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“I would read this review - great rooms - terrific staff”

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Marriott's Frenchman's Cove
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 15 August 2009

I read the trip advisor reviews before traveling and find them very helpful. As a result, I took notes on this 15 day trip to assist other like minded travelers. We arrived on August 1st via a trade of the newest Marriott property in Maui and we were not disappointed. A bit more on this later.

We rented a car and I will tell you, reserve early and call directly to the airport to make sure you actually have a car when you arrive. Whjile the Budget staff was polite, waited 40 minutes in line at Budget and then another 40 before our two jeeps were ready and the airport is not air conditioned. The Budget Jeep Wrangler rentals were fine, but be aware that they do not have windows - usually when you rent a Wrangler the zip out windows in the back are in the car for your use, not the case at Budget. Avis/Hertz both seemed to have cars in better shape but they cost a bit more - considering you drive on the left side of the street and the roads here are a bit tedious to drive on due to the very steep hills and hairpin turns, having a beat up car may not be a bad idea. As a side note, Budget also allows you to take your car on the ferry to St. John's. Warning on the ferry - the cost is $50.00 round-trip and it is CASH ONLY. There is a cash machine at the terminal where the people without cars take the Ferry next door. The ferry ride was nice, but make sure you get out of your car and go to the top where you can see the views of the island as soon as you park (do not wait) because it is very difficult to get past the cars once they are all loaded, they pack them in very very tight.

Back to the property. We checked into the hotel and it was very quick, we arrived around 5 PM. The staff was very polite and quickly responded when I asked for extra room keys. I will warn you though, if you stay for 2 weeks, they deactivate your keys after the first week - pretty frustrating to come back and not be able to get in your room. They have lemonade in the lobby and yummy oatmeal cookies, don't forget to grab some for the people you leave in the car outside in the heat during check in =)

Our first room was at my request, in the buildings above the main pool. I called in advance to request this after reading the reviews of the elevator rides. The problem is however, even after requesting a room on one of the higher floors 4th or 5th, the room was on the 2nd floor. I checked out the room and the views were of the roof of the buildings leading to the pool and the workout area. I immediately asked to be changed, who wants to stay in St Thomas without a view? They politely accommodated my requst and moved us up to the next set of buildings "St John" building 4. People who say that the newer buildings are nicer (4th or 5th) clearly have not seen the lower buildings, they all look exactly the same - same furniture, same carpeting, same set up. They are building a few new buildings which are not yet open, perhaps they will look a bit different, but we were not disappointed. The beds are big and soft, many pillows and nice fluffy comforters. 2 decks, a larger one off the master bedroom with a table and 4 chairs - nice for morning coffee and watching the cruise ships come in, and a smaller one off the 2nd bedroom (with 2 queen beds) and a separate bathroom, small table and 2 chairs. The kitchens have everything you would need, stainless steel appliances, microwave, toaster, blender, coffee maker and all sorts of cooking and baking materials. We did run out of coffee filters, paper towels, toilet paper, garbage bags and dishwashing detergent - but the good news is we called and they brought them right up, no questions asked. They also brought up extra pillows and blankets for the pull out bed in the livingroom, which was was surprisingly comfortable - not like the usual beds you experience. It gets cold in the rooms at night, so make sure you ask for blankets for anyone sleeping in the livingroom. Additionally, they have black out curtains in each room - which is great for sleeping in. Doing laundry in the room was terrific! You receive cleaning service (light cleaning) on Tuesdays (if you check in on Friday) - beds made, towels changed, dishes done and garbage removed - and if you stay two weeks, full cleaning the day your 2nd week starts. There are 3 flat screen TV's with the largest in the livingroom Lastly the rooms are quiet due to the concrete walls for hurricane protection - so you hear nothing but the people in your room. We had 8 people and we had no problem bumping into each other.

