More about Caneel Bay, A Rosewood Resort
Is it worth it?
We didn't stay at the Caneel Bay Resort, but we considered staying here when we were planning our trip. The cheapest room was about $450 USD/night. When we walked around the resort, it was lovely. However, I can't give an honest opinion about whether or not it is worth that much money.
There are several restaurants here, and I know that an all-inclusive meal plan is an option. There are also many things to do: kayaking, hiking, exploring the ruins, croquet, tennis, swimming, and more.
Another perk of this resort is 7 private beaches. Guests are allowed to visit Caneel Bay, but only hotel guests are permitted to visit the other beaches of the resort. 7 private beaches!!
Caneel Bay Resort
120 rooms and 7 beaches spread out over 77 acres! There are 3 restaurants on the property, including The Equator (which has unbelievable sunsets) and Turtle Bay (very elegant).
Lots of acitivites, including day snorkeling and diving, sunset sailing and day trips to the British Virgin Islands.
St. John hotel choices
There are few hotels or resorts on StJ. The two large ones are Caneel Bay and The Westin St. John. Others in the Cruz Bay area are St John Inn, The Lindquist, Tamarind Inn and Hillcrest Inn.
Caneel, Westin and Lindquist are quite pricey. I understand that you recieve numerous ammenities for the price. St John Inn and Tamarind Inn are right in Cruz Bay and the costs are comparable to what you might find if you were to rent a villa on the island.
I have not stayed in any of these places. I only list these as options other than the rental villas or campgrounds on the island.
Caneel Bay is wonderful!
My wife and I and our two small children visited Caneel this past August 2003 for 10 days. We would spend all day on the many different beaches they offer and eat at the Ecuator at night. The place is fantastic, the kids had a great time. The staff, food, tennis and location is one-of-a-kind, we would strongly recommend Caneel to anyone who is looking for total relaxation and peace. Make sure you try the day trip to Virgin Gorda, that was great. We will be visiting Caneel next year same time.
St. John Island has...
St. John Island has accomodations ranging from the expensive resort at Caneel Bay to lower priced rooms. However, for those who don't mind 'roughing it' they may want to check out the Cinnamon Bay Campground. Cottages, tents, and bare camp sites are available for rent.
At the time we were visiting the island Rockresorts had the concession on the campgrounds for the US Dept. of Parks.
Staying at the campground would hardly be roughing it because the average annual temprature is 79 degrees with only about 6 degrees variance between summer and winter.
The National Park service provides programs such as snorkeling instructions and tours of the old sugar plantation ruins.
The picture below is another picture of a St. Thomas beach.
I don't get it!!
I having a hard time understanding some of the reviews here. My wife and I visited Caneel Bay in September 2003. It was by far the most beautiful resort we have ever visited.
We researched quite a lot on the subject and was honestly concerned about some of the reviews (bugs, poor service, condition of property, etc). None of these poor reviews could be further from the truth. The grounds were unbelieveable. The staff almost anticipated our every need and were exceptionally polite. Our room was serviced 3 times a day. The beaches were wonderful and the food was excellent (however mildly expensive). There were unique activites scheduled throughout the day and night. Anything you could want (minus TV) was available. Our cell phone worked (if you cared to use it) and they even offered broadband connectivity (again..).
We will definitely be back (in 2 years when we can afford it)
Loved The Resort and the Island
We just got back from our honeymoon and had a wonderful time. The staff were very friendly and helpful. We had a horrendous trip getting there but once we arrived the staff took over and made us feel so welcomed and cared for. There was a bottle of champagne and also sandwiches, fruit and cheese waiting for us in out room. The locals were also very friendly on every part of the island - they went out of their way to show us the best views and told us the best places to eat etc. The Resort is beautiful and our room was also. Meals were somewhat expensive but they were beautifully served and tasted great. There are no phones, no clocks or TV's in the rooms but who needs any of those when there is so much beauty to enjoy and it is so relaxing. I did not want to come home and we definately want to go back. Thank You Caneel Bay
Best for me, Not for everyone
I have visited Caneel Bay four times over the past five years and can say it is one of my favorite places in the world and I plan to go back often.
