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“Nice units, mediocre food, overpriced” 3 of 5 stars
Review of The Ritz-Carlton Club, St. Thomas

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The Ritz-Carlton Club, St. Thomas
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Great Bay, 00802, St. Thomas   |  
Hotel amenities
Denver, Colorado
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Nice units, mediocre food, overpriced”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2014

We had a lovely time on St Thomas and enjoyed meeting some nice people while we were there. The best part about the Ritz was the unit itself and the regular housekeeping. The other great part of the Ritz was the heated pool. This was the warmest pool I have encountered in the Caribbean, Mexico or Hawaii. The kids played for hours at a time in the ocean and pool even though the weather wasn't super hot. This is what made the trio so enjoyable and why I rated it 3 stars instead of 2. That said, I will provide some critique of the Ritz.

Spa-skip it
Overpriced and nothing special. I got a pedicure which was fine but certainly not luxurious. The spa was a little nicer than a massage envy but for 4 times the price. I was shocked at how many people found it worth the money though bc they were pretty booked up and I noticed people frustrated they didn't have better availability. The obnoxious thing about the spa is the charge an automatic. 22% gratuity "for your convenience" then emphasize afterward that your service provider only gets a portion of it and encourage you to add even more! Ridiculous. I have been to the Four Seasons spa in Costa Rica and it was so much nicer that this wasn't even in the same category and I think the prices were lower.

Food-expensive and just not that good, buy liquor at the store and make your own drinks
We ate at all of the restaurants on the property and were least disappointed with the Great Bay Lounge. We liked the Caribbean Seafood Market next door better. The food was so much better and expensive but in line with what you expect in the Caribbean and at least it was good. It also had a nice relaxed atmosphere right on the beach. Our server said the chef at the Ritz left maybe a year ago to go to another Ritz that was struggling. I am not sure if this is true, but maybe it explains the mediocre food currently. I was shocked that the worst pizza I have had in my life was the jerk chicken pizza at Coconut Cove. It must have been a frozen pizza that they just heated up. Nobody would eat it, including my three pizza loving children.

I also found irritating that drinks were so overpriced there. My father just bought a bottle off gin at Kmart and even though we only used a tiny bit of it, the gin entire bottle was not that much more than a drink at the bar. Soft drinks were even $5 without a refill. Other nice resorts that supposedly care about the environment have you buy an expensive souvenir cup and the let your refill it. That would be a better option than having those plastic cups blowing everywhere.

We just bought a lot of our own food and drinks and kept them in the condo. Interestingly I think most people came to this conclusion bc the restaurants were only half full at nights even during ad busy week.

Service-spotty
Housekeeping and engineering were very prompt and responsive. The concierge at the residences were not helpful. Surprisingly, they didn't even know about the restaurants at the hotel in terms of special food on certain nights-For example Great Bay lounge has an Asian night on Monday. It was as though everything at the hotel was at a completely different resort. It was very odd.

Snorkeling-I think the Ritz now excludes all outside charters from their beach and won't give you any recommendations even if they can't accommodate you. I was shocked that when we asked if we could do a half day snorkel trip sometime on our vacation the answer was no. They have one half day trip on Thursday afternoon and that is it. We preferred a trip during the morning before nap time and had to wander around Red Hook to find somebody. We were so happy with Liberty Charters. They were more reasonably priced and could accommodate our schedule. Unfortunately they aren't allowed to pick up at the Ritz beach (I am sure they would cite liability or some sort of "quality control" standard) so you do need to take a cab or car to Red Hook.

Child care-forget it
As of the end of December they don't have a normal child care program. You can sign your child up for certain activities but the only one that interested my kids was full two days ahead of time. It is also for older kids. If you want better child are options then go to a Westin. We stayed at the Westin on St John last night of our trip and they had much better choices. Also, for babysitting at the Ritz they charge $50/ hour!!!! I posted an ad on sittercity.com a week ahead of time and found a terrific sitter who we paid $16/hour. Again, I am sure the Ritz would cite liability and that their sitters are thoroughly check out for you-I did my own research and felt better about it.

Overall, wonderful trip but the Ritz could use some improvements.

Room Tip: All the rooms at the ritz residences are probably good in terms of location. Seriously.
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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121 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (47)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Virginia
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
137 helpful votes 137 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2014

We visited the Ritz Carlton Club St. Thomas with our 3 year old son in January. This is a nice time to visit St. Thomas because the weather is less humid than in other times of the year. We chose St. Thomas over other Caribbean destinations, primarily because of the ease of travel (direct flight, no customs upon arrival back in the mainland US, etc).

Other reviews have described the hotel very well. I'll try to focus on the "kid" angle for those debating about whether to visit with kids.

Our son loved the place. The surf in the ocean is almost non-existent, and the water is very clear, so you always feel safe with a small child in the water. The main pool is about 3 feet deep on the shallow end, and the hotel provides some floats, balls, etc for anyone's use in the pool. Our son was given a small beach toy set upon checkin (shovel, pail, etc), so there is really no need to lug a bunch of pool/beach toys with you.

