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“For the price, I'd expect a little more” 3 of 5 stars
Review of The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas

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The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   6900 Great Bay, 00802, St. Thomas   |  
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Ranked #3 of 22 hotels in St. Thomas
Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“For the price, I'd expect a little more”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2012

First off, the good stuff. The resort has beautiful grounds (though they are a little worn) and is very well located for travelers who want to experience both St. Thomas and St. John (just a short ferry ride away. The resort facilities have everything you want in a Caribbean resort (kayaks, catamarans, snorkel gear, etc.). The food choices are varied, which gives good options which is good since there are limited options within walking distance - though red hook is a $10 cab ride away.

Now the bad: Although the resort advertises a guaranteed check-in time of 4 PM, we were left in our sweltering mainland clothes for three hours while we waited for a room (it was always 30 minutes away from being ready). This was particularly perplexing since we were there in the shoulder season. They also nickle and dimed us by making us pay for resort and club fees for the full day (even though we couldn't really use the facilities while we waited for our room). In the end, they refunded a part of the overcharge, but our trip was 50% more expensive because of additional fees that were not initially included in our booking. In addition, because the staff member at the registration desk said something different (quoting us a per room rate) than what she wrote down (a per person rate), the bill did not match expectations. When we noted the discrepancy, the staff pointed to the hand-written document that was completed after checked in and said they would look into it. They never did, and we never heard back. Our fault for not asking to see the completed document; their fault for overcharging, promising to look into our issue, and then not doing anything.

Make sure to confirm everything that you may get charged to do. Keep in mind that room, resort fee, and any other facilities charges are all separate.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (222)
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English first
Worcester, MA
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2012

We have stayed at a number of hotels over time, and try to write objective reviews, but subjectivity does slip in. Our expectations of a Ritz Carlton are a lot higher than for a Marriot Courtyard, so a problem at the latter might be overlooked while the same problem at a Ritz won’t.
Our first room – 327 – on the Club level or the St. Thomas Ritz is a case in point. The sliding glass door to the balcony has a large stain which spoiled the view. Tiles in the bathroom were cracked, and one on the shower threshold broke and cut Gale’s foot. The drain on the roof was blocked, causing a flood coming through the hallway ceiling light.
The room we moved to – 344 – corrected all these problems, and helped us enjoy the rest of the stay.
That negative aside, everything else was wonderful. The staff throughout the complex were exceptionally helpful, especially the 11 in the club. The grounds are well kept, the buildings very clean, the food and drink in the club tasty, plentiful and well presented. The Club amenities were well worth the extra costs, and should be seriously considered.
The first room knocked the rating down, But, #327 aside, we highly recommend this resort.

Room Tip: Stay away from #327. While all rooms have an ocean view, the corner rooms seem to have less of a vi...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Kennebunkport, Maine
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2012

My wife and I, along with our 2 boys ages 10 and 13 recently spent 6 days at this fine resort just before Thanksgiving 2012. We are both working professionals and needed to unplug.

Upon arriving at Cyril King airport, we took a group taxi (hotels do not have shuttles on St. Thomas). This was our first learning experience. We were crammed into a well-used van with a bunch of other vacationers going to other resorts. Ultimately, we spent about $65 for the 4 of us when we could have had a private service for $90. We were the last to be dropped off. I looked into a private service for our departure and found Presidential Taxi who had a decent web site with online booking discounts. Presidential Taxi is run by a sole proprietor who is a fine young man seeking to outperform his competition with quality vehicles and service. I highly recommend utilizing his services - just book ahead.
Upon arrival at the hotel, we were greeted with 5-star grace at the security booth and the treatment extended all the way through our check-in. After upgrading to an ocean-view room for a reasonable fee, we were shown to our room and were pleasantly surprised with the amenities.
Our sons quickly noticed the excellent assortment of water sports available on the beach and investigated. We had agreed to a daily resort fee which entitled us to unlimited use of non-motorized water sports and certainly got our money's worth. We used the catamarans, wind surfers, paddle boards, kayaks and snorkeling gear extensively and really enjoyed the freedom of use. The unique nature of the property being in a protected bay made it possible for us to relax while the kids spent every possible minute exploring in the water with all of the equipment. Even Beaches does not compare when it comes to water sports activity.
Many of our friends insisted we should go to St. John for a day, but we were happy to simply relax on resort for our entire stay.
We ate at every restaurant on the property and the food was consistently exceptional albeit very expensive (it's The Ritz after all), but $25 for a gourmet grilled cheese sandwich was actually pretty funny. If you can let the concern for every meal tally go you will give yourself a chance to enjoy the moment.
The concierge suggested a lunchtime snorkeling trip on the resort's 53-foot yacht, the Lady Lynsey, which we did. What a wonderful time. We sailed to St. John (we did get there after all) and snorkeled at a nice beach with some very nice coral and abundant marine life. Lunch and an open bar were included. I would do it again in a heart beat.
Overall, we had a fantastic vacation at The Ritz.

