First let me state that my view of the resort has been swayed by the natural and enhanced beauty of the grounds. I've been there at least once a year for the last eight years, and twice a couple of years ago.
Property oversight has shifted since last year, and according to the hype, Caneel would retain all the great things we remember and improve. Well, the grounds still look about the same. And they have made a few "improvements" like adding a wooden hut that blocks the view of Caneel Beach to handle snorkel equipment. (The other place was completely adequate.)
They added a gelato/coffee shop! It's owned by the general manager's wife. To ensure you see it, you now have to walk by the shop to get to the taxi stand to leave the property. They tore up the old walkway so you can't bypass it without going in the street.
The transfer boat from St. Thomas to the property was in poor repair and did not have working lights. The bathroom was pitch black. I had to stand guard over the room leaving the door wide open so it could provide my wife enough light to take care of her needs. She was embarrassed by the entire incident as it unfolded before many strangers.
Room 96 was run down. It has broken light fixtures. It has poorly touched up walls using a different color paint. How lazy. They close for two months each year for upkeep and that was the best they could do. It probably saved a gallon of paint and a half day labor. There are many dead bugs in the light fixture covering the shower overhead light. There are ants running all over the bathroom.
We were there for 9 nights. There were days when no ice was left in the room. One day someone actually took our ice chest and i had to call housekeeping to get another one. They delivered it later that evening; empty. On other days ice was provided late in the day. Only two or three times was it provided in the morning as one would expect.
While the room was cleaned nicely each day, the normal evening turn down service was provided most nights, but not on the last night. There were no fresh towels left for the last night either.
On the second Saturday night of our stay, there was a large wedding reception on the point preceeded by a wedding on Turtle Beach. The wedding caused a major disruption to our beach stay because it caused the lounge chairs to be cramped together so the wedding could take over a sizable portion of the beach infront of the Estate House.The hubub of putting the chairs and decorations out distracted greatly from the reason we go to Caneel; tranquility, peace and quite. The reception was outrageous, blasting loud amplified music from late afternoon until after 10PM that evening.
Our room cost after taxes approached $700 per night. For a run down room, the noise, and the extortion the property charges "non-preferred" vendors for use of the dock, you might want to look hard at renting a villa. There are some pretty amazing private properties on St. John that offer everything Caneel used to offer and a better price.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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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