The pool at the hotel is OK, nothing special and the slide they advertise is very small, but the kids enjoyed it. There were daily activities for the kids at a small price and they enjoyed making necklaces, shirts and sand-art. Each day they had ice cream sundae's that you could make or shakes for $2.00 per scoop, all of this including the activities, like bingo had to be room charged. The only restaurant at the Cove was what you would expect price wise from a resort - between $10-$16 per person, but the burgers were huge and the fries were always hot and very good. I ordered the kids burger which was only slightly smaller than the main menu and was half the price and they had no issue with my ordering from the kids menu. The drinks were great (Arthur was the bartender and he was terrific) and at $9.00 per was about average for a resort like this. During happy hour the drinks are $2.00 less, which was nice - but be advised, happy hour is M-TH only and breakfast at the pool is only served Friday-Sunday (not during the week). We also spent some time on the beach, and yes it is rocky when you first walk in - but walk another 5 steps and you are standing on the sand. There are many chairs with umbrella's at the beach and while the beach is small - we enjoyed it. St Thomas is not like Hawaii - you can get pool chairs by the water until about 9 AM without issue, in Hawaii, we had to be there by 6 AM!!!

We wandered up to the Marriott Frenchman's Reef and I can't speak about the hotel rooms as I didn't see any, but the pool was bigger than the cove and very nice with cushioned chairs (unlike at the cove) and there is NO need to bring your towels, they have them at the pool (unlike at Cove where you have to bring them from your room). The drinks are $11.00 at the Reef due to it being a hotel property and the food is more expensive as well. The beach next to the Reef is really nice, the chairs and umbrella's are free for Marriott guests which is nice after paying for them at every public beach. There is also a pool above the beach for guests to use which is under partial shade and looked nice (we didn't use it). We did find all of the pools very warm, so be prepared - we quickly got use to it. There is a store, not owned by the hotel at the beach by CoCo Joe's - prices are reasonable there, very expensive at the Reef so it is worth the walk. We didn't eat at CoCo Joe's and everyone we talked to that did (they have a buffet most nights with lobster etc), said it was over priced at $50 per person and not that good.

We did eat out a number of times. Mimi's about 1/3 of the way toward Red Hook was in all the magazines - don't do it - the food was way over priced and while the view was beautiful and the staff was very nice, the food was not good. We got a bit of everything with the 8 of us, including the all you can eat shrimp on Thursday night and everything was over cooked at at an average of $35 per person (no free refills on drinks which is the standard in St Thomas) added a surprising amount to the bill. A much better recommendation for the price is Oceana - I can't say enough about this place, the food was fantastic, the views beautiful and the staff was outstanding. Get the sea bass, I questioned it based on the description that it was soaked in coconut milk (which sounded strange) but it had no coconut taste, they do this to remove any fish taste to it and it was truly memorable. This place is not easy to find, but the locals are all very sweet and willing to direct you - call for reservations and ask for a table overlooking the ocean.

We also took advantage of the Marriott discount for the ride to Paradise Pointe up the gondola. $5.00 on Wednesday's after 5 PM, just mention you are from Marriott. There was live music with a great band, great drinks and surprisingly good food with the average price at $10 per person, all included fries and while the service is "island slow", it was worth the wait. There is also some shopping up there - but everything is about 20% more than you would find if you just go into town.

Be aware shopping in town is scheduled around the cruise ships for he most part. The open market was fun and the faux purses were really fun to shop for. The kids found cheap jewlery and t-shirts to buy. In town the stores are very accommodating and most of the high end stores - especially if you are buying diamonds/camera/watches are negotiable. Be aware most of the stores close by 4 PM - so shop early. Parking is hard to find, so park in the pay lot $2.00 for 2 hours when you first come into town.

AVOID at all cost Pueblo grocery store - it was really not clean. There are other shopping options toward Red Hook or even at the Cost-U-Less warehouse grocery store which had surprisingly low prices and good selections. It is worth the cab ride as we shopped at Food Mart by Red Hook and spent $522 on one trip, similar purchase from Cost-U-Less the second week was $286.

Night life is found primarly in Red Hook, Duffy's was a popular hang out for the US based 18-30 something crowd. Wednesday night is ladies night with free drinks all night long. Fun place to go. It is a bit of a drive or a $10.00 cab ride. Make sure you only get in cab's that have TAXI on the plates - otherwise you are at risk. Everyone we met was polite and very helpful from people on the streets to people at the hotels. If you can set your mind to the fact things move slower on the islands you will do fine.

