Location is isolated from dining and nightlife -- guests need a car to see anything
Part of the beach isn't swimmable due to rocks and sea urchins
Restaurant can be pricey and nearby options are limited
This property was impacted by Hurricane Maria in September 2017 and is currently closed until January 31, 2018. We will update our review as soon as we have more information. The 151-room, four-pearl Renaissance St. Croix Carambola Beach Resort & Spa is a secluded gem on the northern coast of St. Croix. With a wide, private beach that doesn’t ever feel crowded, landscaped tropical grounds, a large swimming pool, and breezy, modern rooms with classic Caribbean touches, this is an upscale getaway from the crowds in other parts of the island. The remoteness does have its downsides: Anyone wanting an alternative from the hotel’s pricey on-site restaurant will have to drive 35 minutes to reach downtown Christiansted, or trek to one of the few nearby options by car. Those looking for a livelier scene should consider the equally chic Buccaneer Hotel, only an eight-minute drive from Christiansted's waterfront shops and restaurants.
Lovely natural landscaping and lush grounds attract families and honeymooning couples
From the lush tropical gardens growing within and around the hotel, to the impeccably manicured grounds and stunning beach nestled among green hills, the Renaissance Carambola certainly makes a memorable impression. The hotel’s lovely natural landscape attracts a diverse range of travelers, including families or couples vacationing on their honeymoon. A fruity rum drink with a tiny umbrella welcomes visitors upon check-in -- and it’s only the first of a series of pampering moments. The low-slung buildings are tucked into palm tree throughout the grounds, and many of the common areas are airy and open-walled. The sober color scheme in the lobby has attractive design twists, like artsy, sculptural chairs and large bamboo banquettes with trendy decorative pillows. Walls are decorated with gorgeous carved wood panels and paddle fans swirl overhead. The on-site restaurant has plenty of indoor and outdoor seating, plus entertainment on many nights of the week.
Remote and peaceful location, far from dining and nightlife
The Renaissance St. Croix Carambola Beach Resort and Spa stands at the end of a long and winding road on the northern border of Frederiksted and Christiansted estates, in St Croix. It’s in the foothills of a tropical rainforest and has its own private, picturesque beach. To say it’s off the beaten track is an understatement: The resort is only car-accessible and it takes at least 35 minutes to get to downtown Christiansted. Luckily there are a couple places for a good bite -- like the lobster at Waves at Cane Bay, or Rowdy Joe’s, about a seven-minute drive away. While boat tours to Buck Island or sailing trips require a 40-minute drive to the nearest marina, the resort does have its own dive shop where guests can snorkel or dive the Davis Bay Wall, located just off the beach. Carambola Golf Club is under eight minutes away by car for golf enthusiasts. Point Udall, the easternmost spot in the U.S., is a little under an hour’s drive from the hotel, and the resort takes about 20 minutes to reach from the airport.
Rooms are situated in a cluster of two-story buildings with six rooms each, scattered among the grass and palm trees that stand along the beach. They are not only large and modern -- with high ceilings, dark mahogany furniture, and cream accents -- but the screened-in porches grant a secluded sense of privacy as well. The only downside is that the beach is not visible from all rooms. All rooms have attractive sofa beds in a stylish gold-pattern fabric that makes up a nearly separate living area. Rooms are air-conditioned and have tropical-style paddle fans swirling overhead, while duvet-covered beds have handsome, ornate dark wood headboards. All rooms have multiple flat-screen TVs, coffeemakers, microwaves, and mini-fridges as well as a safe, desk, walk-in closet, and iron. Some rooms have kitchenettes with stove tops. Stylish bathrooms are luxuriously large, and feature double vanities, walk-in travertine showers, and toiletries.
Pricey on-site restaurant, big pool, and secluded beach
Saman, the on-site restaurant and bar is next door to the outdoor pool, and both overlook the hotel's beach. The restaurant can be expensive and a meal or two off of the property is in order for those looking to save a bit of money. Breakfast is served in a separate event room, and offers both a la carte and buffet options, though it is not included with room rates and is also expensive. The pool is large and luxurious, with multiple beach chairs, ample towels, and padded lounge chairs for guests to enjoy. It also includes a hot tub and is open 24/7.
The beach is wide, sandy, and secluded, and offers stunning views of the tropical surroundings. It’s long enough for a short stroll, and while the waves are not big enough for surfing, the crashing water makes for pleasant acoustics at night. More than half the beach is not swimmable, though, because of the coral reef and sea urchins among the rocks, though there is excellent snorkeling off shore.
The resort also has a tennis court and a small fitness center with up-to-date machines, as well as Bottom’s Up Dive Shop for snorkeling gear and diving lessons. There is an on-site spa as well as a gift shop. Wi-Fi is free throughout and free shuttle service to the Carambola Golf Club is available with advance notice. The hotel also offers free parking and laundry services.
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