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Marriott's Frenchman's Cove
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Reviewed 8 October 2009

The room and hotel grounds were very clean and everything is brand new. I did feel like it was quite the walk to get to the beach, pool and restuarant. The pool was outstanding. Very large, and right on the beach. The hotel bar was situated nice and right next to the pool. We enjoyed several happy hours after a day at the beach and before a night on the town. The pool and hot tub were also open late night.

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled with friends
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1  Thank KristinK4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 September 2009

We stayed at the Cove in a 2 bedroom unit with our very good friends accompanying us. We were 4 adults and the room was just amazing! Very clean, roomy and comfortable. There is a lot of walking to get to your room, parking and the pool/beach area so put on your walking shoes. The food was good in the Bar/Grill area as it is the only resturant at the Cove, service there is very slow. Get take out and bring it to your room and eat.
The resort was very relaxing and they really try to get people involved with the entertainment. My husband won a dance contest by the pool and it was a blast. I have the video posted on Facebook and everyone is hysterical. He won a bottle of rum but didn't need anymore rum in him as that's all he did was drink and have a good time.
Whatever you do, if you want to buy food or drinks for your room go to K-Mart. It is the cheapest and cleanest place. The supermarkets are a joke and dirty! If you can bring food and stuff from home. It is worth to pay extra for luggage as everything is so expensive. We bought sauce and canned clams and Spagetti from home and made dinner one night , it was the best meal we had all week. The resturants are overpriced and not worth the cost, everthing is sold seperate on the menu and desert was $10 for a piece of cake! We preferred eating at The Cove, the Jerk Chicken wraps are great and the burgers too. Oh, we also bought packages of flavored rice from home and then bought the childrens order of Chicken Fingers from The Cove and had another dinner in our condo.
I feel the resort offered everything we wanted and needed. We just wanted to getaway and chill and we made so many nice friends while there. Theresa, Peter, Susan and Tony from Charlston, SC where the Best! Diana at the Front desk was a sweetheart and we all hugged when we left. A must is to go over to St. John, it was beautiful and the beaches are gorgeous. It was also nice to have the shuttle to go next door to the Reef.

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank arubaNewJersey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 September 2009

Stayed in a 3 BR unit for a week in September. We were there on a trade from our Park City Summit Watch timeshare. I assumed we would not get the best view or unit because of that and I was correct, well initially. I had requested a high unit with a view(it was worth a try), but they said they were all taken. We were in the main building on the first floor. On checking the unit, I was disappointed to be looking right AT the driveway and the oncoming cars. We went back up and asked for anything else and they moved us up 2 floors, which was fine. As luck would have it, we looked out over the water at an island upon waking up in our room, and that was really the only time the view mattered.
The unit was clean and the usual Marriott timeshare(have stayed in Park City, Aruba and Maui). The unit was well stocked.
People complain about the walk to the pool and the elevators...well, it's built on the side of a hill, as are many St. Thomas properties. We took the stairs and the elevators, and looked on it as exercise. If one has mobility issues, it would be best to be assured before booking that you would be in a building that didn't require much walking to get to the beach/pool area. For those of you that don't need a handicapped tag on your car, there is no problem. We would think nothing of going back up to refill our drink cooler.

