I tend to do very in-depth and detailed reviews. This one will be no exception. I hope it is ton of help for those considering staying at Sapphire Beach Resort.
I researched and researched places to stay in STT/STJ/STC before finally settling on renting at Sapphire Beach Resort. I decided on this resort primarily because of local expert who recommended this beach to meet my family's desires. (see my review of Sapphire beach itself separately https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g147407-d148073-Reviews-Sapphire_Beach-East_End_St_Thomas_U_S_Virgin_Islands.html).
We rented from VRBO listing #834207. Unit 305B From 7/19 - 7/26
This unit is located on levels 3 and 4 of building B in the dead center of the building.
The condo is recently updated and overall in stellar condition. The materials used for the update are high quality and the photos shown (and my own) are very accurate. There were a few things that need attention in the condo (detailed below) but nothing that was upsetting. The condo had excellent lighting. This was something I really appreciated (and it made me want more lighting features in my own home). The blinds in the condo unit were awesome. This seems a silly detail, but when staying in beach side condos I've often noticed a lack of decent window treatments which can result in lack of privacy and many rude awakenings far earlier than you hope for on vacation. I'd love to know who did the blinds in this unit as they are high quality, block light and are very pretty.
The decor was calm, tranquil and lovely. Overall, I was extremely happy with the condition and design of the condo.
Is breath taking. Surely one of the best features of the condo. I've posted many photos and simply loved waking up and going to sleep with the turquoise beauty of St John Bay and the sound of ... well, we'll get to that.
The kitchen had everything you could possibly need in the form of utensils, appliances, etc. Everything was in perfect condition. There are two coffee makers, a high quality blender, a nice toaster, a convection oven / microwave combo. There was also a bottle of champagne in the fridge. Not sure if that was left behind or a gift. There is a small but very sufficient dishwasher. There were plenty of cleaning agents / dish soap / etc. However, there was a lack of trash bags.
Both bathrooms had hotel sized shampoos, wash, soap, conditioner. We brought our own so I cannot comment as to the quality of the toiletries provided. There was a hair drier in both baths and two suitcase racks in the master bath closet (which was very good sized with nice shelving and mirrored doors). The master shower head was loose (from the glass door swinging both ways) which caused a huge mess when you used it. The toilet seats are extremely loose which makes them shift this way and that when you sit. I have to say that I loved the Master Bath. The size and natural light were really enjoyable.
A great king sized bed with plenty of pillows. Beautiful design in a tropical green theme, extremely large. Two sitting chairs, a large flat screen TV. Wood vaulted ceiling. Two night stands and a large chest of drawers. VERY big room that also included a mini fridge, microwave, cupboards and coffee maker.
Reasonably comfortable pull out couch, nice rattan furniture, pretty decor. The ceiling fan was not working which was disappointing.
Other things to note were provided:
Sunscreen, Bug spray, Tanning oils, two pool noodles (we left a third behind along with a volleyball), a cooler, a few sand toys, full sized ironing board and iron, mop / bucket and broom / dustpan. A clothing washing machine that washes, but no drier. EXCELLENT free wifi.
This was a downer. For a family of four we were provided 4 white bath towels, 2 hand towels and 2 washcloths for bath use. ONE single dishtowel (no dishrags or sponge) for a week stay. There was only a sheet and quilt on the Master Bed (no blanket). There were two pillows and a thin tattered blanket provided for the pull out couch bed (no sheets). My husband emailed Amy, from Seaglass and she did bring over 2 additional full sized towels and a hand towel with a note that she had already provided what was their standard and this was "all she had extra". She also brought sheets for the pullout and a promised inflatable bed (that wasn't there for the first 3 days). I was pretty put off by this. We ended up having to purchase our own beach towels (which weren't cheap!) when the listing stated that beach towels were provided.
Speaking of what was promised...
When my husband booked the condo, Amy called us and told us there was some "painting" going on in the unit next door and there may be some light construction noise at times and this is why the condo was listed as 20% off on VRBO. My husband said this shouldn't be an issue.
What actually happened couldn't be further from "painting" or "light construction noise". For the first 3 days of our stay there was extremely loud noise in the condo next to us. I am guessing it was drilling but can't be sure. It was insanely loud.
That would have been bad enough, but what was completely unmentioned was the NON STOP jack hammering on the building (bldg C) next to us. From about 845am - 5pm EVERY SINGLE DAY during our stay with the exception of Sunday.
You can read other recent reviews of both the "resort" and Sapphire Beach and see others complaining about the level of atrocious noise. It was heard in our condo with all the windows closed, unrelenting on the ENTIRE beach and we had to shout at each other during the day to be heard on our balconies.
My husband also mentioned this to Amy and his complaint was ignored. I really feel duped in this aspect and in NO way feel that "20%" discount on one of the higher priced condos in the complex made up for this horrible experience. The noise level was no where near "light construction" noise and took what could have been a peaceful retreat and turned it into something that was pretty nerve wracking most of the time. Even more disappointing was the lack of response from Amy / Seaglass.
That isn't a resort at all. This is something I was FULLY expecting based on reading prior reviews and am not at all upset about but I feel it helpful to comment on. At one time this property WAS a resort and it is no longer - adjust your expectations accordingly. These are CONDOS for RENT.
I did some research and the bottom line is that a condo association owns the buildings and an individual owns the property (including the pool area, pool bar, parking lots, tennis courts, original check in lobby, waste removal, etc.). It seems the individual believes the condo association owes them money and as such is no longer maintaining much of the grounds. There are lawsuits flying and a simple court search will show a lot of what is going on if you are so inclined.
What does this mean for a visitor? There are NO resort amenities. NONE. Aside beach chairs and a tarp hut grill / bar between buildings. This also means some "unsightly" areas. The old pool bar is a complete mess and boarded off. The tennis courts are in shambles, etc. These things are well documented in earlier reviews so I won't go on about them. Just don't book expecting a resort experience. Book knowing that what you get is a condo and a beach.
Which leads me to the one amenity that is being maintained on at least some level. The landscaping is shabby, but the pool itself was sparkling clean and very nice while we were there. I have absolutely no complaints about the pool aside one thing ; there are ZERO lights out there in the evening. It's VERY VERY dark which could be dangerous.
I posted a very detailed view of Sapphire Beach itself (linked above) and recommend checking it out. Our family loved St John Bay and this beach. There is amazing snorkeling right in the bay (including a lovely reef to the south of the bay against Prettyklip point). The breezes were amazing. The water crystal clear and just beautiful. It was never crowded when we were there, though Sunday during the day was definitely a little more busy due to a cruise ship and the beach was practically deserted early mornings and by 5-6pm every day. Not a party beach for sure (which is good for my family). Calmer water in the mornings with increasing wave activity through the day.
Redhook is only a 5 minute drive away. We rented a car and had no problem getting to / from anywhere we wanted to go. There are taxis regularly outside of the condos for those that wish to go that route.
All said and done, I would HIGHLY recommend this condo with the absolute assurance that there wasn't going to be loud construction. We loved the condo, we loved the beach but are REALLY disappointed in the non stop jack hammering and the lack of response regarding that issue.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Spectacular beachfront villas and suites are directly on beautiful Sapphire Beach by the crystal-clear Caribbean. A full-service restaurant is easily walkable from the beach. Families with kids will enjoy the sand, pool, fishing off the dock or boat, and pirate history. Active vacationers will find plenty of hiking, scuba diving and bicycling to keep on the go. There is something for everyone. Sapphire Beach, Saint Thomas is the perfect vacation island. Book your dream visit today! ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Sapphire Beach Hotel East End
- Hotel Sapphire Beach