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“Second Time Back...”
Review of Caneel Bay Resort

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Caneel Bay Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Caneel Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Spring Grove, Illinois
Level 5 Contributor
64 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Second Time Back...”
Reviewed 29 November 2013

This was our second trip back to Caneel. Although the resort is still Beautiful, their focus on service seems to have changed. There is a huge focus on weddings and the wedding guests. It might be wise to separate the accommodations for wedding guests and everyone else. I heard this from all the "regular" guests who come to Caneel each year. On our second night there we were awoken by loud LIVE music in the room next to us(guitar, harmonica, drunken singing). It took three calls to security until it was broken up. At first they tried to tell me it was the reception. I would not advise staying near Turtle Bay as it is close to the Turtle Bay House where receptions are held.

Aside from this disturbance we still had a wonderful time. The breakfast was great, desserts at Zozo's were fabulous and of course the gelato was phenomenal! I hope Caneel doesn't loose their focus on all their regular guests. This is a wonderful resort with some of the most beautiful beaches and friendliest staff on St John.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Chris N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 November 2013 via mobile

We were absolutely thrilled with our 4-night stay at Caneel Bay Resort. What a beautiful property and what fantastic service! We couldn't ask for more during our vacation and we can't wait to return. We stayed in the Hawksnest Bay part of the resort with a room that walked right out onto the beach. Perfect! The room itself was better than I expected based on the photos I had seen and the bed was very comfy. The breakfast buffet had all sorts of goodies, even for a limited/picky eater like myself. The grounds were so walkable, the beauty from each beach was just stunning, the staff were so friendly, I just couldn't ask for more!! We will be back!!!!!!

Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Fallseur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Arlington, VA
Level 6 Contributor
34 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 146 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 November 2013

This was my second stay there and my husband’s first. It had been 4 years since my last visit and I was very excited to return. We had a great time and will probably stay here on our next visit.

Room

We had a beachfront room on Turtle Bay on the bottom floor. We were at the end of the building and never heard our neighbors when we were in the room. The water was really rough, especially the first few days of our stay. Our room was very close to the water and it was relaxing to hear the waves crashing, even with the windows closed and air conditioning running. The negative to this was that there was not much beach and no snorkeling because of the waves. We may save the money and stay in one of the less expensive rooms next time since we did not spend any time on “our” beach. It’s easy to walk or take the shuttle to visit all the beaches on the property. The room was spacious and the bed was very comfortable. They gave us champagne to celebrate our anniversary and we also had the usual complimentary rum, cokes and water. The bathroom had a beautiful stone wall in the shower. The large plush bath and beach towels were great. We had some problems with the air conditioner—on our first day it wasn’t working very well (wouldn’t get under 78 degrees). They came and fixed it, but then it was making banging noises the day after that so we had to call them again. It was fine after that. I also had to get a new hairdryer because it would only blow cool air.

Beaches and Snorkeling at the Resort

I really love the easy access to beaches and snorkeling and that was the main reason we chose to stay here. The beaches are serene and sometimes we were the only ones on them. We did not spend much time on Turtle or Hawksnest because the water was rough during our stay. Our favorite in terms of beauty was Scott Beach. We found the best snorkeling near Paradise, Caneel and Little Caneel- although Scott and Honeymoon had good snorkeling too. Honeymoon is a beautiful beach, but was a bit crowded in comparison—even when the tourist boats left.Here are more details on what we saw while snorkeling:

Because we were on a short trip, we spent most of our time exploring the beaches at Caneel Bay, but did visit a couple other spots. Here’s my pick list and some of the snorkeling highlights at Caneel-

Scott Beach- the most beautiful beach we visited on St. John. Enjoyed the snorkeling here, but it was not the best of our visit. Saw stingrays and trunk fish.

Little Caneel- saw lots of small fish- probably saw the largest quantity of fish here. The beach here is small, but there was only one other family on it when we were there.

