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“Amazing views, average Marriott”

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Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort
GreenLeadersGold level
Cincinnati, Ohio
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Amazing views, average Marriott”
Reviewed 12 November 2013

My husband and I stayed for 6 days in April. The hotel was not overly impressive. The rooms had dirt and mold around the vents on the ceiling. Since the ceilings were vaulted I assume it was too much of a hassle for anyone to get up there and clean. The daily cleaning started out great, but throughout the week it became progressively worse.
The pool was nice. Closed early once due to a "private event, " which was great for those attending, but not so much for those of us that were not.
We enjoyed the weekly manager reception. The staff was ok, but not the most attentive.
We typically purchased breakfast in the gift shop. We did have the breakfast buffet one day and it was worth the price, but not something I would do every day.
I got a pedicure and manicure at their spa. It was overly priced for what I received, but that is probably to be expected at a resort. What bothered me was that the staff was late and the area was cluttered. It was not as relaxing as it should have been.
With all that said, the VI and BVI experience was amazing. I have been all over the Caribbean and Hawaii and by far, the water here was better than anything I have seen. If you go, plan an excursion to Virgin Gorda and the BVI. It will make the entire trip worth it.
We are planning a trip back, but will be staying on the BVI. The island was much nicer and it was an easy ferry ride. If you want to do the VI on a budget or bring kids I would recommend this hotel.

Room Tip: Definitely get an ocean view.
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  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank csgvii
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Joyce G, Director of Sales at Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort, responded to this review, 27 November 2013
Thank you for the review from your April visit. While we do appreciate your complimentary mentions of our pools, manager’s reception and breakfast buffet we are sorry to hear that overall your stay did not meet your expectations. Throughout this last year, we have been making vast improvements in all areas of the property and engaged in several beautification projects. We would love another chance to win your loyalty to St. Thomas and our resort. Your particular suggestions here are very helpful and I will pass them along to our team managers to take immediate corrective measures. Thank you for helping us to make improvements. When you do plan that next trip to the Virgin Islands, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if I can be of assistance. Thank you again for staying with us at the Frenchman’s Reef and Morning Star Beach Resort!
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English first
Irving, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 November 2013

If you want a smelly, over priced hotel, with awful customer service than this is the place for you. We just left today after a week long stay and we couldn't wait to get home. Both my boyfriend and myself live in Marriott hotels about 200 days a year and this was definite not up to standard.

We got put in a room overlooking construction that was on going at 8 pm that smelled like mildew. I called and complained but we told there are no other rooms so we were forced to stay. The next day my boyfriend had horrible allergies from being in a mildew room and I had a sore throat. They said because it was a health hazard that they had to change our room. They wanted to downgrade our room because there was nothing else available and we had to leave our room immediately and couldn't check into a new room until late afternoon. The only reason we did not get downgraded was because I called and filed a compliant with Marriott platinum.

The new room did not smell however the hallways and several common areas stunk. The property looks ok but when you start really looking you see the rust on the metal, black mold in the shower, and broken down elevators and overall maintenance issues.

The food is over priced which did not surprise us but the poor customer service made it unacceptable. Calling down with requests or items never to be delivered. Eating at a restaurant and watching others who came in after you get food and you not even getting your drink refilled.

We regret our trip here and want to make sure others don't make the same mistake!

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank Lauren M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Joyce G, Director of Sales at Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort, responded to this review, 18 November 2013
Thank you for your review. I am sorry to hear your stay fell short of expectations in many areas. Please know that our leadership team takes the constructive feedback of guests seriously in our efforts. We are currently in the process of many beautification projects at our property which will address some of the issues you mentioned. With new resort leadership, we are excited for all the improvements to come. If there is anything further I can assist you with, please feel free to reach out to me through email at sttfrefperienceteam@marriotthotels.com and reference this review. We hope to have the opportunity to show you the level of hospitality we are known for.
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Coastal NC
Level 6 Contributor
125 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 November 2013 via mobile

My wife and I stayed here while in St. Thomas attending a friend's wedding. We had an oceanfront room in the Morningstar beach resort.
The room and balcony were clean and very spacious. You can hear the waves crashing on the beach, wonderful for falling asleep! No mildew, bugs or other undesirables to be found. The beds were very comfortable and so were the pillows (which, in the opinion of this frequent business traveler, is very important and highly underrated).

