Imagine a property with the Old World elegance of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel or the 21 Club nestled in one of the Caribbean’s loveliest landscapes and you arrive at Caneel Bay Resort.
From the moment you enter the resort’s air-conditioned office in the St. Thomas airport (complete with home-baked cookies) you are taken care of. Your bags are loaded on the van that takes you to the resort’s own ferry. On board you are offered refreshments and on arrival are greeted by warm, friendly staff who escort you to your room.
The resort personnel have thought of everything. There is a small cooler in your room that can be filled daily with ice so you can spend the day on the beach with your favorite cold refreshments. (The sun shy should be assured that there is plenty of shade on the beach from the old-growth trees.) There is bug spray provided, in case you decide to hike one of the lovely trails on the property. There are two trails, neither of which is too difficult, and each can be done in under an hour. The views are worth it.
Part of the resort’s charm is the fact that there are no TVs or phones in the room. But, in case you are panicking, there is free wi-fi that worked well during our stay. Phone kiosks are conveniently located around the property and televisions can be watched in the bar and casual dining spot.
The resort has two high-end eateries (reservations strongly suggested) and one casual restaurant. And, the buffet breakfast is bountiful and served in a lovely open air dining area overlooking the harbor. What a way to start the day!
We dined at the Turtle Bay Estate House one evening and had a first-class meal, but, frankly, found the food and ambiance of the casual dining room more to our liking. Meals were at least 30% cheaper than in the Estate House and sitting on the terrace overlooking the harbor was more fun. I highly recommend the BBQ pork ribs. All menus we saw had at least one vegan or vegetarian option, but this could be a problem if you follow such a diet.
Caneel Bay Resort is expensive. No quibble there. But, my husband and I felt we got our money’s worth Staff are sociable and genuinely interested in engaging with guests. All the beach chairs, towels, kayaks, snorkel gear and Sunfish sailboats are provided without extra charge, which should be considered when you are studying the prices. We’ve stayed in some supposedly high-end resorts that ended up being pretty pricey when all the “extras” were added in.
We learned that the resort was transferred to private ownership last year. It is our sincere hope that the new management will not get greedy and expand the number of rooms. The property is magnificent. Every room appears to be situated in a way that takes advantage of the natural landscape and each has a unique feature, such as a view. You feel you are in another world and building more rooms would ruin that.
The ultimate test of any business is customer loyalty. Easily half the guests we encountered were repeat customers, some of them visiting for the 4th, 5th and even 6th time. Caneel Bay must be doing something right. It’s worth the splurge.
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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