We read our fair share of reviews on here before booking the Ritz. Some were a little too harsh, but overall, the reviews came through for us in our planning phase.
We found the staff to be exceptional. They were friendly, engaging, and very helpful. It seemed like they couldn't do enough for us.
Our room with the ocean view was tremendous. The hotel is sprawled out over several buildings. We were in the last building (they are lettered with associated names. A is closest and F is the farthest). People on here complained that the valets with the golf carts were never available. They were great! Every time we called for our car, guest services would ask if we needed a ride (we walked 95% of the time). As we were walking, carts driving by would stop and ask us if we wanted a ride. Again, they were very helpful.
It's a nice gym, tennis courts were good, and the beach was plenty big enough, and the watersports folks were very personable, as well.
Where the trip advisor reviews saved us was with the food. We concur on overpriced and average. Our first day there, we had a sandwich and the tacos with a lemonade and water...$62! We know the island is expensive, but way to stick it to your guests
But we didn't complain because we knew this was coming and we had decided to rent a car for the week. You HAVE to rent one! It's very easy driving around the island. You get used to the left side quickly and the signage on the island helps with that, as well. We hit all the places in Red Hook, we drove the island, went to other beaches, etc. Why spend tons of money on mediocre, overpriced food? The car paid for itself. (We had a BRIGHT green 4-door jeep. Ask the Valets about it. It was the ongoing joke we all laughed about)
Bottom line: Great hotel, great location, east end is the best. Get a car!
Ps We took the ferry to St John one day to walk around. We should have taken the car there.