Reviewers Rating: Excellent
This was our first trip to St. John and Caneel Bay. We found the island beatiful and largely undeveloped (The National Park controls 2/3rds of the island).
The resort is gorgeous. Suberb beaches spread out over a very large resort (roughly one acre for each guest room) that blends nicely into the surrounding landscape. The food ranges from good (a cut above Marriott) to excellent (comperable to the top Boston and NY restaurants).The guest rooms are spread out over the resort in small complexes with lots of space between. The premium ocean front and std ocean front, and ocean view are worth the extra money. We found the our room to be adequate in size with a nice bath but nothing unusual for a first class resort (maybe even a little small). It included a king bed, desk/makeup table, a bedside table, a small seating area with a coffee table, large chair, and small uncomfortable built-in couch that is also a pull out twin bed. All units have a nice patio or porch with a couple of sit up chairs and a lounge chair. Note there are no TVs, radios, or phones in the rooms. We liked it that way. It made for a calmer and quieter vacation than with them.
Air conditioning was recently installed. I hate the heat but never felt a need to use the A/C. The constant breezes and the nice ceiling fan kept me comfortable. I really enjoyed the gentle sounds of the breeze and the surf at night.One sour note: we were disappointed in the service. It was inconsistent -- frequently perfectly fine but at times either slow, curt, or not well informed. This applies to the food service and the activity desk. Sometimes it seemed that these functions were either understaffed or the staff training was incomplete. On the other hand the maid service including nightly turndown was always perfect. They seemed to know when we went out and did their work unobtrusively.Caneel Bay seems to be transitioning from a very loyal following that is now getting on in years to a younger crowd that is looking for more contemporary amenities (us youngens grumbled about the weak fitness center, lack of yoga which would be wonderful here and guided hikes but we loved the massages!)
Caneel is not a place for everyone. If you are looking for drop dead gorgeous natural beauty, very good food, fantastic beaches, great snorkling and diving, tennis, and low key this is the place. If you need stimulation in the form of TV, radio, phone, and a happening bar then this is not the place for you.
In short, we liked it and will go back in the future.
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