St. Thomas- Renaissance Grand or Frenchmans?

Old Aug 7th, 2001, 11:13 AM
  #1  
Brian
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St. Thomas- Renaissance Grand or Frenchmans?

Has anyone stayed at either of these resorts lately and can you give me pro and cons of staying with family at either? Kid ages 6, 10 and 13. Using Marriott points, and I know the Ritz is another option, but think the kids might enjoy the others better. Thanks!
 
Old Aug 8th, 2001, 06:29 AM
  #2  
jah
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stayed at Frenchman's last New Year's. The resort is beautiful but the rooms are a bit shabby (you're never really in the room anyway). The pool area is great and there were quite a few families. They didn't seem to have a kids program though and there are not many choices as far as restaurants go. Service was lackluster - they ran out of towels every day at the pool and the beach (they should have known better during the high season). Great location though as you're only 7 minutes from town. i think the Renaissance is more kid-friendly.
 
Old Aug 8th, 2001, 06:37 AM
  #3  
Rhonda
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We had a great time at Frenchmen's but be warned....the beach is quite a hike from the rooms. I wasn't comfortable sending my then 10 year old back and forth to the room by herself. It was a big drawback. There are units right on the beach but then again, those are a walk to the rest of the hotel.
 
Old Aug 8th, 2001, 08:22 AM
  #4  
Karen
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First there is the Reef which is on a bluff overlooking the harbour and Town. Did extensive renovations just a couple of years ago. High rise, elevators to the lobby, etc. You use the MorningStar beach if you want to beach it. MorningStar is adjacent to the Reef on the beach, low rise and has many of the same amenities as does the Reef but is a more "casual" feel. You can walk or shuttle between the properties. There are several restuarants in the Reef as well as a deli but other restaurants are located on the beach at MorningStar and in the MorninStar lobby building. Grande Beach is out on the East End with units that are hillside and some can be a long walk from the beach. They will transport via golf cart if requssted. The beach there is nice but I've only viewed it - not used it! There is Smuggler's Cove and Baywinds for dining. It is more "spread out" and the units do have the advatage of some lite cooking and eating in. The Ritz has a great property and it too is hillside but overlooking Pillsbury Sound and St. John. It probably is the far superior service wise to anything on the island and is the most elegant with the most marble! They do have, I understand, an excellent kids' club but don't know how your 10-year or 13 would feel about that. The Ritz's restaurants are very high end priced but excellent.
At any of them, with 5 people, your best bet is to rent a car and explore other dining/eating options anyway! The best bet for convenience to the room is MorningStar and there is a narrowish beach there which some days can be cloudy for snorkling or a little windswept and choppy - depends on weather. But again, doubt you will spend all your time there since St. John and exploring will take some of your time and all the beaches are public. Grande Beach is within walking distance of Coki Beach and the aquarium, Coral World also. It would be closer to the Red Hook ferry for trips and Red Hook for dining as would the Ritz. The Reef/MorningStar is closer to Town and has a water taxi that shuttles back and forth between there and Town. The Ritz's pool is an infinity one and just lovely! The property is magnificant! But, that doesn't take anything away from the other resorts.
 
Old Aug 8th, 2001, 07:29 PM
  #5  
Brian
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Thanks so much for the info.
 
Old Aug 9th, 2001, 04:33 AM
  #6  
lisa
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Hi Brian,

I can't comment on the Frenchman's Reef but we stayed at the Sapphire Beach and went by the Renaissance Grand. It's not on a nice beach. FYI, the beach at Sapphire is gorgeous and there seemed to be a lot of kids.
 
Old Aug 9th, 2001, 09:07 AM
  #7  
Gail
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Hi Brian,
Stayed at Reef in feb. and just got back from Ritz on 7/26. Ritz was a huge disappointment- Pool is lovely but very small- service lackluster, rooms nicer than Reef (which really were shabby)but certainly no where close to Ritz standards. They did have a kids club, but don't have any experience with it other than seeing 6-7 going between pool and beach. Food was not great, though expensive- $14 club sandwiches-but we didn't try the main dining room as we figured on about $200+ for dinner. No refrigerator in room, only an honor bar that didn't chill. Reef had frig and icemaker in room. Liked the water taxi to town w/ Reef, also gounds at Reef are much more lush and tended than those at Ritz. Overall, I would go back to Reef, but not Ritz- Proximity to Red Hook and its restaurants was nice, $10 each way by cab. Have no experience w/ renaissance!
 

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