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Marriott's Frenchman's Cove
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Reviewed 8 September 2009

I just want to give the team at Marriot Frenchman Cove & especially those at Frenchman Reef a shout out. My finacee, myself, and two of our friends stayed at the Frenchman Cove for 6 days, however my finacee took sick and was rush to the emergency room 6 hours after we landed. Unfortunately he was hospitalized for the entire 9 days. The Marriot team was very helpful and extremely supportive through this difficult time. I would like to thank; Shonda White, Jessica Edwards, Melodi Davis, Sheri Metras and Kendra Daniel for all of their assistance. The Marriot team made my stay extremely easy. Last but not lease, during my stay at the Frenchman Reef I got an opportunity to meet and take a picture with one of my favorite stars Marlon Jackson.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank NubianRob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 August 2009

I will start off with the airport...it isn't like leaving JFK in New York....you have to walk down steep stairs leading outside and walk in the hot sun to an indoor non airconditioned waiting area for baggage pickup. The airport was desolate not much going on compared to New York or Miami etc...they are always bustling. No biggie!
I would suggest reserving a rental with Budget and picking it up at the airport while you wait for your luggage....a minivan depending on if you are traveling with your significant other or kids and your mom and hubby...keep in mind Budget charges you for having sand all over the vehicle so make sure to brush off good when you leave the beaches. A little sand won't land you charges but excessive sand where you've left the car damp and nasty will. Ask about it when you pick up. The car seats for kids were nasty...they were a joke...but they were necessary for our 2 and 4 year old.
Transit to the Villas were fine...when we arrrived..we were told arrival on a Thursday isn't great because most people check out on Friday/Saturday...we were also on a preview package and was told most preview reservations are placed in the St. John Bldg, however we could have called the next day, asked for Naomi the Manager and requested a change when people checked out. Once we arrived in our room on the first floor of the St. John bldg...(513) we like the room...there was still somewhat of an ocean view and we just wanted to get settled so we didn't bother calling the next day...we were on a 5 day 4 night package and didn't want to waste time. High rise apartment bldgs mentioned in previous reviews is a little extreme but I can see where they would say that....the highest floor I think is 5 and that isn't nearly a highrise.......there are only 3 buildings where guests stay for now......they are building 4 more bldgs...if you are in D (Virgin Gorda) or C (Jost Van Dyke) you must be an owner...if you are in G (St. John) you are on preview supposedly....although there were cranes we didn't notice any construction or noise.....the shuttle to the other location next door was on time and good....wouldn't walk....parking under the bldgs were cool but saw rat traps in the parking areas....scary for someone on a preview visit...turn off...saw roaches but no rats just traps...thank God.

I will try to make this quick:

Prices were high
Food
The Cafe was ok but high... the shrimp wrap was made different a few times....hubby loved the fish tacos..mom got sick off the chicken sandwich...Pueblos was a disappointment compared to supermarkets in NY....if you don't eat meat forget about it...live off of veggies or eat at the Cafe unless you get up 6am to catch the man with fresh caught fish from the truck....then if you are use to fillet fish you are getting it whole from him and you have to fillet it yourself....hubby did the fillet and it was good but it wasn't that great with the bones..visit Cost U Less if you are staying a while...or send your food beforehand

Infinity Pool
Was warm all the time and my mom thought it was harboring germs and didn't see a constant water flow circulating the water....the slide was great for the kids and the pool area was cool...new is always good...we went over to the Reef and it was older didn't like it much over there...although I had small kids I didn't use the children's center...went to rent a movie and they wanted to charge $5 for a movie that was out for 10 years...nothing close to being new and I could count on both hands the selection...maybe 10....


Beach at the Cove(Evening Star Beach)
was a little rocky but with water shoes it is fine and once you get a few feet into the ocean it all smoothes out...we could also see the fish at our feet....adequate..there are so many other beaches but if you didn't want to travel this was cool enough with the pool as an alternative....we visited Coki and Linquiest (spelling)..Linquiest was quiet with a life quard and the water was smooth...no waves...Coki was rough (you can feed the fish with dog bisquits) but the seagulls/birds try to take your head off diving for what you are trying to give the fish...it was annoying and took away the fun....the waves(ripetide) from the Florida Storm didn't make it any easier....didn't go to Magen because of the Storm in Florida and the ship traffic...we were fine with our beach visits...but expore if you so choose.

