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Beachers

Registered
05/08/2015

Posts
3

Real Reviews of Sapphire Beach

May 08, 2015 06:04PM

Hi everybody! New here and I've been reading through reviews on various websites about Sapphire Beach. My wife and I booked a condo at the Sapphire Beach Resort and Marina for 8 days in October. I read all the reviews on VRBO.com and they were all outstanding reviews. After reading other reviews on other sites, I'm now a little concerned about the area. I've read about buildings boarded up, the pool is out of service, bar being closed and not reopening, a dive shop closed, trash on the beach, etc. One reviewer summed it up with one sentence. "It's a dump." There was also some reviews about the owner of that area running the place down, which I didn't understand. We haven't been there before so we don't know what to think now. I'm a little worried now and wanted to get some thoughts about this area from some travelers and locals that have been there recently. Cheers!!

samjaxton

Registered
05/08/2015

Posts
1

Re: Real Reviews of Sapphire Beach

May 08, 2015 08:32PM

Okay, I don't want to freak you out and you may well be the type who can see passed certain flaws. We can't. We, like you, booked a condo on SB after reading rave reviews on VRBO. We, at considerable expense and effort, arrived and were immediately disappointed. The beach is pretty enough and the condo was okay (not as advertised, but whatever), but the vibe at the resort and beach is best described as sad (as in depressing). It has potential, but was decimated by the hurricane and hasn't quite made it back up off the mat. Honestly, I'm sure it's fine for many who have different expectations. There are lots of worse places! But there are so many better options I would really rethink this place. We ended up at the Ritz which was way out of our comfort zone economically, but ultimately was worth every penny (we received a refund on our rental - different story). My advice: find a decent hotel on St John and plan on renting a jeep and go explore different beaches and hiking trails everyday. Red Hook on St Thomas is gross. Cruz Bay on SJ much nicer. Good luck.

STT Resident

Registered
09/19/2005

Posts
3,293

Re: Real Reviews of Sapphire Beach

May 09, 2015 08:50AM

I've been recommending Sapphire as "the" place to stay for close to the whole 30+ years I've lived here and with no plans to change that. To even compare the Ritz and Sapphire is ridiculous. Sapphire has never claimed to be a 4-5 star "resort".

The USVI isn't a destination where you stay inside a resort with a wait person at your beck and call bringing you frou-frou drinks and fresh towels but a place where you rent a car and get out and about to explore! The Sapphire condos are on a gorgeous beach, the grounds are very well maintained, the majority of owners work very hard to keep their units in top-notch condition with the latest in fixtures and fittings, and visitors return year after year after year to enjoy it.

You can't please all the people all of the time but the few who are displeased are inevitably the most vocal!

STT Resident

Registered
09/19/2005

Posts
3,293

Re: Real Reviews of Sapphire Beach

May 09, 2015 09:18AM

Quote
samjaxton
... It has potential, but was decimated by the hurricane and hasn't quite made it back up off the mat.

... Red Hook on St Thomas is gross.

Which hurricane would that be? The last major hurricane which wreaked havoc on STT and caused massive damage was Marilyn on September 15, 1995. In fact the Sapphire area escaped relatively unscathed.

Red Hook is "gross"?confused

avatar

SapphireBeach08

Registered
03/24/2008

Posts
227

Re: Real Reviews of Sapphire Beach

May 09, 2015 10:13AM

I have not experienced this "sad vibe". Then again, I'm definitely not a Ritz Carlton type gal. I don't think there's a better all around beach (white sand, shade, snorkeling, views) on St. Thomas. Yes, there will be work going on as October is low season when the renovation work is done, but it shouldn't impact you at all. By October they should be doing the finish work. This year E building is being refurbished at that time. You booked through VRBO so you have seen pictures and reviews of the condo you are staying in - trust them. Unless you are a high maintenance, Ritz Carlton type you'll have a wonderful time. I'll be at Sapphire then. October is great. Less cruise ship crowds makes the beach even better.

Beachers

Registered
05/08/2015

Posts
3

Re: Real Reviews of Sapphire Beach

May 09, 2015 07:05PM

I've talked to some other people and they say it's pretty nice beach. I'm not gonna sweat it. I'm looking forward to it! Thanks for your replies!

ms411

Registered
10/06/2005

Posts
872

Re: Real Reviews of Sapphire Beach

May 09, 2015 07:28PM

Sapphire Beach Resort and Marina has had many changes throughout the years, so older reviews (over a year old) may not reflect the current state of the property.

The pool is open and is lovely. The bar next to the pool has been closed for years, and portions of it may be boarded up or under renovation. Unsightly, yes, but no big deal because you can get drinks from your condo or Banana Cabana during the day.

There were a few months when dive shop was closed and since they mostly kept beach and bathrooms clean, when they closed cleaning was spotty.

