1. Our suite
2. The beach/snorkeling off the beach
3. Proximity to St. John & Trunk Bay
4. The resort itself: Views, grounds, spa, pool
5. The service
1. Our suite: The Presidential Suite, Room 500. Two terraces. 1,850 square feet. Very well-appointed space. Felt like a home, not just a room at a resort. It was an incredible place to come back to after a day at the beach or off-island excursions.
2. The beach/snorkeling: Calm, turquoise water. Sails delivered lunch. Frozen treats at various times delivered to your lounge chair. Ice cold water available (for free). Snorkeling steps from the shore. I swam over sting rays. Species of fish varied the most above pipes to the left of the beach as you’re facing the bay/ocean. Resort fee covered the masks, snorkel and fins and other activities.
3. Proximity to St. John & Trunk Bay: Taxi from the Ritz to the ferry station took about five minutes. The ferry ride to St. John was about 20 minutes. Once there, restaurants and shops within walking distance offered many options. See my reviews of Morgan’s Mango and High Tide. The open-air taxi ride to Trunk Bay was scenic and took about 20 minutes; TRUNK BAY: Next to scuba diving (which I couldn’t do on this trip because I’m pregnant), the snorkeling at Trunk Bay was a thrilling experience. See my review of Trunk Bay.
4. The resort itself: VIEWS-- Overlooking Great Bay and across to St. John from our room or the beach was soothing. At night Bleuwater was illuminated giving it a special blue hue. The main building sparkled at night. It was truly beautiful. GROUNDS--The property is lush and relaxing. You truly feel transported and never forget that you’re on vacation and away from it all. The iguanas near Sails and some other spots were entertaining. We loved seeing them sun themselves in the salt pond. SPA-- Very tranquil environment. I had an excellent prenatal massage with Boel. My husband’s massage unfortunately wasn’t as great as mine but we were in Anguilla at CuisinArt (before the second part of our babymoon in St. Thomas) where he had an excellent treatment at Venus Spa. POOL-- There was always room in the pool for one more and it was never too crowded. The views from the infinity-edge pool facing the beach and Great Bay were mesmerizing. The mid-day cookies and all-day cold water were nice compliments to a pleasant poolside experience. Jason, the attendant at the towel station, was personable and professional.
5. The service: Our housekeeper, Juanny, was so pleasant and welcoming. She left a hand-written note on her first day; I don’t recall this at any Ritz-Carlton or other 4-star or 5-star resorts. Denzyl, our bellman, was professional and knowledgeable; he’s a resident of Tobago and knows the overall USVI area well. The phrase, “My pleasure,” is something that I love about The Ritz-Carlton regardless of the city or country. I appreciate the consistency in service no matter where I am.
My husband’s take on our stay in St. Thomas: “A hub for all excursions. It can take a lot of energy out of you. When you come back after a long day, it’s nice to come back to a place like The Ritz-Carlton that feels like home. You can have trips to St. John, Tortola and many other places by going to St. Thomas. St. Thomas isn’t about the destination itself; it’s about all of the possibilities for what you can do while you’re in St. Thomas.”
My other comments: We had a guaranteed check-out of 4pm as part of our level of service. The night before our departure after we received our folio, my husband called to confirm our late check-out and stated that we only needed a late check-out of 2pm. The person who answered said he’d call back to confirm. We ordered room service and forgot about expecting the confirmation.
The next day after breakfast and lunch at the beach before our departure, my husband headed up to the room while I continued to take in a few last moments at the beach.
Close to 12:30pm I headed up to our room only to have my room key not work. I tried again. No go. A man on staff was standing nearby and I told him my room key wasn’t working. He let me in. Once inside I noticed my husband hadn’t returned and I was alarmed realizing he probably couldn’t get into our room either. I went back to our suite entrance and told the guy outside and our housekeeper, Juanny, to please let my husband in if he arrived after me and I couldn’t hear him while packing (the foyer and walk-in closets were far apart in our suite).
I called Guest Services and a man connected me to a woman to whom I explained that I had been locked out and that we had a guaranteed late check-out; my husband likely had the same issue with his room key and we had to depart for the airport at 2pm. By then it was after 1pm and I was worried. I called the front desk again and was told that I could come to reception to get a new room key. The main building was at least 15 minutes by foot and I’m five months pregnant. Not once did I raise my voice or yell but I definitely felt like I would have been justified in so doing.
The appropriate action and response would have been for the Guest Services staff to apologize and send the room keys to us or at least offer to find my husband to give him a new room key. When my husband went to the front desk after realizing that his room key didn’t work he was given the “don’t keep your room key next to your credit card” lecture. I was appalled.
If you’re wondering, no, we didn’t have our room keys against credit cards or magnets that would have de-activated our room keys. Here’s what happened.
When we checked out, the front desk staff admitted that room keys are automatically de-activated at noon despite a guest’s guaranteed late check-out time. Room keys can’t be updated within the system to reflect the accurate check-out time. New room keys have to be issued and made available at the front desk.
We were inconvenienced and our check-in for our international flight was put at risk. We couldn’t check in at the kiosk at the airport and had to get assistance in order to check in. We never got the confirmation of our guaranteed late check-out but it was in writing upon arrival based on our level of service/package.
A guest should not be inconvenienced by outdated, automated systems. The Ritz-Carlton can do better than telling someone 5-months pregnant and her husband that they should pick up new room keys when the hotel made a mistake and demonstrated poor customer service.
Presidential Suite #500
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.