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Caneel Bay Resort
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Reviews (772)
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606 - 611 of 772 reviews
Reviewed 7 July 2014

Lovely location, but the service is horrible. The majority of staff members I encountered were either indifferent or rude. For the price, I expect at least courtesy, if not true effort to make me feel welcome.

My garden-view accommodations were quite nice, and about what I had expected. However, the customer service was the absolute worst. My arrival started on a negative note with the team who met the incoming ferry at dockside. They were were short tempered and curt. One of them repeatedly tried to check me in under my father's room (we have the same last name) and was downright rude when I tried to correct the error. My room key didn't work, and she left me standing outside my door while she went to get a new one. When I pointed out that my "porch" light was burned out, I was told I'd have to take that up with maintenance (which I did; it was never fixed).

The next morning, I asked the concierge desk for directions to my sister's wedding at Hawksnest Beach. I was told that I needed to check with my sister on how she expected guests to get there. I experienced this sort of behavior throughout my stay -- rude, bored, indifferent staff who took no time and even less care to make me feel welcome. From the bartender who grudgingly made me one drink when I arrived at the bar and then closed my tab because it was "nearly last call anyway" to the waitstaff at breakfast who huffed and made a face when I asked for a bigger table because my parents would shortly be joining me. It truly got to the point where I was surprised if someone was nice.

This is truly inexcusable at a self-described "luxury" resort charging upwards of $400 a night. Other hotels in this tier make sure my every need is met, and then meet some needs I don't know I have. They learn my name. They fix problems. When I'm lost, they walk me to my destination, not point vaguely and turn away. Oh, and they don't charge extra for things like bottled water in the room. I mean, come on.

This was the experience of everyone in our wedding party, including the bride and groom. They were mortified that they'd brought family and friends to a place that treated them so indifferently. As a group, none of us would recommend this hotel to anyone. It may have been elite at some point, but it's not anymore.

Room Tip: Ask in advance for a room near the main building. My sister's room was at the other end of the 171-acre property, which meant taking a shuttle every time they went anywhere, including to breakfast, the bar, the parking lot for her rent car, etc. No cars allowed.
  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
19  Thank Anne H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MDCaneel, General Manager at Caneel Bay Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 8 July 2014

Dear Anne H,
Thank you for sharing your review on Tripadvisor. While I am pleased to hear you enjoyed your accommodations and our property, I would like to extend my personal apologies to you for the disappointment you have shared regarding the service provided by our staff members. We take great pride in extending all the courtesies Caneel Bay has to offer our guests, and it is always our goal, collectively, to provided our guests with a most memorable experience; it is truly unfortunate that we fell short in the experience provided to you and your party. I have shared your comments with our entire team, to ensure each experience provided is most gracious and pleasant as our guests have come to expect. Once again, thank you for sharing your experience and providing us the opportunity through your most important feedback.
Sincerely,
Nikolay Hotze
Managing Director
Caneel Bay Resort

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 July 2014

My husband and I just returned from Caneel, our 5th trip there. Again, as before, our trip was perfect. The beaches at Caneel are nearly empty, even when the resort is full. Each beach has only between 10 and 20 rooms, and people try different beaches, so the beaches never feel anywhere near full. The snorkeling is incomparable. Turtles, barracuda, stingrays, parrot fish -- they're all there and easy to find. I understand what people write about the rooms not being super fancy (they're not), but I think the national park restrictions on renovations that keep the rooms from major updates are the same restrictions that thankfully keep large hotel towers away. And that said, we loved our room. I appreciated that there's no tv, and our cell phones worked fine. The air conditioning worked fine, but I preferred the wonderful cross breezes. So far as the staff, we felt they were top rate and couldn't have been nicer, from the housekeepers, to the wait staff to the drivers. We stayed at Hawksnest, as we like the shade. We look forward to returning next year!

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank lisafromny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 July 2014

Let's start on a positive note. Caneel Bay Resort's location is incredible and once you start exploring the 7 beaches and the rest of St John you may be able to accept the lack of luxury you may have expected from the high costs you will pay. But I just want to warn you what you will be getting so you aren't disappointed like I was on my recent 40th wedding anniversary vacation.
We stayed in the cheapest room but it was still high priced, close to what we paid in Hawaii last year so I expected a nice room without a bay view.
The biggest problem with the room was not the lack of a refrigerator, TV, phone to call the front desk, or decent wifi but the bathroom. It was extremely small, 10 x 6 tops. There was one sink with no vanity, with the toilet 3 inches away ( keep the seat down as two things fell in day 1), and then the shower which had patches of brown grout most likely covering mold. It reminded me of the city Y pool where I swam 50 years ago. I was grossed out, always kept my flip flops on and hurried in and out. There were plenty of towels in the closet outside the bathroom as there was no room inside and nice tropical ameneties that took away the yucky smell.
I asked the concierge if all the rooms had bathrooms like that as I was considering upgrading if I could and she said yes they all do and blamed the lack of updating to national park rules. Now that I'm home reading other people's reviews I find that statement hard to believe because one person even said their bathroom was spacious. So anyway be warned about the bathroom.
Some positives would be snorkeling equipment is included and you can keep it for length of stay. There's an excellent buffet breakfast that was included in our package. Staff was not friendly except for the cook but food was good and the view is fantastic.. The grill that is open for lunch and dinner was OK .Downstairs had no atmosphere so request upstairs overlooking the sunset and bay. Servers were not friendly and very slow. Gelato bar was delicious but over priced like everything.
There is a shuttle to get you around, Drivers are friendly as is the housekeeping staff. Hawksnest was my favorite beach. Great snorkeling, lots of turtles. Honeymoon was my husband's favorite. He loved the hammocks until the cruise boat people and kayak tours began.
Solomon's beach was practically empty and gorgeous. It required a fairly steep hike to get in but we came to hike. So that's it for Caneel bay. I will review some other activities in other reviews

