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St. Croix Renaissance (U.S. Virgin Islands) [Master Thread]

St. Croix Renaissance (U.S. Virgin Islands) [Master Thread]

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Old Oct 5, 14, 7:45 am
  #46  
 
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anyone stay here recently?
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Old Oct 24, 14, 1:47 pm
  #47  
 
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Originally Posted by njcommodore View Post
anyone stay here recently?
I'd love to hear if anybody has an update as well. Just booked flights and room reservations for next May.
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Old Jan 29, 15, 2:01 pm
  #48  
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: St. Louis, MO
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Just got back from 5 nights at this property. Overall, it's a nice place, but it's certainly not a luxury property. The beach is nice. It could use an infusion of cash; the rooms are a bit dated and could use more lights and a number of the chairs around the pool are broken. Service is island style, which isn't a bad thing, just something that you need to be prepared for. We did not eat at the hotel, as the reviews indicated that food was better and cheaper at nearby restaurants. We did rent snorkeling gear, but the place is really better if you dive. The main reef is in at least 25 feet of water, so you are looking down a long way if you're on the surface.

I'd be happy to answer any specific questions. I'm only Silver, so I can't answer many questions about elite benefits. We booked a garden view room and were given a room that was toward the back of the property but from which we had a decent view of the ocean.
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Old Jan 30, 15, 10:03 am
  #49  
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Thanks for the update. Much appreciated!

Cheers.
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Old Mar 6, 15, 7:59 pm
  #50  
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
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Has there always been a resort fee at this property? I'm sure I probably missed it but when I booked it I could've sworn that I was actually expecting to see a resort fee yet thought I was pleasantly surprised that I didn't see one. However now (inspired by the Ritz resort fee thread) I went to double check my reservation and my email is showing a $25 "service charge"...

Oh well, I'll be there in about a month and will report back.
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Old Mar 7, 15, 10:00 am
  #51  
 
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Originally Posted by GoPhils View Post
Has there always been a resort fee at this property? I'm sure I probably missed it but when I booked it I could've sworn that I was actually expecting to see a resort fee yet thought I was pleasantly surprised that I didn't see one. However now (inspired by the Ritz resort fee thread) I went to double check my reservation and my email is showing a $25 "service charge"...

Oh well, I'll be there in about a month and will report back.
I'm curious about that as well. I just noticed that $25 service charge on my upcoming reservation using points also. I don't think I've ever seen a resort fee called a "service charge".
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Old Mar 8, 15, 8:33 am
  #52  
 
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Originally Posted by tringer2103 View Post
I'm curious about that as well. I just noticed that $25 service charge on my upcoming reservation using points also. I don't think I've ever seen a resort fee called a "service charge".
Hmm, so you didn't see it there before either? May be a silly question but Marriott can't change an e-mail after the fact can they?
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Old Mar 8, 15, 9:29 am
  #53  
 
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Yes driving is on the left, and the driver side is also on the left which can be awkward for some people.

Last edited by CaliforniasCentralCoast; Mar 8, 15 at 9:30 am Reason: Spelling
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Old Mar 8, 15, 10:02 am
  #54  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
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Originally Posted by GoPhils View Post
Hmm, so you didn't see it there before either? May be a silly question but Marriott can't change an e-mail after the fact can they?
Yeah I didn't notice it when I booked which is surprising. I would usually notice, but perhaps somehow I missed it. I wouldn't think Marriott can change an email. I sent a message to Marriott asking what this fee is for and if it can be declined. I did a dummy booking and saw the fee, but I can't seem to find any description of what the fee is. Seems a bit shady to me...
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Old Mar 9, 15, 1:53 pm
  #55  
 
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Originally Posted by tringer2103 View Post
Yeah I didn't notice it when I booked which is surprising. I would usually notice, but perhaps somehow I missed it. I wouldn't think Marriott can change an email. I sent a message to Marriott asking what this fee is for and if it can be declined. I did a dummy booking and saw the fee, but I can't seem to find any description of what the fee is. Seems a bit shady to me...
Here is the response I got from Marriott. Typical resort fee it seems....

