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“not up to Ritz Carlton standards” 2 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 #21 of 22 Hotels in St. Thomas
Haddonfield, NJ
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
“not up to Ritz Carlton standards”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2004

My husband and I stayed at the St. Thomas Ritz last winter and were disappointed. We have stayed at many ritz carlton hotels and always loved our stay. However, this hotel was not up to standard.
First, since we booked through American express, we were entitled to a free contiental breakfast. The bakery basket was good, but the coffee was cold. Day two, I wanted to try a hot breakfast item, but sensing this may be a problem, I ordered a waffle plus my free bakery basket. As predicted, my waffle was cold. To make matters worse, they shorted me my bakery basket which was my back up breakfast. When I called room service to inquire about this, I was informed that they decided that I could not eat both.
Late one night, we did again try room service. We mentioned about the usually cold food, but again our food was delivered luke warm.
Next, the resorts living room restaurant had good food and wonderful servers. However the female manager was rude to us on two separate occasions. One time, as we were being seated at our window table, she actually stopped the hostess and had us bumped to a table with no view. We sat through a two hour meal, while several window tables sat empty. The next day at brunch, after another polite hostess told us it would be about 15 minutes until we could be seated, the same manger approached us to say since we did not have a reservation, she did not have a table. I should add that she said this in the rudest way possible. She actually seemed to enjoy turning us away. What was even more suprising was the fact that on this our third and final visit to the restaurant, most of the staff knew us by name, but this unprofessional manager never addressed us by name. She treated us as unwelcome faceless guests.
On the good side, the beach is beautiful and not crowded.

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1,253 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
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English first
prosper, tx
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2004

As I rely on reviews on this website, I felt compelled to write one of my own on the Ritz St. Thomas. Visited with my husband and 6-year old daughter for 10 days over Thanksgiving in 2003. Booked a 1-bedroom suite at $600 per night-well worth the money. Very large bedroom, huge living room and dining room, huge closet, beautiful bathroom, separate shower and tub, decorated beautifully. Also a HUGE covered, furnished outdoor terrace overlooking the bay.

Although it was a hike to get to the beach, we did not mind as it was good exercise. The beach was lovely, meticulously kept, quiet, not too crowded, just enough (well-behaved) children to entertain our daughter. As the Ritz is located in a bay, the water was very calm and good for swimming and snorkeling. The Ritz does not allow non-guests to use their facilities, which keeps the cruise-ship crowds away! The service on the beach was good, the comfortable chairs were plentiful...all in all, VERY relaxing.

Food at the resort: yes, it was expensive, but everything in the Caribbean is expensive. We did not eat in the main dining room, but rather chose to confine our meals to lunch on the beach during the day, and dinner at the outside, casual restaurant at night. DO take advantage of the Lobster Buffet: at $70 pp all you can eat, it is a bargain! The lobster was great, and they kept it coming. We did venture into town for a few meals, but due to the very expensive cab rides, we saved no money by doing so.

My husband is a diver, and he found the dive shop on site to be a quality operation, and no more expensive than customary.

The Ritz Kids program is first rate. My husband and I went deep sea fishing one day, and our daughter stayed at RK for the entire day, and loved it. She wanted to go back again, although we only used the service that one day.

The only reason I did not rate the property at 5-star is: the water pressure in the bathrooms is TERRIBLE, and, several times, the water went off completely for 20-30 minutes right in the middle of our shower. If they could rectify that problem, they would have a first rate resort.

All in all, I would highly recommend this resort for families with pre-teen children. Our daughter was NEVER bored, and my husband and I actually felt like we were able to relax.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2004

i will start with the only two bright spots of this resort.
1. anglela in the ritz kids and allison , the manager who went beyond the call of duty to help us now to the bad
1. upon checkin , we were given 2 rooms in one of the unrenovated buildings, upon entering the room , the carpet was wet and the room smelled like a damp basement, we immediately declined this room and fought for another set of rooms. We were given new rooms in the begonia building and upon retiring for the evening we could hear a scraping sound from the ceiling. We then figured out since there was only tile and no carpet that whenever someone from above moved any
chairs you would hear the screeching sound. my wife called the front desk saying it was impossible to sleep. the next day we were upgraded to a 2 bedroom suite in the timeshare building and i will say this was my idea of a ritz carlton.

