Guests may be asked to participate in time-share presentations
Hilly property with lots of stairs and no elevators
Elysian Beach Resort is an upper-middle-range time-share property managed by Wyndham. With a gorgeous East End location, rooms with full kitchens and living rooms, a beautiful pool, spa, and sandy beach, Elysian is a postcard worthy spot for families and couples looking for a quiet Caribbean escape. There’s not much within walking distance, though there are two well regarded, unaffiliated restaurants on-site. Guests should be made aware that the property is quite hilly, and involves a lot of stairs. There’s also a daily resort fee and a hefty charge for slow Wi-Fi. Bluebeard’s Beach Club and Villas, Elysian’s sister property, has similar accommodations, a nicer beach, and significantly lower rates.
Upon arrival, Elysian’s lobby, which is more of a reception office than a grand entry point, sets the tone for the rest of the property. It’s nice, but there’s really no wow factor. Two sets of sliding glass doors give way to a blissfully air-conditioned room with dark wood-beamed ceilings and a yellow-green accent wall. There are two granite-topped desks, a long table with free coffee and water, a small sitting area, and a coffee table piled high with St. Thomas excursion brochures. Though it feels a bit more like a dentist’s waiting room than a hotel lobby, it’s rarely crowded and check-in is typically painless -- unless you’re asked to sit through a time-share presentation.
Whether by the pool, on the beach, or dining at one of the two restaurants, the daily scene at Elysian is casual and relaxed. Iguanas are a common sight, as they tend to enjoy the shade underneath the lounge chairs. Even though they don’t bite, guests are advised to leave them alone to keep them from feeling threatened. The hotel doesn’t necessarily cater to children, but there are always a good handful splashing around in the pool or playing near the sand -- and the ocean's calm waters are ideal for little swimmers.
Located on St. Thomas’ ritzy East End, Elysian is about a 35-minute drive from Cyril E. King International Airport and downtown Charlotte Amalie. Though there’s not much within walking distance, save for a few nearby hotels like the Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas, Elysian is about a five-minute drive from St. Thomas Yacht Club, and about an eight-minute drive from Red Hook -- the East End’s most happening nighttime scene, with shops, bars, and restaurants. Red Hook is also one of two ports with ferries to St. John. Taxis are plentiful on St. Thomas, and driving can be tricky (cars drive on the left and there are some seriously hilly, winding roads) -- so it might be best to leave the driving to the professionals. Otherwise, the hotel does offer free and plentiful parking for anyone who rents a car.
Most rooms at Elysian are reserved for time-share owners, but the handful of units available for outside guests are clean and bright, with full kitchens or kitchenettes, island-inspired decor, and large private balconies with awesome ocean views. Standard Double Rooms are on the smaller side, but some have cool cathedral-style wood-beamed ceilings and kitchenettes with mini-fridges, microwaves, toasters, coffeemakers, flatware, and utensils. The walls are painted in island hues -- bright sea foam green and sunshine yellow -- which are accented by blue and white bedding and furniture that appears to be made from bamboo (though it’s really more of the cheap plywood variety). There are flat-screen TVs and a small table for two. Balconies are equipped with simple patio furniture, but air-conditioning units take up the bulk on the space on some terraces.
Families or larger groups who’d prefer a bigger space should check out the Parlour Suites or Parlour Lofts. Parlour Suites have decor similar to Standard Rooms, but have full kitchens, separate bedrooms, and living rooms with murphy-style beds. The Parlour Loft we saw had dark wood cabinets and granite counters with a blue and beige glass subway tile backsplash in the kitchen, along with a full-size refrigerator, oven and stove, microwave, and a dishwasher. There are a plethora of small appliances (coffeemaker, blender, toaster) as well as necessities like dish towels, mixing bowls, pots and pans, flatware, and utensils. The four-seat dining table sits midway between the kitchen and the living room, which is set with a large sofa, flat-screen TV, and an armchair. Behind the sofa is a Murphy-style bed, which is surprisingly comfortable. The spiral staircase in the center of the room leads to the upstairs loft. The loft has a queen-size bed and a master bathroom, along with an incredible rooftop balcony. Parlour Suites and Lofts are also equipped with washing machines and dryers.
Bathrooms, whether in Suites or Standard Rooms, are fairly large and a bit bland. With green walls, plain white tile floors, dark wood cabinetry, and beige granite slabs -- there’s nothing particularly noteworthy about the bathrooms at Elysian, except for the fact that most do not have tubs, just large walk-in showers with white shower curtains. Small bottles of eartherapy toiletries are provided.
The pool and beach areas at Elysian are the hotel’s nicest features. The pool -- a free-form with a small water feature -- is surrounded by lounge chairs and umbrella-covered dining tables. Throughout the day, the pool remains relatively quiet despite the amount of families with small children that tend to crowd the area. Just a few steps from the pool, the beach is another popular hangout for guests during the day. With calm waves and a sandy bottom, the water here is ideal for swimming, kayaking, and snorkeling. During our stay, we spotted a tiny (read: harmless) foot-long shark in the water just off the shore. The only drawback about swimming here is that the beach is a popular spot for locals to moor their boats, which limits the area where guests can swim. Although there’s a tiny beach bar and a water sports rental shack, don’t expect hotel employees to cater to your every whim. At Elysian, if you want something, you’ll have to get it yourself. Another drawback? The beach’s deteriorating lounge chairs are in serious need of an overhaul.
For adult relaxation, Seagrape Spa offers everything from eyelash extensions to facials and massages. There's a large fitness center with strength-training equipment and outdoor tennis courts. A few slot machines are available for gambling.
There are two well regarded restaurants on the Elysian property, but neither are affiliated with the hotel. Both dining establishments are popular with locals and travelers alike, making them lively dinner spots that usually require reservations in the busy season of December through April. Elysian offers Wi-Fi for a hefty fee, and it’s pretty slow on certain parts of the property. On top of that, there’s also a pesky daily resort fee.
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