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Sapphire Beach Resort
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in East End
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Plan ahead for a better experience”
Reviewed 5 May 2014

We rented a clean, comfortable condo (C207) from a private owner. The biggest complaint was the WiFi never worked and the back up option did not work either. (In Red Hook we didn't have much better luck getting WiFi. Forced you to disconnect, though, and enjoy the time away!) However, we were just steps away from the stunning beach that was never crowded (late April). The grounds and pool were clean. We had a fantastic yoga class on the beach from Sunita with Sunfit Wellness Services.

FOOD
The big letdown for us was all the promoted restaurants and dive shop were closed. There is a small snack stand on site and a food truck at the top of the rather steep hill. In the future, I'd hit the grocery right away to have some food on hand.

AMENITIES
At the snack stand there's usually a man seated at a table with a clipboard. Ask them to unlock beach chairs for you. Dive shop is closed. I'd pack more sunscreen, a couple extra beach towels, beach shoes for rocky areas, snorkel gear and swim noodles. Everyday necessities are not easy to access.

TRANSPORTATION
Note that there are no safe walking trails into Red Hook, even though it's fairly close. You can get the cheaper safari taxis at the top of the hill for $1-$2, regular taxis ranged from $6-8 each way plus tip. Make sure you take cash with you, smaller bills, and lots of $1's. Hardly anywhere or anyone took credit cards. Unexpected car rental took up most of one day and was very hard to find. Not a lot of signage around the island. Plan ahead if you think you want a car.

ACTIVITIES
We tried to book a boat tour for 3 days and no one ever returned our call. If you can, go on site ahead of time to get full information. The number in the ad we checked out was wrong but the staff didn't seem too concerned. This is definitely island life so don't expect to be in a rush anywhere.

Hope these tips help you have a wonderful time. It is a lovely place and despite the challenges we had a memorable anniversary trip.

Room Tip: Bottom floor gives you direct access to the beach and an unobstructed view.
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Lily H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Mansfield, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
90 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 May 2014

We were very satisfied with this place unlike many of the other of the reviewers on here. The reason we were satisfied is because we booked with the owner of the condo and not with the resort. It seems that many of the units are not in good condition which is unfortunate, but we found a great one. We saw pictures beforehand and the place looked like it was in good condition, so we contacted the owner, Darlene. She was a pleasure to work with and her place, "Seas the Day", was perfectly clean and had everything we needed...even snorkeling gear, a beach bag, a cooler, ice packs and plenty of towels. The bed was very comfortable and large (King size) and I slept well with no disturbances. The beach was 40 feet out the door and the patio included a table and chairs, a lounge chair, and a foot rinse so we didn't track as much sand into the house. Darlene left us a welcome packet with suggestions for restaurants and a password to her wireless so we could use the computer, which came in very handy when trying to find our way around the island. Her property manager came in halfway through the week to provide more towels and change the trash barrels. If you are interested in staying here, I recommend connecting with an owner of one of the well-maintained condos so you have a good experience. Darlene's condo is located on the first floor of E building, which is next to the marina. Apparently, some of the buildings were renovated and E building was not (yet), but it was perfectly fine.

Despite being next to the marina, everything was still very quiet and nothing or nobody disturbed us. We watched the "Double Header" sport fishing boat come in one night and had nice conversations with the fisherman and other tourists as he helped prepare the fish they caught (Check out the Double Header. We'd have gone on one of their fishing trips if we had more time.) There are many tarpon and some barracuda in the marina and we enjoyed looking at them. Jet Skis were available for rent at the marina. The other people living at/vacationing at Sapphire Beach were also very nice. The place felt safe.

