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“Frenchman's Reef - Needn't have worried!”

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Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed 1 July 2014

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!

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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5  Thank mlbcruiser
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 reviewResponded 7 July 2014

Thank you for the fantastic description of your experience here at Frenchman’s Reef. I am pleased to read that everyone in your party enjoyed their stay and the many amenities we offer. The feedback you provided is also helpful. We are always looking for ways to improve our property and would like to thank you for your perspective. And you are correct; we have welcomed a new General Manager to the resort as well as several other additions to the leadership team. We hope we get the opportunity to welcome you and your family back again.

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Reviewed 30 June 2014

We had a amazing experience during our stay at the Marriott Frenchman's Reef. We spent a week there with our 2 kids and friends for a week. The grounds were beautiful and well maintained. We dealt with Lissa at the front desk and she was so attentive to all of our needs. She was always there to answer all of our questions, helped us plan our excersions, and made our trip very memorable. She is an asset to the Marriott. Amazing service from the the front staff, adventure desk and the restaurant staff. The hotel offered so much if you are looking to relax and hang out. If you are looking to venture out, the girls at the adventure desk are very helpful as well. We loved the infinity pools and beautiful view from the Rum lounge area. We loved our stay and would def return again.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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3  Thank Darsh L
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 reviewResponded 7 July 2014

We’re delighted to hear your family had a great experience on St. Thomas. Your acknowledgement of Lissa and the staff at the Adventure Center is appreciated and I look forward to sharing this review with them. Personal mentions are so meaningful to the team here. We look forward to your return!

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Reviewed 30 June 2014

Very nice property, right on the water, lots of restaurants with beautiful views of the harbor. Close to town yet far enough away. The main building is on a cliff overlooking Charlotte Amalie Harbor and the Morningstar area is down along the beach. That's where we stayed just steps from the ocean. There are a couple of restaurants on the beach and plenty of sunning chairs for guests. Very nice touch is the waitress who brings food and drinks to your chair! Awesome!

They have a shuttle that runs every few minutes between the beach and the main building. The staff was nice and very courteous. You really don't have to leave the property unless you want to go shopping downtown or sample some of the local restaurants, then its a short $12.00 taxi ride to most places. I would suggest taking an afternoon and checking out Red Hook, having a burger and beer at Tap & Still, dinner at Oceana in Frenchtown at dusk and just walking downtown among all the jewelry stores - great shopping!

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank DAN H
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 reviewResponded 7 July 2014

Thank you for providing this wonderful review of Frenchman’s Reef and Morning Star Beach Resort! We’re thrilled your stay was all you hoped it would be.

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Reviewed 30 June 2014

Our stay was a last minute honeymoon. We are very easy going and can make anything fun as a couple. The resort itself was in a beautiful location and had beautiful views and beaches and pools. Upon arrival it took a long time to get checked in. It seemed as though more staff could be getting people checked in and to their rooms in a timely fashion because it was a sauna in the lobby with bad airflow. The front desk clerk was friendly, however we made a mistake booking last minute and wanted to change accommodations and the only thing it felt like could be done was us figuring it out on our own. Regardless of the issue, a resort should be able to do anything to help accommodate their guests. We finally got our room keys and went to our room. Throughout our stay each public area restroom and anywhere near it smelled worse than an outhouse! Restrooms were horrible and not clean. The staff was 50/50. There really was no top notch service other than a young man named Corey. He stopped and talked with us and gave us some tips and was excellent. We met him walking the grounds at morning star. He went above and beyond and even came back to our room and gave us some printouts of things we wanted to do. People like him need to be the face of the resort. The staff at the breakfast buffet also were great. We watched a groundsman or housekeeping staff, (old man in a funny hat) rip into a kid at the Morningstar pool and completely was out of line. He yelled at the child who did nothing wrong and the child started crying. It was horrible. Long story long, we have been on many trips and have spent half the money on much nicer stays. I know our price was up there because we booked the day before, but an all inclusive in Jamaica was half the price and twice as nice. We probably will not return to this resort. Oh....the spa was nice. Not worth the price, but it was decent.

  • Stayed: June 2014
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3  Thank mbedno14
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 reviewResponded 7 July 2014

Your feedback is important to us and I am reviewing your comments with the leadership team. On behalf of our staff, I’d like to extend my apologies for any inconsistencies in service. We strive to provide a warm and welcoming environment to all guests. On that note, thank you for pointing out Corey and the Aqua Terra staff for excellent service. We will be sure to acknowledge them. If there is anything further you would like to discuss, we would welcome the opportunity to be in direct contact with you and can be reached at sttfrexperienceteam@marriotthotels.com. Thank you again for taking the time to share your experience. We hope to have another chance to welcome you back.

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Reviewed 29 June 2014

Stayed here on a 4 day vacation and from the moment I arrived I was amazed. The best views from my balcony and really nice pools with a swim up bar. Every time I passed any member of the staff they were so friendly and always acknowledged me. Room was so clean. Getting around St Thomas was so easy, taxis were always available. I can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled solo
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1  Thank Nanst154
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 reviewResponded 7 July 2014

We’re so glad you chose Frenchman’s Reef! Thanks for mentioning our panoramic views, infinity pools, friendly service and cleanliness. We look forward to welcoming you back!

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Reviewed 29 June 2014

Our stay at this Marriott was fantastic. We had a great suite with two stories and a winding staircase, great baths and a beautiful view of the water! Staff were helpful, pleasant particularly the front desk and adventure desk where we booked several outings including snorkeling,a sea lion swim and got info on St. John. The hotel is stunning, the food was great (not cheap but very good) and the pools are wonderful-warm, great infinity pools, and the beach is super as well.

Room Tip: Suites are super--but the main rooms have beautiful views. If going for one room, consider the Morn...
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank Anniebananeee
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 reviewResponded 7 July 2014

Thank you for highlighting staff friendliness, the Adventure Center, views, cuisine, pools and beach as the best parts of your stay!

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Reviewed 29 June 2014

First time visiting St Thomas, stayed at the Marriott Frenchmans Reef. Highly recommended!!!!! Customer service was great. Make sure you visit the best bartender in the Caribbean, Hollyce at Coco Joes or the Rum bar. She was very hospitable. Oh, and she makes GREAT drinks!! Just ask Aisha!!! Look her up!!! She made our vacation very pleasant!!

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank JorgePW2842TP
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 reviewResponded 7 July 2014

Thank you for choosing Frenchman’s Reef and Morning Star beach Resort for your first visit to St. Thomas and recommending the resort to visitors. We will let Hollyce know she was mentioned here on TripAdvisor as contributing to your vacation memories!

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Additional Information about 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 Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
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, 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

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