I recently hosted a group of 10 couples to celebrate a birthday and I can say it was the trip of a lifetime for ALL.
In reading other reviews I think it is important to try to understand how so many people can love a place and why others would never return.
Caneel is not for people that:
1) Want something to do at all times 2) Expect everything to be perfect when they are spending a lot of money 3) Expect prompt service all of the time 4) Enjoy swimming in a pool 5) Like to be connected back to the real world through TV, telephones etc 6) Never want to see kids while on vacation 7) Like to be waited on
Many, many people share these wishes while on vacation and these people will be unhappy at Caneel Bay.
Life is SLOW at Caneel, prompt service is not in the DNA of many islanders. There attitude is slow down, enjoy yourself, look around and see how beautiful it is, your grilled chicken sandwich will come.
Now on to why I love Caneel. I find the service and food to be terrific. The entire staff is ultra friendly if you stop first and say Good Morning, how are you? By the end of my stay I get to know at least 3-4 new people that have a long history of working at Caneel.
The setting is obviously spectacular. You just always have to remember that one of the richest people in the world flew around all of the islands and picked the BEST place for a resort back when there were no resorts. Enough said.
Finally, Caneel is expensive, but for me it is worth it. If paying $25 for a breakfast buffet (that is very extensive and good) will ruin your vacation, either don't go or bring some breakfast bars.
Caneel is not for everyone, but it sure is for me.
Caneel Bay is great for those who want to get away from telephones, time and TVs. The beaches are great. I hated not taking my watch because there are NO clocks anywhere. If you want to get away from kids, make sure that you are located on one of the two beaches that do not allow kids. Wish I had knew that before. I was expecting this to be more couples than families. I should have done my research and not relied on someone who not been in 10 years. The first disappointment that we experienced was your bags were not in our room. We arrived by the ferry and went and looked around and had lunch. We expected are bags in our room when we got back. We had to call down for our bags.
The second was when we checked out and found out that a lot of charges were on the room, like tips for maids and bell men. The bell men still excepted tips. The service other than that was great. The final disappointment was the choice in available restaurants. There are three main places to eat. The first night was at Turtle Bay and they were booked. We had to eat at the Equator. The food is great. Since we were on the menu plan, we had to eat at the restaurants at the resort. The next night, the Equator was the only restaurant open. The menu does not change. It is the same for at least three or four nights we were there.
The short story to this is that I would not be the menu plan and either eat there or go into town. Maybe the different restaurants are open more in the winter season than the summer. There are several activities to do at Caneel. The rent for free snorkel gear, sunfish boats, etc.
They also have a great SCUBA company there. It is independent of Caneel, but they are great. The snorkeling off of Caneel Bay was OK.
There was not much to see. I was disappointed in the stay because I was expecting more. That was my fault for not doing more research and relying on 10 year old information. What I found interesting when talking to some of the local residents was that the staff at Caneel are tenured. The staff tends to be ruder and not to care. I did feel as though if I asked for water that I was asking for too much.
My husband and I stayed at Caneel Bay in March 2003. Although the location is on some of the most beautiful beach in world (and I've seen the best), the service could be beat by a Motel 6. Rude, rude, rude! We enjoyed going into town each night for some wonderful, reasonably priced dining. For our party of 2, we paid usually around $100 for a shared appetizer, 2 entrees, wine and dessert. The resort wanted $50 per couple for a breakfast buffet. To me, there isn't much you can do to breakfast food which makes it worth that outlandish price. The resort restaurants were hit or miss for quality and pricing was high ($180 or more for 2 if you can get a reservation). We were double charged for our transportation to the island by the resort-arranged water taxi. The driver requested and accepted our payment. The front desk, however, insisted we shouldn't have paid the taxi and did not find it reasonable to remove the charge for the transport they levied on our final bill. The room was hot on arrival and came complete with a can of Raid. The furnishings were in terrible need of updating in that they were worn and out of date. The concierge service was great! Too bad the rude maids couldn't stand doing a complete job (exchanging towels seems a simple, common service) and let you know they were doing you a favor. The snorkel equipment was in poor repair, and after traveling via the resort shuttle to the premier snorkel site, we discovered one of our masks had a cut in it and therefore leaked. We wasted the better part of the morning just getting usable equipment. I complained to the management regarding the shortfalls we experienced.
