The hurricane makes this review trivial, but I hope it helps future travelers. Our stay started July 22, 2017. It seemed like every time there was an opportunity to show great service, they failed to provide it. Our trip started with a problem with what room was reserved for a Gold Elite member. They corrected the problem by putting us in one of the Morning Star buildings. These are old rooms, perfect for families or groups that want connecting rooms. The bed and pillows were not comfortable. Dirty fingerprints on doorways, poor paint jobs, tired light fixtures and the shower that hit so hard that it actually hurt. I could not adjust the water pressure.
The beach restaurant was open air and had a nice island vibe. The menu looked great for breakfast. My first meal was some amazing $11 French toast. Too bad it was undercooked. I was very hungry so I picked around to eat the cooked part. I showed the hostess and the waitress that it was not cooked. They took it to the cook. They offered to make me a new meal. I told them that I was full. They did not offer to take the charge off our bill. When I got back to our room, I threw up all of my breakfast. This was not a good start.
The beach was very nice. In the morning, there was a man sweeping the lounge chairs. From him, I learned where to get snorkeling gear, floats and beach towels. That information was not displayed in our room. Nor the information that this perk has an additional fee of $45 a day, nonnegotiable. BTW, this fee was not added to our hotel bill. His English was poor and I misunderstood where to go. I ended up walking twice as far as I needed. It would not have taken much for him to guide me to the spot that was 50 yards away. I am handicapped, so walking twice as far, was painful.
The shrubs and flowers were overgrown and butchered with hedge shears. This makes the place look tired and cheaply maintained.
As another reviewer noted, housekeeping could show up at our room anytime between 8 am to 4 pm. This was the off season. They were trying to accommodate all kinds of groups checking in.
Men working on the trees did not use safe practices. They could have easily fallen. Their ladders were not stable. They could have used helmets to reduce the chance of a head injury. The dreadlocks on these workers may need to be trimmed for them to wear a helmet.
Some servers and bellman staff had poor appearance. Their uniforms were stained and poorly fitted. A clean apron is not difficult to replace during the shift.
We met with a person representing the Vacation Club. I did not know that we were supposed to spend "2 hours" in one of their promotions. John had paid $1600 for a special package of 5 resort days. He added to it to make our trip 9 days. Well no big deal. They hand us a a gift bag on day 3. It had cheap, Bacardi Rum and a gift card that gave us discount at many places. The lady was very nice as she explained the different restaurants and shopping places. It would have been nice if we did not need a card to get the 10% discount and if we would have the card on the first day. Many times we left it in the room or forgot to present it. We charged everything to the room so it would have been easy for them to track it. We gave them back the rum. Corey, the Vacation Club representative, replaced it with some local island rum. He also grabbed 2 muffins after hearing the muffin story. Corey Abisdid, you did a great job, all the way to answering questions when we returned home. Thank you very much.
Wednesday, our room moved to the main Hotel. It was nicely appointed and housekeeping kept it clean. We never understood that staying at the Vacation club villas was an option. We were never offered a tour to a villa during our stay. There was a mixup on Sunday. We were suppose to take the van to the villas. That is when we expected a tour. Instead, we had to board the van back to the hotel where Corey was waiting. The two hour presentation ended up taking 4.5 hours. We started the meeting with all the failures that happened. Corey stated that he would present our complaints to management. We had the expectations that the points (45,000 per day) might be refunded or at least adjusted. Marriott Vacation Club is not affiliated with Marriott Hotels. They agreed that the location and not the quality of the hotel, rated it a 9. Marriott Vacation Club is not responsible. Hey, if your using the name Marriott and you are trolling Marriott guests to sell membership, your part of the company.
Thursday, we did not get up early. The restaurants stop serving breakfast at 11. They would not seat us at the outdoor restaurants, that left us with the expense buffet. It is still just before 11 and the hostess would not seat us. In fact, she was just leaning on the podium in a very casual way. I was very hungry at this point. She did not mention that we could find food in the gift shop. I walk past her and saw that most of the food was still out. The chef made John a fresh omelet. The waitress was very nice and told us stories about St. Thomas. My eggs from the buffet were old, but overall they had a great selection. The buffet cost $30 a person. The hostess needs customer service training.
