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“Do Not book Bolongo”

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Bolongo Bay Beach Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in South Coast
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 7 June 2005

Reading over recent reviews of Bolongo makes me wonder why opinions vary so widely. Having stayed at this dubious "Club Everything" four years ago, and given that the resort has not been refurbished in the intervening years, I want to say: Believe the folks who say this place is run down--nothing more than a very bad motel. We had booked 7 days and gutzed it out because we wanted the free catamaran sailing. I would advise simpling paying the bucks to do the one-day trip while staying elsewhere. The "Heavenly Daze" outting was great fun and the snorkeling delightful, but it was not worth the 7 nights of "YUCK" in terms of the lodging.

I don't consider myself to be at all snobbish, but I wonder if Bolongo is attractive to people who don't normally stay at nicer resorts. We are simply middle class folk--teachers from the Midwest, yet the other guests at Bolongo were just a bit declasse for us rural USA dwellers. Additionally, although booked as a family place, my sons, 17 and 11 at the time, found no one their age with whom to interact during our stay.

As a better alternative, I suggest Marriott's Frenchmen's Reef and Morningstar Beach. We had booked Morningstar for the last three nights of our USVI trip and did a mental head slap when we saw how beautiful it was compared to Bolongo. The pools, views, rooms, and dining at the Marriott properties were wonderful.

  • Stayed: June 2001
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13  Thank Deborah M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,137 - 1,143 of 1,225 reviews

A TripAdvisor Member
Charlotte, NC
117
Reviewed 1 June 2005

THIS REVIEW IS MEANT TO HELP FUTURE POTENTIAL BOLONGO VISITERS. THEREFORE, IT IS TRUTHFUL AND DETAILED! My boyfriend and I went to Bolongo from May 19th- May 24th. We are both 23 yrs old with memories of college co-ed dorm rooms still fresh in our heads, so we were not expecting or wanting anything extravagant. We basically just wanted a place that we could sleep comfortably because we knew we would be spending each day at the beach or shopping. OKAY, FIRST LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT BOLONGO. It is a motel. The rooms do need renovating, but they were actually nicer than I thought. Like you, I was reading the hotel reviews and finding myself worried to death about our trip. Like many have said, the showers are really small. They are standing showers only, however, both of us managed to fit in there together. They are kinda dingy though. I think the shower is the worst part of the room. The second worst part of the room is the freaking mosquitoes! BRING BUG SPRAY. Thank god for the reviews because we literally slept with coats of bug spray on! The rooms were pretty clean, much cleaner than I thought they were gonna be from reading the reviews. It is nice that each room has a view of the ocean. It is a great view and I think Bolongo is one of few beaches where you can open your door and step out onto the beach. Iggie’s is a neat beach bar. We ate there for lunch the first day we arrived. The cheeseburgers are good. We also went one night for karaoke and that was really amusing. We spent the night in one of the hammocks listening to all those crazy people singing! (Don’t forget the bug spray). The Beach House seems to be a nice little restaurant. We planned on eating there but just never got around to it. It is overlooks the pool and the beach, and they also give you a free bottle of wine if you order two entrees. It is kinda expensive, but almost every place there is. Remember the cheeseburger? Ten dollars! The pool is kinda neat. I do love pool bars. And the drinks are strong, both at the pool and at Iggie’s. Actually, the entire island makes strong drinks. The beach is also okay, there are plenty of chairs and little cabañas. The water is really rocky though so unless you have those water shoes, forget about it. The water also is no where near as pristine as it should be for St. Thomas. My advice, unless you have kids (which by the way, it seems like there are lots of kid activities going on around the beach area) is to go to other beaches! The staff is okay. I definitely didn’t get the same impression as some of the reviewers and didn't think they were that friendly. PROBLEMS WITH THE ROOM: When we got there, we were put in the wrong room. Instead of a Queen/King bed, we had two little beds. The trash was also not taken out of the room. So, on the second day we got transferred to the correct room, which was actually nicer than the first. However, this next room had toilet issues. I don't think the toilet worked the entire time we were there. That was a pain. We also didn't have water one or two times. WHO SHOULD GO TO BOLONGO: If you are on a budget or do not plan on spending much time, other than sleeping, in your room. THINGS TO DEFINITELY DO: Go to St. John!!!! I cannot stress this enough. Forget about spending the 225 to take a private boat or the Bolongo boat over to the island. Take the ferry for 3 dollars each. It is a 20 minute ferry ride and a 4 dollar taxi ride to Trunk Bay. Go to Trunk Bay if you plan to snorkel. It is truly amazing and the beach/water is even nicer than St. Thomas. You can easily stay a day. I think we would have gone a second day, but we did the St. Johns trip on the last day of our stay. We are trying to go back this summer. Also, make sure you go to Magen’s Bay in St. Thomas. It really is beautiful. Coki Beach is okay, but its crowded and kinda dirty compared to the other beaches. RENT A CAR. We rented a car for 3 days. It was like 196 dollars but worth it. You are gonna be paying a taxi 20 dollars each way anyway, and the Bolongo shuttles are really useless and you still have to pay for those. Definitely rent the car because driving around the island is so much fun and so easy. You can beach hop and go out to eat whenever you want. We definitely enjoyed the island drives. Be careful for the iguanas though! They are EVERYWHERE! Shopping is so fun! If you want to buy jewelry or liquor, downtown is the place. You get everything so much cheaper, and also everything is tax free. There really isn’t that many places to buy clothes, but lots of great jewelry places. Make sure you go to the big ones though, the little shops were too shady for us. We got a great deal on a Movado watch and I got Chanel sunglasses, no deal on that one though! You can definitely spend a half a day shopping, if not a day. That is about it. If you want to ask me specific questions or want to see pictures you can email me at benaan4@law.wfu.edu. I would be glad to help you anyway I can. Remember to wear sunscreen!!! Have fun! Andrea

