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“Come for the relaxation!” 4 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
Scarsdale, New York
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
“Come for the relaxation!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2012

It is hard to review this property in isolation, because candidly, the property is just not that fabulous and it is extremely expensive.... The rooms need to be renovated, the flora is okay - not spectacular, the pool is pretty - not mind-boggling.

NEVERTHELESS, if you are looking for some peace of mind, quiet time, and relaxation without the rush/bustle/hustle of other Caribbean destinations, then this is an excellent choice. The property is set about a mile from Red Hook and feels isolated from the the rest of St. Thomas - it is extremely tranquil. Even though the resort was full, it never felt overwhelming where you needed to fight someone for a table for breakfast or lunch. The service, in general, was very good. The staff made efforts to go out of the way for the guests in all areas - the pool, the restaurants, the bellmen/women, and the concierge. Most water sports were included in the guest rates (like snorkeling, etc.).

A few tips:

> The restaurants (aside from breakfast/lunch) were a mixed bag and extremely expensive (even by NYC standards). I would advise venturing off the property for dinner - Caribbean Fish Market (which was in walking distance) was wonderful - also fro Sunday brunch.
> Kids club had extremely poor attendance - we saw one child being taken around by a staff member - so do not plan on leaving your little ones there - he/she will be with no other kids. The one "kiddie" thing was sand art on the beach - this was a "fee for service" activity - and a fortune at that. The resort should invest in some low budget arts and crafts activities for the children at the beach.
> Housekeeping - you need to stay on top of them to make sure they clean the room at a time convenient for you/your family. I had to follow up a few times.

Overall, my family had a wonderful time and we got to spend some excellent quality time together (which is sometimes lacking when your destination is overwhelmingly busy).

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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 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 (223)
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English first
Chicago, Illinois
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2012 via mobile

I stayed at the Ritz with my wife in early September 2012 for our honeymoon.

Positive:
- got an upgrade to an Ocean View Room
- hotel has a nice location

OK:
- rooms were clean and provided all you need and expect
- gym is big enough and provides all you need for a workout

Negative:
- all restaurants are completely overpriced. We ate there for most of the times since there were no other reasonable options outside (you would have to take a cab to get fo to closest restaurant outside the hotel). Depending on the restaurant at the hotel, the food is either ok or disapppointing.
- staff at the restaurant is most of the times very unfriendly and not very attentive.
-only one option available for breakfast
- the first day we ordered room service for breakfast. It was expensive but ok. The second day we went to the Bluewater restaurant for breakfast. It was terrible: host was unmotivated, did not even greet properly. We had to wait several minutes to be seated, eventhough there were not many guests at the hotel or restaurant. Other guests had to wait for 10 minutes, some left before that. Food was served more than 30 minutes after ordered. Again, restaurant was not very busy at that time. Toast was cold. No butter was served, after I asked for it, it took another 5 minutes till it was served. Some guests waited for more than 15 minutes till they could place their order. Immediately after this experience, we went to the reception and told them about our recent experience. A few hours later, we got a call from the restaurant manager. She apologized for the poor service and offered us to come again the next day for free. We accepted and went again. This time, the manager herself took care of us. Everything was ok - as it can be expected at a Ritz. However, the next day we went again and it was all as bad as the other day...
- one day we ordered food at the Coconut Cave restaurant. It took them 40 minutes to deliver the food (kitchen at the restaurant was closed). Flatbread turned out to be a thick pizza. It was not served hot, dough was burned, almost not eatable.
- other bad examples of poor service and overpriced food could easily be added here
- after our stay we were invited to take a survey. We told them about the bad epxeriences and answered the question if we want to be contacted with yes. Until today, we have not heard back from them...

Overall, we were disappointed with the poor service and the very expensive food. We were happy we did not have to stay any longer.

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, NY
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2012

Let me say that we were a little underwhelmed by this property until several days into our trip when we visited a few other options. I was expecting beautiful and pristine, and it was just okay. The pool is nice but small. The grounds are nice but not without imperfections. For what we were paying, I was expecting perfect.

However, the Marriotts on St. Thomas are gigantic and sterile feeling, like you would expect from a Marriott but even more. The beach is a long walk from the hotel. There aren't enough chairs to go around. Other guests were rowdy. We would only stay here if we had points and the whole thing was free. And even then, maybe not.

