Two things I'll disclose: 1) I did not choose this resort, but visited as part of a small group for an incentive trip won through my work. 2) I'm used to and prefer all-inclusive resorts for my personal vacations.
Resort/Grounds: The entire resort was very nice and the view of St. John from anywhere in the resort was amazing. Everything was well manicured and clean. There is a pond/swamp thing inbetween some of the room buildings and the pool/beach. Brings out some mosquitos, but also home to what seemed like a few hundred iguanas that hang out by one of the pathways next to the pool/lunch restaurant Sails on a daily basis. Very easy to get around as it's not an incredibly large resort and there are paved pathways that take you anywhere. There are also a few golf carts that you can probably call for to take you to the main lobby.
Pool/Beach: Didn't spend much time at the pool as it was mostly families with kids. (Very family friendly, but we don't prefer to spend our vacation time around a bunch of kids.) We were looking for more of a relaxing, quite time to enjoy some drinks with friends. So, we spent most free time at the beach, directly in front of the pool area. There are maybe 80 lounge chairs in several rows lining the small beach area. The front row of chairs is about 5 feet from the water and are very nice. The water and views are incredible. There are also a few cabanas that can be rented for (what I heard was) $300/day. The resort's catamaran was docked right in the middle of the beach area most of the time when it wasn't in use. Kind of cool to look at, at first - but it ultimately blocks your view of the water and St. John if you're spending time on the beach. One of my favorite things about the beach were the 3 ducks that hung out all day. 2 were always together (apparantly named Ritz and Carlton) and 1 seemed to be the outcast the first 2 chased away. Pretty funny to see them walk around getting food from the beach-goers.
Staff: The entire staff was very friendly and helpful. We were never left wanting for anything in our room or on the beach. There is a rotation of servers on the beach and in the pool area that were attentive and responsive. They also gave us recommendations on food and drink. No complaints about the service or any staff at all.
Rooms: Pretty average rooms. We stayed in a basic room in building C, which is called something else, but I don't remember. Also saw one of the suites in the bigger buildings (building E) - night and day difference, but you get what you pay for. The balcony in the room is very large with a table, a few chairs, and one lounge chair. No real complaints about the room at all, but there was nothing really special about them either.
Food: We didn't eat at the main restaurant since the group we were with had private events all nights we were there. Our first night, we ate dinner at the Bar/Lounge: Good, not great. It helped we were extremely hungry. Didn't go back. We had breakfast at the main/only restaurant 2 mornings and had room service a 3rd. The breakfast at the restaurant was completely generic, standard fare. Hotel eggs, sausage, bacon, potatoes. Also a cold bar with cheese, deli-type meats, etc. Nothing special or great about it - simply something to eat. Room service was the same, only cold when we got it. Unimpressed.
Excursion: we went on the catamaran for a day trip around the US and British Islands. Stopped at a few islands for drinks and lunch and cruised around all afternoon. Very nice and a lot of fun.
Overall: I wouldn't go back to this resort due to the cost alone. The discounted rate we had for a group event was $320/night for the room. Nothing else in included in that price. Considering a poor breakfast buffet is $18/person, any of their signature/frozen/mixed drinks are $15-16/each, a beer is $6/each or more, room service comes with an automatic 18% tip and a $5 service fee (and they're happy to let you double tip on accident and not say a word), an appetizer at the lounge is $25+, etc. - be prepared to spend a lot more than $300/day for food and drink if you stay at the resort all day.
Again, I prefer all-inclusive resorts. For the same $320/night (more-or-less) you can stay in an equally nice resort and room (if not nicer) that is all-inclusive, so you can enjoy your day without worrying what your tab is for the day. We've done it many times and have loved not just the all-inclusive feature, but the overall quality of the places we've been. They have matched or exceeded what we saw at the Ritz in St. Thomas and we spent less than half the money we spent here. If that doesn't concern you at all, by all means, I'd recommend the Ritz as it is clean, the staff is great, the grounds are nice, and the views amazing. Me - I'll save my money and find a nice all-inclusive.
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- Also Known As:
- Ritz-Carlton St. Thomas Hotel St. Thomas
- St. Thomas Ritz-Carlton
- The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas U.S. Virgin Islands