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“Paradise Campground” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Cinnamon Bay Campground

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Cinnamon Bay Campground
Canada
Level Contributor
14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Paradise Campground”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 March 2007

We stayed at Cinnamon Bay Campground for 10 days. We had our own tent set up just a few meters from the beach where we could listen to the "soothing" sound of the waves at night. Hiking, snorkeling, kayaking, sailing, or just lying on the beach made this trip a dream vacation for us.
Though expensive, there is a convenient mini-market where we could resupply on food or drinks. The only disappointment was that they had no white gas available, so if you bring your own stove, you might want to purchase some at the hardware store in Cruz Bay or in St-Thomas. There were a few bugs after sunset, but a bit of repellent took care of them.
Definitely not the place for the fancy resort crowd but an amazing place for camping. We're glad we brought our tent, the canvas type available let bugs inside and look "musty".
We found the campground staff nice and helpful, once we got used to their Island pace. Getting around the island using taxis or bus was OK.

  • Liked — Close to the beach
  • Disliked — White gas not available at Mini-market
  • Stayed March 2007, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
Helpful?
9 Thank Joe2258
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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269 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (68)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • Polish first
  • Any
English first
Rochester,NY
Level Contributor
170 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 February 2007

I have to laugh when I read others review. If you love to camp and want to be close to beach (30 seconds and you're there) you'll love this place. If you like to stay at 5 star resorts and be pampered this place is not for you.

My husband, 14 year old daughter, and myself stay here during winter break in February of 2006. We love it. We definately would go back. We learned that we needed to slow down our New York State pace for the Carribean pace. You are vacation, RELAX. The cottages are rustic with electricity. The showers use cold running water. I recommend after a day on the beach not first thing in the morning. The restaurant has very tasty food with a different theme every night. Service is slow but if you talk with the staff, they are very accomodating.

The mile long white sand beach is gorgeous and has good snorkeling. The best snorkeling is a cab ride away to Waterlemon Cay. There we saw sea turtle, morey eels, octopus, nurse sharks, and the biggest, most colorful starfish, I have ever seen. We also saw many colorful fish.

In Cruz Bay there is a restaurant, that serves New York style thin crust pizza. The best deal in town at only $10 for an 18 inch pie with pepperoni. Mongoose Shopping Center is a great place to shop.

  • Stayed February 2007, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
13 Thank cj-poohfan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Berlin, MD
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 January 2007

We took a day trip from St Thomas to St John. We found the beach at Cinnamon campground to have rough surf and huge rocks that crashed on your feet and legs when the waves broke. We didn't feel safe swimming there. I do have to say there was a high surf advisory the day we went. The beach was very small. The scenery was nice and there was a family of donkey there.

  • Stayed January 2007, travelled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
Helpful?
Thank Melli56566
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Level Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 January 2007

My sister, mother, aunt and I stayed in a cabin at Cinnamon Bay from Jan. 18-22, 2007. I had read reviews here before going and feel like it was about what I expected, which is basic accommodation at a reasonable price (the most affordable on St. John). I believe you get what you pay for.

Our cabin had 4 single beds (real beds, not cots) and came with clean sheets (but not a blanket and one night it did get chilly). We each got a towel, which could be exchanged on specific days for clean ones. The cabin's floor is cement, as were 2 sides (the cabins are in rows of 4-5 attached cabins) and the other 2 sides are screen with curtains. There is also a table with 4 plastic chairs, a sink, cooler (the store sells ice) and some basic utensils. There's good lighting, a small fan and lots of outlets.

The bathrooms are shared and are in a separate building. I found them to be clean and not usually busy. The showers are open on top with stone walls so it feels like you're showering outside, which is neat. Except there is no hot water and THE WATER IN THE SHOWERS IS VERY COLD. My aunt said the water "was like ice" and almost refused to shower. On a really hot day it might feel good, but this time of year don't wait until after dark to shower or you'll freeze.

The campground is right on a beautiful beach, but there are mangroves blocking most of the view and when the tide is up there isn't much beach left. Also, 2 days into the stay I was covered in bug bites, which I believe were mainly from sand fleas on the beach (and a few mosquitoes -- be sure to keep your screens shut at night!). However, the famous Trunk Bay (which is spectacular) isn't far away.

The campground offers a restaurant and small store. The restaurant is reasonably priced for St. John (where food is exteremly expensive) and has a decent selection. Some nights they have live music, karaoke or a theme, like BBQ (with a limited menu). There's also a bar but it closes at like 8pm. The store has the basic necessities (including bags of ice to refridgerate items in your cooler), but also closes pretty early.

I had read some negative reviews here about the staff, but I thought they were very nice. No one moved quickly, but that's standard for the Caribbean. One day we locked our keys in our cabin and the nice security guard let us in and helped us get a bag of ice even though the store had closed, which was sweet of him. I felt secure enough to leave valuables in our cabin, although I probably wouldn't recommend it since the Virgin Islands are known for petty theft. Definitely don't leave valuables in your car.

Overall, we were in St. John during peak season (both the Westin and Caneel Bay's rates were like $700/night) and for being the most affordable accomodation on St. John, I think Cinnamon Bay is a good deal. Just remember, you get what you pay for :-)

  • Liked — affordable, close to the beach -- you could hear the waves at night :-)
  • Disliked — cold showers and bug bites
  • Stayed January 2007, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
13 Thank EmilyTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
virginia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 December 2006

Cinnamon Bay Campgrounds

The location is absolutely beautiful. Very nice snorkeling right off the beach. The campground itself would be great, if only the staff would um, work.

