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“Great location, okay hotel, pricey”

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Secret Harbour Beach Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Benner
Certificate of Excellence
New Jersey
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great location, okay hotel, pricey”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 December 2013

Overall Secret Beach Harbour Resort was a decent place to stay but definitely overpriced. We had some issues that weren’t resolved which is unacceptable for how much they charged.

Cons
- We never had a safe in the room like they advertised. The staff member who took us to our room pointed it out at check-in and said it would be installed the next day. It wasn’t installed. We asked each day if they could install a safe and they always said yes, but it never happened. After five days of this, one person finally leveled with us and said they were no more safes so it wasn’t going to happen.
- The shower did not have hot water at all. At best it was lukewarm. It was a small bathroom and even with the window and door shut the shower could not put out enough warm water to fog up the mirrors at all. Both the kitchen and bathroom sinks had hot water so this was especially frustrating.
- The shower water pressure was very bad. It basically trickled out of the shower head. Between this and the lukewarm water it was a toss-up whether we should shower in the bathroom or use the outdoor shower by the pool.
- The window AC unit had broken knobs so you couldn’t adjust it at all. You could use the power switch to turn it on or off and that was it. Both the temperature and fan speed controls were broken. We didn’t plan to use the AC that much but sometimes during the day it was hot and since the screens had many holes and gaps in them they let a lot of mosquitoes in the room.
- The kitchenette was nice but it wasn’t stocked with much. There was a small saucepan and small frying pan but that was it for the stove/oven. Enough to make it usable though.
- There was only one person working the beach area for drinks or food which meant a long wait for any service when the weather was nice and the beach was crowded. Not a huge issue since we went up to get stuff ourselves, but it seemed dumb to not hire someone else to help her out. She was very friendly and worked hard to help everyone, but was obviously overwhelmed much of the time.
- The pictures made it look like there was a hot tub in the one corner of the pool but there isn’t. It is setup for a hot tub with the seats and jets in the seats (which worked) but it was the same temperature as the pool (there’s a theme here).
- The dive shop is expensive. We rented snorkel gear for the day and it was $20 each. A five day rental runs $80. We rented gear on St. John for $3 a day at Trunk Bay. We didn’t look to rent anywhere else but I’m sure there is more affordable gear in the area.
- They put a $75 a night hold on your credit card. We were told at check-in that it is cumulative for each day you are there (i.e. 10 days would be a $750 hold). It isn’t a charge, just a hold and I forgot to look to see if it was really a reoccurring $75 hold or $750 (for all 10 nights) but either way it seems completely unnecessary. They also place a hold for each room key, towel, and security gate pass that you need. Not a deal breaker but it did seem unnecessary.

Pros
- The staff was very friendly and most of the time very helpful.
- The beach location is great. Very calm waters, good snorkeling, and great beach area with chairs, hammocks, umbrellas, etc.
- Great views from the rooms.
- Close to Redhook (close to the ferry, restaurants, bars, etc.)
- Having a kitchenette was great for making some of your own meals (like breakfast), giving you better lunch options than just the bar food at the resort, and saving you some money.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank cxb482
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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890 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (229)
Date | Rating
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English first
Austin, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 December 2013

Hello! My hubby and I just got married (wahoo!) at Secret Harbour Beach Resort and it was the most unbelievably amazing time! Everything went so perfectly, and it was because of the gorgeous setting and the wonderful people at Secret Harbour! Our group was big (53 adults and 4 little ones) and I am still getting feedback from our guests about how great everyone’s rooms were, how awesome the wait staff was at Cruzan Beach Club and Sunset Grille (the restaurants/bars onsite), how personable and helpful Kevin was (the Assistant General Manager), and how intimate and relaxing and perfect the beach was. Laysha, their wedding planner, is amazing and goes above and beyond. I had never been to St. Thomas before so throughout the year of long distance planning we had together, she was my eyes, ears, taste buds, everything for me! One thing I really liked about Laysha is she had some great choices of recommendations for vendors but she is also super flexible and will work with you if you want to venture out. A lot of resorts make you use their vendors so this was definitely a plus although I pretty much stuck with all of the vendors she recommended because they were so great. Any requests I had, Laysha made it happen. She was awesome at communicating with the vendors for me and keeping everything organized. There is so much that goes into a wedding that is so overwhelming especially when you are miles away and Laysha kept everything in order for me, kept me up to-to-date, and was very super-fast at responding to any questions/comments I had. She was also very calming when “the bride” had her little stressful moments.  The only thing that didn’t work out was we wanted a sparkler send-off but fireworks are illegal in the USVI (boo!)... It all worked out though and Laysha set up an even more special send off for us…she made a just married sign last minute and we were sent off in a paddle boat! So cute! After we got back from the honeymoon, we realized we forgot to pick up the bag with all of our décor in it and Laysha had no problem mailing it back to Texas for us. I just thought that was really cool since the wedding and everything was already over but she still gladly wanted to help out. Another absolutely awesome person we worked with was Jessica Hume, which is the Director of Events for the Sunset Grille where we had our reception. She is SUPER sweet and was very cooperative with all of our requests. We wanted our cocktail hour on the beach and she had no problem setting up a table with drinks and food for us! The food was awesome (we did buffet style) and Jessica and Laysha worked together to set up the reception just like we wanted. Well, all in all, we are just so happy with how everything turned out. I give all the credit for our perfect wedding to Secret Harbour, Laysha, and Jessica Hume. They are the best.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jessica S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
27 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 December 2013