2. the people who worked in the restaurants were the rudest people i have ever dealt with. Breakfast in the cafe was basically a self service
event, just try to get your coffee refilled! For such expensive food, i at least expect good service. food at great bay grill was horrible,
there idea of prime angus steak would make a fast food restaurant look awesome. I would not recommend this resort to anyone unless you enjoy being treated like dirt!!!!!

  • Stayed August 2004
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Hudson Valley, NY
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
81 helpful votes 81 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2004

We had recently booked a club level executive suite which is the "best" type of room at this resort and very expensive. Thus, we were extremely upset to encounter an overpowering musty/moldy smell upon entering the suite. We then noticed visible mold around the air conditioner vents and several areas on the walls (and I don't mean just a few dots here and there). There was also visible mold on the sofa, both chairs and on the curtains. This was obviously unacceptable to us and we called the front desk to complain. We had multiple staff come to the room and they acknowledged the problem. However, we were told all the rooms were sold out except for ONLY ONE other room they offered us which was not a suite and we could only have it for one night because it was booked and then we would have to be switched again. We wanted to check it out before agreeing and this room was very old, also very musty smelling (but cleaner), 1/2 the size of the suite and clear across the resort which made the club lounge very impractical (the club was a big reason we booked the resort). We decided to stick out the original suite for the one night because we didn't want to move our stuff twice for another substandard room and they assured us another club suite(they told us the exact room #) would be available the next day and they would adjust the bill. Well the next day we had confusion because the manager was off and the front desk people had no knowledge of the situation. We were told that the new suite number that we were supposed to have was still booked and nothing else was available. At this point we were ready to check out but after several more phone calls we were given another suite which was thankfully in excellent condition. Now for the good part. The resort is gorgeous and most of the staff were extremely pleasant and gracious. Our new room was wonderful and what we had originally expected. The marble bathroom is enormous. The balcony overlooks the water, is large and has 2 lounge chairs, a table with 4 chairs and still plenty of room to walk around. The water sports are excellent and the beach lovely. However, no staff helped us to set up beach chairs or umbrellas. The club amenities were great. We ate most of our meals there and there was always liquor, wine, champagne, etc. also. Be aware that if you book a club level room you might be in a different building than the club level lounge as we were. Evidently the adjacent Heliconia building also has club privileges but you have to walk to the next building for the club lounge. This was a surprise as the web site indicates all the rooms are in the one Gardenia building (but it wasn't a big deal). Also, the ambiance of the club lounge in the evening was spoiled by kids playing hide and seek and being rambunctious. Perhaps after 6 or 7 PM it should be adults only so one can relax with a quiet drink. Had we not had the MAJOR room problem, I would have given this resort 5 stars.

Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Allentown, PA
13 reviews 13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
68 helpful votes 68 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2004

The food service took forever all the time! The prices for the quality that was finally served was
sheer robbery.

We knew we were on island time but this was ridiculous.

This is not the first time this has happened.

No more! Pretty hotel but not a RITZ CARLTON.

Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, MA
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2004

Recently, my family had a reunion trip planned at the Ritz Carlton, St. Thomas V.I.. We had reserved 4 Club Rooms and 1 Club Suite - that's 5 rooms total.

For some reason, the hotel kept sending us confirmations for 6 rooms; the "phantom" was for someone with the same last name, different first, and entirely different address. It took two weeks to get that room dropped off our advance deposit, and we finally got confirmation for just 5 rooms, in the Gardenia building.

Upon arrival, however, there were only 4 rooms (3 club, one suite). Their first explanation was "we thought the 5th was a duplicate and cancelled it." After around 10 minutes of being screamed at, they changed their story and said that all the rooms were full from people who couldn't leave the island due to the hurricane the previous week. Not only was the hotel now overbooked, but the only room they had available at the time was the suite. 4 hours later, the three club rooms had materialized, but the fourth room was still MIA. (Also, only one of the rooms was in Gardenia, and the other 3 were in Heliconia.) They found a regular room in the farthest building on the other side of the hotel, and then told us we had to pay the club rate on it if we wanted that person to have access to the Club Lounge. Mind you, this hotel is in a very hilly area, and there are steep climbs from anywhere to get to the center of the complex. It took around 20 minutes of hard walking to get from that building to the Gardenia. On the second day, another club room was available and the occupant was able to switch, but no one assisted him with his bags and he ended up having to hike with them all across the complex.

