The Ritz Carlton St. Thomas is a relaxing place to enjoy beach life, and arguably the nicest resort on St. Thomas. If you’re paying for the Ritz, your expectations are already pretty high and for the most part this Ritz delivers.
The Setting: The Ritz is located on the opposite end of the island from the airport, so expect a 30-40 minute cab ride to get there. The resort grounds are gorgeous: the whole place is arranged in a horseshoe with the pool, restaurant, and the beach in the middle. The flowers/vegetation around the complex are impressive and the resort is fairly expansive between the hotel resort and the residence club. The pool is impressive, but not huge and can get crowded quickly. The beach is less crowded and nice, but not the most impressive beach I have ever seen.
The Rooms: One of the few disappointments, but only if you compare to other Ritz Carlton standards. Based on the design/layout of the rooms, I’m guessing that the resort was not originally designed as a Ritz Carlton. While certainly not bad, they don’t seem to carry the same level of amenities and quality as other Ritz Carlton locations around the world. The bedding is very nice, but the flooring/furniture/lighting seems more suited to a mid-level luxury resort.
The Service: The highlight of the resort. If they miss in the rooms, they make it up in the service. Everywhere you go in the resort, the staff is some of the nicest I have encountered. Everyone offers warm friendly smiles and goes the extra mile to learn you name and remember it every time they see you.
The Restaurants: All the food options are very good, but after awhile you start to feel they are also limited. Bluewater is the main restaurant serving breakfast and dinner. Everything tastes great with awesome presentation, but the menu only offers a few selections that do not seem to change during the week. Sails is the pool restaurant serving lunch and snacks. Same story: good food, but limited menu that never seems to change. Coconut Grove is another lunch place that seems to offer about the same items as Sails with some more Caribbean twist. Finally, Great Bay Lounge serves a few less expensive dinner options along with a sushi bar and seems closer to fancy bar food. You will not go wrong with any of these locations, but 2 options for lunch and really 2 for dinner you may get bored with them depending on the length of your stay.
Overall: The Ritz Carlton St. Thomas truly is a fantastic resort, in need of some slight upgrades to their rooms to match the rest of the standards of the resort. The island is an easy, laid-back escape, and the Ritz gives excellent service on top of that experience.
A few tips about staying here:
1) There is a 2nd pool located near the Ritz Carlton Timeshare Residences that seems less crowded. The main resort pool can get very crowded by mid-day, so it’s nice to escape to a quieter pool that most people don’t seem to know that you can use.
2) Water sports and equipment at the resort are free and a great opportunity to enjoy the beach/water.
3) There is not much of a night-life at the resort, and the only bar open after 7pm is the Great Bay Lounge which seems very tame and quiet. If you do get bored of the restaurant/bar options, Red Hook is a small shopping/restaurant/bar area about a $10 cab ride away that is extremely fun to visit.
4) The hotel lobby area offers free beverages during most times of the day.
5) Charolette Amalie is the main city area on St. Thomas, and about a 30 min drive from the resort. Some may say it's charming, I'd call it tourist trap. Avoid going there when the cruise ships come in (which ends up being most of the days of the week).
6) You can see St. John across the bay from the resort. It's about a 20 minute ferry ride, and definitely worth it to check out. St. John is a less developed, more natural island that has better views and beaches.
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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