Antilles At Sapphire Beach Resort
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Historical Traveler Reviews Pheasant Hotel Helmsley
Location, location, location...
I started off with a little confusion at this resort, because it was listed on my booking as Crystal Cove, which is actually a little condo set located next to the resort. So I followed the signs from the parking lot to Crystal Cove, only to find out there is no unit B-208 at Crystal Cove. So I called the Antilles office and they had one of their housekeepers on site come pick me up and she drove me to the room in the main resort. The accomodations are average; certainly nothing awful but not stellar either. It is nice to have a full kitchen, but the island-style tiles became a major pain in the rear after five days. They always felt slightly damp and slippery, especially while wearing tennis shoes. The bed was not especially comfortable, but I could deal. The cable was fine and it was nice to have a CD player and VCR. The best feature of the room is, of course, the view. All rooms have views over the water through a line of palm trees, with St. John and the BVI in the distance. It is truly spectacular and the balconies are large with plenty of seating to enjoy. The pool here is scenic and open 24 hours, so it's nice that you can go at night when it's not crowded (and often deserted after 10pm). There's a long strip of land sticking out from the pool and there were often lounge chairs at the end of it where you can sit and look at the twinkling lights of St. John and watch the ferries go back and forth. You're only a $3, 5-minute cab ride from the ferry dock, so you have to spend at least a day on St. John. There are more famous beaches on St. John, but I recommend Salomon Beach, which is easy to walk to and small, uncrowded and absolutely beautiful, especially as the sun sets behind the hill to your left as you're looking at the water. Just go to the National Park Visitor Center and pick up a trail guide. Follow Lind Point Trail from behind the center for about 15 minutes and there's a little side trail leading down to your left. Follow it down and enjoy a relaxing day on a great little beach. Don't worry about getting out to Magen's Bay on St. Thomas; the beaches on St. John and Sapphire Beach at the resort are much better.
One additional hint--at Sapphire Beach Resort, for a more private beach area, walk all the way beyond the resort, past the white and aqua Crystal Cove condos, then past the wrecked boat on the shoreline. There's a great little stretch of sand there with little inlets in the vegetation that are a great place to stretch out in the sun without a thousand kids around. It's also a neat place to swim at night, with a direct view of St. John.
The Sapphire Village is actually a group of condos on the hill above the Sapphire resort and marina. It is a five minute walk down to the beach, but worth it for the price of the condo vs price of a room at the resort. Since these are condos, different people own them so they can be different. Ours had recently been remodelled, clean and was very nice. It had a good floorplan with a balcony overlooking the beach and bay. The kitchen had everything we needed.
The village is located about 1 mile from Red Hook, which is the east end of the island. Red Hook is where you can catch the ferry to St. John, which we highly recommend, and the ferry is $3 each way. Sapphire beach is one of the best on the island and away from where the cruise ships come in (if you want to be away from that - we did).
The staff of the condos were very helpful and good to us. Make sure to have somebody meet you if you arrive after office hours (something like 8 to 5pm). Since these are condos, there isn't a reception desk. Call ahead to get the contact phone number.
If we were to go again, I would definitely rent a car. Taxis are expensive and the condos are not near anything within walking distance, other than the resort. If you rent a car, rent one ahead of time since the rates go up quite a bit once you get on the island. FYI, you will have to drive on the other side of the road once you are there.
AKA: Crystal Cove--I would go back
I posted the similar comment under Crystal Cove.
We just got back and stayed in D-32. This is a wonderful place....the beds are a bit lumpy, but that is my only complaint. It had 2 baths and sleeps 6 people. It is very clean.
It is very much a condo-feel. The beach is great and close.
I would surely go back here!!!
I just returned from a week at the Antilles at Sapphire Beach. It was fantastic. The room itself was great. Nice location, clean, and not noisy. The beach is awesome, and as for St Thomas, it's just beautiful with plenty of things to do on and off the beach. The weather was perfect. Just wish I could have stayed longer!