They assured us each situation would be addressed, but somehow it never was. I did not write a letter to them after returning home because if given a complimentary stay for the future, I still would not return.
Many other beaches in the world are comparable. A superior resort can easily be found.
Caneel Bay from above
St John USVI
Concordia Eco Resort
We are planning on our honeymoon in Caribbean. We are looking for a romantic place and have no clue where to go.
We would like a luxurious resort but we also want an area with things to do outside the hotel (restaurants, sights, etc).
Can anyone please recommend something nice?
Re: honeymoon caribbean
i stayed at the Crystal Cove hotel in Barbados a couple of years ago and it was wonderful - right on the beach - the capital is just a short bus ride away and you can get married on the beach if you want!! I wish it was me!!
Re: honeymoon caribbean
I have just tried a wonderfull way of vacationing in the virgin islands , it is very romantic . A vegetarian yacht charters but they can also do non-vege. I have the details if you wish. Or you could try Caneel Bay resort, we stayed there some years ago, still very nice though more expensive.
hope it helps
Re: honeymoon caribbean
Greetings and Best Wishes Together, I suggest you look up Lake Atilan in Guatemala. It is inland from Antiqua. It is BEAUTIFUL. Lots of culture. A lovely Lake surrounded by atleast 3 prior volcano mountains. The Lake has some kind of healing qualities. There are MANY places to stay around the lake, all require water taxi's or private arrangements. This is NO problem. Be sure to get info prior to using, as the rates can change from $25.usd or more.......down to $10.usd and less. The public taxi's run regular and are under $10.usd. It IS romantic. There are several towns and villages to visit. I can not remember the main tourist town. You will not need a water taxi if you stay at one of the lovely resort there. The town of Solola is close by and I suggest you visit there, especially on market day, Fridays if I remember. There is also a small village named San Antonio where w o n d e r f u l hand crafted textiles, hand loomed (clothing,blankets,shirt & pants,) are easliy found. You did not say when you are going to be traveling. I would think any time of year, any weather would not change a lovely experience.
Rental car dilemma
Hi!! My husband and I are going to the Virgin Islands for 10 days in July.
*2 nights in St. Thomas
*4 nights in Tortola
*4 nights in St. John
We want to rent a car on each island. We also will be taking day trips to other BVI while on Tortola. Do we rent cars on these islands too??? What is the best way to do this? We will fly into STT airport, but other than that, should we try to rent from the ferry docks? I just can't seem to get my brain around all these car rentals. Thanks for your help! :-)
Re: Rental car dilemma
I guess the things you have to consider are;
Where are you staying in relation to the place you wish to visit?
What type of activities are you interested in?
What is the availability of taxi and public transportation?
If your nights on StThomas and StJohn were concurrent some StT rental companies (Budget is one) will allow you to take the car on the car ferry to StJ.
On StJ I can tell you that if you staying at the Westin or Caneel resorts, you have great access to their services and can supplement with taxi service. Others who camp do not rent cars at all and stay close to their beach, hike or use Vitran buses and taxi service to get around. We have picked up numerous hitchhikers and pedestrians on our trips there.
My advice for StJ though, is to have a jeep. There is just so many beautiful beaches and sights to be stuck in one spot.
Here are a couple of addresses that might provide you with some good information regarding public transport, car rental companies and taxi rates for StT and StJ
Oh yeah, remember that all of the islands you are visiting require that you drive on the LEFT.
Enjoy your island time!