Marriott Frenchman's Reef - STT

Nov 29th, 2006, 01:25 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 5
Marriott Frenchman's Reef - STT

Just back from 4 nights at the Morning Star resort. Very nicely landscaped grounds, but could use a few more signs & night lights. Excellent, convenient beach. However, bar service was mostly self-serve, as one lone waitress walked the sand once during a 4 hour midday period. This is a HILLY property - that's not a negative to us, but it could be to some. The tradeoff is excellent scenery & views.

Not crowded at all & weather was excellent the entire time, assuming you like hot & humid as much as we do ) Rooms at M/S were clean & comfortable - maid service was attentive. The ice maker in our room was VERY noisy cycling on & off, so we just unplugged it. Check-in at M/S closed at 6:00pm -we arrived at 7:00pm, but someone came down from F/Reef to give us our keys. More comments later on service in general.

We walked around the F/Reef portion of the property - it seemed nice enough, although the tennis courts looked in disrepair & abandoned? F/Reef is a protype large high-rise resort, while M/S has detached low-rise plantation-style buildings. Glad we choose M/S. Very peaceful and relaxing.

They have a nice private ferry at F/Reef to/from Downtown C/Amalie - $6 each way. No nighttime service though, but plenty of land taxi's in C/Amalie for a return to the property.

With the exception of the maids, the staff wasn't very friendly nor did they seem happy to be there. We found this throughout the island though.

And speaking of happy staff, the last day we were there, just as we were leaving for the airport, someone called in a bomb threat for the F/Reef. Fortunately we got our rental car past the police barricade and caught our flight with no problem. Assume it was only a hoax, but they evacuated the entire F/Reef building.

The Havana Blue restaurant at M/S was very nice - we had drinks & appetizers at the bar. The staff there was very pleasant & cordial (I understand this restaurant is not run by Marriott staff per se.) If you feel compelled to dress up a little for dinner, this would be the place to go to be seen. However, they still gladly accepted money from us beachcombers.

Other trip notes:

Be sure to dial back your expectations/pace everywhere on STT & STJ. On Caribe time, people just move slower, never a rush to take your order, bring your check, etc. - EXCEPT if you show a hint of interest in taking a taxi or buying jewelry - then they spring into action!

Day trip (ferry) to STJ was fun. Parking in Red Hook was scarce, but construction crews were working on that. Lunch at Woody's Seafood on STJ was excellent - fresh mahi mahi & slushy rum drinks. Hardworking wait staff. It's only the size of an elevator, but good nonetheless. Shopping in Mongoose Junction was interesting, if only for the architecture.

Side trip to Coral World on STT was good if you like aquariums/learning a little about the ocean, or need a diversion to entertain kids.

If you want/need/must have more jewelry than sense, head to downtown C/Amalie and go through every one of their 428 jewelry stores. Each will have a special, today only, just for you.

Good lunches were found downtown at Gladys' & Virgilios. Margarita Phil's in Frenchtown was fair - they ran short of conch and used rubber bands instead. But the shrimp was fine.

Great frozen drinks & people watching at Buzzards on the waterfront - the only place where the employees seemed genuinely happy to be there! They were generously handing out free samples of various frozen rum concoctions - now I know why they were so happy.

Driving on the left is a little awkward at first, but you get the hang of it pretty quick - just remind yourself (or have your navigator remind you) whenever making turns or pulling out into traffic. The roads are VERY narrow, curvy, and lots of blind views, but at 20 mph it's quite manageable w/ a compact car.

If you partake, excellent liquor prices at the duty-free shop at the STT airport. Some of the best salespeople on the island work there. Very convenient as they will box up your purchase(s)for a safe airplane trip home.

Glad we went & overall enjoyed the trip, but will keep searching for Xanadu...
tradi is offline  
Nov 29th, 2006, 02:23 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 872
Thanks for the report tradi - our family of 4 has booked the Marriott for our June vacation.

We'll be there 9-10 days. Do you think there will be enough to do with the kids (age 16 and 12) for that length of time? We plan to do a couple of scuba diving / snorkeling boat trips, a trip to Virgin Gorda one day, and the other days we will spend on STT and STJ.

Also, which side of the hotel (F/R or M/S) do you recommend for kids? We have "requested" the M/S side... but since we're using Marriott points, we'll have to see what we actually get.

Did you see any activities for kids around the hotel (down by the beach, etc.)?


cawhite is offline  
Nov 30th, 2006, 01:39 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 5,950
CAwhite, you should have a good time with the kids at either MS or FR. You have full use of the factilities at either, no matter where you're staying.

Carrybean is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2006, 05:13 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 5

I'm sure either part is fine for kids. If you want to only be steps away from the beach, then go with M/S. The F/R tower is a decent walk.

I did not notice many kids on the beach, which might just be the timing of our trip, so close to T-day.

I didn't see any organized kids activities on the beach, but once again, that could be timing.

Have fun.
tradi is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2006, 02:54 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 872
Thanks tradi! I guess we'll have to see how many kids there are when we get there. I was hoping there might be some watersports from the hotel that the kids could participate in.

I imagine we'll be out exploring most days... rather than at the hotel anyway.

Thanks again.

cawhite is offline  
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