Switch by Antilles (but a good deal)
We booked what we thought was a studio at Crystal Cove at Sapphire Beach West (managed by Antilles Resorts) through Expedia, after linking from this page. We ended up at Sapphire Beach Resorts, D building. We had the perfect location, but a only a fair room and service. ($50 room in $1000 location for about $150 a night - good deal if you ask me.) From the outside (my only view), I'd say we were lucky, both with the switch, and especially with the choice of the general Sapphire Beach location.The building is right on the water, between the Sapphire pool and Steakhouse and the Marina, the views and breezes are fantastic, and the access, location and beach are as good as any we saw on the island. The beach access is actually better than most hotels we saw.The studio room was adequate with a few problems (The sliding balcony doors didn't slide, the louvered panels between the BR and living areas are in poor shape, hot and cold water reversed in kitchen, refrigerator that roared, leaking shower arm and tiny ants anywhere we let water stand - I was very careful and came armed with lots of zip locked baggies -, sheets that weren't changed after the 1st night that I could tell and regular pillow cases on king pillows, poor quality twins pushed together for king bed, no cushion on top and obvious gap if we weren't careful). We still slept like logs, had plenty of towels and the room was cleaned and bed made each day.
Good mid level resort, got what I expected.
We went to Antilles @Sapphire right at peak season after Xmas and thru New Yrs and got exactly what I had expected. Great view, pleasant beach, a clean room with daily maid service, and it seemed like a great place for kids. We had booked thru the internet, so it was definitely a good idea to call ahead using the number on their web page to make sure someone wa available to meet us. Otherwise as noted by other reviewer, it could be a pain as the Sapphire Beach Resort, where Antilles owns 15 condos, is a separate entity. Complaints were of minor maintenance issues....wobbly stove, front door that was loose at the hinges ...things that take minutes to fix, but affect the overall impression you get when you settle in. They also need to do something about the trailers and unsightly stuff going on behind the resort since it matters to your initial impression, and the public areas could us a little updating. Clean room though, with plenty of bath and beach towels. As for the Sunday beach party, the thumping music was interesting for a couple of hours, but by the end of the day, the migraine sets in.....one might want to plan a day trip away that day as cruise ship tours also showed up making it a pretty crowded beach.
Other notes...... we paid up since it was the peak season, but if I had paid close to rack rate for any other time, I would have felt like I overpaid for what seemed like a mid level accomodations. Lastly, rent a car! particularly if you have a family. When I get reincarnated, I want to come back as the concession holder of a St Thomas taxi business.
Great resort for a great price!
The Antilles at Sapphire Beach is not the same as Sapphire Beach Resort, sort of. Antilles is a company that owns property/rooms in various resorts throughout St. Thomas. They have approximately 15 rooms at the Sapphire Beach Resort. As a guest of Antilles, you should call Antilles ahead of time and tell them when you are arriving so that they can either have a greeter meet you or have your room unlocked. In addition, you cannot call the front desk if you need anything, as this is for guests of Sapphire Beach Resort; there is a separate number to reach a representative who will try to meet your needs, as long as it is within business hours (before 5PM). That being said, the reviews of Sapphire Beach Resort were not stellar, yet the reviews of Antilles at Sapphire Beach were significantly better than that of the resort. I was quite pleased with the resort for the price that my boyfriend and I paid. The rooms were well kept and clean; it was exactly what I had expected. The best points of the room: the large balcony and its view was breathtaking, great views of the British Virgin Islands and St. John, the bathroom had 2 sinks, the water pressure was good, spacious dining room and living room areas, ample number of towels (including beach towels), good A/C and ceiling fans, good number of channels on the TV (most are New York channels which was nice for me), a decent stereo with a CD player (I was quite pleased with being able to listen to my music at all times) and a great location right on the beach. The bad points: the room got extremely humid and the floors became damp if the A/C was not kept on, though we kept the balcony door open b/c it got too cold, the A/C broke once but the maintenance man came promptly to fix it, we forgot to keep all the food in airtight plastic bags so we experienced a minor ant problem, the beds are 2 twin mattresses with a filler in the middle so it was uncomfortable sleeping directly