We also visited the uber expensive Caneel Bay on St. John. It would be nice if you're a celebrity or otherwise in need of privacy. it's very secluded, a lot smaller than the Ritz and with beach access from most bungalows. However, the beach was small, the chairs didn't look particularly comfortable and we didn't spot a pool. You're close to some amazing beaches but pretty isolated from restaurants and the like.

So, after sizing up the other options, we returned to the Ritz much happier and fully enjoyed our 10-day stay, with the exception of the Ritz's restaurants. They're a real problem. But I'll get to that in a minute. Here's a summary:

THE GOOD

Beach chairs: After exploring a lot of beaches we decided the chairs are what set the Ritz experience apart. They are padded and then lined by a porter with a fresh beach towel for each guest. Each chair also has a canapy you can pull up for shade. The first row of chairs is feet from the water. The view is stunning. We never had issues getting a first row chair in November.

Room size: Don't go in expecting anything modern and swanky, but comfortable, the Ritz can do. We got the lowest room category and it was still much larger than a typical hotel room -- king bed, loveseat, desk, large bathroom, foyer, large porch.

Water sports: Sure you pay a pretty hefty resort fee, but that's standard operating procedure at these sorts of places. What you get for it is nice. Unlimited use of snorkel equipment, kayaks, paddleboards, peddleboats, windsurfing stuff, hobies, etc. Basically, anything without a motor is free. The equipment is in good shape and there's plenty of it to go around. The bay is calm and pleasant to explore by boat or board.

The pool: Though not huge, the infinity pool is nice enough and has a great view. I wish I had realized before my last day that there's a bench around the edge perfect for sitting in the pool and reading. You live, you learn. There are also small non infinity pools you can use over by the timeshare units. They advertise a kiddie pool but it's probably five feet wide; I'm not sure it really counts.

THE BAD

Restaurants: The resaurants are a real problem and why we might hestitate to stay at the Ritz again. First of all, they aren't any good. (We took a sushi making class and saw firsthand that the fish they use is bought frozen in bulk at the grocery store, despite being on a tropical island with ample fresh fish.) Second of all, they are ridiciously overpriced. For breakfast your only option is Bluewater, which is a $35/person buffet. You can get the cold buffet for about $10 less which we did a few times. For lunch there's Sails by the pool and Cococut Cove which is a short walk over at the timeshare proprty. Both are your typical pool lunch fare and decent, but $20 for a sandwich and $5 for a soda. For dinner there's Bluewater again, at least $50 a pop for seafood, and another Asian fusion type restaurant with sushi and such for just as much. After the first day or two we went offsite for all meals. Thank goodness we rented a car. Restaurants at nearby hotels Elysian (walkable) and Secret Harbour were good and reasonably priced. The community of Red Hook is also a five minute drive and has some decent options. The best meal we had was a 30 minute drive at 13. Try it -- you won't be disappointed!

The nickle and diming: When you pay a certain amount for a hotel room you expect to not be constantly asked for more money. However, more fees were everywhere. Want room service? That'll be $5 for delivery on top of your inflated food prices. Want your lunch delivered to the pool? That'll be $3 per item. You'll be asked to tip every employee you have a five second conversation with. It gets tiring (and expensive). The spa was so outrageously priced that I couldn't bring myself to use it even though I wanted to.

No Marriott perks: My husband is a platinum Marriott member but this didn't get us an upgrade at check in as the website told us it would. (The Ritz sometimes honors this, and sometimes doesn't.) The hotel was definitely empty so that wasn't the issue. Consider yourself warned.

Golf carts: In theory they stop and give you a ride to your room, which, depending on your building, can be anywhere from a several minute to a 15 minute walk. No one ever offered us a ride. In fact, we almost got hit multiple times by staff members speeding by.

Lack of attention to detail: Again, when I think of the Ritz I expect immaculate. That was not our experience. We had dead lightbulbs in our room upon arrival. Our coffee machine didn't work. None of the phone numbers in the directory are accurate. These aren't huge things, and they were fixed when I asked, but it's vacation and I don't want to have to ask.

THE OKAY

Lady Lynsey: We did one of the sailing excursions. It was a little pricey but still a nice experience. It was convenient to have an excursion leaving right from the beach outside your room.

