23 Replies Latest reply: Nov 30, 2015 4:09 PM by riverchik RSS

St. Thomas USVI trip

rinny54 Platinum 1 Reviews
Currently Being Moderated

Frenchmen's CoveGoing to St. Thomas for the 1st time in September & staying @ Marriott's Frenchmen's Cove.  Does anyone have any tips for the island--places to see, things to do, restaurant suggestions, etc.?  Should I get a car rental?  How is this facility?  Thanks in advance!

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Carribbean,
  • Re: St. Thomas USVI trip
    painedplatinum Platinum 2 Reviews
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    It's been a few years but, we found the beach to be just about perfect. Small but mighty nice. As far as the rental....we did rent, but could have taxi'd to the places we visited.

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    • Re: St. Thomas USVI trip
      iahflyr Platinum 26 Reviews
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      painedplatinum,

       

      Which has the better rooms and beach, Morning Star or Frenchman's Cove?

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      • Re: St. Thomas USVI trip
        painedplatinum Platinum 2 Reviews
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        I should have been more clear in my original post.....We've never stayed at the Cove, but have visited. While we were staying at the Morning Star, we took a look.

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  • Re: St. Thomas USVI trip
    riverchik Platinum
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    Our timeshare is at the Cove, it's beautiful. Rooms and balconies are awesome and every room has a great ocean view.

    We always rent a car because the taxi fares really get expensive. It's $10 per person per one way trip. I did hear there is a $2 taxi but I think it makes a million stops so you have to have the time to find it and ride it. They drive on the left side of the road so prepare yourself for that if you have never done it before. We also always rent jeeps because the roads are pretty rough and the SUV type vehicles don't bottom out if you hit a pot hole.

     

    As far as places to go, you should check out:

    Coki Beach - crystal clear water where you can feed the fish dog biscuits (you can buy the dog biscuits from the vendors on the beach)

    Sail to Buck Island for the turtle snorkel trip (can get tix and get on sailboat right at the Cove's dock)

    Take water taxi to Charlotte Amalie to shop for the day

    Megan's Bay - nice beach

    Sapphire Beach - nice beach

    Take Red Hook taxi over to St John's for the day

    Take water taxi to Jost Van ****, gorgeous beach and check out Soggy Dollar Bar

     

    Restaurants:

    Oceania - expensive but fabulous (go there as your one time fancy meal)

    Hook Line and Sinker - fun local place, very casual, at the marina (Frenchtown)

    Pie Hole - fabulous pizza and one of the best beer selections on the island (Frenchtown)

     

    Hope that helps!

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    • Re: St. Thomas USVI trip
      joshm Member
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      Awesome and helpful response, riverchik!

       

      Additionally, welcome to the Insiders forum. Awesome to see a new member jumping into the mix here. This is what the Insiders page is all about!

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      • Re: St. Thomas USVI trip
        riverchik Platinum
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        Thanks Josh! I feel the same way, I love the idea of networking with other Marriott rewards folks and getting good ideas from all!

        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

        • Re: St. Thomas USVI trip
          joshm Member
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          Yes! And boy is this the place to share ideas. These guys and gals know their stuff.

          (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: St. Thomas USVI trip
    joshm Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: St. Thomas USVI trip
    taxman193 Platinum 11 Reviews
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    We too are going to St Thomas for the first time in September and staying at both the Frenchmens Reef hotel and then moving to the Vacation Club Frenchmens Cove for the last part of our trip. So these posts are helpful to me too. Thanks for posting!

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    • Re: St. Thomas USVI trip
      rinny54 Platinum 1 Reviews
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      Hey, great taxman193!  Maybe we will see each other.

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  • Re: St. Thomas USVI trip
    riverchik Platinum
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    Another important thing to know is where to shop for groceries since the Cove has beautiful fully equipped kitchens. Our favorite is called The Food Center on rt 32 about a mile before you get to Red Hook. You can get everything you need there (produce, meat, alcohol, etc).

    There are a couple of fancier smaller markets that are nice as well, they are: Marina Market (Red Hook), Gourmet Gallery (pricey but higher end stuff in Havensight Mall), and The Fruit Bowl (Charlotte Amalie). I would avoid the Pueblo markets.

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  • Re: St. Thomas USVI trip
    rinny54 Platinum 1 Reviews
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    Thanks everyone! These suggestions are helpful. I am gathering my notes.

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  • Re: St. Thomas USVI trip
    fschumpert Platinum 22 Reviews
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    I've never been to St. Thomas, but one advantage is you can fly there directly from Atlanta and other US ports of departure. With some of the other nearby islands, you have to take a commuter from St. Thomas. I gave one of my grandsons honeymoon trip to Frenchman's Cove last year and the couple thoroughly enjoyed it.

     

    After talking with the locals there ahead of time, I suggested they hire taxi from the airport instead of renting an auto. If you decided you wanted access to rental car while at resort, I believe they have rental desk there.

     

    Also, I've heard that driving into the nearby town is not too safe, but this is only what I heard.

     

    Believe you'll also have to pay a daily resort fee of some $25.00, but this affords you access to several resort amenities.

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    • Re: St. Thomas USVI trip
      rinny54 Platinum 1 Reviews
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      Thanks for the info, fschumpert!!

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    • Re: St. Thomas USVI trip
      riverchik Platinum
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      Driving is perfectly fine in town and around the island and is much less expensive than the taxis. I have never paid a daily resort fee.

