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Carambola- It's official

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SkysTheLimit
(@SkysTheLimit)
Trusted Member

It's Official. After a long process of improvements and red tape Carambola Beach Resort is now a Marriott Renaissance.
Attended the grand opening party last night and the place looks great.
The governor was there and made a short speech. Lots of good food and drink.

If you haven't been to Carambola in awhile you should check it out. That's such a nice spot and they've done tons of upgrading.

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Topic starter Posted : September 10, 2010 10:44 am
marlene
(@marlene)
Advanced Member

Thanks for the update. We went on Mothers day for their brunch and had a good experience. I like eating in the bar area alot better. The pool was nice and since then they closed it for renovations. Can't wait to see the place now.

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Posted : September 10, 2010 11:14 am
SkysTheLimit
(@SkysTheLimit)
Trusted Member

Marlene,
The pool looks amazing! They completely recoated it with Diamond Bright and retiled the deck with tumbled pavers. All new loungers etc. Among other things they completely gutted the lobby and it too looks great.
Maybe the biggest improvement is the employee attitudes. They must have put them all through customer service training.
Smiles aplenty(tu)

I hear they have a new chef and food/beverage manager. They served some beef tenderloin last night that easily cut with a fork and melted in your mouth. Yum!!

Edited to add:
They also installed a cell tower so cell phones will work. This was always a dead zone.

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Topic starter Posted : September 10, 2010 11:24 am
Bassman
(@bassman)
Advanced Member

Thanks for the update. We're staying there for a week the end of Nov./ first of Dec.. We always liked to stop in for a drink at the bar even if not staying there. My wife will be excited about the pool upgrades too.

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Posted : September 10, 2010 12:58 pm
LuckyGirl56
(@LuckyGirl56)
Advanced Member

The resort looks amazing! The rooms have all been re-done...marble and granite, flat screen tv's. The grounds have been re-done too. Alot of new landscaping, especially in the Great House (main part of the resort)...new flowering plants, shrubs, ground cover, rock gardens, etc. Ladies and men's rooms have been modernized w/granite countertops and all the mahogany has been refreshed. The front lobby has a whole new look, new furniture (very classy), flooring, and wall hangings. The pool bar has been updated and the pool & surrounding areas are gorgeous. All new pool furniture and chaise lounges. There's even a new dive shop, "Sweet Bottom Dive"--they have several full time dive instructors. The employees are friendlier than ever. Lots of great changes. Congrats to the owners on a job well done!

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Posted : September 10, 2010 2:28 pm
terry
(@terry)
Expert

Does this new cell tower help the cell service on the North Shore or just near the hotel?

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Posted : September 10, 2010 2:32 pm
Neil
 Neil
(@Neil)
Trusted Member

New menu at the bar restaurant.

And we've heard the room rates are going way up, though right now through Nov they are the same.

I just hope they don't become turds about locals parking in the lower lot and using the beach.
(Many of us also visit the restaurant for lunch and/or drinks while we're there.)

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Posted : September 10, 2010 2:40 pm
terry
(@terry)
Expert

Is the Fri (?) Sat night buffet any better. It was terrible a couple of years ago.

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Posted : September 10, 2010 4:18 pm
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
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Lucky Girl, are you sure ALL the rooms have been updated? I thought this was still a work in progress.

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Posted : September 10, 2010 4:21 pm
STXoldie
(@STXoldie)
Advanced Member

It's good to have an nice hotel other that The Buccaneer

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Posted : September 10, 2010 4:37 pm
SkysTheLimit
(@SkysTheLimit)
Trusted Member

Not all the rooms have renovated.
Still a work in progress but you can bet they will be done. The ones they've completed are super nice.

Of course with a Marriott name and reservation system the rates will be going up. Time will tell if they can keep it filled.
The Bucaneer rates on the website are $360 for a mountain view jr suite, up to $765 a night, so if that means anything they should be able to compete.

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Topic starter Posted : September 10, 2010 6:16 pm
SkysTheLimit
(@SkysTheLimit)
Trusted Member

New kitchen staff should improve the Pirate Buffet on Friday nights. If they continue to do it.
It's been hit or miss in the past.

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Topic starter Posted : September 10, 2010 6:35 pm
LuckyGirl56
(@LuckyGirl56)
Advanced Member

Linda J---no, not all the rooms at Carambola have been re-done. (My error in saying that). The majority of them are completed, with the remaining ones being renovated as we speak. Like Skys said, it's a work in progress.