Example: Guess what time the T'ree Lizards restaurant is open for dinner? (Answer below.)

Sign posted by registration paviliion: "Dinner 5:30-7:30pm"

Registration staff tells us verbally: "4:00-6:00pm"

Flyer given to us at registration: "Dinner 5:30-8:00pm"

Flyer in our cottage: "Effective Oct 20, the restaurant operational hours will be ... Dinner 4:00-6:00pm. See attached dinner menu for your information." No menu was attached.

Sign in women's bathroom: "Dear guests: Please be aware that the restaurant and commissary will close at 7pm effective May 9, 2006."

Advertisement in current Park Service newsletter, the Kapok Chronicles: "Dinner 5:30 - 7:30pm"

Answer: None of the above! Show up at any time during any of these hours and you'll find the open-air restaurant closed! Almost all campground employees have gone home. Insider secret: go around back to the kitchen and holler until someone finally shuffles out. He will tell you that you were supposed to notify staff *before 2 pm* that you would like to have dinner that night. But, slowly, he will do you the very great favor of preparing one of two simple dishes for you. Sit down, relax, and enjoy the look on other people's faces as they arrive.

Just for fun, on our last morning at Cinnamon Bay we told every staff member we could find that we planned to have dinner at the T'ree Lizards that night. Giddy, we entered the restaurant at 5pm. Can you guess what happened next? "Nobody tole me. They musta forgot." We laughed and then bullied him into making us pina coladas, too.

Anyway, here are some hints that we wished we'd known in advance.
1. Take lots of clothes, esp swimsuits. Nothing dries -- the clotheslines are in the shade -- and soon any wet clothing flat-out stinks with mildew. No washer/dryer available at Cinnamon Bay.
2. Pick up groceries in Cruz Bay. The Cinnamon Bay commisary hours are as untrustworthy as the restaurant's, and you don't want your morning plans delayed until noon because there's no food available anywhere.
3. Rent a jeep from one of the many agencies in Cruz Bay. Taxis don't wander into Cinnamon Bay until 10 or 11am, and the desk staff resists picking up the phone to call one for you. Having that jeep means that you'll be able to go to Maho Bay next door and eat very good, reasonably priced food at stated hours with pleasant service.

Next time, we'll stay at Maho Bay Campgrounds.

  • Liked — natural setting
  • Disliked — see text
  • Tips/Secrets — see text
  • Stayed November 2006, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
12 Thank akellerVirginia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Moncton, N.B.
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 December 2006

Hi! We just returned from a 8 day stay at the campgound and we had a great time. We brought all our own gear and were glad we did so! The bugs(no-see-ums) were only noticeable around sunset but we used Off For Kids(low deet) which worked fine. We had a few ant bites on our feet but the bug stuff solved that. Everything was just great, even the Toyota Echo we rented, but be aware that the switchbacks on the road are very slippery after a rain. Trunk bay is free if you arrive before 9am, after that it is $4/person. We bought out stove fuel($18usd) at the hardware store.

The only complaint we had was with Sadie Sea charters. We emailed them twice before we arrived, called and left messages three times but they did not answer or return our calls! My partner actually spoke to a human once telling them of our desire to do a 3/4 day tour. They DID NOT return our call and left us scrambling to arrange something else for the Wednesday they had mentioned for a possible tour day. Very poor service, actually no service what so ever. We determinded that "they" were not interested in a party of 2(we had met 2 others at the campgound who were interested in going!) .

So when we return next year we will bypass Sadie Sea and go with someone else!

Alex

  • Liked — The island time, we just chilled.....it was such a crash when we returned home!
  • Disliked — The hornet sting, the lack of fuel at the store
  • Tips/Secrets — If you are disabled choose a cabin in the center of the campground, trails are sandy and the roads have small potholes
  • Stayed November 2006, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
7 Thank AlexA319
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Indiana
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 September 2006

My husband and I stayed in a cottage at the Cinnamon Bay campground for our honeymoon in May of 2006. We absolutely loved it. Other than the sand fleas at dusk, it was perfect.
We snorkeled and beach hopped, drove around in our rented Jeep Wrangler listening to The Mongoose Pirate radio (which I'd love to find on internet radio), and forgot all about our lives here in the States while enjoying Cruzan Rum on the beaches.
We swam with sea turtles, stingrays, and all kinds of spectacular things. There is a family of four donkeys that live at Cinnamon Bay and they frolic and play on the beach at any given time.
Animals are unrestrained, so you are likely to see goats, pigs, and even some cows walking down some of the roads too.
St. Thomas even has giant iguanas crossing the roads (please don't squish them, they are magnificent).
The last night we were there, we were priveleged to see the St. Thomas All Star Steel Drum Band perform at a street festival in Cruz Bay on St. John. I wish I could get a cd.
If you grocery shop on St. John, I recommend the Starfish Market. They are the least expensive.
For people that enjoy camping, St. John is over the top!
We can't wait to go back!!

Helpful?
19 Thank TheThackers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Cinnamon Bay Campground

Property: Cinnamon Bay Campground
Address: Virgin Islands National Park 00831-0720, St. John
Region: Caribbean > U.S. Virgin Islands > St. John > Virgin Islands National Park
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Speciality Lodging in Virgin Islands National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 126
Also Known As:
Cinnamon Bay Campground Hotel Virgin Islands National Park
Cinnamon Bay Campground St. John/Virgin Islands National Park

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