Thank you for contacting Marriott. We appreciate the opportunity to provide you with information.

We contacted the hotel in regards to your inquiry. The hotel advised that the $25.00 service charge includes the below listed services:

24 hour pool and hot tub
Internet access
Exclusive beach chairs
24 hour fitness center
24 hour business center
Nightly entertainment

If we can be of further assistance, we invite you to reply to this email.

Thank you for choosing Marriott.
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Old Apr 19, 15, 10:13 am
  #56  
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: CLT
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Just got back last night, overall a good stay but wouldn't really call it luxurious or anything.

Reserved the cheapest room on points, and emailed the property about a week or two before asking if there was any chance of an upgrade. Noticed the day before that my reservation had been upgraded so I was definitely happy about that.

Checked in around 5:00 and my room actually wasn't ready, although they did give me a free dinner coupon even though I didn't complain. I guess I'll never know, but I think there's a chance they gave away the room I was originally assigned to to a Plat Premier or his buddy who were there complaining when I arrived (who on a side note were having a funny conversation because his buddy had no idea PP was a different status).

I still did get a beachfront room so still happy about that considering what I reserved, but first floor (tripadvisor reviews seemed to say the second floor was better due to having vaulted ceilings). Room was kept in good shape but was a bit dated, it did look like some of the other rooms might've been a bit more updated but hard to tell. I think most if not all the rooms are "studio suites", so there was a kitchenette (I think a lot of the rooms, supposedly if the description said "deluxe" had a full size fridge, microwave and stovetop, but others just had a mini fridge and microwave), couch with tv, and then bed with another tv. Not sure if any of the rooms really had a separate bedroom or not. Bathroom was large with double sinks and a large shower, although hot water didn't seem to last terribly long (heard that might've been an island problem). And all rooms had a screened in porch.

Really our main complaint with the room though and I'm not sure if it would have been any different in another location (although I'm surprised it wasn't mentioned more on tripadvisor), was that the doors were like permanently closed blinds or something. You couldn't really see through but you could hear. Mostly doors opening and closing (although luckily as has been mentioned in other reviews there are only 6 rooms in each building) but also the housekeeping staff getting their supplies and golf carts that the staff used beeping, sometimes at odd hours. Will probably do the survey and note that since it seems pretty easily fixable.

The beach on the property was nice, there was only one area where they recommended swimming but it was never too crowded. Pool was fine but not like what you might see at some other resorts (my only other Caribbean stay was St Kitts). They had on site snorkeling and scuba which seemed to get good reviews but we didn't use.

A lot of the other reviews seemed to complain about the service but for the most part I thought it was fine and the staff was nice. The food on property was decent although we didn't try the expensive restaurant, we did eat a couple times at the bar area. They do a buffet/show thing on Friday nights which was neat, although not sure the buffet was worth $45 (you can probably just come over to watch the show after). Speaking of St Kitts one thing we hit up a few times there that would've been nice at St Croix was the pizza shack.

To my pleasant surprise when I checked in they actually gave me continental breakfast coupons for 2 for every day (despite no lounge) which stated for plats/golds and also included coffee and juice. You could upgrade to the full Buffett for $6 with omelette station, etc. I'm not sure if this might've been a new development, as they would give you a bill for the full amount and then you put the coupon in the bill and they didn't update it so you just have to hope they adjusted it. They did end up charging me the full amount a couple days but I didn't have a problem getting it removed (although the front desk didn't seem too familiar with the process which is why I'm thinking it might be a new development, I may have complicated it by trying to add a tip even though the coupon said gratuity included--I'm sure that's being discussed in a different thread...)

Location was a bit remote but not too bad. About 25 mins from the airport. I rented a car which wasn't bad even though driving was on the left and some of the roads were bumpy/windy (might be worth renting a jeep if you can). There were some restaurants (one nice one and a few beach bar type places) less than 10 minutes away, also some supposedly good snorkeling in that area. Some other areas were a bit further but not too bad.