next to your partner and the bedset had a mild damp smell b/c of the humidity. These are all minor issues, in my opinion; the main issue we had was that there was a number of mosquitoes/bedbugs, thought this might┬ ve been the case b/c it was raining/humid our entire trip. We invested in bugspray and we were fine. As for the rest of the resort, the parking is great b/c you can park directly behind your room. Sapphire Beach is gorgeous and ideal for snorkeling ┬ you can rent equipment for free. There was a restaurant on the beach but I didn┬ t go there. There was a reggae party on Sunday afternoon at the restaurant, it was nice playing in the water listening to the raucous band and watching all the people dancing. Behind the resort is some construction going on, but it didn┬ t bother me too much. There seemed to be some sort of pond also, but it didn┬ t look very nice. There┬ s also a nice pool with a pool bar right by the beach, but it was cold so I didn┬ t go in. There┬ s also a strip of land that juts out into the ocean, it┬ s a beautiful location and I could imagine many newlyweds walking down this strip. The resort is on the East End of the island, so it took about 15 minutes to come over from the airport/downtown. I highly recommend renting a car, it made travelling throughout the island a lot more convenient, particularly b/c the East End is far removed from the main areas of the island (which is why I chose it in the first place). The Red Hook is about a 5 minute drive from the resort, there are a few good restaurants that are affordable. The one place I HIGHLY RECOMMEND is Udder Delights, outside of Magen┬ s Bay. The BEST alcoholic milkshakes you┬ ll ever have in your life. Trust me on that one. In terms of beaches, the weather wasn┬ t ideal so I only went to Magen┬ s Bay and Sapphire Beach. I was more than happy with that. The shopping in Charlotte Amalie is wonderful, make sure to haggle down the prices further than the discount they give for duty free. Overall, I had a memorable trip and I look forward to going back to St. Thomas.
Want to go back!
We stayed at the Sapphire in April of 2003 and loved it. We booked another place on the Island (Magen's Point) for the latter half of the week but found ourselves coming back to Sapphire for the beach. Our studio was not large but was nicely furnished, clean and had a great floor plan that allowed you to wake up to ocean views but still could afford you privacy when necessary. We left the doors open all the time to enjoy the breeze and watch the boats heading back and forth from St.
John. The beach is powdery white sand and has a nice area for snorkeling and a calm swimming area. It seems the resort is situated partly on the windward and leeward sides which we found ideal. Iguanas roam freely and it's not overcrowded. We found the restaurants fairly useless as they were open for somewhat short hours and once we sat in the restaurant by the pool (there were only 3 other tables full) and waited for service (4 restaurant personnel) for at least 15 minutes. We switched tables, bussed our own table, got our own menus and then rather than flag someone down (the waitresses passed us over and over and we were only 10 feet from the service counter) we gave up and left.
Best move we made since we found the Grateful Deli in the mall at Redhook. Loved this place. Quiche, salads, sandwiches and bakery were great (prices $5-10). Okay, we did find a HUGE cockroach in our room, but I guess I've come to expect that once in awhile in tropic locations. Overall we were VERY SATISFIED with Sapphire and would go back in a hearbeat for the beach, views and room.
Best beach on St Thomas
Absolutely stunning vistas, and terrific amenities. Nice staff. One of our best vacations ever!!!
What a great place to vacation with the kids
A great place to unwind and get to know your family again...What a great place. We have 2 small children (4 and 2) and wanted to goto a place that had everything right there and on a beautiful stretch of beach (in case we couldn't get away from the hotel) and The Sapphire Beach Resort in St Thomas was perfect. The beachfront suites had everything we needed and even allowed the kids to sleep while we sat outside and drank rum and smoked cigars each night only steps away from the room. We've been on the stretch of beach before (beach hoping on a previous vacation) and our memory served us well, because we still think it's one of the most beautiful stretches of beaches anywhere.The food isn't amazing, but it's good and the people proved to be friendly, once we took the time to say hello, get into island time and find out a little about them. Halfway through the week we knew everyone's name (and vice versa) and it made for a lot of fun. The front desk and the travel desk were disappointing, but you can't have everything. We've been to a lot of places in the Virgin Islands and while this wasn't the fanciest, it was definitely the best....
TripAdvisor Reviews Pheasant Hotel Helmsley
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