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“Excellent accommodation, reasonably convenient with amazing views”

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Marriott's Frenchman's Cove
Certificate of Excellence
manchester
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Excellent accommodation, reasonably convenient with amazing views”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 May 2009

Stayed at the Marriott's Frenchman's Cove on a timeshare exchange through Interval International. NB Some of the reviews on this page seem to be for the Marriott's Frenchman's Reef and Morningstar Resort which is the hotel complex just around the headland from Frenchman's Cove. The Cove is a timeshare complex made up of very large, luxuirious apartments - ours was 2 bed 2 bath with a living/dining/kitchen (really well appointed - huge fridge/freezer complete with ice-maker and even a washing machine and tumble drier) plus 3 TVs and DVDs. Towels, pool towels, tea towels, starter packs of coffee, washing up liquid, dishwasher tablets, washing powder were all provided. For someone used to staying in apartments in French ski resorts (the sort of place where 8 of you are expected to share 1 bedroom and 1 bathroom and take your own bedding) it was absolute heaven. The complex itself is relatively small and climbs up a steep hillside so there isn't much in the way of communal areas around the separate apartment blocks. The pool area is quite small for the number of units - it was too crowded the first week we were there which was Easter week, but much better the second week. The complex is still under construction which wasn't a problem and apparently when it's finished there will be another pool and more communal areas. The least appealing aspect was the access roads betweens the blocks (so you could get your car right up to your building - typically American) and the combination of air conditioning and lack of screens on the balconies - so we tended to keep the doors closed all the time, which was a pity - unlike being in the Mediterranean where you have the doors and windows open all the time. Guests at the Cove could use all the facilities at the Frenchman's Reef and Morningstar Resort - although the path between the two was a bit of an obstacle course. The food at the Cove was OK but a bit pricey as was Coco Joe's at Morningstar Beach, which was worth it for the location. The beach at the Cove is small but with some snorkelling (watch out for sea urchins) and nice early morning and evening. The Morningstar beach is nice for walking along but the sea is quite rough. We liked the pool at Morningstar Beach which was very quiet both weeks (but the kids preferred the one at the Cove where there was quite a good Kids Activity centre). Hiring a car is a must as taxis are so expensive - we used ZIp Rental - the car was a bit of a banger but the service was good. Try to avoid hitting the most popular beaches such as Magen's at midday as they are full of tourists off the cruise ships - by about 2.30pm most of them have gone. Take the car ferry to St. John's but again avoid Trunk Bay at midday. Can recommend the half-day sail and snorkel trip on the Jolly Mon and also the half day kayak and snorkel trip to the mangrove lagoon, both booked through the Adventure Centre at the Cove. All in all a fantastic holiday with lots of great snorkelling and some amazing beaches (go to Coki Beach where the fish will eat food from your hand - they like dog bisuits!). Our only disappointment was that there weren't enough places selling Caribbean food.

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Wytibyth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (430)
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boston
Level Contributor
58 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 May 2009

My husband and I were in STT at the end of march. beginning of April. The Cove is a timeshare resort. The units have 2-3 bedrooms, with full kitchen, living room, and two baths. There are also 2 balconies. The property is NEW and still under construction. What I don't understand is how people can visit a resort and not know where they have stayed! The 2 previous reviews are for the REEF and not the Cove.
We stayed in the newest building this time (our 3rd visit). Getting to the beach meant a series of elevators but they all came quickly. The property never seems crowded even though it is at capacity. I would rely on the Marriott Hotel's concierge rather than the Cove's as they didn't have the right information. Since we have been to STT numerous times, this wasn't an issue for us, but might be for 1st timers. The Cove has a laid back atmosphere with not too many organized activities which is how we like it. We could trade our week but so far we have been very happy going once a year to the VI. The uniqueness of being able to travel to other islands from STT and the high quality of the Cove makes us want to stay just where we are.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank gardengirlBoston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Philadelphia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 May 2009

Yea, it was a nice place but it wasn't as luxurious and wonderful as their website would have you believe. The food was semi-crappy and overpriced, except for Havana Blue which was absolutely delicious and worth the extra money. You couldn't walk anywhere from the resort so you had to hire a taxi to go anywhere, usually costing $10 per person each way. You'd think they'd want you to feel welcome there but charging $2.50 for a 30 second local phone call, 70 cents per minute for internet, and charging $20 to rent a crappy snorkel when there was nothing to see there didn't make me feel very welcome. I felt like they had you trapped there and then just tried to extract as much money as possible from you. Overall even w all my complaints, it was a nice place to stay if you're into resorts.

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank sarahdck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Venice, Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 April 2009

I read reviews and was worried about this place, well best place i have ever stayed in the islands, Clean,great location I can not wait to go back there again.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank mainstreetusa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 April 2009

My fiance and I stayed for 6 nights through hotels.com It is a nice hotel with very adequate rooms. We had resort view but could see ocean still (unable to get free upgrade to ocean view). Beach very nice, ocean beautiful. Restaurants there and in St. Thomas are over priced. We rented a car to see the island but you can get by with the cabs. Overall had a great trip.

