We were there at Christmas time. My review is on this site.
Location is fabulous!
The staff are the worst!!
The rooms are Category 4 at best!!!
However, there is nothing better on the island. Your only GOOD choices are to swith to the Marriott on St. Croix or an even better choice whould be the Marriott Scrub Island in the BVI.
If you do go there... take the all day trip to the BVI that goes to Virgin Gorda. It will be the highlight of your entire trip!
Thanks for the post, but this post by me you responded to is y-e-a-r-s old. It is another one of those old posts that are now making their way back to the front.
I actually went there and had a terrific time! I was upgraded to a top floor suite with a terrific view and a mezzanine area above the main floor of the suite that had a full bedroom and master bath. I understand the resort has undergone a renovation since I was there and have seen some good and not so good posts about the property since the renovation was completed. I did a post about my good experience after we went but I haven't seen that one re-surface yet.
Thanks for updating everyone about your experience and sorry it wasn't as good as expected.
The resort has a shuttle boat that will take you to the downtown area where there is a ton of shopping and restaurants and bars. We did a ferry trip to St, Johns, an island next to St. Thomas and also a nice little village area to see and explore. We also did a tour of the island out of the hotel. The hotel offers a bunch of things to do from the concierge desk from eating to touring to beachy stuff of all types. We ate at Blue Havana (one of the on site restaurants) and it was the best dinner we had there. The restaurant is down the hill from the resort on the beach. Fantastic ambiance.
At the time I was there the hotel was badly in need of a retrofit. That has happened since I was there. A lot of posters have cautioned that service at this hotel is bad but I xperienced exceptionally good service. I don't know what creates the good and bad scenarios that are experienced there. I was there in June and know that is the off-season for them, but the hotel still seemed pretty busy. I really can't say anything bad about my experience. I had an upgrade to a real suite; had excellent restaurant service when I ate on property; the ferry service was very good and convenient and the tour I went on was very informative. My side trip to St. John was not arranged by he hotel, but that was good too. Believe me, I'm right on the posting record when something goes wrong to let Insiders know, but I really can't put a bad touch on my stay at this property. It was excellent!
No. You have to take a taxi to the hotel. There were no hotel shuttles when I was there. Can't remember the cost but it wasn't bad. They use vans and the van doesn't leave until it's full so it's a shared ride. The taxis are placed so that the taxi you get has all passengers going to the same area of the island you are.
It's an Autograph Edition and spectacular location as well as top notch associated. The GM of the property is on site mingling iwth the guests daily. We've already made plans to return in late fall.
When I last checked you were able to use points, IIRC it was something like 160,000 for a 5 night stay, but I haven't checked in about 2 weeks.
I'm sure the resort can create excursions for you, however we found no problem in creating our own activities each day which included renting a boat and island hopping for a day, enjoying the water around the island, laying at the pool and just relaxing. The resort staff is very very helpful and friendly all the time.
OK, so I just got back from a St Thomas visit to the Marriott Frenchmans Cove (June 17-23, 2012)... Here's my thoughts.
Keep in mind that there are three seperate Marriott properties at St Thomas:
* Marriott Frenchman's Reef - This is the straight Marriott Hotel property.
* Marriott Frenchman's Cove - This is the Marriot Vacation Club Property.
* Marriott Morningstar Resort - This was described to me as a "beach resort" whatever that is.
While these properties are seperate, there is a complimentary shuttle that runs between them all day that allows guest to transit between the properties as desired.
So as i said, we stayed at the Frenchman's Cove Vacation Club property. (Note, I am not a vacation club "owner", I just booked the room). I was REALLY impressed with this property. We had a wonderful 2 bedroom villa that had 1 King in one room, and 2 queens in the other. We had six adults in our party (Wife and I, our two 20-something daughters, son-in-law, and a boyfriend). Each bedroom had a balcony. The master had both a shower and tub as well as a double vanity. Three flat screen TV's were in the Villa (Living Room and each bedroom). The kitchen had granite counter tops, nice stainless steel appliances as well as an in-room washer and dryer. We even cooked in two evening meals, taking advantage of a common grilling area one night to cook our burgers and hot dogs. It was nice for the six of us to be able to sit down at the dining room table together in a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere to enjoy the meal. The villa was perfect for us to all feel "together" but still comfortable. Double thumbs up on the room.