The last pleasant surprise was I thought the resort fee (or service charge according to my reservation email) was $25, but only ended up getting charged $9.50. On that note we weren't that concerned about it but the Internet didn't work very well in the rooms although it did work by the pool/restaurants. I was able to get a late checkout of 1:00 (took the first offer so may have been able to negotiate a little later).

Overall I think it was a good value as a Cat 6 at time of booking, not really sure if it still is as a Cat 7 though.
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Old Apr 19, 15, 11:01 am
  #57  
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Thanks for the detailed trip report! Much appreciated.

Cheers.
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Old Apr 19, 15, 11:01 am
  #58  
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Originally Posted by GoPhils View Post
Just got back last night, overall a good stay but wouldn't really call it luxurious or anything.

Reserved the cheapest room on points, and emailed the property about a week or two before asking if there was any chance of an upgrade. Noticed the day before that my reservation had been upgraded so I was definitely happy about that.

Checked in around 5:00 and my room actually wasn't ready, although they did give me a free dinner coupon even though I didn't complain. I guess I'll never know, but I think there's a chance they gave away the room I was originally assigned to to a Plat Premier or his buddy who were there complaining when I arrived (who on a side note were having a funny conversation because his buddy had no idea PP was a different status).

I still did get a beachfront room so still happy about that considering what I reserved, but first floor (tripadvisor reviews seemed to say the second floor was better due to having vaulted ceilings). Room was kept in good shape but was a bit dated, it did look like some of the other rooms might've been a bit more updated but hard to tell. I think most if not all the rooms are "studio suites", so there was a kitchenette (I think a lot of the rooms, supposedly if the description said "deluxe" had a full size fridge, microwave and stovetop, but others just had a mini fridge and microwave), couch with tv, and then bed with another tv. Not sure if any of the rooms really had a separate bedroom or not. Bathroom was large with double sinks and a large shower, although hot water didn't seem to last terribly long (heard that might've been an island problem). And all rooms had a screened in porch.

Really our main complaint with the room though and I'm not sure if it would have been any different in another location (although I'm surprised it wasn't mentioned more on tripadvisor), was that the doors were like permanently closed blinds or something. You couldn't really see through but you could hear. Mostly doors opening and closing (although luckily as has been mentioned in other reviews there are only 6 rooms in each building) but also the housekeeping staff getting their supplies and golf carts that the staff used beeping, sometimes at odd hours. Will probably do the survey and note that since it seems pretty easily fixable.

The beach on the property was nice, there was only one area where they recommended swimming but it was never too crowded. Pool was fine but not like what you might see at some other resorts (my only other Caribbean stay was St Kitts). They had on site snorkeling and scuba which seemed to get good reviews but we didn't use.

A lot of the other reviews seemed to complain about the service but for the most part I thought it was fine and the staff was nice. The food on property was decent although we didn't try the expensive restaurant, we did eat a couple times at the bar area. They do a buffet/show thing on Friday nights which was neat, although not sure the buffet was worth $45 (you can probably just come over to watch the show after). Speaking of St Kitts one thing we hit up a few times there that would've been nice at St Croix was the pizza shack.

To my pleasant surprise when I checked in they actually gave me continental breakfast coupons for 2 for every day (despite no lounge) which stated for plats/golds and also included coffee and juice. You could upgrade to the full Buffett for $6 with omelette station, etc. I'm not sure if this might've been a new development, as they would give you a bill for the full amount and then you put the coupon in the bill and they didn't update it so you just have to hope they adjusted it. They did end up charging me the full amount a couple days but I didn't have a problem getting it removed (although the front desk didn't seem too familiar with the process which is why I'm thinking it might be a new development, I may have complicated it by trying to add a tip even though the coupon said gratuity included--I'm sure that's being discussed in a different thread...)