Couple last tips:

- Always say good morning, good afternoon or good evening - you will absolutely get better service
- Bring cash to the beaches, Megan's Bay, Trunk Bay, etc - everything has a price, admittance to government run beaches, chairs, snorkel equipment, umbrella's etc...but it is worth it, they are stunning.
- We went to Coral World, I would say not worth the price, but the kids enjoyed it. Avoid the guys trying to park your cars when you come in, there is parking for free right at Coral World if you simply drive a little further
- Airport does NOT need 2 hours advance arrival - do yourself a favor, it is hot and not air conditioned, get there no more than 1.5 hours in advance (it takes about 15-20 minutes to get there from hotel)
- Buy a cheap cooler at a grocery store or bring a collapsable one - drinks and water gets expensive
- Bring floaties (air matresses, etc) to the beaches if you have them, rental is about $8 per day for floating mattresses and you will wish you had one
- We went snorkeling on one of the sail boats that only had 6 people for $125 per person, it was nice - not sure worth the price but fun day

You will love it here!

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled with family
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9  Thank MinnesotaCRiSP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,355 - 1,361 of 1,461 reviews

Reviewed 14 August 2009

It absolutely amazes me that people who stayed in the Frenchman's REEF keep writing neutral or negative reviews under the listing for the Frenchman's COVE. The Reef is the Hotel, the Cove is the timeshare resort. C'mon people, it shouldn't be that hard to figure out where you actually stayed.

Went with wife and 4 kids age 7-17 to the COVE the 1st week of August on timeshare preview. They all absolutely loved it. The view from the living room and balconies was amazing. You would be hard pressed to figure out anything you could do to make the 2 bedroom unit nicer. Kitchen was high quality. Run over to cost-u-less (like a Costco), buy food for the week.

Can't believe people are whining about the elevators. Don't think we waited more than 30 seconds for one all week. Elevators allow you to stay up higher and get a better view. Elevators are good.

Fitness center was excellent, overlooking bay. The kids loved the pool. The beach is under renovation. (Walk over to Morningstar for perfect beach) Cove is removing some dead coral, building a pier and putting in a water trampoline, so it will be even nicer on our next visit. Of course we bought a timeshare and will return each year. Magan's bay on a slow day is about as nice a place as you will ever see.

Only negative. Other guest returning late Thursday and Friday night from a night out were very loud. Security could have been a little quicker to move them along.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled with family
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4  Thank metfan63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2009

If you can get a good deal with Priceline, go for it. If i'd have paid the standard rate of $300/night, it would have been much harder to accept some of the hotel's negatives.

Marriott Frenchman's Cove has a worn look, as if it's seen better days..However, it is hard to maintain a place in perfect condition in the moist climate of St Thomas. Yes, there was a mild mildew odor in the guest room, but it dissipated as soon as the ac was on full blast.

The fee to use the internet in the business center is outrageously high.

the prime rib and lobster buffet at CocoJoe's was good, with delicious salads, although the lobster was flavorless. The mgr Natika seemed genuinely concerned that diners had a good experience.
The check-in with Kim Perez (hope I got the name right) was helptul, and fun. No longline at check-in, but knowing to expect this, we rushed in to get ahead of a tour bus loaded with passengers.
There's a very good gift shop with unusual and beautiful wood objects from Costa Rica.

Our ocean view room looked out not just over the Bay, but over the roof! it would help if Marriott put some planters or something decorative out there, in the area adjoining the outdoor patio bar.

In Charlotte Amalie, go to Frenchtown and eat at Craig and Sally's Restaurant. And wander up to Synagogue Hill to see the synagogue and the excellent gift shop there.

I would recommend this Marriott only if you are able to get a great deal on it, for approximately $100/night. The other Marriott althernative, adjacent at Morningstar Beach, is nicer, but far pricier.