As we were not "owners", I think that relegated us to the "St Johns" building toward the back of the property. While our second floor room for sure had an "ocean view" it was a bit obstructed by the two buildings between it and the pool/beach area. So, while we could see the bay, we could not see the beach. Minor bummer. GREAT place however to watch the arrival and departures of the visiting cruise ships, as there were five that stopped in on St Thomas while we were there. It looked like they were floating through your living room they were so close. The pool area was outstanding. The beach was outstanding, and the poolside restaurtant served amazingly good food which we enjoyed probably at least one meal a day. Price was not that bad (about $15 per person). On certain mornings, they served an all you could eat breakfast buffet that was quite good. Most nights, there was live music down by the pool. One Thursday, they had a Karoke night. When we checked in, they gave us an information sheet with the full weeks extensive activities listed. Thumbs up on the recreation/dining options.
The service was really good. Housekeeping kept things presentable for us each day. They even (to my surprise) ran our dirty dishes through the dish washer each morning. In room wi-fi was available without a password. I called the desk several times during the week for directions/recommendations and always received a courteous resolution to the issue I was calling about. Thumbs up on the service.
I/we had an absolutely wonderful time at the Frenchman's Cove and would not hessitate to recommend it to anyone visiting St Thomas.
Regarding the other two properties, we did visit them one afternoon late in the week just for a change of pace. The Frenchman's Reef property seemed quite nice as well. Very nice pool areas out back. More dining options at this property, but those seemed a bit pricier. We ate at the deck restaurant out back Friday night and had a very nice meal, but it was right at $50 per person. Stunning views as the sun was setting during dinner. The Reef sets high above the water on a bluff overlooking the ocean. No specific beach access at that property, although you could take an elevator/stairs over to the Morningstar property which of course had a very extensive beach area. From what I could tell of the "common areas", both the Reef and Morningstar properties appeared quite nice. I can't comment on the rooms of course.
Based on what I could see, I don't think a person could go wrong at any of these St Thomas Marriott properties. For how we were traveling last week, the Cove was the one that fit us best and we thoroughly enjoyed the week as a result. Great job Marriott Frenchman's Cove!
Thanx for the great review!
Your comments are consistent with the only experience I have had with Marriot Vacation Club Properties, as I am not an owner but I did use points to stay at the property in Marbella, Spain. The descriptions fit with minor variations. We had a 4 bedroom instead of a 3 bedroom, and there was no cruise port visible. The rest is consistent, including the parital ocean view.
I believe this may be the most beautiful piece of property Marriott owns. It is on a scenic peninsula overlooking the harbor, the city, and the ocean. The pool deck is built into the side of a cliff. But what others have said is true. The local labor force is not a personable or service oriented as other Caribbean locations by a long way. That goes for the desk clerks all the way to the bar tenders. All that being said, I have been there several times over the years and would go back. The restaurants in town are very good but you do have to cab it everywhere and that is $10 per person each way. So if you have4 people, every trip is $40 minimum. Go and decide for yourself. It really has a lot to offer.
* I will be glad to give a report when I get back.
* I did not use "points" on this trip. I'm a new Rewards member just this year so I'm in the points accumulation mode right now.
* I appreciate what folks on this board had to say regarding the cab rides. With six of us on the trip, it was going to be like $60 each way for us to leave the property. As a result of the information on this board, I went ahead and rented a mini van. The money won't be that different and we'll have all the flexibility to go and do as we please. Thanks for the information guys!