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Posted : September 10, 2010 6:35 pm
SkysTheLimit
(@SkysTheLimit)
Trusted Member

Summer rates at the Buc from their website

Summer of 2010 Family Package
5 nights 6 nights 7 nights
$3441 $4130 $4818
That's $688 a night:-o

Not sure what the family package includes but seems to me for that price you could have a very nice 3 or 4 bedroom private villa for a week with a private pool and maid service.

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Topic starter Posted : September 10, 2010 6:48 pm
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

FYI, This is what the Buccaneer Family Special includes:

Package includes:

Two connecting oceanfront rooms with private patios (for up to two adults and four children under 18)
Full breakfast daily
Car rental for length of stay**
Kid's Camp daily for 4-12 year olds
Snorkeling, kayaks, floating mats, beach toys and games
Introduction to SCUBA lesson
Tuesday Managers Cocktail party with steel drums and Mocko Jumbie (stilt walkers)
Complimentary wireless internet in rooms and a courtesy lobby computer
Use of fitness rooms and jogging trail
Welcome gift
Late check-out
Rates, including taxes
Four nights $2567
Five nights $3441
Six Nights $4130
Seven Nights $4818

**Must be +25 years old and hold a valid drivers license and major credit card. Driving is on the left. Does not include gas, insurance and airport fees. Car is economy size. Upgrades may be available at extra charge. Car reservations and requests for upgrades must be made at the time of booking for this package.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am an employee of the Buccaneer's.

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Posted : September 10, 2010 7:11 pm
SkysTheLimit
(@SkysTheLimit)
Trusted Member

Nice package!

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Topic starter Posted : September 10, 2010 7:25 pm
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
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During these rough economic times I thnk almost everyone on STX has been trying to entice new travelers and lure back returning guests. it's been a tough year and we're not out of the woods yet. I do have to hand it to the current Commissioner of Tourism. She and her staff are working very hard to bring people to the USVI. There is presently a package available through certain wholesalers (Travelocity, Expedia, etc) sponsored by the DOT called Sizzilin Summer 2010. Lots of rebates and resort and restaurant credits. I know the Buccaneer is a partner and I think Carambola is too.

I've stayed in the new rooms at Carambola and they are beautiful. Good resorts are like good restaurants, you can never have too many!!

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Posted : September 10, 2010 7:33 pm
SkysTheLimit
(@SkysTheLimit)
Trusted Member

Well said

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Topic starter Posted : September 10, 2010 8:05 pm
GoodToGo
(@GoodToGo)
Trusted Member

Ah, that explains it. AT&T said they just finally put a tower up at Carambola last week as well as on at St. Georges (?)

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Posted : September 10, 2010 9:14 pm
stxdreamer
(@stxdreamer)
Advanced Member

It's good to have an nice hotel other that The Buccaneer

Competition is always good, but having said that . . . we are coming to STX for 2 weeks at Christmas/New Years and will be staying at the Buccaneer (our third visit in 4 years to the island, all at the Buccaneer). We are not "world travelers" by any measure, but we have traveled the Caribbean extensively, as well as the US and its major cities. We always try to stay at nice places.

The simple fact is that the Buccaneer is the nicest, best, or whatever else you want to call it, resort/hotel that we have ever stayed at . . . period. The service is what sets them apart from the competition--it is the most comfortable, friendliest feeling place we have ever stayed at. No, it is not cheap, but there are lots of places that cost more. If Carambola is raising itself up toward Buccaneer standards, that is good.

But STX ought to be proud that it has a place like the Buccaneer.

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Posted : September 10, 2010 10:31 pm
ms411
(@ms411)
Expert

Did I hear something about the VI government partially funding the renovation with funds from govt retirement? What return does VI govt get?

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Posted : September 10, 2010 11:54 pm
longtime
(@longtime)
Advanced Member

I seriously doubt that; the Gov't has not been able to open the Kings Alley hotel for several years and it was a viable entity when they took it over.
Pretty sure Carambola is all privately owned and financed.

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Posted : September 11, 2010 12:32 am
aussie
(@aussie)
Trusted Member

http://www.governordejongh.com/blog/2010/09/carambola-takes-on-new-life-as-brand-name-luxury-resort.html

"The construction was financed by a $15 million investment from the Virgin Islands Government Employees Retirement System."

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Posted : September 11, 2010 12:47 am
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

Retirement systems invest in such things all the time. I'm part of the Kentucky Retirement System and I know they have many such investments. Although it sounds like "government investment" it is different.

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Posted : September 11, 2010 9:39 am
longtime
(@longtime)
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