Once the room situation was (sort-of) straighened out, we thought our problems were over. Well, no.

The power went out on the 4th day of our visit, and the backup generator kicked in quickly to restore power; however, the power still managed to blink on and off for the remainder of our visit, knocking out the television signal for a good 10 minutes every time. The generator happens to be conveniently located by the tennis courts - right in front of Gardenia - and sounds like a jet engine. Imagine if you will: 2 full days of this exceptionally loud noise coming from outside your room, with no way to block it out. Upon asking the staff about the power situation, they simply shrugged it off and told us to deal with it. To make matters worse, we'd requested a "quiet floor" initially, with all of our block of rooms on the same level. Well, I ended up with two families on either side of me, with kids screaming at all hours of the day and night.

But wait, it gets worse: The afternoon Club Lounge concierge was so incompetent that she managed to screw up ALL 5 of our dinner reservations. Each one was screwed up in an entirely different fashion; for one, the day was wrong. Another, the reservation was made for lunch and not dinner. For another, it was entirely the wrong restaurant. For the fourth, she somehow made a reservation at a restaurant that doesn't exist anymore, and for the fifth, she made a reservation at restaurant IN THE RITZ HOTEL that is closed for the season. We didn't find out about any of the mistakes until it was almost too late (for one, it *was* too late).

Even their excursions desk was not immune to their mistakes: All week, we'd been trying to make parasailing reservations. Every time, we'd come at one time, and be told to come back at another. The boat would then be gone at the time we were told to return, and no one would be there to take the reservation. Each day we tried different times of day, but it always was the same thing. Calling did not help - no one ever picked up the phone. We also found that the people who *did* manage to make a reservation didn't always get to go on their trips: the boat would leave when it got full, reservation or not. They'd actually take walkups out over people who put down advance deposits!

There's more: The elevators stopped working in Heliconia and Gardenia, so people had to walk all the way up to their rooms. Some rooms were kitted out slippers and shaving kits, others weren't even given mouthwash (this was seemingly random, as people in the same room types on the same floors at the *same rate* would get different things.) Heck, I didn't even know there *were* slippers until I saw my brother walking around the Lounge with them on. He was like "Yeah, they were in my bathroom."

All conversations with the front desk went nowhere. Random charges appeared on our rooms every day, and it was a struggle to get them removed. One day, a $54,208 "Internet Fee" was charged to my room, and they actually tried to tell me it was accurate!

Another warning for parents: In the Club Lounge, they leave the alcohol bottles out all day, every day, unsupervised. I saw many *young* children pouring rum into their guava juice and vodka into their sprites, etc, with no one to stop them. Their parents would often be nowhere to be found.

I have stayed in many Ritz Carlton properties over the years, and NEVER have I had so much trouble.

  • Stayed August 2004
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chapel Hill/Durham
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2004

Let me begin by saying that the Ritz-Carlton in St. Thomas is exceptional. My wife and I were there from 6/21-6/28 on our honeymoon and selected the honeymoon package (info on what this includes is available on the Ritz-Carlton website). Although we were not the only honeymooners there that week we were made to feel that way by all of the staff.

We stayed in a club level suite in Gardenia building which houses the club level lounge. The room was spacious and comfortable with a HUGE deck/balcony. My only gripe and it is very, very minor, is that the “deep” soaking tub is not really deep and is big enough for maybe one small person. I was told when I went on the tour of the Ritz-Carlton club residences that all the tubs are that way because water is so expensive in St. Thomas. Even the >$200,000 for 3 week ownership residences have the same small tubs so don’t expect a Jacuzzi no matter how much you pay. Otherwise there was a feather bed, fine Frette linens, Bose surround sound stereo equipment, 2 TVs, one large one in the sitting area and one in the armoire in the bedroom, a cd/clock radio, Mark David custom designed furniture, etc. I could go on and on, but if your picky with details the Ritz takes care to only select the very best in all of its products and furnishings.

I am going to attempt to break my review into categories so it will hopefully be easier for others to use.