On Friday, I discovered that the gift shop has a great variety of food, if you get there early in the morning. There was a $4.50 blueberry muffin that I gave to John for breakfast. It was great, with blueberries all the way through it. So Friday, I go to get another muffin for me. It had, 1 1/2 blueberries in it. I eat half of it, because I am hungry. Without the blueberries, it did not taste good. I take the rest of it to show the lady in the gift shop. She tells me that it appears that I have eaten most of the muffin. Really? This is all you have to say? I tell her no problem, I am taking this to a manager. Then she offers me another muffin. I said that it obvious that the others are not as good because they do not sell out. So I show the muffin to the manager. He immediately refunded the muffin and offered to personally bring me a muffin to my room on Sunday. I told him that was not necessary. He stated that more training would be provided to the staff. BTW their gift shop in the hotel is well stocked. It had everything you would need. Everything is more expensive on the island, so the food prices were not a surprise. A 12 oz can of Diet Mt. Dew is $2.25 in the gift shop. At a gas station it is $1.25. Alcohol is cheaper than soft drinks.
One day we spent touring various sites in St. Thomas. We finished a lovely day at the Ritz. EVERYTHING was handled with care and pride. From our entry at the front gate, to the concierge finding me some special shampoo and conditioner. Over and over, their staff showed formal training had been done. All the landscaping was hand trimmed and not overgrown. Facilities and gift shops were spotless.
The Marriott food and drinks on the outdoor patio restaurant was very limited. People were able to order food anywhere around the pools. The waitress we saw was very overworked looking. It made me feel guilty seeing this lady breathing hard and exhaustion on her face. Both John and I agree that the drinks tasted watered down. The pour looked correct. That leaves the idea that water was added by management. Others had the same comment.
Tiffany, was a great bartender. We saw her several days at different stations. She was very pleasant to everyone and she was very busy. Other staff were not so diligent. The lobby had drinks left behind. Some were spilled on a wood table. I tried to get a towel to clean up the spot. The bartender and waitress were chatting and could not be interrupted. When we returned from dinner, the same leftover drinks and spills were there.
Music around the pool was, at times, very annoying. Not pleasant island music. Sometimes, it was rap music. It was loud enough to coverup any conversation. Some guests just turned their phones on out loud. I should have brought ear plugs. If you paid extra, you could sit at the spa pool and spa cabanas that were spacious and uncrowded. The other 3 pools had views of the ocean. The deck area was redesigned and rebuilt after a previous storm. It was very nice.
The live band performers were nothing special. I was hoping for something above average bar band in a resort.
The lady that guided us in yoga was wonderful. I did that on two mornings overlooking the ocean.
We missed special reception was that was held for Marriott Elite members. I caught just the end of it. I grabbed the last bit of food for John. The staff went the extra mile and got me a large glass of wine from the bar when there was none left at the reception table. Later, I found the note that invited us. I was using it as a book mark. It would have been nice if there was a sign to remind us of the reception in the lobby. Other ads were present for activities in the lobby.
When one of the elevators was out on the weekend, I started using the stairs. That is when the staff started lying. I hate LIARS. Two floors did not have fire hoses (I have photos). I did not walk up all the floors to check them. Since I have been in hotels where fires happened, I asked the desk clerk, where was the fire hose. First they said, on a Saturday, that the fire Marshall was there. He must have removed the hose to "test" it. Okay, that didn't sound right. So I asked where the fire Marshall was at, "oh he left already" was their answer. Sunday I ask the desk manager where were the hoses? The hoses needed parts was Sunday's answer. They asked why I was so interested. I told them that I had been hotels that had a fire. The desk manager gave me that "father knows best look" and told be that I did not need to be concerned. Monday, I tell the on duty manager what happened on the weekend. He seemed unconcerned by missing fire hoses. There was a dusty paper that noted that parts were ordered in one of the hose boxes.
Having only one working elevator for a full hotel that has over 8 floors all weekend was not good. Apparently, they needed a part to be sent from the mainland. Fortunately for me, we were not high up. They told us that there was only one company to do repairs on the whole island.
We enjoyed the catamaran tour to see the sea turtles.
If you go to St. Thomas and can afford it, stay at the Ritz. I do not recommend the Marriott.
- 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
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- 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