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“The Good, The Bad, The Ugly....and the Bottom Line”

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Secret Harbour Beach Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Benner
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 2 March 2013

Here we go.....

The GOOD:
Gorgeous beach, beautiful water, fabulous snorkeling and swimming.
Very pretty well maintained grounds.
Our housekeeper, Clementine, was wonderful. Margaret at the front desk very professional.

The BAD:
Our condo was very shabby and run down. The furniture was typical beach furniture, very outdated, which was ok. BUT the cushions on the 2 chairs and pull out sofa were FILTHY. Bathroom tiles cracked and FILTHY. Poorly "decorated" The 80's are calling.

Beach towel "check out" was a joke. I was told I couldn't get a towel without my "towel card". Do you really think I would travel 2000 miles and spend $400 dollars a night to steal a $1. beach towel? Ridiculous. And one towel only.

The UGLY:
Bathroom behind bar / front desk was FILTHY. When I talked to the interim GM, Tavia, about this, she said it was schedule to be renovated. WHO CARES? Does that mean you can't clean it in the meantime? Huge trashcan, lid on floor, no liner, cracked toilet tank, missing parts, wads of tp on filthy floor, tp just stuck on a rail.

Staff is mostly unfriendly / surly. Maybe 2 actually greeted us during our stay. When I needed to get my key replaced (it had de-magnetized) I was told by a front desk staff member that "The key system is really bad, this happens all the time, and you should NOT put it in your bag with all that clutter" REALLY???? What happened to "Of course, no problem"???

The staff is clearly in need of leadership and training. I could live with a dumpy room, but a dumpy room combined with an unfriendly / unprofessional staff was not ok. Because you are required to pay in full when you arrive, we were basically held hostage. Never again. Would have checked out after the first night.

Written confirmation, issued 11/26/12 states that the office is open 24/7. NOT TRUE. In fact, when my cab was not there at the prearranged 6:30am time in order to catch my flight, I called the posted after hours "Emergency Number" which is on the office door (which is closed 1am-7am). The number just rings and rings, and finally I got a message in Spanish telling me that the party I was calling was not available. Good thing no one was having a medical emergency.

BOTTOM LINE:

Stay elsewhere, and just go there for the day! The restaurant and bar, which are owned and managed by a separate company, were delightful. Megan in the restaurant and beach service was FAB!

We went and spent the day at a large, internationally known hotel company's resort in Charlotte Amalie. Turns out it was the same price as our room. 3 pools, gorgeous hill views, spa, several restaurants - GORGEOUS! AND, every single staff member we encountered throughout the day looked us in the eyes, greeted us, asked if we needed anything.....GREAT TRAINING! It showed. Very professional.

I spoke directly with Tavia (interim GM) about these issues. While she did indicate she wished I would have spoken to her while at the resort, frankly, none of the issues could have been fixed in a day. Was actually told by a front desk person that the GM listed in another response on TA, was not the GM, but "lived on a sail boat with her boyfriend". I couldn't believe a staff member was telling me this!

FINALLY, be sure to take bug spray. If you are susceptible to chiggars, mosquitos or no see-ums, you will be eaten up....which of course, happens anywhere!

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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5  Thank hollybelle210
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MizManagementVI, General Manager at Secret Harbour Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 5 March 2013

Thank you for taking the time to post your review. We're very sorry that your stay did not meet your expectations and we were disappointed to hear about the issues you encountered. We strive to make every guest's stay an enjoyable one. There is some variation in the units because they are individually owned, but most units have been renovated and the rest will be completed by the end of the year. As to the beach towels, all guests receive a card when they check in which they can use to get as many towels as they would like from either our beach attendants on the beach or at the front desk. The card system is in place to reserve the use of the towels and the beach chairs for resort guests only. The bathroom by the restaurant and bar is cleaned every day and is checked on a daily basis as well to make sure that the required cleaning has been done. I have passed on your concerns about this to the appropriate personnel. When your reservation confirmation was sent out in November, we did indeed have the front office open 24 hours. We have recently changed the hours to 7 a.m. - 1 a.m. When you dialed the after hours number and received the recording in Spanish, it was not the security company you reached, but the recording that one gets in the islands from cell providers when all circuits are busy. If you had tried again, your call would likely have gone through.

We are sorry that we didn't get the opportunity to address your concerns during your stay and make it more enjoyable for you. It is our goal to make sure that every guest has a wonderful time. Thank you again for your feedback.

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415 - 419 of 924 reviews

Reviewed 28 February 2013

The Rooms of the hotel were very clean and good. The restaurant and the bar were both wonderful and had good choices in food and drinks. The beach was the best about the whole thing because it was just amazing and wonderful and the bay was full of life. We saw fish and a sting ray. Just wonderful. It was all great.