Now for the cons.
If you have stayed at The Ritz Carlton before, lower your expectations. This is a vacation resort on an Island where quality service is very difficult to find. While they do a great job hiring the right people, they have to work with what they have. Everything is a little more laid back than you would expect.
Prepare yourself to spend a lot of money on food. One of our kids was under 12 so we were able to purchase a meal plan for him ($35/day). This saved a bunch of money but the kids menu is limited and it is the same at every restaurant. Again, the food quality was commensurate with the price in most cases although $19 for a Panini at lunch opens your eyes (but darn it was good!).
There is virtually nothing to do at night except dine. I'm sure you could venture to town for something to do, but the resort has nothing going on in the evening.

In closing, I would highly recommend this property. The grounds are impeccable, the amenities are the best on the island and the service is such that if you ask for anything, you'll likely get it. We are very likely to return.

Room Tip: Ask for a high floor to get the best view. Stay away from stairwells as when it rains at night, the...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Cambridge, MA
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2012

I stayed at both Wyndham Sugar Bay and the nearby Ritz-Carlton so my view of each place is colored by the other. On a scale of 0 to 100, I'd give Sugarbay 70-80, and the Ritz about 10 points higher.

Sugar Bay had a nicer ocean-side view than the Ritz (The resort-facing rooms are significantly cheaper.) More specifically, the man-made portion of the beach at the Ritz was more luxurious, and the deck chairs and surrounding architecture was nicer, but the Ritz hotel rooms were farther away from the beach and separated by a small utility road. The beach at Sugar Bay was smaller and seemed to be about 10 years out of date, though its small size is partly why the ocean-side view was prettier there.

But even though I give Sugar Bay good marks, in most every other way except the ocean-side view, the Ritz was even better. The staff at the latter were more numerous and more attentive. The overall architecture of the Ritz (think Italian villa) was of a higher quality. There was a musty smell outside my room at Sugar Bay unlike anything I smelled at the Ritz (though the inside of my Sugar Bay room was quite nice, and only slightly lower in quality than at the Ritz). The nightly list of activities at Sugar Bay (for example, a movie night, or a karaoke night) was designed to appeal to a different kind of consumer than the kind that typically chooses to stay at a Ritz. My biggest complaint about Sugar Bay was that they make you wear (and swim and shower and sleep in) a wristband like the kind you get at a nightclub, and I believe there's a $70 charge if you lose it.

However, there's the question of whether the higher quality is worth the significantly higher price. In my case, the price of my Sugar Bay room was about half of what I paid at the Ritz (though the Ritz room included a delicious breakfast and what amounted to a room service meal for two). For me, that made Sugar Bay a better bargain.

I would recommend the Ritz only if you really need to impress the person you're with (and you're willing to pay a significant amount of money in order to be around people like yourself or else to avoid having to associate with budget-conscious people like me). A final caution: the Ritz-Carlton hotels in St. Thomas is not going to have the same level of excellence as the Ritz-Carlton in New York or Chicago. So even though the scenery in St. Thomas is much nicer, you should adjust your expectations accordingly.

One last note apropos of nothing: if you're planning an oceanside wedding in Saint Thomas, I highly recommend sprinkling rose petals up and down the aisle and on the veranda. If you're lucky, an iguana or two will crawl out of the shrubbery during the ceremony and start munching away. Awesome!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Houston, Texas
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2012

Just got back from 6 night stay at Ritz Carlton, St. Thomas, USVI. The rooms are not over the top nice, but definitely ok. The views, the food and the staff make up for any problems with the rooms. The staff at the spa was so friendly and helpful, as was the staff at the water sports area. They really seem to enjoy their jobs, but hey, who wouldn't love working on the beach, sailing and such. But they really go out of their way to be helpful and want to make your experience fun and exciting. We tried out snorkeling, hobie cat sailing, paddle boards and kayaks. All is included in resort charges, so it was nice to not have to pay extra for that. We took the hotel's catamaran The Lady LInsey over to dinner on St. John's. That was a great evening. We ate at a restaurant (Asolare's) and the sunset views were to die for. The ride back was nice under the stars and moon. Crew is over the top nice and the food and cocktails were great. The breakfast buffet is pricey, but delicious. Made to order eggs or omelets were good. We had a wonderful dinner at the Great Bay Terrace and spent a lot of time at the Great Bar Lounge watching football and enjoying cocktails. Highly recommend!

Room Tip: The rooms are in buildings named for flowers, Begonia, Camilia, Dahlia, Freesia, etc. The farther d...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Thomas
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2012

The hotel, grounds, people, view, and sprts offerings are fabulous here. The food is hit or miss. Our kids seemed to like the pizza poolside best. and of course we all enjoyed the fruity drinks by the pool - adults and kids, both. The kids had a blast in the pool. We all enjoyed watching the iguanas in places. Just please don't feed them or try and get too close. They do bite and can hurt you with their tail. (My son made this mistake, once). I will say the fresh made donuts in the morning are very yummy!

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Overland Park, Kansas
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2012

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.

Room Tip: spend the extra money and upgrade to one of the larger building (E+). The rooms are nicer and the v...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas

Address: 6900 Great Bay, 00802, St. Thomas
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > U.S. Virgin Islands > St. Thomas
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 On the Beach Hotel in St. Thomas
#2 Spa Hotel in St. Thomas
#3 Top resorts Hotel in St. Thomas
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas 5*
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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

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