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“Not your Best In Class Ritz” 5 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
14 reviews 14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Not your Best In Class Ritz”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2012

As an avid Trip Advisory fan, I read the reviews on this hotel and had a sense it was not quite the full Ritz experience and they were right,

The location is on the quiet side of the island about 45 minutes by car(we chose to rent a car which worked out well) and the property grounds are beautiful, set on a quiet cove with very few homes.There was plenty of recreational equipment available on the water for the day however beach chairs were like most Caribbean resorts these days; either you get up very early and stake your claim with towels and books or you take your chances if you come down by 10 am.The pool was quite large with seating all around however, by 8 am most of the pool side chairs were also taken. We visited Thanksgiving week and understand that the resort was full so on par if you stay during prime season.

The staff was attentive except for the front desk. I found them surprisingly inexperienced and uncaring when asked questions on room types, club level and status benefits. I was told they would ask and get back to me that night. Never heard back which is not a Ritz Carlton standard.

Rooms were clean and neat however a bit tired. The furnishings were not quite the Ritz standard but room size and view were very good. You are best to ask for a high floor at either end of property.

The resort is isolated and as such, your food options are limited on this property. We found the quality of the food high and as expected expensive. The breakfast Buffet at Bleuwater was delicious, well stocked and had plenty of both indoor and outdoor seating. What we did not like was they did not have enough restaurant seating for the hotel guests. We do not like having to make reservations as our experience has been that you can always get a table for dinner at a Ritz Carlton property. This is not the case here. The good news is that it forced us to venture out and within walking distance, was a great restaurant called Caribbean Fish Market (see others reviews). We only wish we found this earlier in our week.

We are loyal Ritz Carlton fans however this property while good, was not he great Ritz we have come to expect. Next time, we will explore other locations.

Room Tip: Ask for tallest buildings and higher floors for best views. Watch out for stairways and service clos...
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  • Stayed November 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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1,162 reviews from our community

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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 (233)
Date | Rating
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English first
Shrewsbury, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2012

Ok this is not for the faint hearted in any way, shape or form. The hotel is beautifully located, with stunning views over the bay. Located on a hillside I only saw one wheelchair user the entire time and had to wonder how the dickens they got around as their is a dearth of lifts (elevators). We arrived in the afternoon, this was our honeymoon but my husband had messed up and not booked us in till the following day (I still married him), I booked the first night iun my name and emailed them to tell them of the error, my husband also emailed them to advise of the error and he phoned them ans he emailed the day before we arrived. When we got there we had been allocated one room for the first night then another for the remainder of the stay. Although the second room (allegedley an upgrade because my partner is a elite member) had a better view the first room was actually larger! Plus the first room was not so close to the building work so we weren't disturbed by drilling, however all said and done it was still lovely. We were sent a bottle of Cava and some chocolates (chocs were lovely - Cava was like vinegar - we each took a sip and emptied the rest down the sink). Mostly the staff remembered your name (or at least checked your reservation to make sure they got it right) and made you feel special and the views, service and food were exceptional but it is very expensive. Its a Ritz so you have to expect to pay extra just for the name. We ate at all the restaurants and certainly would recommend the Kobe beef and the Mac and cheese (yes, really). Gazel is a wonderful waitress, funny and kind. Tasha on reception was a delight but the chap working with her (Tomake or something like that) needs to learn that tea (ordinary everyday english breakfast tea) is available, he promised to send a tray with lemongrass tea but although we waited it never arrived. I too was surprised at the number of children and how loud they were so we opted to sit and enjoy the views of the sea rather than the pool. We participated in the water sports but the snorkelling in the bay is real let down, very little to see (no pun intended). It's hilly, expensive, loads of children so the real question is would I go back - in an instant

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2012

We went to St Thomas to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. Although I have stayed at many hotels, this was my first stay at a Ritz. This was a splurge for us and in some ways the service exceeded my expectations and in some areas the service could be improved.
We arrived at the hotel after dark. The security guard at the gate knew our name and congratulated us on our anniversary. Very nice. It went downhill from there. We drove to the front of the hotel. No one was there to open the car door. We got out of our car and walked around searching for where we could check in. Not a person in sight. Kept walking and found the concierge. We were pointed back to the front desk and finally someone was able to help us. This was not a good first impression.
In honor of our anniversary, we had been upgraded from a garden view to a partial ocean view room which was wonderful. The room has a large bath with separate soaking tub and walk in shower. There is a love seat and desk/table with two chairs. There is a pretty large balcony with a small table, two chairs and chaise lounge. Both wired and wireless internet access all included with the daily $58 resort fee. The fee also includes non-motorized water sports, bottles of water in the room daily, free local calls.
I was surprised at the number of children at the property. The main pool is beautiful but is filled with kids which can make taking a nap by the pool difficult while hearing kids yell 'daddy, daddy' endlessly. There are two groups of buildings. We were in building E which is the second closest building to the caribbean on the club side. Building A is the closest to the lobby and furthest from the bay. None of the rooms are right on the water. In most cases, the higher floor, the better the view will be.
The second group of buildings is Ritz Vacation Club (timeshare). I guess that could explain the number of children since I believe these are larger units making better accommodations for families. The timeshare buildings are closer to the water than the hotel buildings.
We had breakfast included with our rate so had the buffet at Bluewater. The food is adequate: made to order omelets, cold cereal, oatmeal, bacon/sausage, breads and muffins, either pancakes or french toast, yogurt, smoke salmon, slices turkey, waffles. All this for $33.
We also had a $100 daily credit and Al at Coconut Cove helped us use up that credit. He provided excellent service and always made sure we were well taken care of.
One suggestion I would offer would be to have more vegetarian options on their menus. There is very little to choose from and made eating dinner at the hotel challenging. Lunch was ok with salads or a veggie burger from Sails, I special ordered a veggie quesadilla from room service one night.
Now a couple warnings for those who have not visited St Thomas before. This would be a difficult place for those with limited mobility. It is very hilly, mountainous and there are stairs everywhere. And I have only seen a couple elevators. The second comment is about the roads. They are narrow, windy, and have steep hills. Coming over the top of many hills, I am unable to see where the road ahead goes. Thankfully my husband is taller so he gets to see where the road is going before me and he was driving so it all worked out. People seem pretty patient with visitors like us driving slowly but driving is not for the faint of heart. Driving is on the left but the cars still have the driver sitting on the same side as on the mainland so the passenger sits on the side of the car that is in the middle of the road and the driver is on the side closest to the ditch. A little strange.
Other than those things, St Thomas is beautiful. A picture perfect view around every corner.

Room Tip: Rooms in building F have the best views on the hotel side.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Worcester, MA
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, MA
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) 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
#3 Top resorts Hotel in St. Thomas
#3 Spa 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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