Marriott Frenchman’s Reef and Morning Star Beach Resort
What We Love
- The infinity pool with swim-up bar, tailor-made for sunset cocktails
- Ocean-inspired treatments at the recently upgraded Lazule Sea Spa and Salon
- The photogenic iguanas that wander the grounds
- On-site beach access; plus it's a short water taxi ride to the shops and restaurants in downtown Charlotte Amalie
What To Know
- Parking on-site is free, although entrance roads are steep and difficult to navigate
- Rooms that face sidewalks pick up pedestrian noise
- A $45 resort fee per night will be collected at the Jetsetter checkout
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Thanks to its recent renovation and several fresh coats of paint, the resort’s look reflects a laid-back but contemporary Caribbean vibe (think: clean lines and cool, watery colors). An airy, stone-tiled lobby has panoramic views of the harbor, and exterior passageways link the separate whitewashed buildings, allowing tropical breezes to waft through public spaces. Outdoors, sleek, dark wicker furniture is upholstered in the resort’s signature aqua palette, while warm globe lighting adds a romantic touch.
Bed and Bath
The 478 rooms and suites that make up Frenchman’s Reef and the adjoining beachside Morning Star Resort come in a soothing array of aqua, sage and ivory. Frenchman’s Reef’s guestrooms (some of which have sea views) are an expansive 400 square feet, while all rooms at the Morning Star include a 40-square-foot balcony that are steps to the sand. Suites start at 710 square feet and come with outdoor balcony space and separate living rooms. Contemporary creature comforts — ergonomic work spaces, high-def LCD TVs, luxury bath products and rainfall showerheads across the board — come standard.
The 2011 renovation added an abundance of facilities, from the pampering spa and salon to two new pools (including an infinity pool with the swim-up Azul Pool Bar). The 4,000-square-foot spa welcomes overtaxed guests with a slate of sea-inspired services, a private pool, a cold plunge, a Jacuzzi and a steam room (book a seaside massage in one of the cabanas for a truly relaxing experience). In the main Frenchman’s Reef wing, the Aqua Terra Oceanfront Grill serves up a daily breakfast buffet plus American favorites and harbor views. The open-air Sunset Grill slings the usual array of frozen cocktails and lunch bites, while Presto’s Marketplace, a gift shop/snack bar/café, is convenient for quick bites or picnic provisions. At the Morning Star Beach Club, guests can dine at hip Havana Blue, a Cuban-Caribbean restaurant with a distinctly exotic vibe (and delicious fresh-catch ceviche with yucca). Of course, they can also just hit the pristine sands of Morning Star Beach and leave all the mod cons for another day.
In the Area
Downtown Charlotte Amalie and its assemblage of luxury shops, restaurants, and historical sights is just a short cab ride away. Yacht Haven Grande, a marina cum shopping center perched alongside the harbor, carries outposts of posh labels Coach, BCBG and Louis Vuitton, plus jewelry shops and uber-expensive art galleries. Nearby, restaurant Grande Cru dishes up suave French-Med fare; try the mahi and mussels in billi-bi as you gaze at the million-dollar yachts docked outside. Farther into town, legendary Gladys’ Café awaits with the warmest welcome on St. Thomas (and top-notch island food), perfect for a bite after a stop at Hublot. Back at the resort, the front desk’s Adventure Center can help guests arrange outdoor excursions, from full- and half-day snorkel trips to sailing to the neighboring BVI, to a stop at St. Thomas’s Coral World to get up close and personal with the resident sea lions.
How to Get There
I have nothing but great things to say about this resort. Very clean, well maintained, friendly and helpful staff, beautiful rooms with plenty of space and gorgeous views. Paddle boards and kayak tours available. Free poolside activities and yoga classes were available during our trip. There is a small ferry into Charlotte Amalie for $7 per person each way. Small restaurant serves good sandwiches, entrees, snacks for all three meals. Breakfast buffet on Saturday and Sunday. Happy hour specials at the bar daily. No night life really. There is a band a couple of nights and karaoke, but things end early which is fine with me after an exhausting day in the sun! But if you're looking for a nightlife this isn't the place for you. If you are looking for pool, beach, sun, relaxation and gorgeous rooms with views and an excellent staff this IS the place for you.
We were looking for a destination in the USVI and our wonderful travel agent, Romance Travel Group, recommended Morning Star. The location is beautiful and other than a couple of small hiccups that our agent quickly handled, our stay was very enjoyable. The resort honored most of our requests and we had a wonderful view and mostly friendly service throughout our stay. The shuttle service between the two resorts operates often and it makes it easy to move between the beach and the Frenchman's Reef resort on the cliff.
I'm used to staying on beaches where hotels are lined up giving lots of options for dining and entertainment and this place is quite isolated in comparison, but it's really a lovely little place and easy enough to grab a cab to go wherever you'd like on the island.
Many thanks to Morning Star for a very nice stay and to Romance Travel for recommending we go there!
This property is not a good place to take children. It is located on a very steep slope with a lot of elevation change required to get between your room and the pool. The resort is also not well-maintained. My son tripped on the uneven concrete by the pool, fell down, and cut his head open so bad that it bled profusely. Of course the hotel staff were just worried about getting sued and did not provide any medical attention or help and once they got our name and phone number and gave me some bandaids they left. Fortunately I was able to butterfly the wound and he did not need stitches. The only contact from Marriott was from their insurance company asking if I was going to sue them. Our room was well appointed and had a nice view but it was difficult logistically getting around the property and getting to our car. The garage is also tight to drive in. I suggest you stay away from this property and stay at the Marriott morning star hotel instead. The service over there is much better and they have good restaurant choices. The food at the timeshare Marriott is not at all appetizing.
The resort is small, but nice. Make sure to get a high floor. We were on the 4th floor of St. John tower and if we were lower, may not have had a view of water. Also had to take 3 elevators to get to pool area. Service was very good, happy hour every day from 3-6, 2 for 1 drinks was nice. Bring bug spray! We found ourselves on the beach every day at sunset playing corn hole and the sand flies were terrible!
Nice beach, good food and bar. Friendly service. Centrally located on island to get to a lot of different places. Water taxi to downtown available every hour which is a nice way to travel! Would definetly return here to paradise!