The gym: Hey, it's a gym. Nothing fancy but perfectly fine. I liked the idea of the free exercise classes but they were always at times I wanted to be doing other things. Why do they think people want to exercise mid-day while on vacation? Bummer.

Location: While the Ritz is located in a beautiful bay, it's a little bit of a hike from anything else on the island. Red Hook is a small community about a five minute drive away, but it's a good half hour to larger Charlotte Amalie which can be kind of a pain.

All in all we had a good experience, and it would have been great with better restaurant options.

Room Tip: Buildings are alphabetical and get further from the lobby the lower in the alphabet you go.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Augusta, Missouri
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2012

I have stayed at this Ritz four times over the last eight years. It has always been a great place and still is however, they have gone down a notch. The rooms are kept up well but are in need of a facelift. The staff as always is the best, they could not be more friendly. I thought the best food on premises was at Sails the pool restaurant. I have a problem with the breakfast buffet at $40.00 per person, it really is not worth it. The first time we went to the Ritz the buffet was much more extensive then what they have now. I also was a little upset as they had only two body floats for the pool. When I inquired with the pool man he said they were on back order, really!!! this is the response you expect from the Ritz. I don't think anyone would be disappointed if they stay here, it is just not what it once was. For the price they charge it should be better. One final note, the old manager Mark was the best. He was always on site and asking us if everything was alright, great guy. On this visit we were there ten days and never once saw the new manager.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cape cod
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2012

Stayed for 7 nights over Thanksgiving in a gorgeous, corner suite in the club level building. Ate breakfast, lunch, appetizers and cocktails and dessert daily in the lounge. The presentations and quality of food served was amazing. The staff of the lounge, from the concierges to the wait people, could not have been more pleasant and helpful, going out of their way to assist in our every need. Went off property twice to eat dinner, as we were there over a week and there are only a few restaurants in the hotel to chose from. Had an awful dinner at Coconut Cove! The others were just mediocre and very expensive. Lots to do on the water, from snorkeling off the the beach to sailing, paddle boarding, kayaking and wind surfing. Lots to keep teenagers entertained and adults too if you enjoy the water. Chartered a boat for the day with Nauti Nymph. Be sure to bring passports, as we headed to the BVIs for the day. Best day of the week. Ask for Captain Mike! Took a day sail on Lady Lindsey also. Loved the crew and the snorkeling and
shopping on St. John. Slightly disappointed with the beach as you are not able to walk it and exercise. Enjoyed a massage with Stephanie. Spa just OK, but my service was well worth the money. Will definitely return someday!

Room Tip: Stay on the Club level and spend the extra money. In the long run, you'll save on food and cock...
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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
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Sacramento, California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2012

Back from honeymoon and we spent a week here, and then a week at Casa De Campo on Dominican Republic. Facility and location are amazing, we are struggling to decide if we should just come back here or try a different tropical location for next year. The staff are awesome. Some standouts: Al @ Coconut Cove, Amber @ Great Bay Lounge, and Chris Jones @ BlueWater. Don't forget to try a Bushwhacker, and if in season or available, Corvina. 3 stars on spa - not applicable, as we didn't get a massage while on the property. Thank you Chuck Gruber and Mr. Kuhlen, for making our stay/trip memorable.

  • Stayed December 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 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.
The Woodlands, Texas, United States
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2012

Stopped here one night on the way to Anguilla and are suppose to be back next week for one week's stay and we have to say for the nightly price we are paying we are not looking forward to coming back! The hotel is run down and in desperate need of a "face lift". We were at the outside bar near the beach and the buildings where the restrooms are located had paint peeling, the doors are dirty and in need of fresh paint and the beach cushions are dirty. Maybe we are spoiled as we have been to many other Caribbean islands like Aruba and Turks and Caicos that were spectacular, but paying over $600/ night, I would expect nothing but 5+ star and this is definitely not the case! A glass of wine at the beach bar will run you $26 which is a rip off. No wonder their cancellation policy is 90 days, otherwise they would have no business at all. After staying at the Viceroy in Anguilla, this will certainly be a disappointment to come back to!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 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
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 Spa Hotel in St. Thomas
#2 On the Beach 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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