out in front of the condo .If you rent this unit, the owner will send you, via e-mail, the B-11 Bible, which is a compilation of all the things you need to know about the condo, the area you are in, and the whole of St. Thomas. I referred to this document a lot during our stay with great results. There were comments about restaurants, shopping, getting around, and the various attractions on the island. It was great to have a heads up about the island and all the things to do and possibly not to do while you in St. Thomas.
I would like to recommend to travelers, if you have the means, rent a Jeep. My husband and I really appreciated this vehicle with 4 wheel drive as the roads are steep in some places, but the "dollah bus" does stop on the road right outside the condo if you are unable to secure a car and it runs frequently.
Another great plus about this unit is it's proximity to Red Hook, which is the small village on the east end of the island where you can get the car ferry. or pedestrian ferry to St. John. The car ferry is $54.00 round trip and the beaches on St. John are pristine and well worth the price of the trip. There are also a lot of nice local restaurants and a Food Center grocery store in Red Hook that makes it easy to shop and eat without the hustle and bustle of Charlotte Amalie. I am recommending this condo to my family and friends who want to vacation in St. Thomas. It is much cheaper to rent a condo on a great beach than deal with the high cost of a resort.
Oh, I for got to mention the property has a very nice and very large salt water pool with lounge chairs in either the sun or shade. The owner sent us numerous pictures of the condo and grounds and pool before we arrived, but I was truly surprised by how nice it really is when you get there.

Room Tip: This review is about a condominium----not a hotel. You have a kitchen to cook in, but there are no r...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled solo
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2 Thank Karen5879
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (63)
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English first
Beavercreek, Ohio
Level Contributor
30 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 April 2014

We stayed in unit C-14 for two weeks in March 2014 and have stayed in other units at Crystal Cove several years ago. I'll start out with the good stuff: The unit is as described and the pictures are an accurate representation of the unit. The owner was very responsive to our request for more TP and paper towels as they were almost out when we arrived. There is a nice sized bedroom with King bed and plenty of drawer space and two bathrooms, one adjacent to the bedroom and another just down the hall. The living room is comfortable with a 46" flat screen TV with cable (lots of DVDs in the cabinet) and the kitchen is well stocked with everything for cooking and eating in the unit. The enclosed porch off the living room has a double murphy bed and a dining table and chairs sufficient for six. There is a small desk with printer available (didn't use it) and a modem and router that has wifi available in the unit. Plenty of beach towels and beach equipment are available in the unit. The beach is wonderful and Diane ensures that you have beach chairs set up in the sun or shade of the sea grape trees with a smile. There is a pool in the complex but we have not used it in the 6 weeks we have spent in the complex. While a car is not mandatory, if you are staying for a week or more I would recommend it as the transportation situation on the island runs on island time not yours'. Real close (but not walking distance) to the ferry terminal in Red Hood where you can catch a ferry to St John or the adjacent BVI island. We had a real good time during our visit to St Thomas. Now the not so good stuff: The unit is becoming somewhat dated and is in need of a few repairs and a really good cleaning. The grout in the tile between the living room and the porch is broken and a few of the tiles could easily hurt your feet if you are not careful. The floor in the entire unit needs a heavy duty cleaning. We did our best to clean the living room with the mop provided in the unit but that didn't work too well and we didn't think that should have been our job anyway. The upholstery on the furniture needs a good steam cleaning as it has been sat in too many time by people with suntan lotion on. The person responsible for cleaning the unit between customers needs to be more diligent as we had to clean the chunks off the front of the microwave, the counters were not well wiped off, the hall bathroom floor was not cleaned and the wall needed a good scrubbing.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Dick M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Millbrae, California
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 March 2014

we returned to B11 at Crystal Cove (vrbo.com/168746) for the 3rd year in a row and once again had a marvelous time. The owners of this condo make sure you have everything you need for a relaxed, worry free, vacation. We stayed for 2 weeks this time and had a wonderful trip. This condo is steps from the uncrowded beach. While some of the amenities from the resort next door were gone this year (closed for renovations, I think), it made for a nice quiet stay. Waiters/waitresses continue to be present on the beach, just in case it's too far to walk 100 steps back to the condo for food or drinks :) We plan on returning next year if it's available. The price is right!

