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“Deflating honeymoon experience - Marriott you blew it”

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Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed 8 August 2014

After a long flight from Seattle and arriving at our hotel, the Marriott Frenchman's reef, we were relieved. We had just had our wedding and were starting a 10 day honeymoon trip. We couldn't have been happier. We walked into the beautiful hotel lobby and waited in line for 10 minutes to check in at the front desk, and met the single worst customer service representative we've ever experienced.

This lady was not present and I don't know how she got a job as front desk attendant. She was not friendly, not communicative, not welcoming. We were told our room was not ready and would be paged when it was. We were also told we would have to put a $1000 deposit down on our credit card as well as a $1800 charge to cover the nights on our trip that weren't being covered by Marriott points. $35 daily resort fees, $200 and $250 nightly room charges we were told. We asked if we could just see where all these charges were, as we were a little shocked we would have to pay $2800 to check in which we were NOT prepared to pay. She gave us no answer and we asked to speak with a manager. She said yes I'll go get one, she left, talked on a phone and came back. No manager, no saying, "sorry he is not available or he will be here shortly". She again tried to explain the charges but it was the same frustrating explanation which made no sense. No room, no clear explanation for anything, and $2800 due to check in. We left to get lunch at the sunset grill during which time reflected on how terrible of an impression this was on our arrival.

After eating we went back to the front desk to speak with someone else other than the first lady we dealt with. Someone who knew how to communicate. We met a lady named Lissa, who was GREAT to work with. I give her name here because she went out of her way to help us and smooth things out from the first lady. Lissa explained that the $2800 charges due were totally incorrect and she did not know why we had been given that number. We would owe $1200 in room charges and a $200 deposit. A very different number than the first one we were given. Also we were told we would were supposed to be moved to different rooms during our stay, which meant we would have to pack up and move on several occasions. Lissa overrode this and gave us a good room to stay in for the 10 days.

After being totally upset by the first lady, we were at least relieved to get a room and settle in.

We are not nit-picky, we are very friendly people who have realistic expectations. There are certain things we expect when we travel to a high end resort that one would think should be geared towards creating a relaxing, easy "Island" experience. After about 5 days of moving on from the first debacle, I decided to inquire about the status of our room charges. I just wanted to see how much we had spent on meals, drinks, ect. This brought me back to the front desk, where again I had to wait 10-15 minutes to talk with the ONE person who was working there.

That one person of course was the original lady we had dealt with the first day. She was again cool, unfriendly, and had no communication skills. I asked to have our room charges printed out to just check them. On the charges (unfortunately not to our surprise) many errors/questions. There were duplicate daily resort fees, so instead of $35 daily, it was $70 daily on random days, on other days it was $45--all should have been $35. We also wanted just a total of what we had spent, which I clearly explained to this lady, and the list did not show this. She gave it to me, I said thank you and she said nothing. Where is the professionalism lady?? I've had friendlier customer service at the DMV.

When we again realized we would have to talk to someone else at the front desk due to the errors shown on the bill and the frustration of dealing with the one lady, we were approached by the lobby master. He told us we could speak with the manager, which we said YES, that would be great. He went to find him, and came back 10 minutes later and said he was in a meeting. We came back several hours later to meet with the manager. The lobby master got us in touch with "a manager'. This lady was just as unfriendly as the other front desk lady! No eye contact, no warmth. We said we would like to have some explanation on the charges on our room.

She gave no response and typed into her computer for 5 minutes without saying a thing to us. My wife and I were blown away again. She finally said, "Ok the charges have been corrected". We asked if she could explain what the problem was, she simply said, "system error".

I don't know if these hotel staff are simply burned out or if they hate their jobs, or if they hate dealing with people staying at the hotel, but it has been truly a let down staying here on several occasions.

If you want to drink at an infinity pool all day and eat mediocre food, this place would be great. When it costs $30 round trip by taxi to go to Charlotte Amalie to eat better food, you are kind of trapped to eat the hotel food. To make it worse, it is as expensive as it is mediocre.

