Westin Seashore Resort & Spa at Frenchman’s Reef assessment

Whereas the Caribbean is not any stranger to stormy seas, 2017 was a very troublesome yr, bringing not one however two devastating Class 5 hurricanes to St. Thomas — and each storms did severe injury to the beloved cliffside resort space lengthy often known as Frenchman’s Reef.

After years of renovation, although, Marriott has lastly restored the resort to — and arguably far past — its former glory, debuting two sister properties: a Westin, which sits perched excessive up on the cliff overlooking St. Thomas Harbor to at least one facet and the Caribbean Sea to the opposite; and Morningstar Buoy Haus, a part of Marriott’s Autograph Assortment, a smaller property consisting of ocean-facing villas nestled proper alongside the shoreline. The spectacular pair even made our annual listing of the perfect new resort openings of 2023.

Visitors at each of those Marriott outposts can float between the properties as they please since they share most facilities, which actually makes it really feel like your {dollars} (or factors) are going a bit additional. With comfy, largely water-facing rooms and loads of each on- and off-site actions to select from, the Westin at Frenchman’s Reef seems like a paradise for households, {couples} and mates searching for a fun-filled, stress-free getaway on this picturesque nook of the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Nonetheless, remember that it is a bustling resort, particularly through the excessive season when weddings and occasions are in full swing throughout the property. Whereas it by no means felt crowded throughout my latest winter keep — there’s loads of room to unfold out — the eating places and customary areas did really feel very busy at instances

I checked into The Westin Seashore Resort & Spa at Frenchman’s Reef for 4 days this winter to expertise this long-anticipated resort makeover. Learn on for particulars about what this Marriott property presents vacationers and Bonvoy loyalists trying to find an idyllic Caribbean getaway.

What’s The Westin Seashore Resort & Spa at Frenchman’s Reef?


Previously the Frenchman’s Reef Marriott Resort, the property was initially inbuilt 1973 and has, for many years, remained a beloved U.S. Virgin Islands vacation spot, drawing new and veteran vacationers to its cliffside locale for many years. When hurricanes Irma and Maria hit St. Thomas in 2017, the property was pressured to shut its doorways as a result of injury, as was the case at close by Morningstar Seashore Resort, now named Morningstar Buoy Haus Seashore Resort at Frenchman’s Reef, Autograph Assortment (additionally now owned by Marriott).

So started the sluggish strategy of a five-year, $425-million-dollar renovation, leading to these refurbished side-by-side inns on a few of St. Thomas’s most prime actual property. Each resorts provide an elevated hospitality expertise and fall underneath Marriott’s premium tier of inns, however the Westin has a specific give attention to well-being, whereas Buoy Haus is a little bit quieter and focused extra towards adults and honeymooners.


Formally opened in September of 2023, the Westin Seashore Resort & Spa at Frenchman’s Reef consists of 392 rooms unfold amongst a multibuilding resort. With 5 eating places, a spa, three swimming pools and lots of frequent areas, there’s loads of room to unfold out throughout the property — made even sweeter by the truth that company can wander all the way down to Morningstar Buoy Haus at their leisure to get pleasure from many of the facilities (besides the infinity pool) there, too.

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Tips on how to guide The Westin Seashore Resort & Spa at Frenchman’s Reef

As Frenchman’s Reef is situated inside the U.S. Virgin Islands, drawing crowds of American vacationers, peak dates will replenish shortly, and the costs will mirror the vacation spot’s recognition. Relying on the date, you possibly can guide a backyard view king visitor room at this Westin for as few as 62,000 Marriott Bonvoy factors (value round $521 based mostly on TPG valuations). The day by day necessary vacation spot cost of $75 consists of Wi-Fi, two welcome drinks per room (although I by no means acquired mine), dawn seashore yoga periods, limitless use of snorkel tools and nonmotorized sports activities leases. Sadly, Marriott doesn’t waive resort charges on award stays.

Money charges will fluctuate based mostly on the season, too. In September 2024, thought of the offseason within the Caribbean, you possibly can guide a garden-view king visitor room for as little as $493 an evening. Nonetheless, through the standard winter months, room charges usually begin across the $700 mark.