We booked a week at this resort with quite a bit of trepidation after reading some negative reviews on TripAdvisor. There weren't that many resorts that fit all the criteria we were using to find somewhere to stay in the Caribbean, but despite the negative reviews, the beach seemed to be exactly what we wanted. One of our high priorities was to find a beachfront suite where we could step right out to snorkel without having to go through a maze of landscape or buildings to get to the beach. We also wanted a family friendly resort and a quiet beach that had some coverage for shade.

The negative reviews regarding cleanliness were our biggest concern, so I was pleasantly pleased to find the condo we had (217) to be quite clean. Thanks in no small part to Clementine, who serviced our room. The furniture and bathroom are outdated, but the kitchen worked well and was handy to have.

Although the resort is a bit rough around the edges and the restaurant is limited with average quality offerings, as well as the attitude of some of the front desk staff bordering on rude, I would still recommend this place, especially for families with younger children. The beach is beautiful with calm water and pretty good snorkeling at a rather shallow depth. It was a perfect place for my avid swimmer and sea creature obsessed child to swim, as well as my slightly afraid to get his head wet, still learning to swim child to spend a few hours every day. The beach and bar would get a bit louder and fuller during some of the day when cruise ship visitors would visit, but overall it was pretty restful. I liked the convenience and very casual atmosphere of the beachfront restaurant, when some of the family wanted to eat and others preferred to swim. However, we eventually ended up going down the street to the Ritz for some of our meals, because the quality and variety were a bit lacking at Secret Harbour's Sunset Grille.

The positives:
Beautiful beach, with calm water and lots of fish
Friendly beach staff (though a couple times they seemed to be missing when we needed a towel)
Beachfront rooms are very convenient and have nice spacious patios or terraces
Great value
Convenient restaurant with friendly staff
Clean

Negatives:
Noise from beach front bar can still be a little loud later in the evening
Front desk staff are unhelpful, unfriendly and unwelcoming
Restaurant is very limited and the food is nothing special
No laundry facilities
Very outdated (but relatively clean) bathroom and dingy furniture
Air conditioning doesn't work well

Overall, I would consider coming back to this property, although it is certainly not at the level of luxury we usually gravitate towards. I would even prefer to spend more for this beach location, if there were 1.) better dining options 2.) laundry facilities 3.) an updated bathroom.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ASL345
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OGG-mktg, Public Relations Manager at Secret Harbour Beach Resort, responded to this review, 23 December 2013
Thank you for staying at Secret Harbour Beach resort and providing a 4-star rating. We are pleased that you found the beach to be exactly what you wanted and that we met your highest priority in having a beachfront suite where you could step out from your room and snorkel at your convenience. Nice too that you found our housekeeping staff to be quite good. We will share your review with Clementine. We are glad to hear that you will recommend our resort for families with young children and that your children enjoyed swimming and exploring the underwater Caribbean world. Secret Harbour's beach is spectacular. Nice to read that you found Secret Harbour to be a good value and that you would even pay more for a suite with upgraded amenities. Each of Secret Harbour's 73 condominiums are individually owned and do vary so possibly you could call with specific requirements on your next trip and our staff will do its best to meet your requirements. Thank you again for your patronage and your review. We look forward to exceeding your expectations.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Northeast Harbor, Maine
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 December 2013

Aside from the used condom wrappers left in the bed-side drawer, the running toilet, and the hungover waitstaff, the water was nice. It's not anything like the website makes it seem. The rooms/suites are individually owned, so roll the dice you may get the nice one they show on the website (or not). Staff at the front desk were very freindly and helpful, along with most of the folks around the resort with the exeption of morning waitstaff which seemed bothered by the fact that we were there for breakfast or simply hungover and understaffed (perhaps not their fault). I also get the sense they are under new managment or something as people were wandering around as if they were planning renovations, perhaps the new owner, which interfered with enjoyment of the experience there. Even the website changed in the week or so since our visit, very odd. I couldn't figure this place out. Oh, and the dive shop/store staff also made us feel like we were bothersome. We only stayed for two nights on our way back from St. John to be closer to airport on our departure, but would not even consider returning. I like igaunas but careful where you sit, they drop from trees, and nearly gave the older gentleman a heart attack when one dropped from the seagrape tree into his lap.