The other boarded up area is near a closed lobby/restaurant/bar/gift shop area. It's painted now so looks better, but still boarded.

IMO, the grounds leading to the condos are not attractive, but for most people the gorgeous views, beach, and snorkeling just steps away more than make up for the unsightly closed areas.

Sapphire should not be marketed as a resort, because it's really a condo complex on a beautiful beach which is ideal for low maintenance, independent travelers. If you want on site restaurants and services, Sapphire may not be the property for you.

bowdeda

Registered
01/06/2012

Posts
35

Re: Real Reviews of Sapphire Beach

May 13, 2015 10:11AM

Used to stay on St Thomas and have stayed there. Listened to some friends and started going to St John. No comparison.......switch Islands. No where near as commercialized but still plenty to do and see.....just my two cents. Have been to the USVI 9 times in last 4 years.

tonyvi

Registered
05/14/2015

Posts
3

Re: Real Reviews of Sapphire Beach

May 14, 2015 08:42AM

You want honesty. It's much closer to the dump you've read about than the "it will do" condo some have posted above. Yes, it's not pretending to be the Ritz, but it's fairly dilapidated and there are no sign within the past year of any work being done to make it competitive. Nice beach... But plenty of nice beeches on these islands.

STT Resident

Registered
09/19/2005

Posts
3,293

Re: Real Reviews of Sapphire Beach

May 14, 2015 10:34AM

My opinion as stated earlier is equally honest in that it is NOT a dump by any stretch of the imagination. Obviously you have a personal axe to grind if you took the time to register simply to toss in a negative. Obviously you know nothing about the renovations and maintenance which are carried out every summer to keep things spic and span. And just to qualify, I have absolutely no vested interest in Sapphire - I recommend it as a vacation spot on its own merits and obviously the thousands of visitors who return to it year after year are in agreement.

beachboy

Registered
06/01/2007

Posts
98

Re: Real Reviews of Sapphire Beach

May 14, 2015 02:54PM

The resort has been renovating one building a year for three or four years now. The swimming pools were also renovated a few years ago.

So Tony I am not sure where you are getting your information but it is not accurate.

tonyvi

Registered
05/14/2015

Posts
3

Re: Real Reviews of Sapphire Beach

May 14, 2015 05:18PM

I'm getting my information from spending at least two days a week there at the marina and passing by the property to get there and from having taken advantage of a free week there that a friend was not using. My opinion of the property is as valid as anyone else's and over the course of a year, I've seen no work being done on this property (doesn't mean there isn't work being done, but I've not seen any). You have to pass the horrific excuse of a tennis court which lays the foundation for calling the place a dump and you need to squint to avoid seeing all the rotten wood still very much a part of the condo campus. Broken cement steps and walls very much in need of repair.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/14/2015 05:24PM by tonyvi.

tonyvi

Registered
05/14/2015

Posts
3

Re: Real Reviews of Sapphire Beach

May 14, 2015 05:23PM

So, you posted your opinion earlier and are doing it again now just to attack me for signing up to a service you also signed up for at one time? You say you have no interest in SB. Is my interest then in every other resort here? The poster asked for honest feedback and that's what I gave. I don't question your feedback. You've probably got different standards or see the resort from a different perspective than I do. But from what I see, it's in disrepair.

STT Resident

Registered
09/19/2005

Posts
3,293

Re: Real Reviews of Sapphire Beach

May 14, 2015 07:15PM

You seem to be rather overflowing with angst for someone simply having an opinion.

Beachers

Registered
05/08/2015

Posts
3

Re: Real Reviews of Sapphire Beach

May 25, 2015 02:15PM

Wow! I didn't realize there were such polarizing opinions of this place! We have already booked our trip and now we are planning places to see and visit. If it is a dump we will enjoy it best we can. I doubt we will be in our condo that much anyway. You live and learn. Looking forward to it and I appreciate all the comments!

dirtydeeds

Registered
11/24/2007

Posts
86

Re: Real Reviews of Sapphire Beach

May 31, 2015 09:48PM

Sapphire is far from a dump. You will find peeling paint, some trash and smell some dope all over this island. Big deal! I have been going to St Thomas a few times a year for the last 9 years and I wouldn't choose to go anywhere else. I have stayed at many of the time shares and other condos on the island and have always had a great time. The beaches are gorgeous, the people are friendly and the vibe is laid back. If you are someone who wants to be waited on and likes a Ritz Carlton sort of atmosphere, then you won't be happy and will find people rude and lazy because they don't jump up to serve you the minute you come in the room. My favorite beach is Coki and I have heard many people say how dangerous it is and how dirty it is. I understand that it may take ten years for a rusted out car to be removed from the parking lot, so what! It doesn't interfere with my enjoyment because I understand that life is not pristine anywhere and it's the same on St Thomas. If you prefer higher end properties, less things to do and to be surrounded by other white tourists and few locals, then go to St John. It is also a beautiful island and I have stayed there too, but I prefer St Thomas. Everyone has a right to their opinion. The bottom line is this. It depends on what kind of traveler you are. If you plan to have a great time and are friendly to those around you, you'll have a great time and make friends. If you are in a rush to get places and critical of everything around you, then stay in NYC (or whatever US City you come from). Rant over.