Since this property is a part of Marriott Bonvoy, the easiest way to guide at Frenchman’s Reef is to make use of one of many bank cards that earn essentially the most factors for Marriott stays, in addition to one that gives computerized Marriott Bonvoy elite standing that may yield useful perks throughout your keep. Think about one in every of these:

  • Marriott Bonvoy Good® American Specific® Card: Earn 6 factors per greenback spent on eligible purchases at inns collaborating within the Marriott Bonvoy program, computerized Platinum Elite standing and 25 elite night time credit per yr towards a better tier.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Specific® Card: Earn 6 factors per greenback spent on eligible purchases at inns collaborating within the Marriott Bonvoy program, computerized Gold Elite standing and 15 elite night time credit per yr towards a better tier.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful Card: Earn 6 factors per greenback spent on eligible purchases at inns collaborating within the Marriott Bonvoy program, computerized Gold Elite standing and 15 elite night time credit per yr towards a better tier.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Enterprise® American Specific® Card: Earn 6 factors per greenback spent on eligible purchases at inns collaborating within the Marriott Bonvoy program, computerized Gold Elite standing and 15 elite night time credit per yr towards a better tier.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit score Card: Earn 6 factors per greenback spent on eligible purchases at inns collaborating within the Marriott Bonvoy program, computerized Silver Elite standing and 15 elite night time credit per yr towards a better tier.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Daring Credit score Card: Earn 3 factors per greenback spent on eligible purchases at inns collaborating within the Marriott Bonvoy program, computerized Silver Elite standing and 15 elite night time credit per yr towards a better tier.

The knowledge for the Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful and the Marriott Bonvoy Daring playing cards has been collected independently by The Factors Man. The cardboard particulars on this web page haven’t been reviewed or supplied by the cardboard issuer.

An unbeatable location not too removed from city


You could be hard-pressed to discover a view higher than the one from the Westin’s infinity pool. Effectively, the view from the seashore at Morningstar Buoy Haus is fairly good, too — however contemplating company have entry to each inns at some stage in their keep, you will not really feel such as you need to go away the twin property (except it is to enterprise into the ocean through boat, which could be organized by the resort’s exercise companions, Crimson Hospitality and Leisure, situated at a desk in the primary foyer).

The resort is a fast 20-minute drive (simply 5 miles) from St. Thomas’s most important airport, Cyril E. King Worldwide Airport (STT). Visitors can seize a cab (round $40) or organize pickup from the resort’s airport shuttle ($42 per individual).

Whereas there’s loads to do between the 2 Marriott properties, from taking out Hobie cats and snorkeling proper off the seashore to indulging in spa therapies and splashing in one of many many swimming pools, those that need to go into city could need to contemplate renting a automotive (word that day by day valet parking is $35 per day on the Westin). In any other case, the easiest way to get to different components of the island might be through taxi (as a result of winding roads right here and the numerous steep inclines, biking just isn’t frequent or really useful).

Visitors have direct entry to each the seashore and the dock

While you drive up the winding street to the Frenchman’s Reef compound, which totals 20 acres, you will see the Westin to the appropriate, which is made up of three buildings (together with an ocean-facing tower), after which you possibly can drive down the opposite facet of the cliff to the gathering of beachfront villas that make up Morningstar Buoy Haus. A bit shuttle operates each 10-Quarter-hour, taking company between the 2 inns, however those that need to stroll can simply achieve this as every little thing is related by ocean-facing staircases. It’s also possible to attain the seashore by strolling and utilizing an elevator — although I did not see an elevator resulting in the dock (simply the seashore).


From the Westin foyer, company can stroll down a set of stairs that lead on to a dock, the place a number of boats operated by the resort are moored. Excursions on these boats, like sundown catamaran sails and personal snorkel journey charters, could be booked on the Crimson Hospitality desk.

To succeed in the seashore, Westin company can both take the free shuttle or take the aforementioned stairs — what I might name the scenic route — that descend the cliff to the Morningstar Buoy Haus seashore. (Professional tip: Take the steps on the best way down and the shuttle on the best way up except you need a good uphill exercise after some seashore time!) As soon as on the shore, you will discover two areas with cabanas, umbrellas, chaise lounges and exercise huts the place towels, snorkel gear, kayaks and Hobie cats could be checked out.

Regardless of one of many resort’s largest attracts being its proximity to the ocean, the seashore was comparatively uncrowded in contrast with the property’s swimming pools, particularly within the late morning and late afternoon. On my first day, I bee-lined it to the seashore round 4 p.m. and there have been solely three or 4 different folks there.

Swim in not 1, not 2, however 3 ocean-facing swimming pools

That is proper — glimmering swimming pools abound at this sprawling seaside resort. Westin company may have entry to the three Westin swimming pools, and there actually is an choice for everybody. The adults-only infinity pool, which is the smallest of the three, overlooks the ocean and includes a full-service swim-up bar.