The beach at Morning star is great, the food at coco-joes the best for your money on site and the pool is beautiful. Some hotel staff are very friendly such as the people working the towel counter, the room service and some lobby staff.

We will not come back, and will not recommend this hotel.

Room Tip: Not sure how much choice you get in your room location. We got lucky by getting an upgrade after ou...
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
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5  Thank Yodstrom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jsilv614, Front Office Manager at Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 9 August 2014

Dear Yodstrom;
Thank you for choosing Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach resort for your stay. I do appreciate that you have brought this situation to our attention.
I want to apologize for the negative experience and the inconveiences that we might have caused. Our aim as a company is that every guest leaves satisfied so that I want to also thank you for allowing me to correct the situation before your departure.
Certainly this is a valuable training opportunity to improve our customer service.
Dear Yodstrom, once again I deeply apologize for the inconveniences and please feel free to contact me if any other inquires.
Faithfully

Juan Silva
Front Office Manager

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2,552 - 2,558 of 4,423 reviews

Reviewed 7 August 2014

Upon arrival, we received our room assignment and realized it was not the room we had expected/booked. Unfortunately our booking confirmation was very vague and didn't show details of the room we meant to select. We found the front desk staff to be unhelpful, even with Marriott Platinum status. That being said, the beach was very convenient, the property was absolutely beautiful, and we had a wonderful time. We spent much of our time off property and chose not to do all inclusive, which ended up being the right decision as we had much better meals off property than on.

Room Tip: Make sure to select a Morningstar beach room if you want to be near the water. The hotel isn't a...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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3  Thank carmel317
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 13 August 2014

Thank you for taking the time to share your delight with the grounds and beach of Morning Star Beach Resort and your feedback regarding your check-in experience. Please accept our apologies any inconvenience this caused. If you would like to discuss any aspect of your stay further, please feel free to reach out to us directly at sttfrexperienceteam@marriotthotels.com and reference this review. We can then investigate your stay and use your experience to improve our service. Thank you again for staying with us and we hope to welcome you back.

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Reviewed 7 August 2014

While at The Frenchman Reef me and my mom ate lunch every day at the sunset grill, pretty expensive but worth it! Our waitress everyday was named Emma. She was outstanding with her lovely personality and desire to be working. She remembered our names every day making us feel welcome and appreciated. We will be back soon and we will ask for her, thank you Emma.

  • Stayed: July 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
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1  Thank koontz19
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 11 August 2014

We sincerely appreciate you posting this review which celebrates Emma. She will be recognized for her warm service.

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Reviewed 7 August 2014

We loved staying here, it was very comfortable and nice! The staff was very friendly and helpful! The only bad thing which is kind of a big deal was that the rooms down in the morning star buildings were not very sound proof. We had a family next to us and they were so loud!

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
4  Thank Chelsea I
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 11 August 2014

Thank you for leaving this great review and letting us know you felt comfortable and well served! We look forward to welcoming you back and would suggest you look into Frenchman’s Reef for your next stay. Regardless of which location you choose, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the resort leadership if we can ever do anything to make your stay better. We are here to serve you.

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Reviewed 7 August 2014

We just returned from a 7 night stay at the Marriott Frenchman's Reef and Morning Star Beach Resort. Most of the staff is extremely friendly, but they were severely understaffed, and service was mediocre at best. We knew this was 'off-season' but still expected a hotel resort of this calibre to staff according to bookings.

The rooms were very dated and shabby. We thought they were fairly clean, but on the last day my husband found a 2" cockroach in the bathroom. The restaurants were in better shape than the rooms, but the food varied day to day. The first night we had a fantastic dinner, but every lunch and dinner the rest of the week was so-so. Additionally, by the time the food arrived, it was clear that it had been sitting out waiting for an overworked waiter to bring it out to us. Again, we understand long waits, and 'island time', but we expected the food to be promptly served once it was ready. The best option by far was the fresh catch of the day from the Sunset Grill. All the fish (swordfish, salmon, some names I don't remember) were fresh, and deliciously prepared with just salt, pepper and lemon. The breakfast buffet was consistent and spectacular as well. The most disappointing food item was that none of the drinks were prepared with fresh ingredients. Everything came from a store-bought jug of pre-mixed fruit blends. I make better pina coladas and guava punches at home!

