What We Love
- Access to miles of lush hiking trails within Virgin Islands National Park
- Seven white sand beaches with free Sunfish sailboats, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, Hobie cats and snorkeling gear
- Private ferry transfers from Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, to the resort
What To Know
- Rooms have air conditioning, but no televisions or telephones
- Passports are not necessary to enter St. John and the U.S. Virgin Islands
- Open-air “safari” taxis are widely available, as are Jeep rentals to explore independently
- Free WiFi
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Opened in 1956 by ecotourism pioneer Laurance Rockefeller, Caneel Bay is the only resort in St. John within the boundaries of Virgin Islands National Park. With 166 rooms spread across 170 lush acres, it’s easy to forget you’re at a luxury resort. After all, its low-key cottages blend seamlessly into the natural environment, and many are adjacent to one of seven private white sand beaches on the property.
Bed and Bath
You won’t find modern amenities such as televisions or telephones in Caneel Bay’s rooms — for an early rise you can request a wakeup knock in lieu of a call — but that lack is meant to showcase the resort’s main attraction: nature. The simple rooms feature stone walls, island-inspired artwork and large private patios. All rooms have AC, but to live like a local, open your windows and let the Caribbean breeze blow.
With five on-site dining options, you won’t have to go far for a great meal. The open-air Caneel Beach Terrace and Caneel Beach Bar & Grill are perfect for families, and Turtle Bay Estate House is fine dining at its best. But for a taste of the Caribbean, book a table at ZoZo’s at the Sugar Mill. Perched atop the ruins of an 18th-century sugar mill, with sweeping views of St. Thomas and the British Virgin Islands, the restaurant serves Northern Italian fare with local fish and island grown produce. End your evening with homemade gelato at the quaint cafe Cannella, which also serves sandwiches, coffee, smoothies and other snacks throughout the day. The free kids club for children three to 12 makes it easy for parents to unwind with a treatment in the massage cabana overlooking the ocean, hit the tennis courts or just relax by the pool.
How to Get There
My family has traveled to many islands in the Carribean, but St. John has been by far the most impressive. Caneel Bay had s nice location with a lot of options for snorkeling. The snorkeling was unparalleled with any other location we’ve been to. The food was good, and it was near a town. I would HIGHLY reccomend St. John and Caneel Bay.
Have been to this resort a couple of times. I love how its nested in the middle of nature and the rooms are almost hidden in the trees. I love the beach and all the activities the hotel offers. Over the years, however, i feel like the food has gotten worse and lesser quality. Overall a great family experience! really hope they can rebuild! see you soon
I've stayed at Caneel annually for over 10 years, and I hate to see the damage inflicted by hurricanes Irma and Maria. What was once and absolutely beautiful, quiet and laid back resort is now destroyed. We always stayed on Scott Beach and enjoyed walking out our door right onto the beach, pulling up a recliner and spending a nice quiet day in one of the most beautiful places on earth. My last time at Caneel was just a few weeks before Hurricane Irma and I'm really hoping that the pictures I took won't be the last ones I ever take there. Hopefully a new lease on the property can be worked out and the resort rebuilt in the same low-key, laid back style.
This resort was nothing short of spectacular with its 5 beaches and access to 2 others all within walking distance and beautiful landscape with donkeys and deer freely roaming around. It looked like a scene out of Jurassic Park minus the dinosaurs! There is a transfer that will pick you up from the airport (they have their own office there to greet you for check in that serves drinks and cookies) and a boat to pick you up from St. Thomas that will take you to the resort and back to St Thomas when you leave, again with a transfer van. We had one of the ocean front rooms which was very quiet inside but could use some TLC (the dresser drawers would not close). We spent one day in Trunk Bay as it was easy to get a taxi to and from the hotel to the beach for $10.00 one way. Totally worth it to let someone else worry about the driving as the road we took had no shoulder and was flanked on one side by a cliff. The Caneel Bay beaches were not busy and you were provided chairs and free snorkeling gear that you can keep with you for the duration of your stay. This is a nice convenience as you don’t have to check out and check in the snorkeling gear each time you want to use it. They had other equipment you could take advantage of but we stuck to snorkeling. There was a big corporate group at the hotel the first part of the week, but the resort did not seem busy at all. It was easy to a get a table at the Caneel Bay Grill that had great sandwiches and probably the best pizza I have ever had. We were a little disappointed that the balcony level that overlooks the ocean was only open one night during our stay. One night we ate at ZoZo’s on the resort grounds and is was superb. I ordered the Fresh Papperdelle. It was delicious and while my husband ordered something else he wished he had ordered the Papperdelle after tasting it. Dinner was reasonably priced but we also ordered wine so our check was over $120.00. If you wish to eat at ZoZo’s make reservations as soon as you check in as you will want to be able to get a table during your stay. Now, for what I did not like about our stay. The breakfast buffet is great with a variety of choices and was included in our room rate. However, our very first day at breakfast our waitress who served us coffee was very slow. We finally got up to leave and as we started to walk out of the dining area she started yelling at us to sign our check. Remember, the breakfast was included in our room rate, so I am not sure why she had to make a scene. I did mention it to the front desk when I went up to ask them a question after breakfast and got an apology, so hopefully that does not happen to any other unsuspecting guests who are not skipping out on a bill. Also, the wait staff spent the whole morning chasing off birds. Being on an island, I did not mind the birds. I minded when the wait staff was swatting at them with their towels. We checked out the bar a couple of nights. However, one night at the bar the bartender ignored us the entire time to talk to “friends” she had made that sounded like they were repeat customers. However, you have to try their signature cocktails. I don’t think there was one we did not try and they were all equally good. Finally, we did see that someone else posted to Trip Advisor that they saw roaches in their rooms. This was true for us as well. I am sure they spray for bugs constantly (I was not bit by any mosquitoes) but maybe there is more they can do to keep the roaches out. Again, I understand we are on an island, so that is why it is not going to affect my rating for this resort. I can only be so lucky to visit this resort again. It was paradise!
This was the Most amazing place!! I’ve stayed there twice and there’s no place on earth I’d rather be!! I was there the yr before the hurricane that destroyed most of the island !!! But this peaceful nature filled paradise takes your breath away. And snorkeling is fabulous! This resort is a different kind of comfort. No frills. All homey natural comfort with friendly service and absolutely beautiful scenery..it has several beautiful beaches! If your looking for relaxation and crystal blue beaches, this is a must !! St. John is the most friendliest beautiful island you’ll ever see!! I can’t wait to go back!!