If you are a light sleeper, request a room farther away from the SandBar and Havana Blue as they host wedding parties/events on the weekend. Refrigerator, icemaker and safe in our room, all worked perfectly. We did find room service to be spotty, as the room was routinely cleaned late in the day and they would do strange things like leave six coffee packs and one convenience packet of creamer/sugar. Or they wouldn't leave any bottled water (which you receive for free) and when you would call to inquire about it, they would show up with 6-7 bottles of water. Odd...

The resort was beautiful, tastefully decorated (think Caribbean plantation), very clean and well-maintained. The beach was wonderful: crystal clear water with plenty of chaise lounges, umbrellas and very spread out. The only place where people crowded together was right in front of Coco Joe's, but those were wedding parties and they chose to hang out like that. It wasn't very bad. We thought the $35 resort fee was fair, considering all that was included (kayaks, Hobie Cats, floats, life preservers, snorkel equipment, chairs and umbrellas). By the way, if you want shade, there are plenty of umbrellas. get down to the beach early. There are also large sea grape trees right on the beach that can shade 6-8 beachgoers all day!

Without belaboring the issue, we found the SandBar to be overpriced (three beers, one Painkiller and four tiny and unremarkable shrimp/lobster tacos resulted in a $91 tab-yikes!). We didn't try Havana Blue, but others said it was really good. On the other hand, we were very pleased with the quality and quantity of food you received in the Marriott-owned restaurants. Hint: We found many times we could have split an entree at Coco Joe's and been full when we left. Servers in the restaurants were always courteous and we found many of them to be very friendly and outgoing. Our favorite dish was the braised pork sandwich at Coco Joe's.

We will definitely come back here and stay at Morning Star.

Here are some things to keep in mind if you've never stayed on St. Thomas:

1. Nearly every product has to be shipped here by sea or air, making everything much more expensive. After the resorts tack on their price markup you'll spend 200%-400% of what you would spend at home in the States on normal items. Nothing will ruin your visit to paradise faster than seeing your vacation budget destroyed because you didn't plan for everything to be so expensive.

TIP: Go into town and hit a grocery store for some less-expensive provisions (snacks, soda, alcohol or whatever). Even if you take a cab/ferry you'll still come out ahead. If you're out and about, tip your driver a few extra bucks and ask him/her to make a quick stop at a grocery store. This isn't about being a cheapskate, folks; during a 4-day stay a couple can easily save HUNDREDS of dollars by doing this. Pack a soft-sided cooler in your luggage and you're ready to take your cheap(er) beverages to the beach.

2. None of the hotels on the island provide free shuttles; the taxi companies on St. Thomas have made it so everyone must travel by taxi. And it isn't cheap: plan on spending $14-$20 per person roundtrip anytime you leave the resort by taxi. Marriott has a passenger ferry that goes to Charlotte Amalie (right across the bay) for $14 roundtrip. Don't blame the taxi drivers, they make an hourly wage. We found every taxi driver to be courteous and friendly. Tip them well!

3. If you want to shop in Charlotte Amalie, go on Saturday. Why? No cruise ships dock in St. Thomas on Saturdays, which means less crowding, much better deals at the jewelry stores downtown and a much more pleasant experience overall.

4. Keep in mind that if you stay at a hotel/resort away from the big towns (Charlotte Amalie, Red Hook, etc.), these locations are quite isolated and you have limited options for dining or shopping without paying exorbitant taxi rates. While we had excellent food and service at the Marriott restaurants, pay attention to the on-site restaurant/bar/shop reviews when selecting a hotel.

Enjoy!

Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
7 Thank Bunky1998
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Joyce G, Director of Sales at Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort, responded to this review, 18 November 2013
Thank you for these great tips! Wonderful review of Morning Star Beach Resort! We just put the finishing touches on our updates to that section of the property and appreciate the acknowledgement of the spaciousness, cleanliness and great pillows! Also, we’re delighted to hear your experiences at our restaurants were excellent, particularly Coco Joe’s. To add to your traveler’s advice, we would just like to invite anyone planning travel to feel free to contact our pre-arrival team here at the hotel by phone or email. We can assist you and help explore all your island options. Thanks again and we look forward to your return trip!
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Madison, Wisconsin
Level 6 Contributor
76 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 November 2013

Marriott

I stayed at the hotel for six nights in late October. I went for business and booked several rooms for a group. My pre-arrival experiences were positive with both the on-site conference planning/sales team and the telephone reservation agents. The ride from the airport was a little under 20 minutes on paved, but narrow roads. I was greeted by a sales manager and had a very smooth checkin process. However, I should note that there were two pretty long lines of people checking in. I am sure the wait was made bearable by the rum punch being served in the open air lobby.