The primary pool is the most important one, and is surrounded by the resort’s signature white-and-orange umbrellas and reservable cabanas — and there are even personal, air-conditioned indoor rooms you possibly can lease just some steps from the pool deck for an escape from the solar when you do not need to go all the best way again to your visitor room. This pool is the only option for households, because it includes a splash zone for the kiddos.

The third pool is the adults-only Serenity Pool, situated exterior the spa and overlooking the harbor. That is the quietest pool (I hardly noticed anybody utilizing it throughout my keep) and includes a chilly plunge, a scorching tub, umbrella-covered chaise lounges and a smaller cabana space.

Word that there’s an infinity pool proper on the seashore at Morningstar Buoy Haus, however this pool is reserved just for Morningstar company.

Spa-seekers might be in good palms (actually)

The Westin model is thought for its signature Heavenly Spas, and my time on the one at Frenchman’s Reef was far and away probably the greatest components of my keep. I appreciated that the spa makes use of merchandise from an area, woman-owned model, Good T’ings.


The roughly 10,000-square-foot area, tucked right into a ground-level nook of the harbor-facing facet of the property, has a lightweight and ethereal leisure room overlooking the Serenity Pool.

Visitors can unwind in a floating chair or stretch out on an opulent chaise lounge whereas having fun with a choice of natural teas or infused waters earlier than heading into one of many 14 soothing therapy rooms (one in every of which is a {couples} therapy room).

Remedies embrace traditional leisure massages and facials, in addition to extra cutting-edge and domestically impressed therapies like an natural enzyme peel facial or a seaweed physique therapy. Salon companies like haircuts, make-up and waxing will quickly be obtainable, however the property’s salon continues to be underneath building.

After a morning spent bobbing within the Caribbean Sea, I opted for the hourlong scorching stone therapeutic massage, which put me right into a euphoric post-swim state of leisure because of the nice and cozy basalt stones, knowledgeable strain and soothing important oils.

Following my therapy, I wasted no time slipping into the side-by-side sauna and steam room (each the lads’s and girls’s locker rooms have a set).


There’s loads of area to roam

Widespread areas proliferate on the Westin Seashore Resort & Spa at Frenchman’s Reef. The expansive foyer, which options undulating couches, distinctive hanging lighting fixtures, textured partitions and plenty of greenery (together with a dwelling plant wall), is a well-liked place for company to hang around. There’s additionally a handy hydration station the place you possibly can replenish water bottles and a library with books, handmade pottery and native knickknacks.

Each route appears to result in a water-facing vista, so if you’re strolling between areas, there are nearly all the time views in a number of instructions. Whereas many company come to the property for trip, there have been additionally a number of convention and occasion areas, smaller work rooms and locations to make a cellphone name close to the foyer.

Rooms and suites function pared-back decor, lovely views and (typically) balconies

There are a handful of room and suite sorts on the Westin: garden-view rooms, partial ocean-view rooms, ocean-view rooms, terrace ocean-view rooms, ocean-view suites, bi-level ocean-view suites and one Governors Suite.

Earlier than my journey, I envisioned waking as much as a sweeping panorama from a non-public balcony, and that’s precisely what I received with the ocean-view suite, which includes a bed room with a king mattress; a separate dwelling space with a pullout couch, tv and desk; a full lavatory; and — the cherry on high — a sea-facing balcony with two separate seating areas and hanging views of the yacht-dotted harbor and luxurious mountains of St. Thomas.

The suite felt, like a lot of the remainder of the property, filled with pure mild, earth tones and marine motifs. Instantly upon getting into, the toilet was to the left, after which a brief corridor led into the spacious front room, which consisted of a double-door closet, a desk space, a pullout sofa with a espresso desk and two chairs and a tv set over a console which held a espresso machine and minifridge.

The double-door closet in the lounge was the primary storage space of the suite. There have been cabinets and loads of area to hold clothes, however I discovered it odd that there was no folding baggage holder. This closet can be the place towels, further rest room paper, a hair dryer, the protected and a steamer have been stored, in addition to further robes.

By way of a door to the appropriate was the bed room with glass sliding doorways to the balcony from each the lounge and the bed room, permitting for ample mild to pour into the suite all through the day. Suite sizes vary from a beneficiant 625 sq. ft to 820 sq. ft, and due to all of the pure mild and the partitions of glass doorways, I might say they really feel even larger. The balcony had a cushty sofa with a cushioned chair on one facet and a little bit desk with smaller chairs on the opposite, tailored for having fun with a morning espresso or nightcap overlooking the harbor.

