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Elysian vs. Frenchman's Cove St. Thomas

dogwood7

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We are going to St. Thomas late June early July 2012. I am going to rent from an owner at either the Elysian or Frenchman's Cove. Both have great reviews. I am asking for your opinions. I am thinking that the Frenchman's Cove may be better since we have 3 kids-15,10,and 7 (more to do). However, I read that it is more crowded and the shuttle system takes a little while to travel to and from the other properties.The Elysian seems great too. However, I realize they have no activities for the kids. I read somewhere that the Elysian has a free shuttle into town and to one of the beaches. Is this correct? I also read that someone staying at the Elysian got access to the Ritz Carlton pools and beach. Is this true as well? What about the parking situation since we will be renting a car?
Thank you for any information.
 

islandguy

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Elysian is the better of the two if you want a non congested vacation. I go to the Elysian 3 times a year and was there last week and will be there again tomorrow. No shuttles that I know of-- a few years back they had them. Beach is better at the Elysian and snorkling is better also. Pools are about the same. Frenchman's Cove have better accomdations and is closer to the downtown. Need a car at Elysian if you want to do things.

If you are going to rent then I would skip the St. Thomas island and go to the Westin on St. John. I also go here twice a year and I'm on propertry right now. My advise is rent from an owner and it should be about the same. There are kid activities and the Westin is a wonderful resort. Plus the beaches are the best.

Just my two cents.
 

Lardan

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My whole family enjoyed the beach and snorkeling at the Elysian very much. We did spend a day at Frenchmen's Cove and thought the pool was too crowded with the snorkeling pretty poor. After saying that the Marriott is a beautiful resort, but overall when we go back it will be to Elysian. Also enjoyed going over to use the facilities at the Wyndham Sugar Bay, the kids loved the pool.

Regardless of which one I would pick we think a rental car is a must. That will be a whole experience by itself.


The Westin I know nothing about, but it appears to be a beautiful resort.
 

GregT

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Marriott: Maui Ocean Club Lahaina Villas (3BRx5), Ko Olina, Shadow Ridge II, Willow Ridge, Aruba Ocean Club, DC Points HGVC: Flamingo, Sea World, I-Drive, Starwood Bella (x4), SDO, TradeWinds, Worldmark
I know the Elysian quite well (and love it) and have visited Frenchman's Cove for a tour. The rooms themselves at MFC are much better, as you would expect from a Marriott versus a Wyndham. If the comforts of a room are important to -- or proximity to the Marriott's amenties are important, than MFC is your clear choice.

However, I am a big fan of the Elysian. We were there this last January, and the new room renovations are lovely. The beach itself (at Cowpet Bay, where the Elysian is) is a very nice, basic Caribbean beach. It's not Magen's Bay or Sapphire Beach, but we happily spent many many hours there doing what we do best on vacation, which is basically nothing. The pool at Elysian is better than an apartment pool, and comparable to (if not modestly better than) the MFC pool. But both are more than adequate.

There are no kids activities at Elysian, but Elysian is very close to Redhook, and if you're going to do an excursion into the BVI, it's nice to be in the neighborhood. The property does not have privileges at the Ritz Carlton, but you can walk next door for dinner, etc, just not to use their plush beach amenities (although I do believe it is a public beach and you could bring your own towel).

I've written two of the recent Elysian reviews, and I think its TUG rating of 7.6 (I rated 8.0 - 8.5) is accurate. MFC's rating of 9.0+ is likely higher due to the much nicer room amenities, but that may not be the deciding factor for you while you're exploring the island.

Feel free to PM with your email address and I can send you a few pics from the Elysian, I really like that property, and bought Wyndham specifically for access to it.

Best,

Greg
 

GregT

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Dogwood,

In re-reading your original post, I note the age of your kids -- the Elysian (at least thru Wyndham) is only Studio units. However, the property also has full-year round ownership for a number of the condo's, so perhaps you are renting directing from an owner, and are getting a 2BR?

