Caneel Bay Resort in St. John Plans Renovations

Caneel Bay

Caneel Bay Resort, a member of The Leading Hotels of the World, will mark its 60th anniversary in 2016 with renovations. This escape on St. John sits on 170 acres in the Virgin Islands National Park, and Laurance Rockefeller originally opened it in December of 1956.

To mark the anniversary the resort is performing renovations on the guestrooms, we hear the first phase will commence in summer 2016. The revamped rooms, designed by Miami- and New York City-based Mary McDonald, will pay tribute to Caneel’s past by using touches like original stone etchings found on the island and advertising from the 1950s. The bedrooms will be redesigned to better take advantage of the views, which we hear are already amazing, and upgraded bathrooms will include larger tubs. To create a sense of place, the resort will decorate with carved recycled teak panel and sculptures and paintings by local artists.

Caneel Bar

The culinary program is also getting new leadership during this anniversary period. Executive Chef Nicholas Arnold has been appointed to the front of the culinary team, where he previously worked from 1999 to 2002. Most recently he was the Executive Chef of The New Albany Country Club in New Albany, OH. Now that he is back at Caneel, he will create dishes at the four restaurants and lounges, including Turtle Bay Estate House, Caneel Beach Terrace and Canella.

The renovation also brings more options for families traveling with pre-teen children. A new Pre-Teen Center will give older kids the opportunity to take steel pan drum lessons, cooking classes (with the culinary staff), learning sessions on marine life and ice cream socials. If the kids are adventurous, they can also go hiking, take sailing lessons, go snorkeling and experience kayaking.


We know guests will want to spend every second on the beach, and we can’t blame them. Good news, there will be new beach hut services on Scott Beach and Honeymoon Beach. Each will serve Paninis, smoothies and snacks on the beach.

Advisors, keep in mind that next year when your clients book a stay for May 1, 2016 through December 20, they will receive accommodations, daily breakfast and various resort activities from $429 per night.