Maho Bay Camps Hotel

, Cruz Bay, Virgin Islands U.S.
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Maho Bay Camps Hotel

, Cruz Bay
Maho Bay Camps, Inc - Cruz Bay - 00831 - Virgin Islands U.S. Hotel Website | 340-776-6226
233 Traveller

Reviews - Maho Bay Camps Hotel

Historical Traveller Reviews of Maho Bay Camps Hotel

I love Maho Bay Camps!

from A TripAdvisor Member
The Maho Bay Campground is amazing! Since when do you get the experience of tent camping while sleeping on a bed and mattress? I describe it as living in a tree house. There are small holes in the screens, but they are there for a purpose. Bugs will get in your "tent" whenever you open the door to go in or out. Lizards use the holes to enter your tent and eat the bugs for you. We made friends with several lizards who came in and chilled out in our rafters. Sometimes, you can sit on your porch and watch the iguanas roam from tree to tree, tent to tent. They are so cool! We've caught them sunning on the roof of our tent. Also, the mildly feral cats are as friendly as my boys back at home. We've found them, also, sunning on the tent roof. While at the campgroud you are within walking distance to three beaches (two of which are often photographed for magazines) and we've walked to the Annaberg Sugar Mill Ruins and the beaches under that. Maho Bay Camps does have an area to park a rental car, but Mr. Frett's shuttle service is available and amazing. He's always on time and charges less than if you took a random taxi. The dining pavilion has a view that cannot be topped for dinner sights and the food matches the view more often than not. We eat breakfast and dinner in the pavilion and have had lunch at the snack shack down at Little Maho Bay Beach. If you're looking to be waited on hand and foot and have your beds made when you leave - go to Caneel or Westin. If you love nature and enjoy camping - go to Maho Bay. I've been twice and heading back for a third time this year (hopefully).

The Bugs are out of control

from A TripAdvisor Member
The mosquitos are REALLY bad and basically ruined my trip. You basically cannot avoid getting bitten b/c the tents have holes in the screens and you must constantly leave your tent for bathroom (and obviously, your vacation!) If you have tend to get bitten, don't go here! I was covered in big red welts at the end of our week in January 2004. Or bring a mosquito net to cover you while you sleep. If you rent a car, rent an SUV or jeep - a regular car cannot handle the roads on the island.

I want to go back

from Tautog
After reading some previous reviews, I thought that I'd add my five cents. Yes, it is a "go with the flow" place, but the location and price can't be beat. The food is just fair, and Maho is a version of luxury camping, but you need to know that before you go. I really enjoyed our cabin, the rusticity and the wildlife. It was great for us, but we like camping and outdoor activities. For others, a more luxurious resort might be in order. We were there around the first of July, 2003, at Carnival time. Yes, much of the staff is goofy college students, but that's part of the fun. If you have the chance, take a snorkeling trip on the Allura catamaran. My girlfriend took the massage while I hiked to Waterlemon Caye for incredible snorkeling. Wow. I'm a diver, but I found the snorkeling to be fantastic anywhere off shore.
We plan to return.

our review of Maho Bay Camps

from A TripAdvisor Member
Our Family stayed at maho for 4 nights last March. We enjoyed the island of St John so much and the family had a good time at Maho Bay but the food was American home cooking-lasagna or burritos and overpriced. The tents were somewhat dirty and very worn and many of them do not have views of the water. It was hot in them with not enough cross ventilation. The beach at Maho is nice but not nearly as nice as other nearby beaches. It is difficult to eat anywhere else unless you have a car and even then there are very few places to get local food.
Most of the staff were nice and there is a good community feel at the place.

family unfriendly

from A TripAdvisor Member
I have stayed in the tent cabins at Maho Bay in the past and enjoyed the location and setting, found the restaurant to serve decent food at reasonable prices, and the staff to be generally helpful. One must remember however that it is a campground and the amenities are typical of a well-planned, decent campground i.e. cold showers and a walk to the bathroom. I had planned to return there this spring with my wife and 1&1/2 year old, but to stay in the harmony eco suites for the privacy and shower and kitchenette. However, when I called to make reservations, I was told there would be a $25/night extra person charge for the 18 month old. This is on top of the $140/night rate. I explained that he doesn't shower, use the toilet or use electricity for a hair dryer, etc. The clerk stated the the policy was unchangeable and that they could easily fill the spot with someone else. I booked a reservation at coconut coast condos for the same price with a nicer room and as excellent a location (also closer to Cruz Bay, so you don't absolutely need a car) and no extra person charge for a toddler. I would certainly recommend that persons searching for a family friendly campground consider cinnamon bay or stay at a locally owned and rented condo and leave Maho Bay for the eco-Nazis. Maho Bay should wake up and consider what inflexible and vacationer unfriendly policies do for their reputation.