P.S. Avoid the taxi service as much as possible. They will drain your wallet.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank Thomas B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 February 2013

I gave 4 stars.I did alot of research prior to booking secret harbour. This was my 1st trip there and had no ideas about this place. Overall this resort was good and I was satisfied. I was a family of 5 Two adults & three teen Kids. I stayed in Ocean View room #712 (a double suite) 3 large B/Rs 3 baths and 2 patios. Large kitchen/sitting area. Front desk staff very helpful and courteous. Food at outdoor grille is pricey, but you have to expect that. Beach is very clean and enjoyable. Employees who work Towel stand on beach for guests are also nice (Will was a cool guy) Transportation/Taxis are costly. 5 -6 dollars per person. V.I. Taxi I recommend. Their drivers are knowledgeable of the Island and its activities. If you get V.I. Taxi RICKY WILLIAMS is great. Beware of some Gypsy cabs, they try to rip you off. GET A TAXI PRICE BEFORE YOU GET IN If you want to para sail, go to saphhire beach Marina aprrox 10 mins away. They said you can have the boat come to you at S/H resort, but you have to swim to the boat then get up on it (I dont recommend this) They also have a nice Grille there the owner is good and his wife makes better drinks than Secret harbour Grille. Ferry to St Johns is good $4p.p. No Passport needed if from U.S. but need one if you go to Tortola British V.I. I recommend a visit to Coral world if you are into Marine Life and swimming with Sea Lions. Downtown flea market shopping is O.K The main street downtown shopping is O.K. alot of jewelry because they sell to the Cruise Ship customers. Contrary to belief, Silver is NOT cheap like anything else its according to market fluctuations. Liquor and cigarette prices are good (Hey Im from NYC) The cost of a van ride from Cyril E. King Airport for 5 people with luggage $75.00 + tip. I do not recommend walking the roads there because they are very hilly narrow and dangerous.Food shopping, also pricey. If you dont like Iguanas you ll get used to them. If you dont bother them they wont bother you. They are not agressive so enjoy them from afar and watch the Males bob their heads in a territorial display. Getting back to the Oceanview suites, they area bit of a climb up the hill. At night when your coming back from being out, ask the taxi driver to take you up the hill. Otherwise use the gradual staircase across from the main office. If I left anything out I will be back to add/edit. Overall after looking at other resorts like Bolongo Bay (which I did not like because it looked run down) I recommend Secret Harbour. Its not perfect but for a family or couples its best value and scenery. Last minute thought, it may rain for a few minutes every day, but dont panic. it wont last long, the sun comes out then you can bake your cookies off. I cant speak of any scuba or snorkeling However, im sure its great. On check out day, (11 am) if your flight isnt until later, ask the ladies at the office to store your luggage in the secure room next to fitness center. It is equipped with a shower so you can freshen up after the beach and before your flight. Overall for this pain in the butt New Yorker, and for the price/value I recommend Secret Harbour.

Room Tip: If you have orthopedic problems, then get rooms closer to beach
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  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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7  Thank SALLYGBOY G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 February 2013

My wife and I spent 6 days in one of the Beach-Front rooms at the Secret Harbour resort. We absolutely loved our stay there. I have to say that the beach at the resort made this hotel a 5 star rating all by itself. The fact that we could walk out the back door of our room and right onto the sand at the beach made this experience an incredible one. I totally recommend their beach-front rooms.

Here's what we loved!
1. Location, Location, Location. This secret harbour beach is an absolute treasure. We spent some time on this trip at a few of the other resorts on the island (Frenchman's Cove Marriott, and the Sugar Bay Resort) and while they were nice, they were built up on the cliffs with tiny beaches that you have to hike down to. If you want to spend time on a beautiful (not crowded at all) beach, then I can't imagine being able to top the Secret Harbour for this. It was absolutely the best part of our trip.

2. Room: We loved our room at the Secret Harbour. Our room was recently updated with nice granite countertops, full size refrigerator/freezer/icemaker, full size cook top, oven, microwave, dishwasher, full compliment of dishes and cookware etc.. The bathroom was updated and nice. The bedroom was large and comfortable. The room was air-conditioned and kept us at the perfect temperature all day/night. We had a front door (which we rarely used) that went out to the parking lot. The back sliding glass door lead us right onto the beach. We had our own private patio with beach chairs, lounge chairs, and a nice table where we at any of the meals that we had prepared right there in the room.

3. Cleanliness: Our room was serviced every night and kept quite clean. We were very pleased with the overall cleanliness of the room.