Caneel Bay- was the best snorkeling we experienced this trip on St. John. We saw at least three turtles, a good sized shark (he swam away fast, so I’m not sure if it was a nurse or a reef shark), stingrays, a scrawled cowfish (I had never seen one of those before), and lots of other fish. I swam all the way around the point to Paradise Beach. Caneel was the second crowded beach we visited (after Honeymoon). But a crowded beach in St. John is an uncrowded one anywhere else, so it’s all relative!

Hawsknest Beach (at Caneel)- it’s quite beautiful but we didn’t spend time here because the water was rough.

Turtle Beach- Did not spend much time here-- the beach was smaller than what I remember from my previous trip because of the rough water. But one day I spotted a rainbow over the beach after a short shower- gorgeous!

Honeymoon Beach- I think this is a gorgeous beach, but it was a bit crowded when we were there. Great snorkeling between Honeymoon and Salomon. I saw a baby peacock flounder and lots of other fish.

Hiking

We hiked Mary’s Trail—I am not much of a hiker, but I wanted to take in the views. The views were beautiful, but I did not consider this an “easy” hike. My husband enjoys hiking and he said he’d consider it to be “moderate”. Including stops to enjoy the views, it took us about an hour. Most people would probably do it faster, but we moved slowly. I’m glad I did it, but I wouldn’t do it again! My husband also hiked the Caneel Hill Trail which he would consider to be a moderate hike. He enjoyed it and from his pictures the views are great. I was happy to enjoy the beach while he hiked this one!

Restaurants at the Resort

We had the breakfast buffet at the Terrace included in our rate. It was very good and included made to order stations which we took advantage of. We would not have gotten the buffet if it hadn’t been included since it was $30 something per person. We had a couple meals at the Beach Bar and Grill—food was good, but nothing special (burgers, salads, wings, pizzas etc). Although my husband really enjoyed his sushi. We enjoyed our meal at Zozo’s. We had an appetizer of prosciutto wrapped cheese. I had the shrimp and risotto (biggest shrimp I have ever seen!) and my husband had the osso buco for entrees. Everything was delicious and the restaurant had a wonderful ambience. We also enjoyed the afternoon tea at the Estate House a couple of times. Delicious cookies and scones (we are not really tea drinkers).

Staff at the Resort

We found the staff to be delightful. We especially enjoyed talking with the shuttle drivers who gave us some great tips!

Caneel Ferry

We took the ferry service to and from the resort and it was seamless. I thought it was worth the extra cost to have them handle our luggage from the airport to our room. And it was nice that the ferry went directly to the resort. We ended up with a private ferry on our trip back to the airport since there were no other guests on the boat.

Jeep Rental

We rented a two door jeep from Varlack Ventures at the resort. We had booked the least expensive jeep, but when we arrived they tried to give us the four door, more expensive jeep because they didn’t have the two door available. But they did not want to give it to us for the two door rate that we had booked. After some back and forth she called her manager and all of the sudden a two door jeep appeared. We had the jeep for two days and it worked out fine.

Sunset Cruise

A sunset cruise was complimentary with our package. The cruise started late and the sun was almost set by the time we got on the boat! If I had paid for the cruise I would not have been happy about that. The cruise included drinks and light appetizers. We had some beautiful views and enjoyed the trip. We went by the south side of the island and we got a view of the villa where we stayed on our honeymoon 8 years ago.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank laurenj31
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fountain Hills, Arizona
Level 5 Contributor
81 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 November 2013

Great resort. Excellent beaches - seven of them, nice variety of restaurants, clean and attractive rooms, beautiful grounds, wonderful help. Book an oceanfront room or better. Full service resort. From the time they meet you at the airport until you return, the service staff couldn't be more accommodating.

Room Tip: Book an oceanfront room.
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 418billn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Delray Beach, Florida
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 November 2013

I recently stayed at Caneel Bay for 14 days for my Wedding & Honeymoon. I've been to allot of very nice resorts and hotels in my life but Caneel is different. Caneel is my favorite by a long shot. The staff are very friendly. The place is very well kept. The scenery everywhere you go on property is to die for. I've never been to a place where it feels like I'm treated like family. The house keeping staff remembered my name and said hello to me whenever they passed me. Just the little things that truly added up.