The decor all through was tasteful and minimal, actually drawing the attention to the floor-to-ceiling views of the water and mountains past. Wall artwork and cute accents impressed by the pure environment included a serene seashore portray hung above the sofa, bronze floral wall sconces in the lounge and a seashell mirror within the bed room. The colour palette all through the area was impartial, that includes many earth tones and ranging patterns harking back to ocean waves and sand simply past the suite.

The mattress was extraordinarily comfy because of the signature Westin Heavenly Mattress and featured 4 fluffy pillows and a comforter, although I did not want it, given the 80-degree temperatures exterior.

Every bedside desk had a small lamp, and one facet had an alarm clock console with USB-A and USB-C shops. There have been customary energy shops on the wall behind every bedside desk. A big 65-inch flat-screen TV (the identical because the one in the lounge) held on the wall simply in entrance of the mattress.

Bogs are easy however enough

Given the scale of my suite — the dwelling area felt cavernous, even — I might anticipated a big lavatory, but it surely was really fairly small. Regardless of this, it was superb for my wants, contemplating I spent most of my time within the suite ensconced in one of many balcony’s two cozy seating areas.


The lavatory had a shiny granite countertop that ran the size of a protracted mirror, which was bordered with LED strips. There have been two sinks; a basket holding vainness units, washcloths and Westin model lotion; and two water glasses. Beneath the counter was a set of six picket drawers, although once I tried to open one, the deal with got here off. This gave the impression to be the one drawer-style cupboard space within the suite, although I did not use it as a result of it felt finicky. There have been customary U.S. energy shops on both facet of the countertop.

Reverse the counter was the white-tiled walk-in bathe with a rainfall-style showerhead and a detachable wand showerhead. Shampoo, conditioner and physique wash, affixed to the wall, have been Westin-branded and got here in a nice white tea perfume. Subsequent to the bathe was a small wash closet with a separate door, that includes the bathroom and a small trash can.

Various eating choices

Between the Westin and the Morningstar Buoy Haus, there are eight eating places: 5 on the Westin and three at Buoy Haus. Remember the fact that some are seashore or poolside bars, not essentially sit-down eating places, and one is a grab-and-go fashion cafe and comfort retailer (Frenchman’s Roast). Top-of-the-line components of eating at both the Westin and Morningstar Buoy Haus is the truth that a great portion of the eateries are both fully exterior or provide out of doors seating, placing you as near the seashore, or at the very least views of it, as doable.


For breakfast, I attempted Shorebird (situated on the Westin) a number of instances. This buffet-style restaurant sits in a brightly lit area overlooking the ocean and presents breakfast and brunch till 11 a.m. ($34 for the breakfast buffet, a la carte gadgets priced individually). Remember the fact that it is one in every of two sit-down breakfast choices (the opposite, Salt Shack, being down at Morningstar Buoy Haus), so it’s standard with Westin company, and the road for a desk could be very lengthy — at some point, I needed to wait about 20 minutes to sit down down.

The breakfasts right here did not blow me away, however they have been simply superb for getting the day began, and the espresso was excellent. There have been loads of pastries, contemporary fruit and selections of scorching meals like eggs Benedict, bacon, sausage and waffles. Nonetheless, I seen that my picks from the new meals part weren’t precisely scorching, extra lukewarm, however the meals nonetheless tasted good.

My favourite meal was at Sugarfin, the sushi and rum bar. Right here, you possibly can sit indoors close to the bustling bar or out on the patio overlooking the harbor, which was an particularly pretty place to be throughout sundown and properly into the night when the water under sparkled underneath the moon, and the mountains past twinkled with lights from personal properties. From the menu, I sampled yellowfin tuna poke nachos ($22), a Caribbean roll consisting of tuna, unagi and jalapeno ($22) and a scrumptious mai tai ($14). The seafood was extremely contemporary, and all of the flavors got here collectively superbly.

I extremely advocate visiting the bar at Sugarfin, which is just gorgeous — and the place to be at nighttime for those who’re seeking to socialize.


The opposite can’t-miss restaurant, in my guide, is Luna Mar, which presents coastal Mediterranean delicacies and places company outdoor, proper above the 2 most important swimming pools and with a main view of the ocean and the sundown. On the hunt for extra seafood, I opted for the contemporary mussels ($26) as an appetizer — the broth was scrumptious and savory and got here with a garlicky toast level — adopted by a flavorful roasted native younger hen served with sauteed kale, fingerling potatoes and creme fraiche ($30). All the components tasted contemporary.

The resort health club is value a go to

It may appear foolish to think about spending time inside whereas visiting this slice of Caribbean paradise however belief me once I say that the health club is value a go to for many who need to break a sweat away from the solar. The spacious room overlooks the harbor and mountains, and every time I went, it was fully (or almost) empty, that means that I had loads of room to unfold out and my decide of machines and weights. Plus, there’s one thing particular about understanding in a health club with brand-new tools.