We checked out the Frenchman's Reef/MorningStar pool/beach area, but to be honest, we liked our area better. Our pool is an infinity pool with a little slide, and the pool was a fine size for when we were there, and apparently they were 99.5% occupied. The pool looks out over the beach area and the water with an island in the distance. They are redoing the pier, which may be done sometime this century, so we pointed our beach chairs so we weren't facing it. We always sat on the beach. In the evenings, after sunset, we often sat at the pool, and it was quite lovely and VERY quiet looking out at the bay and the lights of Charlotte Amalie whilst sitiing in chairs in the pool. There is a coral or rock area as you enter the beach, so wear beach shoes. Or, if you enter almost directly across from the stair area, the rock acts like a step...just step up on it and on to the sand. No one seemed to have a problem, and some people would sit on the rock area, which was flat. Snorkeling to the right had some nice coral and fish. There is entertainment a couple of evenings during happy hour.
We did not eat at any restaurants on the whole complex. We brought our own beverages to the beach in a cooler, and would go back to the unit to eat lunch. Had dinner out one night at Hook, Line and Sinker in Frenchtown, but were very happy to cook or grill so we could enjoy our peaceful post dinner time looking out over the bay.
It was about 15 minutes from Red Hook and the Food Center, and 5 minutes from Havensight and the KMart in town. Easy to get to the airport. We had a car, and never took the little shuttle into town, but a lot of people did.
I'd recommend this highly. Just remember that it is really not a full service hotel like Frenchman's Reef, which was the appeal to us. Oh, BTW, there was not much timeshare sales pressure as compared to the Marriott Surf Club in Aruba. Go and enjoy!

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled with friends
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3  Thank mentoroh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 September 2009