Great for the right people, Cancellation policy unreasonable

from A TripAdvisor Member
We were there Dec 28,2003-Jan4,2004. We stayed in the tents for 2 nights, then in Harmony Studios for 5 nights. 1st- The tents are tents, and the shared campground bathrooms are clearly shared campground bathrooms, nothing more, nothing less. The tents were not the right fit for our family(my wife, 14 yr old daughter, 13 yr old son and 11 yr old son). Once we got to the studios, we felt like a cloud had been lifted. Private bathrooms, no cracks in the floors for all the bugs to come and go as they pleased. Still no water pressure for the girls(my wife and 14 yr. old daughter) to feel like they had been able to remove the shampoo and conditioner, but we're from Atlanta, so I'll chalk that up to and over-indulged culture. For the boys and myself, it was great. The studios were spacious and clean. They are beautifully set into the hill-side, thus a long walk to the restaurant and beach, and an extremely tiring walk back up after being at the restaurant or beach. The activities desk was wonderful in all ways; very helpful, friendly and involved in different activities. Seek out Heather! 2nd- You need a car. The island is tremendous to explore and visit different beaches, and thus different snorkeling locations. WaterLemon was by far the best snorkeling, although a good hike from parking, worth every step(many star fish, sea turtles and nurse sharks). The car was also good to get back to Cruz Bay for some dinners. 3rd- The reservations cancellation policy is harsh. As others have said, you must reserve a year in advance to get studios during high seasons. You can't reserve flights at that point if you are trying to use frequent flyer miles. We reserved our stay for next Dec 26,2004-Jan2,2005 the full year in advance. When I tried to get my frequent flier flights for that period, I was unable. Even though it is not printed anywhere on their website, they keep 10% of the entire reservation if you cancel. They will be able to resell in a heart beat. There is no reason to not refund, if they can re-sell. Thus, we have reservations for a couple of studios for next Dec 26,2004 thru Jan 2,2005. .... We were interested in coming back. I just don't like being forced into it. Customer service is not their strong point, except in the activities area and dining areas.

Nice place,but...

from NorthernArt
My wife and I spent four nights at Maho recently. We enjoyed the 'karma' at Maho and had no problems with the staff, they all were friendly.

The problem is with the tent cabins. They are full of holes, not really clean and just plain tired looking. The wood is dirty and worn, the canvas/plastic roofing material patched and dirty. The counter tops needed replacing and it just had the feel of a 40 year old mobile home.

We won't stay again unless they get new management.

s finest!

from cwhiatt
As far as Caribbean vacation destinations go, St. John is expensive.
Finding a quality accomodation on a budget is not easy. At $115 a night in high season, Maho Bay is really a steal of a deal. You need to review this place for what it is. It is an eco-tourist campground. It is geared towards vacationers who desire to gain an awareness about the Island of St. John while at the same time enjoying the beauty that the island has to offer.

Upon arriving at the dock, Fret's taxi will take you on the mountainous journey to Maho Bay (unless you have rented a vehicle in which you'll need to drive on the left). The scenery is breathtaking. Upon arrival, be prepared to CLIMB STAIRS! Of course not everyone will be situated high up but if you are you can ask to have someone drop you off at the top of the gravel hill which saves some hiking. Accomodations: Basically it's a large screened in deck. There is a hardtop roof and two ceiling fans as well as a seperate open deck that is not screened in. A foldout sofa is also provided. A propane stove, 5 gallon water jug and silverware is also provided along with a few other kitchenware.
The cabins do contain lock boxes but you will need to bring your own lock (bring two as the door to the cabin also can be locked). We're not talking 600 thread count sheets here folks so if that's your thing then this is not the place for you. The floor slats are spaced so you will have gekos in your cabin from time to time but they are harmless and they eat the insects. The shower and bathroom pavillions are a short distance from the cabins and were never busy when I used them. THERE ARE COOL WATER PULL CHAIN SHOWERS!!! This was probably the hardest thing to get used to. When you get back to the states, you'll really enjoy that first hot shower. Food: The best advice I can give is to bring some granola bars, some velveeta mac and cheese, and some cans of tuna. This is great for an afternoon snack as the food at the pavillion is a bit pricey but good. If you limit yourself to eating at the pavillion for breakfast and dinner your money will go a long way. It's also a good idea to purchase some alcohol (duty free) in Charlotte Amalie (St. Thomas). A bottle of Cruzan Rum was like $4!! Activities: This is a great family oriented place. Plenty of activities for the kids (and I saw kids of all ages having fun). For adults I recommend the Island tour, the tour to Virgin Gorda, and the Evening trip to Skinny Leg's bar. The beach is small BUT...if you take the goat trail which is located next to the laundry facility, the short path will take you to beautiful Big Maho beach which was NEVER crowded and is as beautiful as any beach on the island. (Unfortunately the staff never mentioned this and we found out from some other guests).