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  • Re: St. Thomas USVI trip
    riverchik Platinum
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    Hey Rinny54 - how was your trip to Frenchman's Cove?

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    • Re: St. Thomas USVI trip
      rinny54 Platinum 1 Reviews
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      Hi riverchik.  My trip to Frenchman's Cove was just OK.  The resort itself was fine.  We had a great room with a wonderful view of the harbor & watching the cruise ships come in was fun (all rooms face the water, but our building was right on the water). The problem became after mid-day as the building was facing west.  We could not use our balcony as it was too HOT--the furniture & railing was all metal--quite uncomfortable.  The pool was fine--a little small 'tho. They are expanding the property & there will be another pool. It was nice to be next to 2 Marriott hotels. So we could use their pools & restaurants as well. That being said--I was fine if I stayed on property.  I disliked going off property as the windey/up & down roads made me feel like I was on a roller coaster & scrambler @ the same time!  We got lost several times & did not feel safe in certain areas. The island is not very attractive--except the beaches are beautiful--to get to them 'tho was another experience. We went to buy food for our timeshare & food was very expensive & not too fresh--several items needed to be thrown out. We ended up using the food we had brought for breakfast & lunch/snacks & ate out for dinner @ either of the Marriott restaurants. The iguanas @ the resort are everywhere.  We went to St. John's for a day, which was OK, but expensive to take the car ferry.  There were bugs biting us in the restrooms there. The staff @ Frenchman's Cove were nice & helpful. All in all, we liked the resort, but not the island & will probably not go back there.

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      • Re: St. Thomas USVI trip
        iahflyr Platinum 26 Reviews
        Currently Being Moderated

        I keep telling you folks here on Insiders......BVI Luxury Villas | Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina, Autograph Collection  is the place to go in the Caribbean to get a spectacular Marriott property.

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      • Re: St. Thomas USVI trip
        mikiegfla Platinum 4 Reviews
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        My wife and I own a week at the Cove and simply love going there. We just got back two weeks ago and had another fabulous time. If you aren't used to paying Caribbean prices for groceries and restaurants, then naturally you will be shocked. But having been to a dozen Caribbean Islands, I find St Thomas to be among the least expensive. Try staying on Aruba or St. Kitts for a week!

         

        Since St Thomas is one of the few mountainous islands in the Caribbean, of course the roads are going to be hilly. How else could you get pictures like this? Although the general population are fairly poor and parts of the island don't look great, St Thomas is very safe. Since tourism accounts for 99% of their economy, the government works hard at keeping crime to a minimum.

         

        magens_bay_te.jpg

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        • Re: St. Thomas USVI trip
          carat Community Manager Marriott Associate Silver
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          Great shot, mikiegfla! Do you have any recommendations on what to do in the area?

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          • Re: St. Thomas USVI trip
            mikiegfla Platinum 4 Reviews
            Currently Being Moderated

            My number one activity in St Thomas is eating (although you would never know looking at my 135 pound body), and there's no shortage of restaurants there. We like sitting on the beach so that's what we do best. Morning Star Beach, which is where the Marriott hotel is located, is among the best on the island. But the beach that everyone comes to see is Magens Bay, which is in the picture I posted above as driving down from the road.

             

            No trip to St Thomas would be complete without a trip to neighboring island St John via an hourly ferry. Most of the island is a national park, originally owned by the Rockefeller family who bequeathed it to the Dept of the Interior. Now called Virgin Islands National Park, the beauty is something you just have to see to believe.

             

            That sums up my ideal week on St Thomas. Since we are not golfers, I can't comment on the one course there (Mahogany Run), but listening to others around dinner makes me believe it's a worthwhile outing.

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            • Re: St. Thomas USVI trip
              carat Community Manager Marriott Associate Silver
              Currently Being Moderated

              Beach and Eat... my kind of vacation!   I love the idea of venturing out to the neighboring island, especially for a national park.  I'm a big national park fan and love seeing the true attributes for the area I'm visiting.  Great recommendations, thanks for sharing!

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            • Re: St. Thomas USVI trip
              riverchik Platinum
              Currently Being Moderated

              Hi mikiegfla,

               

              We are owners there too and love it! There are so many great places to eat and swim and relax and people watch, haha. For eating:

              Hook, Line and Sinker (very casual, at a marina so right on the water next to the boats)

              Pie Hole (casual, excellent pizza and the island's best choices of good beer)

              Fish Tails (a little more pricey but right on the water and fresh fish)

              Oceana (very pricey but amazing view and very good food, atmosphere on the water)

              Gladys' Cafe (casual, good food, very personable staff)

              Havana Blue (same as Oceana)

               

              What's on your list?

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      • Re: St. Thomas USVI trip
        riverchik Platinum
        Currently Being Moderated

        Hi rinny54,

         

        The resort is very nice and we love that every room is ocean front, so we have never been disappointed. The island is very hilly and the roads are not very wide, so yes, you need to be careful driving around. I love to drive and think it's a blast exploring all the nooks and crannies of the island. As I mentioned in my first post, you have learn which are the good grocery stores to go to, there are many that have very good choices. Our first couple of years we took some of our own food to help with the cost (like seasoning, a few canned goods, etc) but found the prices in some of the grocery stores were just slightly higher than what we are used to and wasn't worth loading up our suitcases. Now that you have seen it, I would hope you would consider going back. I also appreciated IAHFLYR's comments about the BVI Luxury Villas on Scrub Island. I've heard it's fabulous, The Points Guy wrote up a very positive review of it as well.

        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

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