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“Great Family Vacation” 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
Saint Davids, Pennsylvania, United States
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Great Family Vacation”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2013

My family of 6 chose to visit St. Thomas because we like Ritz-Carltons, more specifically we like the club level they offer. We had 3 beach view club rooms. When you stay in the club level it is more expensive, but well worth it. There is a club lounge that not only provides a comfortable place to hang out, but has 4 food offerings over the day with unlimited drinks, including alcohol. When you have 4 kids age 17, 20, 22 and 24 they can rack up alot of charges in restaurants and bars! The service in the club lounge is also the best at the resort (Service was still excellent elsewhere.). The club conciege, Jake, was very helpful and attentive and the attendants all know you by name- Debra and Kathryn are terrific- they had our drinks before we asked. The resort has a beautiful picturesque setting overlooking a harbor full of colorful sailboats and a view of St. John. We preferred the pool to the beach because the view is more magnificent elevated over the infinity pool and it feels less crowded since the beach is somewhat narrow. Use of (manual) water sports equipment is included in room charge. The equipment is plentiful and varied. Every day my family windsurfed, paddled boarded, sailed and kayaked to our hearts content. Those of us who can't stand to sit in the sun and read were never bored! The resort is well maintained, though I agree the rooms could use a facelift and the heavy bathroom and shower doors that bang closed are annoying. We saw lots of lizards of all sizes, but never a cat as some people complained. Although the fitness center was usually crowded, there are plenty of treadmills so I never had to wait. The food was very good, but not fantastic. I think it could be more flavorful and creative. We were disappointed to find no exotic fruits, perhaps they were out of season. We attended the New Year's Eve Gala which was a bit steep at $300pp, especially since the "amazing view of the fireworks on St. John" never happened. We still had a fabulous time. The ferry to St. John is very close. We spent a great afternoon and evening over there.( My sons, 20 and 22, spent an additional day and evening over there that they said was even better(?)) Except for a couple of dinners out, and a Magic Moments excursion, the rest our time was spent at the resort because we had no desire to leave- I didn't even go into town to shop! Would definitely return!

Room Tip: Club Level is worth the extra charge.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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 (220)
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English first
Madison, WV
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013

Had a great stay for business. The resort is beautiful, everywhere I went was well kept and lovely. The employees were all very friendly and helpful. The pool was clean and sooo relaxing. I could have laid by the pool forever.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled on business
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Bangalore, India
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2013

Stay was nice; the grounds of the resort are well maintained and appealing. Room was a bit dated; definitely could use a face-lift with updated furniture and brighter colors, etc. Beach is spectacular and views from the room were breathtaking. Where the place suffers most is the service; ate on property 4-5 times and each experience was less then inspiring. Attention to detail is definitely missing in their restaurants. Overall experience was great and definitely recommendable.

Room Tip: Ask hotel to set up taxi service--otherwise the islanders may over charge you.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled on business
    • 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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Pittsburgh, PA
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

In spite of excellent service I am giving this resort only 3-star-rating because of their inferior food and poor child care program. The quality of their service is very good but service is improving across the board in almost all Caribbean in even in most Mexican resorts.
We are a family of four with one 6, and one 14-year-old. This 11 day vacation from December 21 through January 1 (2013) disappointed us. We stayed on the Concierge level.

Service
Beyond believe! The best, most customer oriented, warm, friendly and intelligent service I have ever experienced at any resort or hotel anywhere in the world. All their employees, from the gardeners, to waiters, to the water sports team are polite, cheerful and eager to please.
Here’s a good illustration: my wife asked the cocktail waitress on the beach to bring a few cocktail cherries for our 6-year-old. Those cherries arrived in about 10 minutes in a cute little plastic cup. 30 minutes later another waiter brought us another cup of cherries. About an hour later somebody brought one more cup of those cherries. All that was done with a smile, with admiration of how cute is our little girl…
You cannot get this kind of service just for the money. It is only possible when good training comes hand in hand with happy people. Indeed, the people of St. Thomas impressed us as friendly and kind. They are kind not only to tourists but to each other as well.

Water Sports
The Hobby Cats (sailing), windsurfers, paddle boats, sea kayaks and snorkel equipment - all are in top shape and available in abundance at all times. There are virtually no waiting lines for any of it and very few restrictions on how long you can use it. The water sports team is helpful and cheerful. In my experience this is the best equipped and best ran water sports operation ever.

