We stayed at the Frenchman's Reef, December 16-20, as my daughter had planned a destination wedding at St. Thomas (not at the resort). 35 family and friends stayed at the resort, in different areas, so we had a good feel of the different rooms and experiences at the resort. Let me preface my remarks by saying that we aren't a family that stays at resorts - our teacher income wouldn't cover such luxury. We would normally be a family that stays at a Holiday Inn Express, Comfort Inn, etc, but my daughter had wanted this destination wedding and was able to pay for most of the expenses herself, so the plans were put into motion to save up and go. For us, the average Joes, we thought the Reef was simply fantastic. We arrived at the resort at 3:00 pm. Our room was not ready, but they gave us a pager so that we would know when it would be. We went out on the porch overlooking the harbor and enjoyed the view until about 3:45 pm. When we got to our room, we were pleasantly surprised - we had been upgraded to an ocean view room with a king-sized bed and porch (we had reserved a resort view). We really enjoyed waking up every morning and being able to have a cup of coffee on the porch overlooking the resort pools and ocean. Our one daughter was in a resort view room with two doubles. It was a very nice room as well. Both were spacious, have a frig and safe for use, as well as comfy beds. The bathroom is an average size, probably small for a resort. It was strange that there is only one hook on the wall to hang your towels - no place to hang a hand towel by the sink. Another daughter stayed in a harbor view room. I don't recommend those rooms. They are adjoining rooms and the noise from the other rooms is more noticeable. I also thought that the room smelled a little musty. Another downer is that it is a walk from those rooms to the regular part of the resort. Speaking of walking, it's just something that you have to accept at this resort. The ocean beach is in front of the Morning Star part of the resort. There is a smaller beach at the Frenchman's Cove, but we didn't use it. We saw it when we took the water taxi to downtown ($14 r/t per person), and it appeared to be more for families. It is also protected by the harbor so the waves aren't as noticeable. We enjoyed our walk to the main beach. It is a nice walk in paradise! You will walk by some iguanas along the way, but they won't bother you unless you try and feed them something. If the steps back up to the resort are too much (it is a little of a workout), you can either take the shuttle back to the Reef or there is an elevator to take that eliminates some of the stairs back up. The beach was very nice: plenty of lounges, very nice sand. We enjoyed using the free flotation pads (it's actually covered in your resort fee). Two of our daughters enjoyed kayaking, but none of us used the snorkel gear (all of this is "free" because of your resort fee - $30.day). We greatly enjoyed the pools. The Infinity pool at the Reef is small, but it's pretty neat to swim in with the ocean view. The main pool was never very busy and was also enjoyable. We also enjoyed the somewhat more quaint pool by the ocean at the Morning Star resort.
It is expensive to eat at the resort, but it's fairly expensive everywhere in town. We figured that it was worth staying at the resort to eat mainly for time, and when you figure in taxi fare per person (anywhere from $8-$12/person), it seemed to make money sense as well. We greatly enjoyed the breakfast buffet in the Aqua Terra restaurant every morning. True, the $24/person (that includes drinks) was steep for people like us, but we would eat around 10:00-10:30 am and consider it like a brunch for the day, thus not having to eat lunch. It is open until 11:00 am. We hit it off every morning with one particular server: Emaline. She was simply fabulous - always happy. She even gave us tips about shopping on the island. When we left the resort, we were walking up from the pool and she was working at the outdoor restaurant, Sunset Grill (by the pool). She came and gave us a hug goodbye! I told the manager that she deserved a promotion. One evening we ate dinner at the Aqua Terra. We greatly enjoyed all the different dishes. Prices ranged from $23 to $36. You can order Dominos pizza for takeout. It costs about $20 for a large pizza. The delivery charge was only $2.50. You can also buy sandwiches and snacks in the store on the main floor. Coffee in the morning is $3.00, sandwiches are about $10. Munchies are like $7.95 for a bag of whatever. We also ate downtown at Hooter's for the bachelor party. Prices were reasonable.
As far as shopping, you can barter for goods under the blue tents near the harbor. That's where you can buy t-shirts, cheaper jewelry, nick-nacks, etc. Be willing to walk away from their offer and the price comes down. I was able to negotiate a necklace for my daughter from $35 down to $20. You can also barter on prices in the "regular" stores on the waterfront area.
The resort people will, at some time, probably try and get you to listen to their pitch for their vacation condos at the Cove. I just basically stayed away from those people. Zoogisle (a vacation property salesman) approached me at the pool area and introduced himself, saying he hadn't met me yet. He did give me some good information about dining in St. Thomas, but his real purpose was obviously to find a time slot for me to listen to his sales pitch. If only he knew that we had saved for a long time for these five days at St. Thomas, and could never afford being part of their vacation club! haha. I just let him know that we weren't interested. They have their sly ways to make contact with you, and I guess you can either listen to them (you get a $100 credit if you listen for 90 minutes), or brush them off.
All in all, we had a fantastic time. The resort was beautiful, the service was great, and the weather, ocean views, and scenery around St. Thomas were breathtaking. I did ruin my cell phone as I forgot I had it in my swimming suit pocket, but the bartender at the Sunset grill bar went out of his way when I asked if he had any rice to immediately send a staffer to the kitchen to get me some!
I suppose for some who travel to resorts around the country/world, this resort may not be the quality that they demand, but at least for this average Joe family, it was awesome and I'd stay there again.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Surrounded on three sides by stunning Caribbean ocean views, Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort combines modern luxury and the unique Virgin Island style of St. Thomas. Our US Virgin Islands hotel in St. Thomas features clean, crisp large guest rooms with flat screen 50" TVs. Experience new resort features including an infinity pool, children's splash zone, adult infinity pool with bar; and private spa pool. Our Lazule Sea Spa is now open featuring extensive treatment rooms, salon, state of the art fitness center, and private spa pool with cabanas. Aqua Terra is one of three restaurants at Frenchman's Reef which features spectacular views of the Charlotte Amalie harbor. Our mission is to host you brilliantly... To make your every event and stay with us unforgettable and effortless. Come visit us at Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort and discover the most luxurious vacation destination in the US Virgin Islands. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Kognitiv US Corp, Ebookers, Hotels.com, 5viajes2012 S.L. and HotelQuickly so you can book your Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Marriott Frenchman`s Reef & Morning Star Beach Hotel Charlotte Amalie
- Marriott Frenchman`s Reef And Morning Star Beach Resort
- Marriott Charlotte Amalie
- Charlotte Amalie Marriott
- Marriott Frenchmans Reef
- Frenchmans Reef St Thomas
- Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort St. Thomas/Charlotte Amalie, U.S. Virgin Islands