All in all this is a great and memorable place to stay and I'd recommend it to anyone looking to make the most out of their St. John vacation. Feel free to e-mail with any inquiries.


from A TripAdvisor Member
I love Maho Bay, but it has to be "your" kind of place. You have to walk down dark boardwalks to communcal cold-water showers. The staff is generally unhelpful, and it's extremely helpful to have a rented car. But, the tents (large fancy screened ones) are your own private treehouses in one of the most beautiful islands in the world with some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.You have your own little deck and a little hotplate area to cook your own meals if you want, which will save you money in this island that has the highest per-room hotel rates in the WORLD. It's an absolute delight to sit on your deck in the morning drinking coffee and realizing you aren't in an air conditioned corporate hotel that looked like the one you took your last business trip to.Don't ask for a tent with a view - you probably won't get one - they won't cut down foilage to get views so not many tents have them, and you're competing with everyone else. Ask for a tent with privacy, or that gets light. While most of them are great, some can get squeezed close to others, or may be right on a main walkway. I've stayed there 7 times, and each time get a better tent. Only once did I get a bad tent (right below the parking lot and the only one sharing a platform), but I've seen some klunky spots. I'm not going to tell you the best one, but when you go, if you like it, walk around and circle good tents or zones and request those for your next visit.The Harmony studios are really nice if you can't live without your own bathroom or hot water, but you give up the treehouse feel, and they're more expensive and not as close to the main pavillion eating area.Conventional wisdom is that you need a 4-wheel drive on the island, and they rent for $450 or so per week. You really don't expect for a few beaches you probably won't go to anyways. Here's the big trick: rent a sedan at the St. Thomas airport (make SURE you go with a company that will let you take them on ferries) then you can load up everything in your car once and take a car ferry over. You'll save about $300 and a bunch of hassle.The staff is generally very nice until you need something, then forget it.

We love Maho but...........

from A TripAdvisor Member
Maho Bay camps is a beautiful location. The facilty is poorly managed.
The reservation policy is unacceptable. Reservations a year in advance do not guarantee a reqested site. The Omega group takes over 50% of the sites for 6 prime winter weeks. We have been to Maho on 7 occasions but we will never return!

Top Local Tips for Cruz Bay

Be prepared for lots of logistics! We got stuck overnight in San Juan -- American didn't hold the 3:10 plane even though 3 major (delayed) American flights were at the gate 15-mins. before departure, and all other flights were booked for the rest of the day. Try Cape Air or Air Sunshine. If they put you in the San Juan airport hotel, dump your luggage and hop a cab to the El San Juan Hotel in Isla Verde (5 minute drive) or Old San Juan and hang out on the beach, hotel, or tour a bit. RECONFIRM if you have a transfer from St. Thomas to Red Hook with Tropic Tours -- both going and coming Tropic insisted they hadn't heard from our travel agent (she insists otherwise), but they were friendly and got us where we needed to go -- barely. You absolutely need 90 minutes to 2 hours at the St. Thomas airport to catch your return flight -- even though it's US Virgin Islands, you have to 1) check in at the airline and tag your bags, 2) shlep your bags to clear customs, 3) shlep them to baggage check, and 4) clear security.

ferries If you are planning to ferry from Cruz Bay to Tortola, double check to see if the ferry is actually running. The ferry we were planning to take from Cruz Bay to Tortola just didn't run, no explanation. We had to ferry back to St Thomas then to Tortola.

ferries If you are planning to ferry from Cruz Bay to Tortola, double check to see if the ferry is actually running. The ferry we were planning to take from Cruz Bay to Tortola just didn't run, no explanation. We had to ferry back to St Thomas then to Tortola.


Other names for Maho Bay Camps Hotel

  • maho bay camps hotel st john
  • maho bay camps hotel
  • maho bay camps
  • maho bay
  • Address: Maho Bay Camps, Inc - Cruz Bay - 00831 - Virgin Islands U.S.
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