St John
Decided not to pay the $50 to go because of the rough waters...but if you visit and there isn't any storms in Florida making the water rough then explore.

Roads and locals were ok didn't pay any attention to any attitudes..all the locals we aske for directions from were nice

Iguanas everywhere...all around the Cove Beach and Pool area

Staff
Friendly but not attentive
Mom got sick off the chicken sandwich the night before we were flying home...we called the oncall doctor (nice touch they had available) but he didn't call until I was checking out....my mom was feeling better or I would have called a second time so that may have been why he called the next day we only gave in one call....

Room
Since my husband is an early riser and did most of the cooking and cleaning he ran into some friendly creatures (roaches) in the kitchen area by the washing machine...i was grossed out and kept my bags up on chairs..we told them and they claime they would fumigate before allowing guests in again....513 was the room in the St John......the chandelier over the dining table was too low...I am 5'5' and every time I stood I hit my head....they need to remove the chain and make it flush to the ceiling..washer and dryer were ok .....I found a dirty glass in the cabinet with a lipstick stain still on it...glad I held it to the light..

Gym
Small but served it's purpose...no room for a floor exercise...the columns block your view of the ocean depending on where you are working out..the locker room seem ok...warm from a sauna I think but smelled clean...I only went in to weigh myself....they have wipes so you can wipe the machines down and headphones..used and new...the new basket was empty of course....but you should have your own if you are using an ipod of iphone...they have a radio and tv for their headphone use.

Room Service
This is only available for preview packages but it's a joke anyway. the towels were old and cheap and you were lucky to get a white plush towel...some/most were grey and thin...the room service was replacing towels and taking the blanket and pulling it up to the pillow area...no replacement, shake out....you could tell...the shower was ok..didn't use the tub area.....we had to continually adjust the mattress on the boxspring it kept moving..

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
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Thank MaMaBrooklyn_NewYork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 August 2009

Finally stayed in our home resort after trading for Orlando, Breckenridge, and Aruba for the last 3 years (we wanted to wait until some of the construction was finished). The resort itself is first-class all the way. Room was beautifully appointed, great views, nice pool, restaurant food was actually very good. The resort staff was freindly and helpful. Overall, I would definitely recommend Frenchman's Cove.
However, there were 3 things that I was disappointed with: the prices, the road system, and the locals-particularly in Charlotte Amalie.
First- the prices: We have vacationed in some pretty expensive places, but the prices here just seemed arbitrarily high, with no logic or reason. A half-gallon of milk at the resort store cost over $8. A typical fast-food meal for 2 adults and 2 children was over $50. A restaurant meal was - well, you can imagine. We went to the local grocery store our second day (Pueblo - downtown near the resort) and stocked up on food, which saved us a bundle.
Second, the road system: Again, we usually rent a car/Jeep in some of the other Caribbean locations we go to (Cozumel, Aruba), and the driving is usually pretty straighforward. In St. Thomas, however, it is a whole diferrent story. Narrow, winding mountain roads, coupled with breathtaking scenery, non-existant signage, and aggressive locals, PLUS driving on the left side, but with steering wheels also on the left, make for a tragedy waiting to happen. I'm all for adventure, but this was just crazy stuff. The road signs are useless, and even with a map in hand, we got lost several times. This is just one of those places where you really have to know where you are going to get anywhere. When we arrived at the airport and began our drive through town, we could actually see the resort on the other side of the bay, and we still got lost several times, because of all the construction and lack of road signs.
And then there were the locals. We were really shocked at how surly and genuinely unfreindly many of them were. Unlike other vacation destinations in the Caribbean, where most locals have accepted the fact that they live in paradise and therfore must learn to abide the tourists who keep the local economy afloat, the locals here seemed to be bitter about the tourist industry. Aslo, some of the back streets of Charlotte Amalie and some of the remote areas of the island appeared pretty desperate.
Other than that, we had a great trip. Here are some of the things I would recommend for and against:
Recommended:
- take the ferry to St. John and visit some of the world-famous beaches there. We had a rental car and took the car ferry ($50 per car, if I remember). Trunk Bay really is out of this world - I've never seen such a beautiful beach paradise. Megans Bay on St. Thomas is also very nice, but more crowded on cruise days. The water is really unbelievable - just like a pool.
- Charter a small motor cruiser for the day (the resort concierge recommended us to a good one) and go island-hopping. We went to several BVI islands, including Jost Van Dyke and a small, uninhabited island called Sandy Cay. We only stayed there for an hour, but the kids loved exploring the entire island from an interior trail that was absolutely crawling with hundreds of iguanas and hermit crabs - some as big as my fist. If we go back, I'd like to stay at least half a day on Sandy Cay.
- Visit some of the local dives, like Skinny Legs on St. John and Sidney's Peace and Love Bar on Jost Van Dyke. Great atmosphere, drinks, and food.
- Frenchman's Cove activities, including the "make your own ice cream sundae" in the kids area.
Skip these:
- We wanted to go to "The Baths" on Virgin Gorda, but some of the resort staff and our boat crew told us it was crowded and overrated.
- Pueblo and downtown Charlotte Amalie. Pretty awful. Instead (I hate to say it), go to the "Americanized" area called Tutu Mall. It has more stores and is cleaner and safer.
- Kayaking the mangroves. Supposedly, many boats and businesses empty their sewage, gas, and oil into the area and it's allegedly very polluted.