The beach at Sapphire is divided into two sections. The section in front of our building is still very much a nice caribbean beach, but it is not the prettiest beach on St. Thomas. It had more of a current and was less inviting in terms of swimming and sand, but I still had a good snorkeling/swim experience there. From E building, if you take a one minute walk on sand, you will see THE beach at Sapphire, which is amazing. It is more of a stereotypical caribbean beach with crystal clear water and multiple gorgeous shades of blue. The snorkeling here is wonderful! It was better than or as good as our other snorkeling experiences on St. Thomas and St. John. We saw such a great variety at the reef, and when we swam out past the reef, we saw rays and turtles. There were also some fish hanging out in shallow waist-deep water, like a junior barracuda, palometas (which may actually bite your leg hair...happened to my boyfriend!) and needlefish. On the way to this section of the beach, you'll pass a volleyball net and some very nice palm trees. We also saw an iguana hanging out in this area. In between the E building beach and the really awesome beach I just described is Prettyklip Point and the pool. The pool was fine...nothing special, but nothing was wrong with it. I had heard that it was gross and it was not. It was better than a lot of pools I've seen. It has a very shallow section and a "deep" section (which isn't really deep...It wasn't above my head and I am 5'5) and the pool is practically located in the ocean, which is cool.

We heard some people saying that they can easily spend a week just at the resort without leaving. Although we are the adventurous type, this is entirely possible to do. Despite having a great experience here, there are some negatives, although they didn't really affect us. It is true that there are "renovations" going on, but I use the term loosely. Nothing appeared to be actively being fixed and there is quite a bit of work to do. The pool bar is in shambles. There are some seats in the pool and it will be so great when the bar is done. On the beach, there is a water equipment rental place and a food place (unsure if it is an actual restaurant or a fast food-type place) also in shambles. Having these places up and running would have made the experience more enjoyable. My boyfriend heard that the pool bar would be done by November, so we'll see. However, I did hear from various locals that there was some drama involving the resort and that people were fighting and at one point the sewers were turned off. Hopefully everything gets figured out, because it would be a shame to let such a nice location end up having to close down. Other negatives are minor and a matter of opinion, really, but I'll include them anyways... 1. The parking lot has a lot of speed bumps and potholes (which were filled halfway through the week with gravel...not sure if that is a permanent fix, but it worked better.) 2. The entrance to the condo (and all the other condos we could see) is right by the air conditioning units, overlooks the parking lot, and is definitely not picturesque. 3. The place is located at the bottom of a large hill. Even if you walk up the hill, there isn't really anywhere to get to on foot except for maybe some other resorts and the Off the Grid BBQ truck (which was great.) You'll need to call a taxi or rent a car.

Please give this place a chance by booking directly through the condo owner.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
3 Thank paisley8387
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Northville, Michigan
Level Contributor
200 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 May 2014

Whole resort needs tons of maintenance and repairs. The land owner and condo owners are in major dispute. Land owner shut down main office and locals tell you the water has to be trucked in. The first condo they tried to stick me with was dumpy with a rusted out refrigerator. The one we got stuck with had newer furniture but, had no working phone the whole week we were there. Broken screen in bathroom. The shower water was scalding unless you adjusted the handles and ran tons of water down the tub spout during the whole shower, that is if you were lucky enough to have all of the handles stay on. The water sports rental was closed, the main pool was roped off, and one restaurant was closed. First night I had no bed pillow as housekeeping was gone for the night. Hole in screen door where lock was supposed to be. I could go on and on. To top it all off, the snorkeling there was not that great. On days the waves were higher, all you saw was sand.

Room Tip: Save your money and stay somewhere else!!!!!
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank Michelle M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Somerdale, New Jersey
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 April 2014

We went here as part of a cruise excursion. After arriving I was shocked that this was even an excursion they offered. The place is run down. It probably was once very nice. However, now the restaurant is closed and the bathrooms had plywood as doors. We picked this excursion to go snorkeling. The beach here has much coral and my daughter got a cut after only 5 minutes in the water. The staff was very kind to her and tried very hard to make her happy. While the staff was friendly, the place was a big disappointment.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Heather W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Saratoga Springs, New York
Level Contributor
50 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 April 2014