Room Tip: Choose B-11 if its available (see vrbo# above), you won't be disappointed.
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank car0lmarraccini
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Essex
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 22 March 2014 via mobile

We enjoyed our stay at the condo. You can't see the ocean from the unit but it's a few steps to the best beach on the island. The unit is an older model built in the 70's like a lot of the places on the islands. The grounds are beautifully groomed with beautiful flowers everywhere. The condo we stayed in D24 was well equipped and very clean. All the necessities of home with linens towels dishes etc. The internet was very spotty but we didn't go on vacation to sit inside and watch tv and play on the internet. Peggy and Bill were awesome. I felt like they were friends before we even met them. I would definitely stay again.

Sindy ~ from Vermont

Stayed March 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Sindy H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cornelius, North Carolina
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 February 2014

I highly recommend C-28 which is listed as VRBO 74814. Just returned from a trip to celebrate my husband's 50th birthday. I had never even considered renting a condo but after seeing the hotel prices for St Thomas I did my homework. After reviewing the VRBO site I emailed Karen who owns C-28 and she answered my million questions and was great to deal with. The condo was updated, immaculate and the kitchen had everything you would ever need. The beach is gorgeous and the property is well maintained. A 3 minute walk and you are at the Sapphire Marina where you can charter any kind of boat for any kind of activity. We chartered Double Header and caught fish which we grilled at the condo. Red Hook is great for shopping and restaurants and it is a 5 minute ride away. Great location, great condo, great value and you will be happy!

Room Tip: Go to VRBO 74814 which is the owners site to rent C-28.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
7 Thank susan020408
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Detroit, Michigan
Level Contributor
17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 February 2014

I booked this unit based on glowing reviews and the price. We stayed at Crystal Cove on Sapphire Beach during a recent holiday.The weather was warm and mostly sunny. The unit has a partial ocean view and is steps to the beach. The area is very nice. When on the beach, you can see St. John and other islands. Here's the downside: When we arrived, we walked into the condo and the stench of mold/mildew was overwhelming. I didn't think we'd be able to stay there but after a day of running the air conditioner and air purifier the smell was not as bad. The interior of the unit was scrappy and is in dire need of updating or at least some fresh paint. Worn furniture, old linens and towels. Pots and pans were really not usable as the non-stick coating was flaking or scraped off. The walls are thin. A neighbor in an upstairs unit woke us up early (around 6:00 a.m.) every morning coughing up his lungs. He was louder than the wild roosters that roam the grounds crowing early. And we wore ear plugs! There was only 1 restaurant, two resorts over which you can cut across the parking lots to get to. At the time, Crystal Cove did not have food or a restaurant. For transportation, they tell you that you can get $1 open air cabs to take you around the island which is great because it's hilly there and difficult to get around. Too dangerous to walk. Unfortunately these "cabs" travel only one way. To go back, you need to hire a private cab which can cost 10X or more i.e. $1 per person to go to town, $8/$10 (avg.) per person to go back. You could rent a car which can be expensive, but traffic is insane during lunch/rush hour and when the cruise ships come in. St. Thomas is a great place for a vacation. There are a lot of sites to see, things to do or just relax on the beach and I would definitely go back. I just wish there was a way to clarify the conditions of the rentals before choosing to where to stay. The reviews for this unit were way off. Obviously they only posted the positive ones. But as the old saying goes, you get what you pay for!