Wow - this turned into a long review. Hope it helps someone looking to go to Frenchman's Cove.

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
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12  Thank RiffRaff63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 August 2009

I arrived with my wife and 5 children ages 8 thru 12. Upon exiting the Taxi with all of our luggaage not one person came outside to assist us in any way. I'm sorry, but in a resort of this size someone should be welcoming guests in and providing assistance. Once inside the resort the service was not better. Rating this resort through out our 8 day stay on service....I would rate it poorly. Don't look for any help unless you seek it out on your own.

The pool is small but clean. The water was exrtremely warm but obviously nothing they could do to control it. During the day the pool is fun and it's fine for the children. At night, don't plan on letting your children be alone. There is not security staff walking by to check on behavior. We had numerous occassions with people being intoxicated, saying comments to my wife when I was in the room. (Sick the first 2 nights.) Plus people were smoking in the pool and around the pool disregarding the "smoking areas."
I just feel that women and children should feel comfortable when traveling alone.

If this pool didn't have a slide, the kids would definately have not enjoyed it.
The slide is a HUGE part of the fun for this smaller size pool.

Overall the resort is clean and very nice. If you're looking for a an upscale resort, try the Westin Resort at St John's. Overall it's a much nicer stay, better accomodations and much better service. The staff isn't and "friendlier", but the service is better hands down.

One tip for families. Rent a car, the taxi is $12 per person to the Marriott. So, renting it at the airport is much cheaper. Go food shopping the first chance you get at Cost you Less. It's about a 20 min ride from the resort and for about $400-$500 you will have all the food/drinks you need for the week. It's similiar to a BJ's/Sam's Club but no memebrship card is needed.

Overall it's an okay place. I just would skip this resort in the future.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
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2  Thank mjt63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 August 2009

This facility and accomodations were as nice a advertised. The location is beautiful and senic, easy to roll down to center of town/shops. The staff overall was subdued, did not promote the facility, activities, services, excursions as they should in such a location. If you approached them they were polite, but you are on your own to search out these resources. The Marriott Reef Hotel next door does offer these services, so suggest to use them to accomodate these needs. We found food overly expensive at the Reef and Cove, as well as the nicer restaurants around the island. The island offers beach, boating and fishing paradises, but nightlife is basically non-existent. As a frequent traveler and boater, I would re-visit the Island and the Marriott Reef Villas, but do not expect much cultural or entertainment activities. Rent a car for sure, charter a boat, stock your villa with own food/drink and enjoy.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank threekidsCt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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