I am not familiar with these properties, as I usually cruise when I am in the Caribbean. I will say that I do not find the Virgin Islands, American or British, that interesting. For the British Virigin Islands, there is very little to do unless you like to sail or sit on the beach. For my British friends that sail, this is their favorite place in the world. For the USVI, St. Thomas is great if you like to shop, and St. John's is great if you like the outdoors as much is a wildlife preserve, and you can take the ferry to the other islands for shopping. St. Croix has a very interesting back having been Danish, French, British and now US, but I have never been.
If I was going to stay an extended period on a Caribbean Island (more than 1 day), it would be on St. Maarten, St. Kitts/Nevis, Antigua or Curacao as these islands are really interesing, as wel as having the beach. Of these islands, both St. Kitts/Nevis and Curacao have Marriotts. I believe there is a post on insiders about the Curacao Marriott that was very positive.
I think its a little bit more developed as an island due to the medical and vetinary school. I like the scenic railway they have, and the horseback riding. Nevis is definately lifestyles of the rick and famous, and you can do alot of celebrity spotting there.
If your a beach person, you will probably be happy on any of the islands. If not, then its good to consider what else the island has to offer to keep you busy for the week.
Was there in January just before Superbowl.
That was the third time in 4 years.
I call it the easy button of vacations because of the USVI status. Get off plane, get luggage and go! Stop off in town and pick up your favorite libation.
The resort is nice and there is a lot to take in, beach, pools, bars, etc. Tip your bartender, and they will take care of you. Ask for Shane!
The food at the 3 restaurants are just OK, but not bad.Never been to blue Havana, too pricy. If you have any complaints, management is all over it, and call to follow up. I recommend it. We are going back in Oct-Nov to the MVCI. Traded our week for a week there.
The hotel has a good spa, with a private pool and hot tub. Tons of daily excursions. St John is nice.
Good luck and bring your sun screen. Everything is very pricey there, even for the locals.
Now that is a horrific story--re Scrub Island. I was going to check it out this season, but now have decided not a good idea!!
Re St. Thomas, however, we go there every year for two weeks and stay at the Cove. The facilities are marvelous. We rent a car (don't forget that they drive on the left over there!) so we are not confined--although that wouldn't be so bad. The restaurants are okay, but Havana Blue is definitely a hit or miss. Some people rave about it, while people on the same night (us, for example) have a horrible experience. Luck of the draw, I guess. Servers have a great deal to do with it and, with most of the service industry around the resort/hotel, their eagerness to please is lacking. The Reef (hotel) has newly renovated rooms and beautiful new infinity pool, While the beach at the Cove is small, intimate and rocky, the beach (moringstar) at the hotel is wide, spacious and beautiful. You have access to both beaches. I highly recommend a day trip to St. John and/or a snorkle drip to the BVI.
Anyone with most recent experience at Marriott Caribbean trips ? Heard the St. Thomas (2012) not so good, but maybe conditions have changed. We've been considering this for our grandson's honeymoon but would like to know more about the accommodations before booking this for the newlyweds next May.
My husband and I are Caribbean freaks and marriott is our destination. We are contemplating the scrub island resort or the frenchmans cove.
we love the beach and like to spend time off the resort experiencing local things and seeing other beaches.
any recommendations for these two resorts?
We've been to Scrub Island and fell in love with the place. It is a very quiet little spot for relaxing, but you have two small beaches on the island so would need to rent a boat to visit other islands in the BVI or USVI. Here is a few links to some Scrub Island threads/photos:
I cannot speak to St. Thomas as we only flew over it on the way to Beef Island from San Juan to get the Scrub Island Ferry.
The Hotel was fine, good service nice rooms. Hotel security seemed to be adequate. Meals were very, very expensive. In town you were virtually assaulted by venders, a real zoo, especially when a cruise ship was in. Locals were not very friendly unless they thought they could sell you something. Beautiful scenery, not particularly friendly, service oriented people. We were there for a week a year ago and I doubt there have been significant changes since our visit. Don't know if we would visit again.