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Reviewed 15 January 2013

We go on 1 family vacation per year so we really did our research when deciding on a location and where we would stay. 25 years ago, my wife and I visited Saint John while on our honeymoon and it has always been one of our favorite places, so the location was an easy choice. We looked on line and read a lot about the Grande Bay Resort, including many customer reviews. The Grande Bay exceeded our expectations. We had 5 people in our party, ages 17-balding (me). The 3 bedroom unit that we had was very spacious, with a great kitchen, and nicely decorated. We had a bay view, which was beautiful. The bottle of rum on our kitchen counter was a nice surprise and kicked off our week in style. I am now addicted to Cruzan Rum and blame the Grande Bay. The staff was tremendous. During our vacation planning process, we worked with Emily, Colby, and Danielle. They were all extremely helpful, knowledgeable, and great to work with. Danielle did a fantastic job connecting us to dive/snorkel activities and restaurants. The entire staff had great energy and was very nice. The location of the Grande Bay is perfect. You can walk to any restaurant, bar, or local shop. You can watch Ziggy the Pig do his morning walk to the beach. The on-site Jeep rental is the way to go and I would recommend that to anyone staying at the Grande Bay (thank you Dawn). The island is beautiful and the Jeep is needed for the hair pin mountain turns and creative parking challenges at some of the beaches. Speaking of beaches, thanks Emily/Megan for suggesting Salt Pond.......what a raw, undiscovered jewel! The only thing I can think of in terms of improvements is the small health club area. Due to the limited dumb bells, I was forced to do more 12 ounce curls at night. I guess that's a decent trade off.....
I hope we can come back next year. Great vacation and facilities!

Room Tip: Corner rooms have wrap around balconies.
  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank John and Kym M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 January 2013

I travel to St John annually (sometimes more if I can) and typically stay in a villa with my family. A few months ago, my wife and I had a chance to sneak away to St John without kids, but only had five days. Villas require a week rental in most cases, so that was out, and we did not want to stay at the Westin or Caneel Bay because we would need a car and would be restricted to the resort for the most part.

We had seen Grande Bay being built over the years and decided to check it out. We were a little apprehensive at first becuase we have read about all the opposition to Grande Bay's development and impact on the community. We are believers that development on St John should be halted, but .we put our issues aside and decided to check Grande Bay out first hand.

We were very happy with our stay.

1. Great new apartment sized rooms with kitchen, living room, and bedroom. We just had a one bedroom but you could get a two or three bedroom.

2. Location was awesome! We love walking in to town to have dinner and enjoy all the festivities that take place in little Cruz Bay. We walked to Honeymoon, Solomon, and Caneel beeches, three of the days we were there. Great easy hikes on well marked trails that start right in town.

3. Easy to rent a car from resort concierge...One day we rented a car for the day and spent the morning in Coral Bay having brunch at Miss Lucy's, and then finished the day with some cheese and wine on Francis Bay and watched the sun set. The resort has its own covered parking garage...really nice.

4. Resort has free coffee and danish if you like in the AM. They have a fantactic excercise facility and a very nice sized pool if you just want to hang out and catch some sun at the resort. You could even walk just across a narrow street and sit on a beautiful beach right in front of the resort.

All in all, for the money it is a great place to stay...especially good for couples without kids.

One note...they are in the business of selling time shares. They were not pushy at all, but keep in mind that you most likely will be asked to check out their pitch. We didn;t.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Tvlgy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 December 2012

Last year we stayed in a VRBO unit with one bedroom (not lock out) for two of us. This year we rented a VRBO three bed/two bath unit and brought my parents. We enjoyed the convenience of both units - especially the full kitchen, washer dryer, and beach chairs, coolers, etc.. Liked the location for dining (my parents loved how close it was to the Catholic Church). Enjoyed the work out room and pool/hot tub. Loved the views from the units. Both times the units were in great working order and well stocked. Both times we stayed in the upper buildings. This is nice because it is a little quieter...but when you rent a car...it is so much harder to get up the hill into the parking lot - especially when it rains. A little scary when you are stuck spinning tires on the incline (I had to get out an push the jeep as my husband tried to steer). However, having parking in town is a great perk.