Positives: In general St. Thomas and St. John are two of the most beautiful islands I have been to and I have traveled quite a bit in the Caribbean. There are many options for great scenic pictures. The lobby at the Marriott and open air rum bar were as beautiful as the website. The infinity pool and regular pool were spacious enough and well-kept though there was one section closed for renovations. Quite possibly the best part of the hotel's private dock where they had a welcome party that evening. It feels as though you are right on the water at the dock. There is also a beautiful little waterfall between the main building and morning star. The Marriott beds were very comfortable as usual. The hotel was pretty close to town if you wanted to go in to shop.

Negatives: Watch your bill closely as there were a few charges they did not belong to me on my final bill. I assume this is because they don't ask for ID when you get the number of restaurant. While they didn't seem reluctant to fix, I found that the front desk staff wasn't particularly helpful. There was one female staff member in particular who was unpleasant and gave different answers to the same questions to different people in my party. I spoke to the manager about her as he noticed her unpleasantries. I spent at least two hours at the front desk time trying to sort things out from the various rooms I had booked and charged. The person cleaning my room did the less than the bare minimum. She left us without enough towels for two people, including no face towels. She did not restock the toiletries, put the ironing board up, nor bother to clean the toothpaste splatter from the mirror. After two days of that nonsense, we just decided to put the do not disturb sign on the door. There is a hefty resort fee but I did not feel as though I received any amenities that are typically on a resort. There was Internet that worked beautifully by the way and a gym, but there was no pool aerobics, activities or entertainment in the lobby.

Indifferent: The rooms needed a little updating, but it's semi-saving grace was the beautiful open air door. I did not have a balcony and my room was over the front lobby, but the view was still beautiful nonetheless. The staff in general at the front desk, restaurant and even people we passed in the hallway would always speak and smile but they didn't seem overly interested in offering a customer service. For example in one of the restaurants three staff people talked to each other for 5 minutes while we waited to have our order taken. I'm really unclear what the adventure desk was for. It's seemed to serve at the concierge as well but when asked a question there weren't clear answers provided. I asked about the time an on site restaurant stopped serving and one of the adventure desk people told me I don't know versus looking it up or calling them.

Overall, the beauty of the islands made up for some of the gaps in customer service and older hotel.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 2SunSisters
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Joyce G, Director of Sales at Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort, responded to this review, 18 November 2013
Thank you for your generous compliments and suggestions. We appreciate you taking the time to share your honest feedback, as guest reviews are an important part of improving our services. On behalf of our staff, I'd like to extend my apologies for the communication issues you experienced with our team. We sincerely regret any inconveniences that this may have caused. It is very important to us that our guests enjoy the best possible experience. If there is anything further you would like to discuss, please feel free to reach out to me through the hotel. Thank you and we hope we’ll have the chance to welcome you and your group back again.
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Omaha, Nebraska
Level 6 Contributor
157 reviews
63 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 November 2013

I would say this is a typical chain resort hotel. Rooms are ok, mostly clean. Staff is usually friendly, with some easily able to make you feel like a good friend. Restaurants are expensive with decent food. The biggest problem is a lack of consistency, everything from food to room cleaning can be good one day and poor the next.

There are really only two good choices for rooms IMHO, the main building on the hill which is where the restaurants and pools are (ie the "action") but is a bit far from the beach. Or Morningstar where the rooms are spread out for a more resort like experience and closer to the beach but a long haul or shuttle bus ride to the main building.

I'd avoid the sea cliff and harbor wings as they seem older and have more problems.