Room Tip: good luck!
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Kevin S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OGG-mktg, Public Relations Manager at Secret Harbour Beach Resort, responded to this review, 25 December 2013
Thank you Kevin for sharing your thoughts. We are pleased that you found Secret Harbour's front desk staff and employees to be friendly and helpful. We sincerely apologize that you found your room to not have been thoroughly cleaned and that your toilet ran. These issues have been addressed. Thank you. You are correct that each resort managed studio, 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom condominium is individually owned and decorated so units do vary based on owner taste. All have the same floor plan and enjoy spectacular beachfront or ocean views of our beautiful Caribbean sea. We are sorry that management discussions about renovations and property improvements interfered with your enjoyment. Our management team is very focused on making sure that the property and the guest experience is exceptional. That said, the iguanas are typically not quite so invasive. We hope they didn't startle you or the older gentleman too much. Thank you for noticing that we did just re-launch our website which has been redesigned to be more user friendly and informative for our guests.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 December 2013

Fantastic place to kick back and relax. 30 min cab ride from the airport. Rooms are right on the beach. We had room 433 on the top floor. Fully remodeled and a balcony facing the beach. Management (Kevin) is great if anything pops up. Rhonda and Daneesha worked the front desk and were wonderful. Great snorkeling in the harbour starts 10 feet into the water. Dive shop on the beach for paddle board, kayaks, snorkel rental and a dive boat too. The 2 beach drink girls Kelly and Brook were great bringing food and drinks to our beach chairs. Sunset Grille has higher end food and our waitress Kelly was excellent.
Redhook is less than a 5 minute ($5/person) cab ride to all kinds of restaurants and shopping. The Ferry to St. Johns is in Redhook too.

Room Tip: The Ocean view rooms are not on the beach.
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Greg L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Morristown, New Jersey
Level Contributor
19 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 December 2013

Secret Harbor is a small resort on the Red Hook side of the island. The accommodations are condos individually owned, so no room is the same.
The beach is small and accessible; there is no running to save chairs like at other resorts.
The condo we stayed in was lovely and clean and well equipped.
Difficulty with shower and hot water... one night no water..
Spa services were unavailable.
The restaurant was good; the higher end part of the restaurant.
No complaints, really.. just didn't love the island..

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Jzucker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OGG-mktg, Public Relations Manager at Secret Harbour Beach Resort, responded to this review, 23 December 2013
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on your recent stay. We are sorry that you didn't love St. Thomas yet encouraged that you found your condo at Secret Harbour to be lovely and clean and well equipped. Nice to hear that you enjoyed the beach and availability of beach chairs. We do apologize that you experienced a water problem one night and certainly hope you found our maintenance team to be responsive and efficient. You are right that each of the condominiums is individually owned so each is uniquely decorated. The resort works very hard to keep all 73 units in good condition.We appreciate your spending time with us and hope you will return in the future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 December 2013

The hotel property is close to port, but not to any stores. The food within property is good and stuff is OK. The ride from the airport took an hour , but then it is on the other side. I would have to say I have received better service on many occasions. However, the beach is really great and water is great! All in all, this is good value for the money.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mahalusa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OGG-mktg, Public Relations Manager at Secret Harbour Beach Resort, responded to this review, 23 December 2013
Thank you for your 4-star review of Secret Harbour Beach Resort. We are pleased that you found Secret Harbour's beach and water to be really great! We are blessed with a beautiful crescent beach and very clear Caribbean water. Thank you too for rating us as a good value. We look forward to seeing you again.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Secret Harbour Beach Resort

Property: Secret Harbour Beach Resort
Address: 6280 Estate Nazareth | Nazareth Bay, Benner 00802-1113, St. Thomas
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > U.S. Virgin Islands > St. Thomas > Benner
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Benner
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Secret Harbour Beach Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 48
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Secret Harbour is a boutique all-beachfront condominium resort on the Caribbean US Virgin Island of St. Thomas. The resort is situated on the island's Southeast shore on a palm-tree shaded swimming/snorkeling beach with pristine Caribbean blue water and sugary sand offering tranquil and water sport vacations with superb amenities. The all-beachfront property features 48 uniquely furnished condominiums on the ocean that are individually owned and resort managed. Each condominium is a spacious studio, 1- or 2-bedroom beachfront suite with fully equipped kitchen and private patio/balcony. Amenities include: 2 restaurants; PADI dive center with scuba diving, excursion boats, sailing and watersport rentals; freshwater pool; tennis courts; fitness center; gift shop; ATM & spa services. The intimate resort is ideal for families, couples, watersport & diving enthusiasts, visiting executives, and those seeking a tropical destination wedding, honeymoon or event. Bonus amenities include free Wi-Fi, onsite concierge, and wedding/event coordinator. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Secret Harbour Beach Hotel Benner
Hotel Secret Harbour Beach

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