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled with family
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1  Thank calinurse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 August 2009

I traveled with 11 people total including 3 children and stayed in 2, 2-bedroom villas. The villas themselves are very nice (granite counters, stainless steel appliances, table seating 6, 2 balconies, washer/dryer) and the only complaint would be the pillows (down and provided NO support). The property is okay b/c it's still under construction (no paths and only one pool). I guess when it is finished it will have another pool, more green space, and a playground w/ BBQ area). The beach was nice as well; although it is rocky a few feet into the water (one of us stepped on an urchin) and only a small inlet where you can walk into the water. The waves are minimal compared to Morningstar Beach. The pool has a slide but it is not an infinity as advertised. Overall I enjoyed the property.

Negatives = Service!!! It is practically non-existent, whether you are dealing w/ servers or housekeeping or concierge.
Housekeeping: When we first arrived it was 5pm and they were just finishing cleaning our room. The floors were wet (tile floors that are wet are very slippery) and as they were leaving I asked for a towel to wipe them down. There was two staff and the one I asked VERY rudely said "No, I will not". I proceeded to explain why I needed one and then the two of them very loudly started yelling at me and each other and proceeded to walk away. I was so shocked. This proceeded for about 3 minutes b/c I would not let them leave w/out a towel (it's a freaking towel). Finally another staff came up and asked what was going on and gave me a towel. Let's just say that was the beginning and the stay continued w/ rudeness and much resistance from the staff. And this was throughout the Marriott property. Obviously the staff has NOT been properly trained!!!!!!!!
Restaurants/Staff: I would not recommend any of the restaurants on the property (however I did not eat at Havana Blue). The food was horrible and very overpriced!! Service was extremely horrible!! Spend your money at Oceana, Gladys Cafe, Banana Tree Top (I think), and Mim's (get the curry lobster). Oceana was the BEST restaurant and we had an amazing evening there!

Suggestions: Go into Charlotte Amalie when there are no cruise ships...prices are MUCH better! Megan's Bay is another place to hit w/ no cruise ships in port...otherwise it's gets really crowded. Taxi's are the same price into town as the ferry from Frenchmans Reef ($6/person) and they are much faster.

Would I go back? Yes, b/c I know what to expect service wise and it's nice to have a "home" to come back to after a day out (plus we have a timeshare). But the service was a disappointment considering that it is Marriott.

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled with family
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Thank Global_Traveler_08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 July 2009

We stayed in Marriott's Frenchman's Cove 2-bdrm villa in the end of May 2009. We arrived late in the evening and our first impression was - this place resembles an apartment complex, not a resort! We have stayed in a lot Marriott Vacation Club properties all over the world, some of them tropical destinations such as Kauai, Oahu, Maui, Aruba. This resort, being one of the newest additions to the Vacation Club, was a disappointment overall. The biggest shortcomings were:
- cramped feeling, buildings are too close to each other, there is no space to just take a walk or enjoy the grounds;
- No greenery or lush vegetation, there is just asphalted road between the buildings winding all the way down with parking ports on the ground floor of each building.
- You have to take multiple elevators just to get to the beach, we had to take 3! If you are on the beach and you need to go to the lobby for any reason, then you have to take 4 elevators! Each building just has one elevator so a lot of time is spent waiting in less than attractive hallways. It was very irritating.
- Pool was simply uninviting with odd decor and lack of imagination. Also, for all the units this resort had, the pool is very small with lounging chairs around it so close to each other, you can be touching your neighbor.
- Beach is small with rocky entrance, not suitable for children in our opinion. Since it is kind of in the cove, there is almost no sun.
- The only restaurant on the property is by the pool, in the dark cave with practically no view, high prices and limited choices. We didn't eat there. The bar for tropical drinks is turned into the dark wall - way to enjoy the vista!
- There is still a lot of construction going on the property, which has 2 disadvantages: construction noise and more crowds to come in the future. There is just physically not that much space to build that many units and bring all those people. It felt that Marriott here is just after money without any regards to make it a tropical and relaxing resort.