Simply exterior the health club, you will see tennis and pickleball courts, which could be reserved within the foyer.


The explanation why The Westin Seashore Resort & Spa at Frenchman’s Reef may not be for you

Whereas this St. Thomas gem is simply that, a gem, it nonetheless may not be for each kind of traveler.

I encountered many households and enormous teams throughout my keep since there have been two weddings and a enterprise convention through the four-day span that I used to be there — plus, it was simply earlier than Christmas, so peak season. This meant plenty of exercise within the frequent areas with of us milling about in every single place you appeared. Vacationers on the lookout for an expensive adults-only getaway or a quiet trip the place they do not encounter different company usually will need to look elsewhere.

Within the foyer, wait instances for the entrance desk have been usually round 10-Quarter-hour due to the lengthy line except I went round meal time or very first thing within the morning. The 2 main swimming pools (the infinity pool and the primary pool, which features a kids’s space) have been very crowded most instances of the day. Nonetheless, an adults-only pool is situated exterior the spa for these on the lookout for respite from the exercise.

Whereas service was typically good, and the employees have been all pleasant, issues moved very slowly within the eating places. On my first day, I figured it was simply due to how busy the resort was, however I noticed all through my keep that comparatively sluggish eating service was the norm at each Morningstar Buoy Haus and the Westin, it doesn’t matter what time of day I dined.

I usually needed to flag down a waiter to examine on the standing of one thing I ordered or remind them that I might requested for a drink or a glass of water. The timing with meal companies was a bit off — typically it will be 20 or half-hour between an appetizer and entree, after which on one event my entree got here properly earlier than I might completed my appetizer. I might attribute this to rising pains, seeing because the resort was solely in its third month of operation and it was peak season.

Lastly, for those who want small, easy-to-navigate resorts, this Westin property might not be for you. Understanding which eating places and areas have been on which flooring took some getting used to, and as a result of common vastness of the property (which might definitely be seen as an asset), company ought to anticipate a great little bit of strolling. For instance, for those who’re staying in a collection situated within the Ocean Tower however need to get to Shorebird for breakfast, you will need to cross the foyer and take an elevator to the alternative facet of the resort. Or, for those who’re staying in a harbor-facing suite, getting all the best way to the seashore at Morningstar Buoy Haus takes a great Quarter-hour, relying on whether or not you stroll or look forward to the shuttle. I did not thoughts getting my steps in and ingesting within the views alongside the best way, although.



The Westin Seashore Resort & Spa has fairly just a few options for vacationers with accessibility wants and the grounds are typically navigable through wheelchair, apart from reaching the dock space. Spacious, wheelchair-friendly elevators are situated all through the property on each flooring, and the resort swimming swimming pools have self-operating lifts and sloped entrances. Service animals are welcome at this resort, too. Widespread areas such because the health club, enterprise heart, spa, assembly heart and eating places are accessible and may accommodate wheelchairs.

Accessible visitor rooms function bogs with bathtub seize rails and bathtub seats, roll-in showers, switch showers, adjustable hand-held bathe wands and bathroom seats at wheelchair peak. Different accessibility options embrace alarm clock phone ringers, closed-caption TVs, flashing door titties, hearing-accessible kits, lowered deadbolts on doorways and lowered electrical shops. To make sure you get lodging that meet your wants, contact the resort on to make your reserving.

Testing of The Westin Seashore Resort & Spa at Frenchman’s Reef


A visit to St. Thomas will solely be sweetened by reserving a room or suite at this lovely new Westin, a property value planning a visit round if you would like direct seashore and ocean entry, a resort brimming with facilities and ample on- and off-site actions. Whether or not you are seeking to guide a toes-in-the-sand trip with the children or a grown-up getaway with mates, the varied kinds of room and suite choices and the entry to the close by sister property make this an interesting property for a lot of several types of vacationers and journeys.

You possibly can spend the whole period of your keep, as I did, on the property and really feel like there’s loads to do (and eat!), or you possibly can guide taxis or a automotive to wander farther afield. These with a bigger funds ought to completely plan a ship journey through the resort’s exercise desk, as getting out on the water is the easiest way to discover the encircling coves, islands and sweetness that St. Thomas presents. Vacationers who’ve missed Frenchman’s Reef will delight at this contemporary tackle a traditional vacation spot, and newcomers will possible go away desirous to plan their subsequent journey again to this heavenly nook of the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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