Current Condition of Caneel Bay: A Quick Golf Cart Ride

Current Condition of Caneel Bay: A Quick Golf Cart Ride 1
Caneel Bay, Summer 2019 File Photo

So last week, my other half and I happened to have a day off on the same day. Dalton also happened to have a date with several of his friends at playgroup, so we hopped in the Jeep and headed over to Caneel Bay.

As you likely know by now, you’re not allowed on the property except to take a golf cart ride (for $10 roundtrip) to Honeymoon Beach. Honeymoon is pretty full service these days, so that’s where we chose to spend our afternoon.

Knowing that you are all probably curious about the current condition of Caneel Bay, we took out our iPhone and filmed. Now please keep in mind that we were on a golf cart on a very bumpy road, so this video isn’t our best work. But you can slow it down or pause some sections and see for yourselves what the area from the entrance, past ZoZo’s, the gelato shop, the restaurants, and down the trail to Honeymoon currently looks like. We even added some fun music to the background for you. This is one video where the music really adds to it, so turn up the volume if you can. 🙂 Please take a little over five minutes to check it out.

Want to read out past stories about Caneel Bay? Click here to do so.

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41 thoughts on “Current Condition of Caneel Bay: A Quick Golf Cart Ride”

    • Everyone Always knew that it was going to be an Extra Special Day in paradise,when you were able to spend the day there. And often it was spenvisting visting company or on a holiday on the beach, with all the statewide vacationers. Always approaching how so blessed you were ,since you could spend the day there, for the cost of a ferry ride over and enjoying your lunch of delicious pates,that you picked up in Cruz Bay for $ 2.00. Thdid lucious buffet tto
      was not in our budget ,most times… I was fortunate enough to visit monthly. As I sold my artwork in their gift shop,steps from the beach. I /we hopped over ,on the ferry to restock and collect my check…lol!! Truly sweet..lol! The ferry ride across was glorious in itself ! Following Maria, I saw Arial videos taken after the massive destruction ….. No Words ..So seeing this and knowing it has been basically abandon ,tied up in legal issues..?? since , left to the elements and in complete disrepair. Heartbreaking , is an understatement..but seeing this ,was sadly not unexpected .

  1. Yes, when your video started I did chuckle at your choice of musical pairing! By the end of the video, I had tears in my eyes.
    Very sad to see the state of that property…..
    …on a humorous note; it’s too bad those tacky mushroom looking sidewalk lights survived! Always hated those damn things!
    USVI Strong

    • No, the water taxi is no more. But definitely get to the entrance and take the shuttle to Honeymoon. Or hike out to Honeymoon from Cruz Bay, and take the shuttle out to the Caneel entrance then a taxi back to Cruz Bay.

  2. I agree with Cathy. Such a shame to see, very sad indeed. But I also thought your choice of the theme song from Jurassic Park was very appropriate!!! Great work, Jean.

  3. Love your music!
    It’s disgusting that beautiful Caneel is being held hostage while the current “vender” negotiates to steal it from the National Park. Greed is slowly destroying the natural beauty of Love City.

  4. Absolutely ridiculous the current owners are allowed to let this continue in its current state, with no repercussions. No words. You can see much of the devastation up close on Scott beach if you come in from the water. Thanks Jenn for staying on this and reminding us of what a debacle the current owners have allowed this situation to escalate to, all in the name of the bottom line and their investors. They should be ashamed. *New website looks great BTW!

    • Just took the golf cart ride this week from the entrance to Caneel to Honeymoon Beach and back. We spent our honeymoon at Caneel in 1971 and since retirement have gone back every year, staying at Scott Beach. Would have liked to see what Scott Beach looks like today along with our room there. It looks like nature is taking back what used to be a very pristinely kept and beautiful property. Gallows Point is a great substitute, but we are missing the 4:00 o’clock tea at Caneel.

  5. While this is difficult to see…this a island. Everything must be brought in. They have done a tremendous job on most of the island. The expenses would probably knock us over…they have not given up..don’t you…understand new Orleans hasn’t finished their tough task, why would you think these folks could…feel bad? Go give money, give up some time and help fix this…..before you complain think about how far the island has come they are not ignoring this or Lazy ..just pooped

  6. Thanks, Jen. Nice to get a peek inside Caneel, but very sad. Did they prevent you from stopping on the road to get a closer look at Caneel beach? Jurassic Park, perfect choice of music for that ride.