If you are looking for a very relaxing place to let go… this is the place. I thought living without TV would be hard… It's not, there is so much else to do that you don't even realize. I went snorkeling, paddle boarding, kaiaking, went on a tour in BVI, pet & fed the donkeys, went sightseeing, and so much more.

I will be coming back to Caneel for my anniversary for years to come.


---

Vera (wedding planner) is amazing! Vera is one talented women with allot of patience. She made our wedding perfect.

When you get to Caneel make sure you meet "Elle" he is a driver of one of the trolleys. He is a very high spirited man and always made my day when I got the chance to ride the trolley with him back to where I was going.. As you can see I don't have many negatives. We loved this place!

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Danny_Donovan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ellicott City, Maryland
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 November 2013

My husband and I just returned from a 6-day trip to Caneel Bay and are having serious withdraws. I have nothing but positive reviews of this fabulous resort. The scenery and beaches are impeccable. We stayed at Hawksnest and it seemed like we had the entire beach to ourselves, the water and beach are amazing. Every 15-20 minutes a wait staff comes by to take drink and food orders. We had dinner in all three restaurants which were all very good, especially Zo Zo's! The breakfast buffet was delicious and the staff at the resort were beyond friendly and polite. The resort is quiet, serene and made for relaxing. No phones or TV's in the rooms but that suited us just fine. If you are looking for a little night life, I recommend taking a short taxi ride to Cruz Bay. We had a delicious dinner and fun time at The Rhomb Line in town. But if you are looking for a place to relax, reflect and spend quiet time with friends and family, Caneel Bay is the place. I cannot wait to return!!

Room Tip: A corner room on the second floor at Hawksnest was perfect! No outside noise whatsoever except the...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank komo5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Jersey
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 November 2013

I have been to this resort 6 times. The first 5 were as a couple & it's fairly easy to have a great time as a young couple. As a family with children, I was very hesitant to book the hotel because it did not seem child friendly due to the restrictions in some areas of the resort. After staying at too many average places in the Caribbean I was desperate for something good, so I booked it. It was the best choice I could've made. The rooms are very large and clean & well stocked with amenities. The service is very good despite what you read. This is not in Manhattan, this is the Caribbean so relax. All the beaches, both as a couple & for families are amazing. The snorkeling is great for the Virgin Islands. Actually, we visited beaches around St. John including the famous Trunk Bay and the is NO need to leave the resort for snorkeling. We (my 7 year old included) saw sea turtles, sting rays and even a baby Black Tip Reef Shark right off the beaches at Caneel Bay (incl. thousands of other colorful fish). The food is very good for adults and kids. The staff was very attentive & accommodating in every way. For kids, it's important to snorkel off one of the more mild beaches with less currents. When we arrived, waiting in our room was a large bag of beach toys and a welcome bag filled with things like a deck of cards, crayons & a coloring book & more. We stayed on Little Caneel Beach which is very quiet but still close to the main areas of the hotel. Caneel Beach is also nice. These are the 2 best beaches for kids because the snorkeling is good and the currents are not strong at all. Turtle Bay Beach is where we saw grazing sea turtles but the current was strong so be careful for small children snorkeling. In general, a fantastic place for families.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Leesa48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Caneel Bay Resort

Property: Caneel Bay Resort
Address: PO Box 720, Caneel Bay 00831-0720, St. John (Formerly Caneel Bay, A Rosewood Resort)
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > U.S. Virgin Islands > St. John > Caneel Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Caneel Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Caneel Bay Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 166
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set on a 170-acre peninsula amid the lush beauty of the Virgin Islands National Park and seven picturesque beaches, Caneel Bay is one of the most breathtaking vacation destinations in the Caribbean. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Caneel Bay, a Rosewood Hotel Caneel Bay
Caneel Bay a Rosewood Resort
Caneel Bay Resort St John
Caneel Bay St John

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