We went with the All-Inclusive plan which was a good decision as the restaurants and bars were extremely expensive. However, when we checked out we saw some additional charges on our folio (wine premiums, dinner buffets, etc.) that were not ours. The hotel was very accommodating and removed them promptly (it probably helped that we were able to prove that we dined in other restaurants on those dates), but others waiting to check out also mentioned that they had unfamiliar charges on their bills as well.

In all, we enjoyed our vacation. It was relaxing, and we caught up on sleep and reading. The beach and infinity pool were clean, well-maintained, and quite beautiful.

Room Tip: If you want to be closer to the beach, choose a Morning Star resort room. If you want to be closer t...
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
4  Thank TenaciousT-14
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 11 August 2014

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience. Your impressions are valuable and I am happy to hear you were able to enjoy several aspects of your stay and leave St. Thomas relaxed and refreshed. Despite this, I regret your expectations overall were not met. Please know that we do take all the reviews as direction for improvement. In that vein we do appreciate your suggestions. As a result a few recent experiences, we are currently in the process of carefully reviewing our front desk procedures. If we ever have a second opportunity to win your loyalty, I would be interested in hearing your thoughts. Please feel free to contact our leadership team at sttfrexperienceteam@marriotthotels.com if there is ever anything I can assist you with or you decide to visit our beautiful island again. We would like to make sure your reservation and room assignment are personalized. Thank you again for staying with us.

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Reviewed 7 August 2014

This was one of our top 5 vacation experiences. From our check in to check out, everything was wonderful. we were met by Marigold and she greeted us by name ( I am no one special) and we quickly got our rooms ahead of schedule. Rooms are very nice and the beds are just great. We also were helped by Leah who helped us resolve a self inflicted room issue and we could not have been happier with the solution. If you can, I suggest the breakfast included option, incredible breakfast buffet, and with 2 boys we got our money's worth. The pool is great and Amanda was our server all week. In the restaurants, Sunset Grill and Sand Bar, we were taken care of by a pair of Emma's, Both were just so delightful. Brain was our bar tender and he helped us to navigate all the fun and fruity drinks of which the 'sundowner' became our favorite. For additional activities contact the Adventure Center before you arrive and schedule sailing, snorkeling, or deep sea fishing, our sons did all three and if you can book a trip on the 'Island Girl' sail boat it is well worth the money. An alternative is the 'Cat' sail and snorkel adventure with the turtles, while a little more crowded, much more capacity and flexibility to meet your schedule. IF you can bring your own snorkel gear we only used the resort's fins. There is also a night kayak adventure which gave us a interesting change of pace. Our deep sea fishing trip was great and the boys caught several fish, but we decided the fish were best left in St Thomas and passed on the mounting of our catch option. Finally, If you get a chance and feel brave, rent a car and explore the Island, caution they do drive on the left side of the road which took a bit of getting used to compared to driving stateside. If you do get a car go visit St John. We went to Trunk Bay for the day and the boys had their best day of Snorkeling. Get the round trip option on the St John Ferry from Red Hook (only $50). Probably the best addition to the trip plan was going to St John. We definitely did not want the trip to end and we will be going back.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank ljkellman
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 11 August 2014

That is the neatest photo of the night kayaking tour I have seen yet! Thank you for taking the time to share your vacation details, mentioning all the particular team members that helped make your stay special and giving Frenchman’s reef this outstanding recommendation. Call ahead of your next stay so we can welcome you back as a returning guest.

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Reviewed 7 August 2014

We stayed at the Marriott for our honeymoon at the Morning Star. The beach is spectacular, the people are extremely friendly. The on site restaurants are expensive, and the rooms were not in great condition. The pool is very fun as well. The breakfast buffet was spectacular!

Room Tip: Wi fi did not work well in the "Morning star area."
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Hannah Y
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 11 August 2014

Congratulations! We’re delighted you chose Morning Star Beach Resort to spend you honeymoon and appreciate you leaving this review. Best wishes for many happy years together.

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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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