Lolly

Registered
06/30/2005

Posts
165

Re: Real Reviews of Sapphire Beach

June 07, 2015 12:54PM

WOW ! first of all look at the dates of the negative posters , what a coincidence that that many people would join the group and post these negative comments the 1 st time .

we have been going to STT for over 21 years , not every year but have had month long stays at Sapphire , also many trips staying at different resorts and condo complexes and Sapphire is our healing place...slow paced , the most beautiful beach on STT and the pool location couldn't be better .

If you want the Ritz Carlton experience then you might as well save some money and hit any Ritz in any resort area in the states . I don't want a crowded beach or pool , I don't need daily maid service nor over priced food or drinks .

over the years I have met many 1st timers at Sapphire and all say it won't be their last visit ! All the condos are individually owned and it is up to the owners to keep their condo in rental shape , the outside of the condos are being renovated and I noticed many improvements in our last visit in March . We have never had a bad experience with any of the condo owners , all were able to take care of any concerns we may have had ( not enough towels , no hot water etc )

we are now retired and plan on doing some traveling in our motor home but have " blacked out
" dates for STT , just no where compares to "our island"

mibarb

Registered
06/04/2007

Posts
53

Re: Real Reviews of Sapphire Beach

June 16, 2015 11:41AM

My favorite beach on St. Thomas. Can't wait till Saturday for a 2 week stay. The water at Sapphire is so beautiful and snorkeling is great. Been coming down for many years, feels like comming back home.

bluewater

Registered
07/27/2015

Posts
15

Re: Real Reviews of Sapphire Beach

July 27, 2015 08:57PM

We love renting at Sapphire - gorgeous beach with great snorkeling, not overrun with cruisers even on big ship days, and great views. No place else on STT or STJ puts you on the beach with the waves at night in a condo that you can rent from an owner. We rent beautiful units from an owner who also lives there.
The condo bldgs have been renovated, the pool is beautiful, the marina is very handy, and it's a 3 minute drive into Red Hook! The restaurant is still closed, but most of us buy groceries for breakfast and lunch on the balcony and enjoy eating out in RH. And the Banana Cabana has an amazing Mahi Mahi sandwich.
Doesn't get any better.

LB

Registered
09/18/2006

Posts
35

Re: Real Reviews of Sapphire Beach

August 04, 2015 11:33AM

I guess i am showing my age, but Sapphire Beach Resort was 5 a Star Resort when it was first opened. Hurricane Hugo and Marilyn changed all but the perfect island views. The lobby originally was breezy and wide opened, they had the first kids program on the island and 2 swimming pools. After the hurricanes they filled in the big pool with sand, it's that flat spot to the right now where some play volleyball. The current pool used to be the kiddy pool. The beach was wider too, once upon a time.

Also to bring in money they blocked off the lovely opened lobby to have bands and dancing in there. The whole island showed up for loud music on Sundays. Wild times. Not for everybody certainly.

beachboy

Registered
06/01/2007

Posts
98

Re: Real Reviews of Sapphire Beach

August 05, 2015 10:46AM

LB

I watched Sapphire Beach Resort and Marina being built and visited the beach for several years before the resort was built.
Prior to the current buildings there was an old hotel that was almost in the water. It was just behind where the seagrape trees are located. There was a shell of an old boat yard near where the current marina is located.

After years of planing and permitting construction began around 1986. The developers had to tear down the old hotel and enlarge the beach. The beach was never any larger than it is now with the possible minor shrinking from erosion along the shore. There were never two separate pools, the pools at the point have always been the only pools.

The lobby building is pretty much unchanged for many more years than anyone can remember. It was never blocked of for bands. The bands did play in the bar area near the beach and the Sunday beach party was legendary. I will agree that certain bands brought an undesirable element but they were soon dispatched.

The resort did have a very well used kids club and was the top resort on the island. The resort escaped relatively undamaged from hurricane Hugo and Marilyn and the resort was used to house the many FEMA workers that came to repair the rest of the island.

The economy changed and the original developers sold to a group that ran into financial problems. Things went down hill for a number of years but the incredible beauty of the beach has attracted new investment. The condo building are all to be refurbished and several have been done. There are plans to restore the developers property but legal disputes continue to delay the projects

So the same beautiful beach is still there and the condo buildings will soon look like new.


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