Location was a bit remote but not too bad. About 25 mins from the airport. I rented a car which wasn't bad even though driving was on the left and some of the roads were bumpy/windy (might be worth renting a jeep if you can). There were some restaurants (one nice one and a few beach bar type places) less than 10 minutes away, also some supposedly good snorkeling in that area. Some other areas were a bit further but not too bad.

The last pleasant surprise was I thought the resort fee (or service charge according to my reservation email) was $25, but only ended up getting charged $9.50. On that note we weren't that concerned about it but the Internet didn't work very well in the rooms although it did work by the pool/restaurants. I was able to get a late checkout of 1:00 (took the first offer so may have been able to negotiate a little later).

Overall I think it was a good value as a Cat 6 at time of booking, not really sure if it still is as a Cat 7 though.

Hey, thanks for the great and very informative trip report!

What blows my mind is that there is a jurisdiction in the US that employs the English style of driving!!
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Old Jun 19, 15, 11:46 pm
  #59  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 72
I was here for 5 nights for a wedding in mid-May. I arrived late at night and rented a car--the ride to the hotel was definitely harrowing given the lack of streetlights, driving on the left side, no Internet-service on our phones (supposedly Verizon data works there but I rarely got service and not at all at the hotel), and the windy, bumpy roads. I was lucky my navigator did a good job following the map and directions we got. It's easier getting around during the day, and you get somewhat used to driving on the left side after a while, but that first drive at night is scary. I would strongly recommend downloading the road maps and directions between the airport and the hotel to your phone in your home country before you take off so that you can just follow along on your phone's map when you arrive (your GPS will still work even without cell service).

We were greeted by a bellboy who unloaded all of our luggage while we checked in and were given some rum punch--yum! I am a gold member and was given an oceanfront room. We then hopped into a golf cart with the bellboy who drove us and our luggage to our room.

All the rooms have a king sized bed plus a sofabed. I didn't realize that 2 regular beds wasn't an option, which was a bummer for my platonic traveling companion. But since my points bought the room, I got the king bed.

I thought the room was really nice. Full kitchenette, bathroom with double vanity and separate room with toilet and shower. And a nice sized screened in porch with a view of the beach. The room was decorated island-style; it didn't feel dated to me, but that stuff also doesn't matter much to me.

Wifi was usually decent, but I did have issues a couple of times. I think that's the nature of the island. Same with hot water. St Croix may be a US territory, but it's pretty poor economically.

The beach was very pleasant, and there's a person operating a little mini-bar there so you can buy drinks if you'd like without walking back to the main restaurant/bar area. The pool is also perfectly fine, though by no means luxurious. The folks at the scuba shop are incredibly nice. The diving was below average IMO, but was cheap and extremely convenient (right off the shore of the resort) so hard to complain too much.

I don't recommend eating too often at the on-site restaurant. It's overpriced (especially for breakfast), the food is mediocre, and the service is short of mediocre. There's a string of restaurants with much better food about a 10 minute drive away (East along the North shore).

If you decide to go to St Croix, I highly recommend a snorkeling day trip to Buck Island. That was delightful. Just be sure to apply a LOT of sunblock multiple times. I put on a fairly light coat of SPF 30 twice during the day and my back got fried really badly.

I would also recommend checking out the crab races. This couple that lives on the island collects a bunch of soldier crabs, then they "sell" them to people for $2 apiece. The crabs then race against each other and if you "own" one of the winning crabs you win a prize. It's all in good fun and was loved by adults and kids alike. http://www.gotostcroix.com/st-croix-...ue-crab-races/

The Cruzan rum factory is right by the airport and gives tours. It was an OK tour--it's nice that it ends with a bunch of tasty rum cocktails. It might be a good activity to do on your last day right before you get on the plane! There's also a Kmart near the airport if you want to stock up on food for your room and save a few dollars.

One final note--get to the St Croix airport at least 90 minutes prior to your flight departing. You have to go through customs at the airport even if flying back to the US, which I was not expecting from a US territory.
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Old Jun 20, 15, 8:19 am
  #60  
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Thanks for the detailed trip report. Much appreciated!

Cheers.
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