THE RESORT: I've stayed at Marriott resorts all over and I will agree with the other reviews in that this is not your typical Marriott. Meaning...it is a very small resort, small pool, small beach, virtually no entertainment, and doesn't have the lush vegetation or grounds that most of the Marriott resorts do, but it is still nice. It was a clean resort with great views of the harbor and face it people, you are in the Virgin Islands...you will be out exploring. With all of the BEAUTIFUL places to see here, we were rarely at our resort. But, once the construction is completed, I'm sure it will be much nicer than what it is and there will be more gardens, etc. With the hills and cliffs here, there isn't much room for them to expand so give credit where it is due I guess. I will say though if you have small children this beach is NOT for you. There is a very small walking path to get into the water as the rest of it is crowded with coral and sea urchins which will HURT to step on. I wouldn't let my little ones go in the water at this beach. If you have older children who love to snorkel, it would be a great beach but it really is not a swimming beach.
Car Rental: You WILL want a car. The taxi's will cost you just as much as you pay per person, not by the carload here, as renting a car will each day. I would never come to this place without renting a car unless you plan on hanging out at the resort and doing nothing and this is like your fourth trip back. Just like anywhere else, you need to watch the neighborhood's you stop in, but overall, it isn't that large of an island. The other reviews are correct in that there are windy and hilly roads and the streets aren't marked that well but this is an island. If you take a wrong turn, it's not that hard to figure out where you are considering it is only a few miles wide in some places. If you plan on exploring a lot and want to drive the entire island, I would recommend a 4 wheel drive vehicle. We had a two door soft top jeep and what a fun vehicle to have here!! You got views from all sides with the top off and the four wheel drive made me feel very comfortable with the hills, etc. If you are planning on staying at St. John island or are taking the car ferry over there to explore, RENT NOTHING BUT A 4WD VEHICLE. The hills and roads over there are insanely steep if you venture out. St. Thomas you could get away with a regular car if you take main roads.
SNORKELING: DO NOT PAY FOR THE TOURS TO SNORKEL...save yourself money!!!!! There is absolutely NO NEED to pay for a snorkel trip ANYWHERE in the VI. We snorkeled virtually every bay in St. Thomas and many in St. John. The coral you will see on the beaches I recommend has the same coral, same fish, and same experience as a $150 trip. If you are in St. Thomas, snorkel Coki Beach. This is great for all ages. It has a really nice coral reef, tons of fish, and they sell dog biscuits to feed the fish. They will swarm you and you will get the full effect of snorkeling. You may see sea turtles, sting rays, squid, and every kind of fish imaginable here. It has great depths too for those who like a deeper snorkel experience but also has good shallow depths for the little ones. This is a party beach with lots of locals so if loud music isn't your thing, you may not enjoy lounging here but it is the best snorkeling on the island. If you prefer a quieter snorkeling place, Sapphire Beach on the other side of Coki Beach is more private, quiet, and has some good snorkeling as well. The water here is the prettiest on the island in our opinion and you have amazing views of the other virgin islands. Brewer's Bay by the airport isn't bad also. If you are going to St. John's island, Trunk Bay is great snorkeling as is the cliffs at Maho Bay if you take it all the way out. We took an all inclusive tour of Diamond Reef among other things and what a waste of money. Diamond Reef is pretty but NO different than every other bay we snorkeled in for free. So don't pay for it....
BEACHES: On St. Thomas, the best beach is Magen's Bay. It is like a bathtub. But if you want the real postcard beaches, GO TO ST. JOHN. Trunk Bay is the most beautiful, most unbelievable views and water I have ever seen. It is BEAUTIFUL and I have never raved about a beach as much as that one. After all, it is voted one of the ten most beautiful beaches in the entire world. I will post pics of it. On St. John, your beaches are quiet, romantic, and perfect. You could hit any one of them and be happy there...Cinnamon Bay, Hawksnest, Maho, Trunk...you name it, they are all gorgeous.
RESTAURANTS/GROCERIES: Mim's Seaside Bistro is awesome in St. Thomas. Had the crab and tuna...amazing. The side dishes were nothing to rave about but the seafood was great. A lot of the restaurants really weren't THAT much more than what you would pay back home. You will pay a little more but it isn't astronomical. If you are eating at a beachside shack you'll pay movie theater or baseball game prices so that gets spendy but if you eat at a sitdown restaurant, it isn't a ton more. Groceries...you will pay WAY more than what you are used to (gallon of milk $8). Seriously, you aren't saving a ton of money going that route unless you are bringing a family of 6. If it is just you and your spouse and you like eating out, eat out. We ate at KFC for like $6/person..grocery store would have been way more for a meal. No refills on pop here if you are a soda person...anywhere.
TOURS: We chose to not do a lot of tours b/c we could do everything for free here. We did do one tour on New Horizons. We took a tour of "The Baths" on the British Virgin Islands, snorkeled Diamond Reef, and stopped at Jost Van Dyke for the soggy dollar beach bars. It cost nearly $300 by the time we tipped. I will not put down the crew..they were excellent. They worked hard, were friendly, VERY organized, and did a great job. I would recommend New Horizons for any tour you might want to do. The tour itself wasn't so hot. If watching 50+ year olds get completely hammered all day from 7:30-4:30 is your thing, than this is the tour for you! You will have a blast if drinking is totally your thing and you are in that age category. In a nutshell, it's a great way to see a lot of islands. You get to the British Virgin Islands, you hop a taxi, you go see a bunch of huge rocks, but you are so limited on time that you take this hike and eat at the Baths restaurant (great views/crappy food) so quick, it is time to go. If you are a rock enthusiast, this tour will fascinate you. If you aren't, you probably won't enjoy it. And if you are older and not physically fit, handicapped, this tour is definitely not for you. You will hike through them and go up and down skinny ladders, etc. Unless you go through the tour, you won't see much either. Back on the boat..on to Diamond Reef. Pretty but like I said, just like every other FREE snorkeling I did all week. Back on the boat, off to Jost Van Dyke for more drinking. This beach wasn't any different than anything else..again can do it for free. All in all, a waste of money. 75% of your day is getting to and from so it is mostly a boat trip. Not much to see. Wish we would have spent $42 to go back to St. John for the day instead of $300. Live and learn.
OVERALL: Stay on St. John. Much prettier. St. Thomas is great and will offer you more shopping, more restaurants, and more to do. St. John for honeymooners, romance, and views/beaches/water is by far much nicer. Check out the Westin at St. John as I think that is one of their nicer hotels. Go to Woody's..you may just run into Kenny Chesney which is said to be one of his favorite places to hang out. We just missed him we were told by the waitresses. St. John is just smaller, more national park, and has a small town village feel. I liked it better anyways. But if you stay on St. Thomas, believe me when I say take your car on the ferry there for the day. You won't regret it. Hope this all helps.

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled as a couple
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21  Thank BeachLovers07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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Thank NubianRob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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