Stayed November 2013, travelled on business
Helpful?
Thank ronin308
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Joyce G, Director of Sales at Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort, responded to this review, 18 November 2013
Thank you for sharing your experience! We take all these comments as direction for our improvement. The honest impressions of guests are very helpful for our leadership team. In that vein, your compliments on cleanliness and friendliness are appreciated. We hope to welcome you back soon!
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Independence, Kentucky
1 review
Reviewed 10 November 2013

My husband and I traveled to St. Thomas for our honeymoon for 7 nights. We enjoyed everything the hotel had to offer. The only problem was the front desk staff. As a manager at another Marriott property, I know things get busy so you can't always give supurb service. However, at check-in, we were in line for at least 30 mintues with only one front desk agent on staff. This was at 9PM on a Sunday night. The gentleman who ended up helping the front desk agent check people in was fantastic. He offered us free drinks at the bar due to the long wait. This was above and beyond. After traveling for 17 hours to get to our destination this was refreshing. He was great! We had inquired about upgrading, of course we wanted to pay for the upgrade, and when we called down to the desk to see if it was an option, the agent who answered was rude, said she would check with her manager and call back. When she failed to call back 45 minutes later, I called again asking if it was a possiblity. If not we were okay with our current room. She stated we were on a discounted rate so we didn't even have the option. When I asked about paying to upgrade she grunted, said it was not going to happen and hung up the phone. Needless to say, we then avoided any staff we could due to the experience we had at check-in with the wait and lack of staffing and then with the rude phone call. We also had called for towels halfway through our week since we didn't want houskeeping to enter our room. We then had to call 4 TIMES for towels to be delivered. All of ours were dirty, waiting an hour and a half for fresh towels made us miss our dinner reservations causing a slight hiccup in our vacation. If we decide to come back for our anniversary we will make sure we have enough time for the staff to take their time with our stay.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kristina K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Joyce G, Director of Sales at Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort, responded to this review, 18 November 2013
Congratulations! Thank you for choosing Frenchman’s Reef for this first very special occasion as a married couple. I am glad to hear your experience overall was a great one but am disturbed by the communication you experienced at the front desk. If there is any other information you would like to share you feel would be helpful for our leadership team, feel free to reach out to us via email at sttfrexperience@marriotthotels.com and reference this review. I would welcome the opportunity to be in contact with you and hope to meet you on your anniversary!
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Blaine, Minnesota
Level 6 Contributor
137 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 November 2013

This is a nice very large resort even though it doesn't feel very large. There is a hotel plus several villa's. They have several restaurants, a couple of pools, views to die for, and of course the beach. They offer ferry service to and from Charlotte Amille for shopping. There are many different activities that you can sign up for like tours, etc.. As a guest of the hotel you can use the beach chairs, kayaks, paddle boards, paddle boats, floaties, snorkel equipment, etc.. The rooms were clean and had wifi service. I had a beach front villa with a patio. I couldn't get any closer to the beach. For the most part the staff was friendly. Every once in a while you would pass someone on the sidewalk and they didn't acknowledge that you were there but that was rare and happens everywhere. In fact if I was sitting on the patio, they all said hello, good morning, good day, etc. I was impressed.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Dang22391
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Joyce G, Director of Sales at Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort, responded to this review, 18 November 2013
Thank you for your review. I appreciated reading your descriptions of our resort, amenities and the way you were treated by our staff. You can be assured that every time you visit, you will receive the same warm responsiveness. I’m glad to hear your room was clean, WiFi good and all within footsteps of the beach. We hope another visit is in your plans!
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Additional Information about Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort

Property: Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort
Address: 5 Estate Bakkeroe, Charlotte Amalie 00802, St. Thomas
Region: Caribbean > U.S. Virgin Islands > St. Thomas > Charlotte Amalie
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 7 Hotels in Charlotte Amalie
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort 4.5*
Number of rooms: 453
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Surrounded on three sides by stunning Caribbean ocean views, the Frenchman's Reef Resort combines modern luxury and the unique Virgin Island style of St. Thomas. The hotel features clean, crisp large guest rooms with flat screen 50" TVs. Experience new resort features including an infinity pool, children's splash zone, adult infinity pool with bar; and private spa pool. Our Lazule Sea Spa is now open featuring extensive treatment rooms, salon, state of the art fitness center, and private spa pool with cabanas. Aqua Terra is one of three restaurants at Frenchman's Reef which features spectacular views of the Charlotte Amalie harbor. Our mission is to host you brilliantly... To make your every event and stay with us unforgettable and effortless. Come visit us at Marriott Frenchman's Reef and Morning Star Beach Resort and discover the most luxurious vacation destination in the US Virgin Islands. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Marriott Frenchman`s Reef & Morning Star Beach Hotel Charlotte Amalie
Marriott Frenchman`s Reef And Morning Star Beach Resort
Marriott Charlotte Amalie
Charlotte Amalie Marriott
Marriott Frenchmans Reef
Frenchmans Reef St Thomas
Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort St. Thomas/Charlotte Amalie

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