Room Tip: If you are on a tight budget and have low expectations stay here.
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank Former-Ohioan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Norwood, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 February 2014

Just returned from our 4th vacation at Crystal Cove in last 7 years. Been to many islands in the Caribbean and even got married on a beach in Tortola, BVI. But keep coming back to this specific spot because we have found nothing that remotely compares to it. In so many ways the beach matches or exceeds the nearby world-class Megan's Bay on St. Thomas and Trunk Bay on St. John. Stunning view, pristine water, soft and clean white sand, plenty of room - both in the sun or shade of the beautiful trees. The accommodations are top-notch, provided as some reviewers have noted that you make sure you get one of the better ones. Tough to go wrong with any of the suites or studios in Building A, which is situated closest to the beach. (We have always booked with David Paresky at bestbeaches.com and been extremely satisfied.) There is enough in the way of very good restaurants and shops in the Red Hook/East End of the island that you could spend your entire vacation there without having to go anywhere else. However, the fact that you can very easily get to other parts of St. Thomas or other nearby islands makes the Crystal Cove's location even more compelling.

There is an open bus that runs along Rte 38 in front of property but have never taken it and don't know how frequently it runs. Taxis seem plentiful enough and unless you want to do extensive travel around the island, may suffice. Certainly eliminates any parking issues you might have otherwise in Red Hook. But if you're staying for more than several days I'd strongly suggest renting a car at the airport to have transport to/from airport, to/from Food Center to get some groceries (on Rte 32 about 1.5 miles on right beyond Red Hook after Rte 38E becomes Rte 32), and to/from restaurants and other spots in Red Hook and other parts of island. If traveling with someone else, leave that person with luggage at the terminal, and walk up stairs to the rental car lot across the street. Then drive back into the terminal area, getting a ticket at the entry barrier as you do so, pick up the person(s) and luggage, and then exit the airport. The attendant at the exit will take your ticket and raise the barrier for you without your having to pay anything. Do the same thing when returning the car, except leave the person(s) and luggage off at the check-in area before driving the car back up to the rental area, walk back to the rental office to return your slip and keys, and then hook back up with your companion and luggage. Saves the hassle of having to carry luggage up and down stairs between the terminal and rental car lot across street.

If driving to Crystal Cove from the airport, you come out to Rte 30, with a sign indicating you can go right or left - but nothing else. Go right, which is East. Because you can encounter a bit of traffic once you get into the Charlotte Amalie Harbor where the cruise ships dock, I prefer to avoid most of that traffic by taking Rte 35North - left at an island in front of the Justice Bldg., just after getting into the harbor area and having passed what looks like an old white stone fort on your left. This takes you up into the adjoining mountains. (If you can't handle going up and down steep, winding roads, especially where you're driving on the left, don't try this. Enjoy the traffic and follow Rte 30E and hope you overcome the confusing signage and eventually wind up on Rte 38E.) If taking Rte 35N, turn off on Rte 40East, then right onto Rte 42, then finally very sharp left onto Rte 38East. Turnoff for Crystal Cove West is shortly after Sugar Bay Resort, on left at bottom of hill just after you pass a place on left that has "Pavilion" in its name. Easy to miss the small once-white sign for Crystal Cove West. If you get to top of hill with Sapphire Bay Beach Resort on your left you know you've gone too far. If doing same route back to airport and when on Rte 40West, don't take left where you see first Airport sign indicator pointing in that direction. Keep going a little bit further until you see Rte 35 and another Airport sign pointing left.

I have always felt completely safe on the island - day or night. A number of other Caribbean islands have a burnt-out look, but St. Thomas is mountainous and lush and nice to drive around on for sightseeing. All-in-all, it is an idyllic spot to vacation in.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
16 Thank DaveMc2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Crystal Cove Beach Resort on Sapphire Bay

Property: Crystal Cove Beach Resort on Sapphire Bay
Address: Estate Smith Bay, 00802, St. Thomas
Region: Caribbean > U.S. Virgin Islands > St. Thomas
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#11 On the Beach Hotel in St. Thomas
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Crystal Cove Beach Resort on Sapphire Bay 2.5*
Number of rooms: 56
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Also Known As:
Crystal Cove Beach Resort On Sapphire Bay Hotel St. Thomas
Crystal Cove Beach St Thomas
Crystal Cove Condominiums
Crystal Cove Condos St Thomas
Crystal Cove Beach Resort On Sapphire Bay St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

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