Hint...to access the upper buildings...use the elevators in the lower buildings.

I have been coming to St. John for over 12 years. I find Grand Bay to be my favorite place to stay. I have also stayed previously at the Westin and Gallows Point. I am not interested in staying in a villa or near the Westin since I want to be in Cruz Bay at night for dining, shopping, and walking around. I don't want to drive around the island at night seems dangerous enough during the day (watch out for goats, donkeys, deer, and cows walking in the road).
Got to see the Pan Dragon Christmas Concert this year...always a special show. Kind of funny, I saw them 10 years ago...when a lot of them were "baby dragons."

Just love this island...love the locals...love the beaches. But if you stay in Cruz Bay, be warned...you have to drive or catch a cab to the beaches...but it is worth it!!!!!

Expensive place to rent, but if you cook in a few times and pack lunches...it helps quite a bit. Also, consider bringing some dry goods in your suitcase. The local grocery store can be quite expensive for some items. We brought pancake mix, spaghetti, pringles, snacks, juice boxes etc. to save a few dollars. We did find a lot of useful stuff left behind by previous tenants too!

If you have any questions about planning a trip, drop me an email!

Room Tip: try to get a unit away from the end closer to downtown. A lot of noise from construction and local bars. Upper units seem quieter but upper parking lot is a pain!
  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank suelivesinva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 December 2012

Our family of 5 (3 teens) had plenty of space in our 3 bedroom 2 bath condo. It was clean and well appointed. The parking was very tight in the garage for our jeep and took a couple of days to get the hang of parking the car. Our unit was on the lowest floor, so our balcony had a view of the telephone lines and transformers, which was quite ugly. Great spot to be able to walk to the Beach Bar and Cruz Bay restaurants.

Room Tip: Ask for a space on a higher level for a better view from your balcony.
  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank TennisMom3Times
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 December 2012

I almost hesitate to write this because this is now one of my closely guarded, lesser known gems. But the staff, the room, and everything about our stay at Grande Bay was too great to keep it all to myself.

From the moment we arrived (when our room was ready 4 hours early for us), the staff couldnt be nicer - every single one of them. The room was so well appointed - clean, well decorated, and had such nice nexpected amenties (complimentary bottle of rum and cokes was our favorite). They thought of everything (beach chairs, cooler bags, etc)!!

The beds were comfy and the views were great. The complimentary happy hours offered every Monday and Wednesday (we went Monday) are truly great (and there is no sales pitch, I was expecting one, just drinks and fun with a really fun staff and locals that help you enjoy the island).

My only complaint is that the pool was in shade all day (liekly the time of year we visited - Decemeber) and there is no pool bar. But with sun on the pool deck, a hot tub, and two bars within about 100 yards of the hotel (and the complimentary rum and cokes) we made do :-)! Oh, also, I am used to resorts where the towels are changed and turn down service occurs daily, and that didn't happen here, but that is such a minor point and we were having too much fun to care.

After staying in a VERY pricy villa for the first few days of our trip, if I was being honest with myself I would have to say that Grande Bay was more fun, more comfortable, and a better value. I will be back!!!!

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank joemichalski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paul H, General Manager at Grande Bay Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 28 December 2012

Dear Mr. Michalski
I am glad you didn't "hesitate" to write such a wonderful review; it is much appreciated. I have shared your writing with the entire staff and we are all grateful that you had a memorable stay.

Our Sales Team is second to none and the last thing we would ever want to do is "pressure" a guest into going through a dreaded "fractional sales presentation"! As for the daily Housekeeping usually associated with hotels we model ourselves more like private villas and avoid daily room intrusions. Happy to do so on your next visit!!

Thank you again for your review and please reach out to me directly when you next contemplate travel to "America's Paradise".
Best regards,
Paul

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