Now, after all that negativity, you wonder what a horrible experience we must have had on our vacation. Not at all! We actually enjoyed it quite a bit. First of all, we had a car. So we went around the island a lot and even took car ferry to St. John for a day, which was a highlight of our trip - highly recommend visiting St. John - it has some of the most gorgeous beaches in the world.
Secondly, we avoided elevators altogether. We were on the third floor in close proximity to stairs. We would take open-air stairs down and then follow the road to the beach or to the pool. It took us a fraction of the time that it would to take all those elevators. We would also park close to our stairs so it was convenient to bring groceries or towels from the car.
Thirdly, and that was a big one, we mostly used the facilities of adjacent Marriott hotel property. It had 2 much nicer pools (one overlooking the harbor/town of Charlotte Amalie and another right on the beach), gorgeous Morning Star beach (one of the best beaches on the island, in our opinion), better options to eat though expensive (except Coco's, avoid that place at all costs, it was still expensive for the casual beach eatery and the food was gross). You can use the hotel's towels so you don't have to carry the timeshare ones with you. The hotel property is spread out and the grounds are nicely done. The hotel and the timeshare property are right next to each other, however, when we asked how to walk there we were told to just take a shuttle. Shuttle comes every half hour and it's rather crowded especially at dinner time. So you might not even have a space. There is a path between 2 properties, as it turned out, which we were told by reception that "it is not maintained, not lit at night and is very dangerous". That was a kicker! We did find that path on our first morning - it was 30 feet from our building stairs, where you can see the first hotel building. It wasn't maintained or lit, which was true, even though there is plenty of light from the street. It was about 15 feet gravel path and then you just follow the hotel building hallway to the lobby! What can be possibly dangerous about that?! We figured that they don't want to provide an easy access to the hotel. Shuttle is a hassle so most people would just stay at the timeshare property. Once the resort is complete and fully occupied, it will be crowded with no real beach and 2 small pools to support it. I don't think the hotel would like all these crowds to invade their amenities in great number, thus no walking path between the two.
And lastly, the interior of the villa. It was a typical Marriott property (they are quite similar in design) but nicely furnished with plenty of space and very comfortable. Solid kitchen too. It was a pleasure coming home after a long day of adventures or enjoy a meal on the balcony with harbor view. All their villas have views.

All this being said, even though we were disappointed with the property itself, we enjoyed our vacation immensely and would certainly come back with intention of being at the hotel side most of the time. If we have a chance in the future, we would much rather go to the island of St. John. It is more tropical and less built up as 2/3 of the island is a national park. St. Thomas was a little grim and the beaches were just okay.

You can have a great time anywhere, just get out and explore more if you can and don't take "no" for an answer - check for yourself. You can find some pleasant surprises where you didn't expect to find them.

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank travelingeagles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 July 2009