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank ATLBoston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Minnesota
Level Contributor
14 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 March 2009

This was our first time staying at this new resort. We are owners here, so we were looking forward to seeing what we purchased. The pool and beach area are great, especially for families. The one drawback to the facilities is that they need to do some work tying this resort into the larger Frenchman's Reef and Morningstar resorts next door. The Morningstar beach is wonderful and is a welcome change from the smaller beach at Frenchman's Cove. It was a bit of a jaunt to find the walking paths that connect the properties, but it can be done, and Frenchman's Cove guests are welcome in the other Marriott facilities. If you don't want to walk, you can always take the shuttle, but a walk around the Marriott property eliminates the need for the stairclimber at the gym!

The condos themselves are great! Spacious, well appointed, and with stunning views of the bay. We had a two bedroom unit with two balconies. We loved to watch the cruise ships go by. They seemed so close, it was like watching buildings roll past our window.

My problem was with the customer service, or lack thereof. The best I can describe it as is indifferent. Specific examples: We never saw our concierge for the entire week. Not at his desk, not walking around. Not reached by phone. Any assistance with finding/reserving activities, dinner reservations, etc, were on us to do. They offer a free gift but you have to find the concierge to get it. Needless to say, I don't think they hand out many. Another example involved an incorrect total on a lunch bill at their restaurant. When pointed out to the bar manager, he just shrugged and said "That's what the computer says," and walked away. In fact, the same meal was charged differently each time it was ordered.

Unfortunately, most of the front desk staff were sullen and unhelpful. While there were a number of bright spots, like the shuttle drivers, cleaning staff, and one solitary member of the front desk staff, it seemed like most of the people with direct guest interface just didn't want to be there. Sad really. We hope they turn this around. We have years of coming back here to look forward to, but in the near term, we'll be trading them for other timeshares.

That being said, if you want a really nice, family oriented resort, beautiful views of Charlotte Amalie, the bay and the ships, a great beach/waterfront area, and really comfortable living quarters, this is the place. Just don't rely on the people there to enhance your stay. If you don't expect it, you won't be disappointed.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled with family
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Helpful?
7 Thank MinnesotaGoGophers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DC
Level Contributor
18 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 March 2009

Just got back from our second Spring Break at the Cove. It is just a lovely little spot. We love that every room has a waterfront view - and I mean waterfront....plus sunsets and awesome cruise ships filling your picture window.

To save costs, we cooked and packed frozen food in insulated containers and feasted on our balcony to spectacular views. Nothing thawed during 6 hours of travel and it saved us a bundle. If you need to shop, go to the Gourmet Gallery in Havensight. Better food than Pueblo, though it is pricey.

We love the mixture of elegance and homey feeling here. The villas are grand! Large, well appointed, two balconies, full kitchen, just gorgeous. Then, there are fewer than 200 rooms, which gives it a comfy intimate feel. The pool seems small but doesn't get very crowded. The beach is small and has coral near the shore - be sure to bring water shoes and you'll be ok.

We also loved being able to go to the Marriott Frenchman's Reef Hotel next door - there are beautiful trails and walkways, gardens and views. When we wanted a bigger beach, we went to Morningstar - so convenient.

Also, Marriott offers ShopTalk - a great no-nonsense presentation of shopping in Charlotte Amalie, with a map of recommended stores and promotional (free) items. We felt thoroughly comfortable with the stores recommended and waving the famous "pink map" gave us even more discounts and better service. We treated the promos as a scavenger hunt for my 8 year old, and she's come home with a lovely set of charms on a silver necklace - free! If you go to Marriott, don't miss Caroline's ShopTalk presentation!

We didn't rent a car and didn't miss it. And figured we spent less than a rental. We especially love the little ferry that Marriott runs into Charlotte Amalie - a great and fun way to get downtown - no traffic, great views of the cruise ships, and a boat ride. Can't beat that.

Definitely do the day tour of St. John - it leaves right from Marriott's dock - as does the 1/2 day sail and snorkel with turtles.

By the way, the health club is great! I worked out with a view of water, palms and boats. Good sauna, steam and changing areas. Very nice.

As they are growing, I will say that they need to clean the beach more often - I found straws and cigarette butts....things I never saw last year. Food prices on site are steep - but the portions and quality we found to be excellent. We saved it for a special lunch.

All in all we loved it, hated to say good bye, and look forward to next year!!

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank tropicanna212
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Marriott's Frenchman's Cove

Property: Marriott's Frenchman's Cove
Address: 7338 Estate Bakkeroe, Charlotte Amalie 00802-3011, St. Thomas
Region: Caribbean > U.S. Virgin Islands > St. Thomas > Charlotte Amalie
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Charlotte Amalie
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4 star — Marriott's Frenchman's Cove 4*
Number of rooms: 221
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Marriott`s Frenchman`s Cove Hotel Charlotte Amalie
Marriotts Charlotte Amalie
Marriotts Hotel Frenchmans Cove
Marriott Charlotte Amalie
Marriotts Frenchmans Cove
Marriott's Frenchman's Cove St. Thomas/Charlotte Amalie

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