Problems
Our major problem was with the food. It is mediocre at best and downright terrible most of the time. The Concierge level offers what they call breakfast, light snacks and hors d’oeuvres. We found most of their food inedible. With the exception of smoked salmon all the ingredients they use are of very low quality. Their salami, their ham, the cheese they offer - all that is just terrible. Even the breads, the mini croissants and the beagles are awful. I once tried their “Italian Salad”. It’s as Italian as I am Chinese.

The small plates and the microscopic canapés offered at Concierge level are supposed to suggest that this is only a little supplement to the fair offered by the restaurants. There are basically two restaurants offering lunch: The Sails and the Coconut Cove. Both restaurants offer the worst, most uninspiring and unhealthy food one could imagine. Their rather limited menu offers hamburgers with pre-frozen french-fries, pizzas, Buffalo wings, etc. No choice of salads, no prosciutto, no brezaula, no copa, no pate de foie gras, nothing like that. Moreover, they must use some low quality oil for cooking because I always got terrible aftertaste and heartburn. At Blue Water Restaurant we once ordered three dishes: a hamburger (a $30 hamburger!), a Sea Bass and a Grouper. No appetizers and no deserts, just those three dishes. $150 dollars later we left underwhelmed. It wasn’t terrible, it was just blah. I think that at the five-star resort with a venerable name such as Ritz Carlton and considering their prices, the food should be delicious.
At the Great Bay Restaurant, the maitre d' proudly told us that vendors bring fresh fish daily to the hotel. So, what is the freshest fish today? - we asked. He suggested the Snapper. So, my wife ordered the Snapper and ended up with a dry piece of poorly cooked fish. I ordered a steak. They use cheap meat. It was full of veins and although it was medium-rear it was still tough to chew.

Their website extols Fabien Gnemmi as the Executive Chef of The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas. Pardonnez-moi, Monsieur Gnemi, but where did you learn about Fish Tacos and Cheese Quesadilla? Was it Lion? Perhaps Bologna? If we would want Mexican food we wouldn’t come to you. We would go to some Mexican resort. But even there, I wouldn’t accept corn in my breakfast quiche.

Those of us who choose to come to Ritz Carlton are prepared to pay premium prices. But paying exorbitant prices in a place with “fried food and beer mentality” hurts. All in all, the senior management of this resort does not understand food, i.e. they have never met a food they didn’t like.

The few restaurants we tried on the island itself were not much better. We ate at Oceania in Frenchtown, at Pesce in American Yacht Harbor and at a few other restaurants… they all were expensive and mediocre.

Concierge Level
Upon arrival we were told that children over 12-year of age must pay full fair for the access to the Concierge level. So, we were charged additional $90 per day for our 14-year-old. However, our son (just as the rest of us) was not able to eat their food other than having a ball of cereal for breakfast. Upon departure, I pointed out that $90 is much too much for a ball of cereal and offered to pay $30 per day for my son. I felt that $30 for a ball of cereal for a young man would be more than generous. They objected and charged us to the full throttle.

Children’s Program (Ritz Kids)
A joke. At most resorts it’s free. Here it is $65 for half a day and $85 full day (until 4 PM). Children are supervised by one single woman, which means that if some child would need help with the paddy, the rest of the children would be left unsupervised. There is no vision and no program to speak about. It’s a few board games, a trip to the pool and a TV.
At other resorts children learn how to make cupcakes, they have fashion shows, the prizes are given to the winners with psychedelic lights and audiovisual hoopla (everybody win of course), but not here. Most parents do not come back and the place is usually deserted after lunch and sometimes the whole day.
We, along with some other parents went to see the General Manager. He was not available but we filed a complaint. So, we got a message with an apology. Big deal!
All in all, we didn’t feel that we’ve got our money’s worth. We will not come back and, with no exception, everybody we talked to felt exactly the same way.

Room Tip: We stayed in room 245. Spectacular view and most convenient location.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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.
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

Last February vacation week for New England schools we traveled with family friends from Boston to St. Thomas. Both families had two children and we could not have picked a more ideal spot! The Club Level one bedroom suite with a spectacular view and a wonderful staff that were wonderful with the children made us eager to come back this February. Kathryn in the club level is there to fill your every need, even if that means PB sandwiches or chicken nuggets. The one thing the adults were head over heals for was the curry chicken salad...Yum! Our family has been blessed to have gone to many other Ritz resorts in the past, and although this isn't the swankiest, it is truly picturesque with vast views of St. John. If you asked the kids (ages 9-13), nothing was better than the water sports available in the giant bay with gracious views, tons of space and calm waters. We are counting down the days to returning to the club level on February 18th. If you are looking for relaxation and your family is looking for elegance, not an amusement park, you really should look into this destination!

  • Stayed February 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
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
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
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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