We bought into Frenchman's Cove in Sept. (also own at Surf Watch on HHI) and we absolutely love it! I was boring my kids (daughter 15, son 21) all winter talking about how gorgeous the place was and, despite all that buildup, they were still impressed by the amazing view. Others have done a great job describing the property and rooms, so my review will be from the perspective of an info-sec geek who loves fine wine and food.
First off - rent a car (preferably 4WD). Driving really isn't that bad, as I discovered when we realised my husband forgot his license (we had passports, even though it's not required unless you go to BVI) and that I would be designated driver (I think he did it on purpose). Taxis are fiercely expensive and are charged on a per-person basis. Nice thing about having a car was that taking the car ferry over to St. John was only $42 for the carload (plus we had the car on St. John). Driving is on the left, though the steering wheel is also on the left, which is a bit strange. Take it slow - it's difficult to see which way the road turns ahead.
As I mentioned, my husband and I are info sec geeks and we brought 3 laptops. No problems at all with the wireless. I recommend keeping the laptop in the room since it is very humid outside. Having a laptop made it easy to stay in touch at home, look up restaurants, cruise ship schedules, things to do, and to offload pictures to email to friends. My husband's Blackberry worked fine in most places on both St. Thomas and St. John, with only an occasional lost signal (phone signal isn't good over by Morningstar, though wireless Internet works fine over there). He even got a call from work while we were on the Ferry from St. John ("no, I can't approve your timesheet right now...")
Food. I cook a LOT and brought way too much stuff with me, which I will adjust next year. I'd still bring my tea (box of Earl Grey was $8.99 compared to $4.99 at home), sugar, some coffee filters (none in the villa), spatula (the provided ones are plastic), large tongs and one of my Shun knives (they do have "chef's" knives, but I'm spoiled). I brought a cooler with techni-ice and frozen steaks, bacon, cookie dough, grilled chicken (for quesadillas), hot dogs, hamburgers. Everything stayed frozen, even after being in the hot car waiting for checkin. My son was "starving" so we went to Sunset Grill, expecting a long wait (room was ready within 15 minutes). Food at the Sunset Cafe is expensive and not worth it - I'd rather save the money for some of the better restaurants such as Havana Blue (awesome food). I also brought a bunch of spices/condiments/oil, which isn't necessary. The Gourmet Gallery in Havensight has a pretty good selection, but a bit pricey. They also have a good selection of wine & cheese, even for a wine snob like me, but again - more expensive than home. A bottle of Mer Soleil Chardonnay was $50 and it's around $30 at home (Kendall Jackson was $25, $12 at home). We packed wine in our bags, but it was nice to know we could buy decent wine if we wanted. One last minute item I packed that I was happy to have was Ciabatta bread made in a brick over at our local Italian deli (for those who don't know, the NY/NJ area has some of the best bread). I brought 6 loaves and froze 3. We just popped them into the oven for a few minutes and served with cheese on the balcony. You can't get decent bread down there so I will definitely bring it again. I also packed 2 small votive candles, which came in handy when we played cards on the balcony (no outside lights). One thing I was pleasantly surprised to discover is that the filtered water in the fridge is actually pretty good. I mostly drink water, tea (and wine) and I'm pretty sensitive to bad tasting water (I have a water cooler in my house since NJ water is awful).