ps. You have to remember that St Thomas is a poor area. Even the high class restaurants aren’t that new/clean/nice. I mean they were fine, but they would never fly back home. The hotels are the same way. Unless you are at the Ritz or Marriot (I saw the Marriot and really wasn't that impressed), things are going to be average.

17  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Newton, NJ
15
Reviewed 18 May 2005

We returned on 5/14/05 from a stay at Bolongo Bay. What a wonderful place! We stayed in one of the villas which had 2 bedrooms and 2 baths. It was perfect for us as we were a family of 5 (me, my husband, 9 year old son, 12 year old daughter and their 13 year old cousin). They have 2 restaurants on site which we ate in most often because of the all-inclusive. Both are great. Iggie's is a casual beach bar/restaurant and the Beach House is the place for dinner. For an all inclusive, I think the food was great and the drinks even better! Nothing was "cheapened" by being on an all-inclusive as I have seen in the past. I cannot say enough about the staff! From the front desk (Ice and Heflyn) the day we checked in, to the waiters for dinner (at the Beach House) or waiters at Iggies for lunch or a snack! Ray (from South Carolina) at Iggies is WONDERFUL. What a polite, pleasant and respectfuly young man! He's great with the kids, and everyone else! Priscilla (a waitress at breakfast at the Beach House) is terrific. Alex (waiter at dinner at Beach House) is a great guy too! We made wonderful memories there and will return. Some mosquitos at night, but if you have OFF not a problem. Rooms were kept clean and neat and no bugs in sight as I have seen in other reviews. Not crowded this time of year either, which the adults liked but the kids would have like to have some more kids around. A few more activities at night geared toward kids would've been nice, but all in all A GREAT VACATION!

5  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 May 2005

Just wanted to add a quick review since my wife and I just returned from 7 days at Bolongo. I searched the web for reviews of resorts prior to making plans for this vacation. Thank god I listened to those who posted great reviews for Bolongo! It was awsome, the staff was fantastic and the food at both the beach house and Iggies was great! The staff really does care about you from the time you check in till the time you depart.. They do their best to do anything they can to make your stay all you want it to be! Your not just another customer..

Bolongo isn't the Ritz.. it's not for those who walk on water, it more for those who wish to swim in it and enjoy it! Sure, it's not filled with gold and diamond fixtures and million dollar suites.. But, it's a REAL carribean island get-away for REAL people who want to escape the everyday tensions of life and enjoy the Islands and all they have to offer. If you want a place like the Ritz, stay at the Ritz.. If you want to be treated like family, and have a great time.. Bolongo is it..... Can't wait to go back.....