The beach: Very fun! The watersports center at the Ritz beach is very helpful and offers hobie cats, kayaks(single and dual), paddle boats, windsurfboards, and various snorkel equipment. They will help you learn how to use any of the equipment and will get you a dedicated teacher for a lesson if you desire(for a charge).
The Ritz has 2 beaches, one on the side of the original hotel known as Iguana’s beach, and the other on the side of the Ritz-Carlton club residences known as Coconut cove beach. Iguanas is man made and Coconut cove is natural. Neither are great swimming beaches such as you might find at Caneel or on St. John, but are great activity beaches. You can snorkel right on property and see sea turtles, stingray, coral, and various fish. There is also a great breeze that is prominent on the east end which is great if you like to windsurf etc.

The pools: Spectacular, infinity edge with a great view, and the other is a pleasant family pool with great bathrooms. I had never seen a beach bathroom done in all marble, sculpted stone, and granite, but leave it to the Ritz to even make the beach bathrooms Ritzy.

The food: Many have complained on this forum and others about the food at the Ritz. Yes it is expensive, but when you factor in the cost of taxi rides in St. Thomas, which are a back breaker, you will find that the Ritz actually comes out cheaper. $18 for a hamburger may sound like a lot, but after your $10 ride to a Wendys for example and the $10 to get back that Wendy’s hamburger costs more. Also, the Hamburger is solid, very large and big enough for 2 if you want to split it. The Great bay grill which is the fine dining restaurant is very good. Don’t expect French, or creative continental cuisine, but it delivers on its promise of fine meats and seafoods grilled to perfection. The Sunday brunch there is expensive but truly superb. All you can eat lobster, Alaskan crab legs, foie gras, Prime rib, lamb chops, etc. are but a few of the selections available. All in all the food is resort expensive but is tasty and in large portions.

The service: Excellent, 5 stars. When we arrived and were escorted to our room, our guide said that basically we could ask for anything we wanted and they would try and make it happen. He emphasized the word “anything”. 2 examples, my wife was eating a peanut butter cookie on the club floor lounge but left it b/c she thought it was chocolate chip but it wasn’t. When the waitress cleared the plate she noticed the left over cookie and asked if we liked it. I informed her that my wife thought it would be cchip, etc. She said oh, then 30 seconds later someone came out with a freshly baked cchip cookie and handed it to her without even asking for it. That is service! Anticipating needs and reading customers desires. Also, my wife left her engagement and wedding ring in the room accidentally one day when she applied suntan lotion. We were on St. John and she was scared it might get lost or stolen, so I called the club floor concierge Malcolm from a restaurant in St. John. He went to the room, found the rings, wrapped them up and put them in safe storage for us. When I thanked him, he said My pleasure. Service can not be beat at this Ritz.

Conclusions: This resort is expensive, but I feel you get your money’s worth. The watersports are excellent and can be done without having to go anywhere else. The watersports center can arrange parasails(which were really great) or private trips, etc. anywhere or anything. The club floor is an added bonus b/c it offers great food, and additional service. Also, the dinner hours serve heavy enough food that you could easily just eat all your meals there (example foods include: steaks, scallop, crab claws, and shrimp thermidoor, grilled swordfish, etc.). The setting is gorgeous on the east end away from the overly developed center of St. Thomas….plus you get a great direct view to St. John from your balcony. This is easily the best service, and the nicest place I have stayed and I would recommend it wholeheartedly. We visited Caneel on a day trip on the Ritzs’ catamaran the Lady lyndsey. The beaches are nice, but all things considered if you like amenities the Ritz blows it away.

2 other notes: Recent guests at the Ritz include Will Smith and Miss America. We were told this information by our taxi driver taking us to the airport. I think the above two guests can stay wherever they like in the world and they chose this Ritz, that should say something. Also, Bill and Hillary Clinton chartered the Lady Lyndsey while they were on St. Thomas a few years back. The president stays at Sand Dollar villas on a private beach when he visits, but even the Clintons used some of the amenities at the Ritz while visiting St. Thomas.

Please feel free to email me about any questions you might have.
Arun (akrishna@email.unc.edu)

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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 ( WiFi ) 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
#2 Luxury Hotel in St. Thomas
#3 Spa 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*
Number of rooms: 200
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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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