4. Beach Staff: The resort had 5 or six beach staff that we interacted with each day while on the beach. They were extremly kind and very helpful. The servers from the restaurant make regular stops by everone on the beach who wants to order drinks or any food right there on the beach. They were always very accomodating and nice.

5. Sunset Grille Restaurant. We loved the "formal" dining experience at the Sunset Grille Restaurant. By "formal dining" they just mean, you don't come in your swimwear. My wife and I wore nice shirts (I wore a Polo) and shorts and we had our hair done and we fit in just fine. The food was a bit pricey, but was surprisingly good and the portion sizes were great as well. We spent $130 after tip (no alcohol) for the two of us but I ordered the most expensive entree and my wife ordered he second most, we also ordered two appetizers and two virgin specialty beverages. The service was superb and it was the best meal we had on the island that week.

Here's what we liked:

1. They have a beach dive shop there at the hotel. It was well staffed and they had plenty of rental options for kayaks, paddle boats, paddle boards, snorkel gear, and dive equipment rentals, but it all seemed a bit pricey to me. We ended up purchasing our own snorkel gear and we felt it was a wise investment since we used it 4-5 times while on our trip.

2. Comfort: The rooms were very nicely furnished with a nice sofa in the living space, kitchen table with 6 chairs, bar with 4 bar-stools. The bedroom had nice furnishings as well, I'd rate the bed as a 7 out of 10 for comfort and the pillows a 7 out 10. Certainly not the nicest bed I've ever slept on but it was comfortable enough and would not cause me to complain in the least.

What we didn't like as much:
1. Check-in: It seemed to take us an unusually long time to check-in. We arrived at 11:30PM and it took nearly 30 minutes to get everything squared away and get to our rooms. That seemed like a long time to me.

2. Pool: I have to say, that the beach at the resort is so amazing, we didn't even realize there was a pool there until the last day. It was nothing to speak of really, but honestly, who really cares? Water was 81 degrees in the ocean, who needs a pool?

3. The spa/workout room/whatever was nothing special. We didn't feel inclined to spend any time there.

Conclusion:
If I could rate the beach at this place with 10 stars then I would have. It really made our stay there an incredible experience. I've heard that some of the rooms there aren't as updated as the one we stayed in, but ours was awesome! I would definitely recommend the beach-front rooms to be right on the beach. The hotel beach staff were awesome and we didn't feel like we had to break the bank to afford this place. If I ever go back to St. Thomas, I will definitely stay here again.

Room Tip: Get the Beach Front Rooms and try and get the first floor. Nothing beats walking out of your room r...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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2  Thank Mark T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 February 2013

I chose Secret Harbour to do some diving with Aqua Action Dive Center which is onsite/next door. The reefs on each side of the bay are great for snorkeling or shore diving. This is not a mega property so the beach is relatively uncrowded, never had a problem getting a lounge chair. You're close to Red Hook so you have lots of dining and day excursion options. There are two nice restaurants onsite - the casual and the fine dining restaurants. The casual was perfectly casual, the fine dining was fine food but so-so service. Had a spacious 1 bedroom on the top floor of building three on the beach. Great views of Nazareth Bay! Our room was not renovated but not terrible. The kitchen had everything we needed, was clean and in great shape. The bathroom however was way overdue for a refresh. The view and the overall property and location made up for that!

Room Tip: Higher floors have the views. Ground floor has walkway right at your patio.
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  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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1  Thank lark536
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Secret Harbour Beach Resort

Address: 6280 Estate Nazareth | Nazareth Bay, Benner 00802-1113, St. Thomas
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > U.S. Virgin Islands > St. Thomas > Benner
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Benner
Price Range: $463 - $783 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Secret Harbour Beach Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 48
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Secret Harbour is currently closed due to hurricane Irma Secret Harbour is a boutique all-beachfront condominium resort on the Caribbean US Virgin Island of St. Thomas. The resort is situated on the island's Southeast shore on a palm-tree shaded swimming/snorkeling beach with pristine Caribbean blue water and sugary sand offering tranquil and water sport vacations with superb amenities. The all-beachfront property features 48 uniquely furnished condominiums on the ocean that are individually owned and resort managed. Each condominium is a spacious studio, 1- or 2-bedroom beachfront suite with fully equipped kitchen and private patio/balcony. Amenities include: 2 restaurants; PADI dive center with scuba diving, excursion boats, sailing and watersport rentals; freshwater pool; tennis courts; fitness center; gift shop; ATM & spa services. The intimate resort is ideal for families, couples, watersport & diving enthusiasts, visiting executives, and those seeking a tropical destination wedding, honeymoon or event. Bonus amenities include free Wi-Fi, onsite concierge, and wedding/event coordinator. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Secret Harbour Beach Hotel Benner
Hotel Secret Harbour Beach

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