One thing that is cheap on St. Thomas is the rum and I highly recommend buying rum in town along with some fruit juices to make your own drinks rather than spend a fortune at the bar. We had after dinner drinks at the Reef and I was disappointed in the poor selection so I’d buy a bottle of good Scotch in town instead (view was amazing though).
Around the resort: We like to get our cardio exercise in (to offset hours sitting in front of computers) and there is plenty of opportunity at Frenchman's Cove! They have a great gym with treadmills, ellipticals, weights and a view of the bay. We also walked between the resorts, which involves walking downhill to the dock at the Reef, then up a LOT of stairs to the Reef, around the back then down a LOT of stairs to get to Morningstar. There are shuttles, but we liked the extra exercise.
Around the island: Havensight is pretty close, though even I wouldn't walk it since the roads are very steep and I'd be afraid of getting hit by a car. Parking wasn't a problem and Gourmet Gallery is right there. Yacht Haven is also no problem for parking and has a "Bad A__ Coffee" shop, similar to Starbucks. My kids got coffee drinks there and regretted it when we got to "Udder Delight" over by Magen's Bay. It's not that the coffee was bad, just that the milkshakes at Udder Delight are amazing! Definitely worth the stop and don't worry about the "adult" milkshakes - you'd have to drink about 6 of them to have any effect and you'd likely get a stomach ache first. Magen's Bay was a bit disappointing! I expected there to be grills we could use and packed a cooler only to find that you have to pay $100 to rent the pavilion to use the grills. Huge rip off! Food was very expensive, chair rentals also. It was pretty there, but not really what it's built up as. Lots of cruise ship people (and if I heard "Marco! Polo!" one more time I was going to drown someone) and pretty crowded.
St. John: As I said, car ferry was a great way to go! Roads on St. John are VERY steep and driving was a challenge. We headed over to "Skinny Legs" at Coral Bay (http://skinnylegs.com/) and had great burgers. The boys had some potent rum drinks while I sipped on iced tea (I told you he forgot his license for a reason!). Drove around the island and I'm told the scenery was great. I was busy watching the road and clutching the steering wheel. We ran into "traffic" and were amused to watch some public works guys try to use a Caterpillar to knock down some tree branches. St. John's version of road construction...
Trunk Bay was gorgeous but I'm glad we had the burgers at Skinny Legs before we got there. My husband and I got burgers at Trunk Bay on a previous trip and they were tasteless and expensive, but we were hungry at the time (on a tour where you are at their mercy for where you stop). Glad we had our own vehicle this time to go where we wanted. Oh, one thing to note: if you go swimming and then want to shop in Cruz Bay before taking the ferry back, make sure you cover up! They don't like people walking around in bathing suits. Also make sure you say "good morning/afternoon" (not used to that in NJ).
Shopping: stores are closed on Sunday unless a ship is in. If no ships are in port, some shops may not open. Best to go when there is only 1 ship. Advantage of staying on the island is that you have more bargaining power - I used this several times to say "well, I'm here all week, I'll think about it". Jewelry and liquor are best buys (got JW Blue for $129!). You can buy liquor at the airport, but it's more expensive. I felt like stripper on a Sat night walking down the main drag in Charlotte Amalie: everyone wanted a piece. Next time I'm getting a shirt made up that says "No, I don't need a Taxi!" Oh, parking was not a problem in Charlotte Amalie and is free on weekends.
Restaurants: Havana Blue is our favourite, but there's lots of other places we want to try. I've read negative reviews of Havana Blue, mostly saying the portions are small and it's expensive. This is true, but the quality is amazing (I have managed to reproduce their Miso-glazed Chilean Sea Bass). Don't go there if you like buffets or expect a bread basket. Definitely try the "Tacos de Filet", an appetizer that is 4 small (about 2 inch diameter) tacos. Great flavor - my son had 4 orders for dinner! Since Havana Blue is on property (by Morningstar) we went there a few times. I would not bother with any other restaurant on property - we did on the last trip (when we stayed at Morningstar) and found them expensive and the food boring.
Another good place is Lotus in Red Hook, sister restaurant to Havana Blue with an Asian theme. I like Havana Blue better, but I would go back. Loved the cocktails, but could only have one since driving back in the dark was really a challenge. Dragon Tempura Shrimp was amazing. Had to do extra time on the elliptical to work them off, though.
Finally - I am so glad I asked for a recommendation when we were in town for a place to eat on the way to the airport on Sunday. Most places are closed, but "Hook Line and Sinker" in Frenchtown serves a fabulous Sunday brunch. Great service, beautiful location and it's on the way to the airport. Definitely worth stopping there rather than eat bad airport food.
Already can't wait to go back and look forward to many trips in the future. This is not a week I'd trade!

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled with family
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8  Thank SiodaNj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 July 2009

We traded for one week at the Cove. Wish it had been longer. Our villa was lovely-2 bedrooms,2bathrooms,2balconies, great kitchen and living room. But the best part was the view anytime of the day or night it was just wonderful to sit and look at it..We did rent a car and toured the island stopping at many beautiful bays for swimming and snorkeling. We also made use of the beach at the Reef and Morningstar. We walked to them but you could also take a shuttle. We cooked in many nights and used the grills located close by. The kitchen was fully stocked with dishes, pots, etc.
We took the small ferry from the Marriott to downtown Charlotte Amalie one day. That was a good idea as it saved the hassle of parking and the narrow streets. Ate in Cuzzin's which was good. We also took the car ferry over to St. John's. The National Park was great with wonderful snorkeling and many great beaches. We took the smaller ferry over and back.On the smaller one you can get out of the car.
The staff at the Marriott were nice and helpful. My only complaint was the sound system down by the pool. It could use an update because the sound was not good. But this is my only negative. All in all a wonderful time and we would love to go back.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank NYtraveler056
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

Address: 7338 Estate Bakkeroe, Charlotte Amalie 00802-3011, St. Thomas
Region: Caribbean > U.S. Virgin Islands > St. Thomas > Charlotte Amalie
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: £475 - £1,031 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Marriott's Frenchman's Cove 4*
Number of rooms: 221
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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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