If so, that's interesting to know, and perhaps you can inquire what the building/room is? Some of the condo's have spectacular locations, and I can send you a room map too.

Best,

Greg
 

MuranoJo

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For what it's worth: Years ago, before t/s for us, DH booked a package deal that landed us at Elysian. We thought it was a great hangout, with a very nice little beach. This was where I had my first diving experience with lessons and then a fairly shallow dive to try it out.

The unit (I believe it was 1 bd), seemed really nice to us (inexperienced t/s visitors).
 

oper035

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I have never been to the Elysian so I cannot comment on it. However, as an owner at the Frenchman Cove
and as a parent of three children myself (15, 13 & 12) I will say that they have always had plenty to do.
There is the pool with its slide, volleyball on the slide side of the pool (what some of us have dubbed “the kids side”).
On the bay you have the iceberg & trampoline which are BIG hits with kids (adults alike). The newly re-furbished dock
Is also a nice hangout and jumping spot for them.
Although the cove pool / beach areas are not that big by some standards it is quite sufficient for all. Frankly, I think its size is ideal for the amount of units that it will eventually house when completed.
As a parent the idea that I can almost always see my child (teen) regardless if I’m in the pool, poolside or at the beach lounging,
Is big plus. The calm waters have some decent snorkeling, not so much in what you will see as far as reefs but more in the fish.

The Frenchman Cove also has the M.A.Z.E.(Marriott Activity Zone) with most activities geared to younger kids but some for teens.
I also find that most of the teens keep busy amongst other teens that they meet at the resort.

As far a crowded I have never had any issues with crowds. Although it can at times become crowded,
I have never experienced it to be a hindrance. One thing about the Cove is that a high percentage of people use it
As a base, as they do day trips. The busy times tend to be around late afternoon, right around Happy Hour,
but know one really seems to mind.:)

I have only used the shuttle to the adjacent Marriott property twice, each time with no issues.
We always rent a car(highly recommended) and take the 3 minute drive down to the Marriott Morningstar Beach Resort,
Which is part of the Marriott Frenchman Reef Hotel.

Either way St. Thomas is a beautiful island and you sure to enjoy!
 

jimf41

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I'm an owner at the Cove also. Both resorts have good and bad points. The things I like about the Elysian are the great restaurant and bar, close proximity to Red Hook and the ferries to St John and the tranquil setting. It's just a nice quiet place with a nice shady beach. It's also close to our favorite St Thomas beach, Smith Bay.

I've never been in a room there so I can't comment on their size or quality but I've never read anything bad about them like some other resorts on St Thomas. The one thing that I don't like is they don't have elevators. You could be on a high floor and have to walk up every day. That can be a pain as far as grocery shopping is concerned.

A car is a necessity at either location IMO. oper035 did a good job summarizing the Cove so I'll just add that while the Elysian doesn't have elevators lots of folks at the Cove complain about having to use them.

Any place you choose the Elysian, the Cove or even the Westin SJ I think you're going to like. You are in one of the most beautiful places in the Caribbean after all.

A final thought on shopping. The Cove is much closer to the shopping areas if that's what floats your boat. I consider it a plus that the Elysian is far away from that.
 

slabeaume

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My daughter and son-in-law stayed at the Elysian in Sept and really loved it. They didn't rent a car, so relied on the shuttle. At that time, there was a free shuttle to REd Hook (the Elysian restuarant was closed for renovations). They didn't know if the shuttle was there just because the restaurant was closed or if it always was there. They, too, bragged about the snorkeling there at Cowpet Bay where the Elysian is. They also walked over the the Ritz for dinner or lunch a couple times.
 

lobsterlover

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I just returned from the Cove. We spent New Years week there which I thought would be packed. I was really surprised at how the hotel did not seem busy. There were tons of chairs available around the pool all day.
There were no problems with the resort shuttle and the units were top notch.
We are already however, looking for a rental on St. John for next winter. We really enjoyed it more. The island as a whole was not as crowded as St. Thomas....I'm talking beaches, traffic, etc.
 
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