  7. The wildness of the whole area takes me back 50 years, my first trip to St. John. Theme from Jurassic Park will always remind of this video. Thank you so much for sharing this. PS My daughter’s middle name is Caneel.

  8. Wow. So sad! Many great memories of my years working there back in the 70-80’s. Nothing lasts forever they say…. We that knew Caneel in its glorious heyday, will always have our memories of it. And for that I am thankful.

  9. Circumstances and political stuff aside, it’s so sad to see ruin just laying idle. Not unlike Concordia, I wish it would either get fixed, or cleaned up and returned to the Park. Anything but this….. 🙁

  10. My family has been traveling to St. John regularly over the past 10 years. It is the most beautiful island we have ever seen. Caneel Bay Resort was also beautiful but it was not being used as per the original purpose. Rockefeller specifically donated Caneel (which was where his family compound was located) so everyone could also see the beauty of the island. Unfortunately, our government made a deal with corporate America in which it became a money grab. Caneel Bay was priced to where it excluded most visitors to the island and cheated St. John through unfair tax distribution. Since the storms hit the ridiculous deal made for Caneel Bay has come to light and thanks to your site for educating many on this. This is a real tragedy but it also reflects the greed of the elite in Washington and corporate America. Now it’s left in ruins while the next money grab gets negotiated.

  11. I have tears in my eyes as I watch this. Such a beautiful property going to waste because of the greed of the management company.
    I love your choice of music… Keep doing what you do to keep the rest of us informed.

  12. Oh my goodness! My husband and I were there this summer and saw it for the first time post hurricanes from our dinghy. Our exact thoughts were – JURRASIC PARK! haha. It is disheartening that it looks like that. But thank you for the ride!

  13. My wife and I will be on St. John next week. So we can drive our rental car to Caneel Bay to park and catch the golf cart to Honeymoon? And is it $10 one way or round trip? It is so sad to see the condition. My kids loved swimming at Caneel and I always enjoyed eating there too! This will be my first trip back in 5+ years.

    • Yes, that is correct. It is $10 roundtrip per person. That is your only way to Caneel other than walking in via the Lind Point Trail.

  14. My husband and I got married in Caneel bay the April of the same year as the hurricane… it was the most beautiful place I had ever seen… we had our reception at ZoZOs. We were looking forward to returning… this video is so sad.

  15. Thank you so much for the video. Loved the music also. It was really sad to watch. What an incredible place it used to be. Have been coming to St. John for several years and always loved coming to Caneel Bay. We loved the champagne Sunday brunches and going to ZoZo’s when it moved there. It is by far our favorite restaurant. Did I see at the end of your video that ZoZo’s will reopen at some point at a new location? That would be awesome. We will be returning in February! Can’t wait!

  16. Thanks Jenn!! This was hard to watch but we’re so grateful for the update.
    Who are the vendors for the golf cart ride? Someone local, I hope— or the folks at the Honeymoon concession, or even the Friends of the Virgin Islands National Park? Please say it’s not the current Caneel leaseholders!

    • Yes, it’s the folks from Honeymoon – VI Ecotours. If it was the current leaseholders, I wouldn’t have paid for the ride. I would have avoided it at all costs! 🙂

  17. IMO, at this point let it sit idle for 4 years until the lease expires. NPS takes over, bulldoze all the structures and infrastructure and let it revert back to what Rockefeller intended. No way should the CBIA snakes get $70 million to walk away.

  18. My first wife, and I went to Caneel a few times in the ’70s and early ’80s, but my parents spent three weeks, in February, for over 35 years. Were they still with me, they would be so heartbroken

  19. Sadly,
    If one read the comments in the months after Irma, one would realize that Caneel would either never re-open, or that it would be a decades long process. So many people were angry that the resort made a good profit; no matter that it provided 400 jobs or greatly helped the Cruz Bay economy. Someone once said the demand for perfection is the envy of the good.
    My wife and I greatly enjoyed Caneel Bay. Was barely affordable for us, and like no other resort we had been to. Unfortunately, once the socialists start screaming about obscene profits, or greedy owners, or income inequality, they freeze the politicians in place. As amazing as ‘Caneel was, and as many locals benefited from its existence, I don’t think any owner will rebuild if they can’t see profitability.

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