Room Tip: Rooms 30-49 have bay views but are set back from the beach traffic. They look newer as well but ask about the bathrooms!
  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank Bike2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MDCaneel, General Manager at Caneel Bay Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 9 July 2014

Dear Bike 2,
Thank you for sharing your review on Tripadvisor. I am pleased you enjoyed our location as well as our seven beaches and that many of the experiences you have shared were most memorable. I would however, like to apologize that you did not find value, in your holiday with us. It is true, we do not have TV’s nor phones in our rooms, as we strive to provide luxury and comfort as well as adhering to the original design and tone of the resort, which remains faithful to the vision of founder Laurance Rockefeller and his reverence for the environment. The resort remains purposefully absent of modern glitz and digital distractions.
I thank you for taking the time to share your most important feedback with us, as we continue our endeavor to enhance each area as well as each encounter our guests experience. It is our goal to meet if not exceed the expectations of each and every guest who visits Caneel Bay.
Sincerely,
Nikolay Hotze
Managing Director
Caneel Bay Resort

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 July 2014 via mobile

If staying at a resort with pristine, calm, and soothing beaches is important to you, than this spectacular resort is your place.

The grounds, rooms, and staff are all amazing here as well and there are plenty of solid F&B options. While pricey, the premium beach front rooms on Scott Beach are worth every half penny --- you will wake up to turquoise waters beckoning you for a morning swim even before you have had time to drink a cup of coffee or brush your teeth.

Also, definitely take boat transfer thru hotel, rent jeep (on site dealer --- easy breezy and Jennifer is beyond helpful) for a day or two and explore island, have gelato from Cannelos, walk the resort grounds and hiking trails.

While mentioned, I cannot say enough about how gorgeous are the beaches at Caneel Bay and St John (Trunk Bay and Maho beaches are sickeningly beautiful). If you have never been to St John, you should make it a point to add it to the list and definitely stay at Caneel Bay resort for a purely magical stay.

Stayed: June 2014, travelled solo
5  Thank quello21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 July 2014

Let me explain. My wife and I do not typically do resorts. We are vrbo kind of vacationers. Our friends booked Caneel Bay for their 25th anniversary. We were then invited and chose to stay at Caneel Bay also. It is pricey. I am sure some go more than once a year (met her) and some go just once for a special occasion. This was our first time to the USVI, we have done Hawaii five time. St John just may have upset that trend. Caneel Bay is set in a beautiful location with easily reached beautiful beaches. We did not go to Honeymoon beach nor snorkel Hawksnest (too windy). Caneel Bay, Scotts Beach and Turtle Bay were great. I must say that I never felt crowded.

We chose to pay and stay in Scott Beach. If you can, they were nice. We do not personally think the rooms need updating. No TV, radio, or phone was not big deal and welcomed. There was A/C. We liked the original feel to the room. The bed was comfortable, bathroom was fine, and there was enough room for two of us. There were two chairs and an ottoman in the room and there was more than enough dresser space and closet space in the bathroom. We primarily slept in room and enjoyed the patio in the morning. We loved being just steps from the Scott Beach which we snorkeled as much as possible. The house keeping and turn down service were impeccable. No shortage of anything. And the two ladies, Edmond and Evelyne, that took care of us were so friendly and genuinely nice. Always took a moment to talk. Probably dreaded our room because my wife always chatted them up. We always want to know the locals. It is their home.

The grounds were gorgeous with colorful trees and bushes, the donkeys, deer, mongoose, iguanas, and birds. Very well kept and maintained. We chose to walk to and from breakfast and dinner. There was a shuttle available, but couldn't help our selves walking along the coastline/shore. I have not seen water this color before.

Everyone at Caneel Bay, bar none, were friendly. A good morning or good afternoon goes a long way. One day we went on a fishing charter and brought back fresh fish. The Bar and Grill Chef Anthony came out to greet us and was thrilled that we chose to go there. We brought some Blackfin Tuna loins and some Wahoo fillets. We received 3 sushi rolls from the tuna and a ceviche from the wahoo as a starter. Then the remaining tuna and wahoo was seared and served with 4 sauces. Additionally, the vegetable were served family style of curried potatoes, steamed broccoli, jasmine rice, and coleslaw. By far the best meal of the week. Chef Anthony checked on us and described the preparation. The sushi chef did an outstanding job also.

Random thoughts now. We had the B&B deal. At breakfast, I ate something different each of 7 mornings. The service was attentive and jovial. Watch out for the seagulls, they will take food right off your plate while walking.
Rent the refrigerator for $20 per day. You will save more than that with drinks, cheeses, meats, and fruit for just a couple of lunches at $12 -$15 a sandwich or burger and a few beers.
My wife loved the yoga and Thai massage with Elizabeth.
The evening sunset cruise was enjoyable and not a booze cruise because I think it the resort is not an all inclusive sort of place.
Some of the best snorkeling I have ever had, turtles, turtles, turtles, sting rays, barracuda, cuttle fish, and the corals.
ATT cell was fine, Sprint not so much. wifi worked well in our room. We are self employed and customer serve ranks high with us, had to work a little.
I will review ZoZo's separately.

Bottom line: We would go back and maybe not get the more expensive room. All of the rooms are close to a beach.

Room Tip: Scott Beach are single story rooms with no one overhead. Room 72 had good wifi signal and in the middle of the beach.
  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank shambhalaa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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