My husband and I just returned from our first visit to St. John. For those who have not been, most of the island is national parkland so it is pristine, with long sandy beaches and unblemished land areas.
After reading reviews, I was pleasantly surprised by the accommodations. The cottages offer great views and are easy walking distance to most amenities. (I would have been disappointed if I had reserved a Garden Room, it is quite far from the beaches and restaurants.) That said, the reason why anyone would come to Caneel is for the beaches.
My husband and I enjoyed snorkeling at all of the beaches, especially Scotts Beach. We were never disappointed, each time seeing numerous turtles, beautiful tropical fish and large rays.
For those considering Caneel, I recommend considering the Allure package. This package came with a number of adventures on and off resort that helped make the vacation special including a dinner on the beach, picnic lunch, half day sail, sunset boat trip, and ecotour. One of the highlights for us was the Eco kayaking tour: we hiked on the premise and learned more about the history of the island, kayaked over to our favorite beach and learned how to look for the turtles ect (etc.). (Patrick was terrific!). The half day sail with Greg and Barbara was also one of our favorite days, not to be missed!
Sadly, the meals at Caneel do not meet the expectations of this beautiful hotel. The basic meal plan offers breakfast and dinner which was fine with us. Breakfast offered a satisfying buffet of various items in a nice, open air venue overlooking the main beach. Omelettes and pancakes/waffles are made to order. Dinners at either Turtle Bay or Zozo’s were enjoyable, and the view of Zozo’s should not be missed. As you can’t always get reservations at one of these two restaurants, the remaining venue was a dark and noisy restaurant (the Grill). There, the food was at best mediocre, with no view or island vibe. We learned early to ask to eat outside the restaurant and enjoy the sea breeze.
What was also confusing was, despite your meal plan selection, you were asked to sign for each meal and activity. My husband and I were quite sure we would have a “surprise” at check out and were relieved when this was not true. Nonetheless, having stayed at other “all inclusives” I think Caneel should consider a better system.
We greatly enjoyed our vacation at St. John and I hope to someday to return. Whether we elect to return to Caneel or vacation at a private home or smaller hotel is yet to be decided.
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with DerbySoft Ltd Shanghai HQ, Expedia, Hotels.com, Booking.com, Ebookers, Priceline, TripOnline SA, Traveltool, S.L.U., Evoline ltd, getaroom.com and Cancelon so you can book your Caneel Bay Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Caneel Bay, a Rosewood Hotel Caneel Bay
- Caneel Bay a Rosewood Resort
- Caneel Bay Resort St John
- Caneel Bay St John