  • Stayed: May 2005
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14  Thank bbern2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 May 2005

Bolongo is nothing more than a run down motel. We have been to St. Thomas many times -- we've stayed at Secret Harbor, Frenchman's Reef Marriott and we also own a timeshare at the Westin St. John. If you are used to motels -- this will be fine for you. If you are expecting an actual resort -- you will hate it here. The room was filthy upon check-in -- complete with the lipstick marks of a previous guest on the glasses in the bathroon (I don't know how anyone could miss that). The shower was tiny and absolutely disgusting. The bed was incredibly uncomfortable -- our "king" bed was two twins pushed together with a piece over the middle! Iggy's food was gross -- a hamburger took 50 minutes and came out rare.

Bottom line -- if you like Westin, Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott -- DO NOT BOOK A ROOM HERE. If you like Motel 6 -- run down -- this is the place for you!!!

  • Stayed: August 2003
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13  Thank etraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 April 2005

Although I stayed at Bolongo a year ago, I decided to post my review. I have been using tripadvisor comments to assist me with my tropical vacation again this year & I'd like to share my past experiences as well. My boyfriend and I stayed at Bolongo Bay for 3 nights/4 days in March of '04. The exterior area of the place is well-kept & there is a beautiful ocean view. We went A.I., and honestly did not get our $$ worth. We are not huge drinkers & we wanted to see some of the island, so we found ourselves not always eating there. The food at Iggie's was okay. The food at the Beach House was very good for dinner. We ate breakfast there every morning, and that was good also. The pool is very small & the beach is a bit rocky right off the shore - a good pair of water shoes solves any problems. The water sports included were not that great because the area they allow you to use them in is very small. If several people are out at once, it is a joke to try to enjoy yourself. I would take bug spray for your rooms and plan to use some in the evening if you are at Iggie's. The nightly entertainment was a bit of a let down. The main area of our room was pleasant - the bathrooom left a little to be desired. We started our stay on the first floor with a nice patio - however, on the first evening, our air conditioner exploded [I thought a bomb had gone off in our room - seriously!]. The staff was great to move us to another room in the middle of the night. We wound up in a little nicer room - but up 3 flights of stairs - which gets tiring doing multiple times a day.
Sights- Spent a day at beautiful Magen's Bay, spent a day sailing and snorkeling at St. John -the best beaches I've ever seen!
This is an honest review, take some of the other's with a grain of salt. I have attached some pictures. I would go back to St. Thomas, prob. not to Bolongo. The staff is wonderful, and if you are looking for a budget place, this is okay - I'd just like a little cleaner feeling in my room/bathroom.

  • Stayed: March 2004
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13  Thank sunseekerOH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 April 2005

We were very disappointed with this "resort" it was probably ok when it was new but really needs remodeling~the wood on the cabinets in the bathroom was rotting and the cabinet's in the kitchen were metal and made a loud awful noise. You couldn't open a cabinet or door without it banging into a beam~your feet were black after walking across the floor~only two hammocks on the very small rocky beach and they were filthy~The lounge chairs on the beach were very old and rusty. Take the ferry to st. John and camp at Cinnamon bay for $27-it's great! St. Thomas is way too crowded and you either pay a fortune in cabs or sit in traffic forever looking for a place to park your rental~

  • Stayed: April 2005
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4  Thank sunfairy3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Bolongo Bay Beach Resort

Address: 7150 Bolongo, 00802, St. Thomas
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > U.S. Virgin Islands > St. Thomas > South Coast
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in South Coast
Price Range: £137 - £361 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Bolongo Bay Beach Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 74
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Since 1974, Bolongo Bay Beach Resort has welcomed guests from around the world curious to discover life in the Caribbean. Bolongo Bay is a small, authentic Caribbean beach resort on the southern coast of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. Located in a beautiful bay touching the Caribbean Sea, Bolongo Bay offers a perfect harmony of relaxation, solitude & adventure. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bolongo Bay Beach Hotel South Coast
Hotel Bolongo Bay Beach
Bolongo Bay St Thomas
Bolongo Bay Beach Resort St. Thomas/South Coast

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