As others have stated, you must do your homework. I believe this is a no-brainer when traveling, but it seems many people have poorly rated this place primarily due to lack of research. This is not a "resort" but rather a community of condos, and you get mostly what you would expect...in a community of condos. We rented from a private owner on VRBO, and stayed in Building D (recently renovated) 206. The unit was clean, nice, and well equipped, the views were amazing, and the constant trade winds were refreshing - we never felt hot. We knew there was no "restaurant" or dive shop, or any other amenities. The Banana Cabana is still in operation, and a place to grab a quick bite or drink right on the beach. Other nearby dining locations include the Sapphire Grill up the hill at the village, and the food truck at the top of the hill. Or you could do what most people do, and stop at the grocery store and stock up on all the food and liquor you'll need for the week. The pool is still well-maintained and is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the sun and the breeze. There are many unsightly not-in-use tables, chairs, and garbage near what used to be the restaurant. I was told they were put there on purpose to make it an eyesore, which is a shame, but it didn't affect my opinion of the place. We chose building D because we wanted to be further from the crowds near the nicer (swimmable) area of the beach. It suited us well, and I'm glad we did, because for much of the week it was relatively crowded near the A building. My husband and daughter went snorkeling right off the shore and saw a turtle and a sting ray, and the water, while choppy at times, was swimmable for our 5 year old son. I won't lie - the hill coming down to the resort is a doozy. I'm glad we had a car because I couldn't imagine walking it on the regular. I think it's actually easier if you walk up the hill through Sapphire Village rather than taking the steep road directly up. It's a nice location close to Red Hook for convenience, but I'd highly suggest renting a car to fully enjoy the rest of the island without spending a ton in cab far. Overall I would absolutely stay here again. However, if you are looking for someplace with all the bells and whistles of a high end hotel or resort...this probably isn't the place for you.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
6 Thank djenah79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gloucester, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
76 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 April 2014

I've travelled all over the Caribbean diving and the location and views from Sapphire Beach cannot be beat! Good value as well. As others before me have said, the secret to having a wonderful stay here is to rent directly from the owner and do your diligence in understanding what a given unit is like, they vary enormously in quality. Also understand that you may pay 400-600 less for a less than gorgeous unit, but even those are a great deal.

The location is so great that we chose to eat lunches on the move (and check the restaurants out) and then eat in at night on our outside patio with the fabulous views. If that sounds like you, than by all means get a rental car so you can not only shop and eat for about the same as home - while splurging otherwise) with the best view on the island (and in my case, hubby is the best cook too!). Message me if you want details about where to get the best prices for the best quality.

The car also frees you to visit the many beaches, tour the island, and go to St John on the ferry.

Room Tip: I am not going to give away my favourite unit, but towards the east end of the beach is less hectic...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank scsvirsky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 April 2014

Fantastic condo in great location! We stayed in B107 which was very clean and well maintained with all the luxuries of a hotel (spa-like shower and modern kitchen). Condo is 1/2 mile from Red Hook - perfect for those who want to spend time on St. John as well as St. Thomas. Overall, wonderful stay! Looking forward to returning.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Natalie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sapphire Beach Resort

Property: Sapphire Beach Resort
Address: Rte. 6 Smith Bay | Smith Bay Road, 00802, St. Thomas
Region: Caribbean > U.S. Virgin Islands > St. Thomas > East End
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in East End
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Sapphire Beach Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 171
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Spectacular beachfront villas and suites are directly on beautiful Sapphire Beach by the crystal-clear Caribbean. A full-service restaurant is easily walkable from the beach. Families with kids will enjoy the sand, pool, fishing off the dock or boat, and pirate history. Active vacationers will find plenty of hiking, scuba diving and bicycling to keep on the go. There is something for everyone. Sapphire Beach, Saint Thomas is the perfect vacation island. Book your dream visit today! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sapphire Beach Hotel East End
Hotel Sapphire Beach
Sapphire Beach Resort St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

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