We stayed at Frenchman's Reef about 2 1/2 weeks ago. We were in STT for our daughter's wedding (NOT held at the hotel although we did see a couple of weddings on the property and a nice reception outdoors one night) but all of the guests (other than the wedding party who stayed in a villa on the island with the bride and groom) stayed either at the Reef or in the rooms on Morningstar Beach. Having experienced some of the "chip on the shoulder" service and attitude at times when at hotels on various islands in the caribbean, we were prepared for such service (esp. after reading some of the reviews on here) and vowed not to let it ruin our stay. However, we were met with courtesy and smiles nearly everywhere on the resort's property, both from local staff and those not from STT. Although most of the wedding guests reserved their rooms through a special reservations link for the wedding guests, my husband and I, as well as our son, booked on the regular Marriott site. (Don't forget to check their specials on their site and use any discount affilitations you have.)
Most of the guests in our group were given rooms in the main bldg. attached to the lobby bldg. We had reserved 2 rooms, a water view for ourselves and an island view for my sister to share with my niece. I had requested a high floor with a good view. We were offered a room at ground level w/a walk out patio in the main bldg., OR a room on a high floor in the Harbor View wing (I think it's called that?) facing Charlotte Amalie's harbor with a view of the Cove down to our left. We chose the Harbor View bldg. There were pretty many steps down from the parking lot to our room, but the open corridor one floor down easily led to the lobby in the main bldg. Our room had a great, unobstructed view and was very large. In fact, it was the largest of anyone in our group's due to an area with an extra enclave with a counter set back away from the beds. I think it was larger due to it being a connecting room. However, our connecting door was always locked and posed no issues. The bldg. was quiet, beds comfortable and we had a flat screen t.v. Internet connection was good in the room, and there was a frig. Our room was made up each day by around 11 a.m. When my sister arrived the afternoon after us, happily, her room was upgraded to a water view in the main bldg. While it was fine, had the flat screen t.v. and all, it wasn't as large as our's. I asked about being moved to a high floor in the main bldg. as everyone else seemed to be in that bldg. The desk agent checked and said we could move to a room on the 7th floor the next day if we wanted. However, after talking to my husband, we decided not to move after all and I told the desk late that night. However, we rec'd. 2 calls offering to let us move the next day and I really appreciated that they tried to make sure we were happy with our room.
I will mention that we were never bothered by the timeshare/vacation club sales staff located in certain outlying areas of the lobby. Although they would begin to say a few words that we could tell were about to lead into an offer to tour the property called The Cove, there wasn't NEARLY the type of pressure or annoyances we have been exposed to in other places.
The public areas of the hotel are very nice and the pools were very clean. You really won't find inexpensive meals anywhere on the property. However, my son had booked a special that included free breakfast with his room, which was definitely a good deal. Bars are fine, but you will pay dearly for alcoholic drinks. There is a store in the main bldg where you can buy various things - esp. foods, etc. - but don't count on getting any prepared foods (they have cold sandwiches, etc) at good prices. Just figure on either shelling out for food on property or better yet, rent a car and try some local places. The wedding rehearsal dinner was at Havana Blue at Morningstar. It's an attractive restaurant and our food was very good. We went off property for almost all our meals (Deli Deck in Havensight was our go-to breakfast place.)
Speaking of Morningstar, my brother and also several members of the group stayed there since they wanted to be on the beach.This is really the only negative (and it's certainly not much of one) that I will report. First off, the groom's sister had reserved a room with 2 beds. Not only did it take super long to check in, they didn't have the type of room she reserved. I never went into any of their rooms, but my sister did. She thought the rooms were not "all that" and seemed a bit small. She also said she really didn't think they were worth the higher prices. My brother's friend came with him on the trip. She is a platinum member of Marriott's rewards - or whatever they call the highest level you can have. Usually she is given some upgrades or other very, very nice perks. But in this case, she was given nothing special. And everything she asked for was met with a no. She was not a happy camper and didn't feel they were given good service. She is used to excellent treatment when she is at a Marriott property, which she stays at almost exclusively when she travels for business or pleasure. The beach was fine and not overcrowded, and the shuttles ran frequently from the Reef and vice versa. The walk down the hill to the beach was really not bad - just hot at times. Some people do prefer Morningstar, but we were very happy we had reserved at the Reef. We did go down to the Cove our last full day - a Sunday, late in the afternoon. It was nice for families w/kids, but it seemed overcrowded around the main public area and in and around the pool. Still, it and was the only place for snorkeling on the property and had an iceberg for kids to climb just off the beach.
While I would agree Frenchman's Reef isn't quite up to the very top of the line Marriott properties, it's certainly still a very nice property and you can't beat the views! Supposedly they replaced the resort mgr. about 4 mos. ago so this may have helped (?). On one side of the property you could watch the moon rise and on the other look at the twinkling lights of town and the harbor at night, or the water, harbor and lovely hillsides during the day. The location is only a very few minutes' drive to the main area ofs of Havensight and Charlotte Amalie for shopping or restaurants, and it isn't all that long a ride from the airport. The big drawback is you really have to either have a car or take a taxi to go anywhere.
Hope this helps someone with their decisions!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Surrounded on three sides by stunning Caribbean ocean views, Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort combines modern luxury and the unique Virgin Island style of St. Thomas. Our US Virgin Islands hotel in St. Thomas 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 Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott 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