The kids menu at the restaurants and room service was very adequate and pretty reasonably priced for a luxury Caribbean resort.

The ride from the airport is on the long side -- we opted for a private van so that we wouldn't have to make several stops along the way. Having read about the weekend lines at STT airport, we had chosen to come home on a Thursday, which is something I'd strongly suggest that anyone with small kids consider. We breezed through checkin, customs, and security in under 10 minutes for a 5pm flight on Thursday afternoon. The same flight on Saturday could have up to a 2 hour wait. Not the way I'd want to end my vacation...

The main thing I did NOT like about the Ritz Club was the beach chair saving that went on. From our balcony at 7am, you could look out and see several beach chairs already reserved; and those same chairs would go unclaimed until 11am or so. There is literally no policing of that by the staff, so you either have to play the game or risk having a bad location. Note that the beach isn't huge, so the beach chairs are closer together than I'd prefer (but MUCH, much better at the Ritz club than at the Ritz hotel). Typically, you could always get a chair at the beach, but you could end up crammed between two families if you didn't get there by, say, 9am.

One other thing: The bed was literally THE worst hotel bed I've ever slept in. A big disappointment there.

This was our first trip at a Caribbean resort with our child, and we were glad we took him, and felt that this resort was a good fit for our family.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2014

Our group stayed in a three bedroom condo at the Ritz Carlton Club on St. Thomas. The unit was beautiful, had plenty of room, and wonderful views of the ocean and St. John in the distance. We ate on property both on the Ritz Carlton Club side and the hotel side. Delicious!!! Concierge at the Club was wonderful and provided all the little details to make this vacation memorable. I would recommend highly. Kid friendly - we were there during February vacation week, but did not have children with us. I did see so many activities for the kids though.

Room Tip: Top floor would be my only suggestion.
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 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
    • 5 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.
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2014

My family of four stayed at the Ritz Carlton Club on St. Thomas. We rented a two bedrooms unit. It was extremely clean and functional. In the second bedroom, you can ask for two single beds as oppose to a king size bed. We had a second floor unit the view was alright. I would ask for a higher floor unit next time. Foods at the restaurant were very good but costly. I assume it's because it's an island. Also, if you eating in the restaurants, check your bill. We had to ask the server to adjust our bill twice for mistakes. The beach & pool are lovely and staff are friendly.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2014

I believe that the RC club is run by another company than the hotels, so I typically shy away from renting the residences and stay in the adjacent hotel. After hearing very positive reviews of this particular club, we decided to give it a try and we were very impressed. As background, we are a family of six who typically travel on the higher-end side and aren't too price sensitive for the right level of service/treatment.

The rental: We rented a three bedroom on a high floor with ocean views. The residence was well maintained and had all the amenities, including a clothes washer/dryer and top kitchen appliances. We also used the food delivery service to order breakfast food in advance, and it was delivered the afternoon of our arrival day. One of the living room chairs was slightly stained, but in all, very nice level of furnishings. We had three balconies, all with great views and nice outdoor furniture, including a table and chairs for six on the main balcony so you could eat outside.

The property/facilities: the property is maintained to the high standard of a high end hotel. This week is school vacation week for New England and NY, and the place was full but there were always beach chairs and pool chairs available (albeit if you wanted the best ones, grabbing them by 8 AM was necessary). There were many games and toys available for all ages and the beach was beautiful. It is a short walk over to the hotel, and they have all of the snorkel, sail, boat, etc, toys for rental.

Restaurants: we found that many people have car rentals and leave the resort to eat (or eat in their rooms), probably because the cost of on-site dining is high. If you aren't price-sensitive, there are many restaurants from which to choose, and at different levels of formality. We found the food very good, but we did have spotty service at the high-end Bleu Water one night which was surprising (we ate there another night and it was better, so inconsistent service).

Lady Lynsey: we went on a few trips on the hotel's large cat sailboat. The dinner trip over to St John was nice, but the Jost Van Dyke trip was terrific.

Magic Moments is an on-site charter boat option for private rentals. We did that for a day and had a great time. There are offsite cheaper options with lower levels of service, but we liked the implicit hotel validation since they were on-site. It was pricey, but very nice.

Spa: we went to the spa for massages (parents) and the service/facility was very good.

All in all, the club exceeded our expectations and we would definitely come back.

Room Tip: High floors are recommended if you want unobstructed views above Palm trees.
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cortez, Colorado
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2014

We stayed in the residence part of the property (we were in a time share a friend let us use as her guests). The staff are fabulous; the hotel is fabulous; and the property is just perfect. Loved every minute of it. I would like to see the hotel institute some more sustainable practices. For example, since recycling is too expensive for the island (and their land fill is filling up fast), they should put up stands where folks can fill up water bottles WITHOUT having to use a new plastic bottle each time. Also, the maids set our air conditioning low each time they cleaned the room and they should set it higher to save energy. These are observations, not complaints! One 'tid 'bit: the restaurants on the property are very expensive. We brought our own food (non perishable) for breakfasts and lunches, and added to it with local food purchased, and then, usually ate in other places for dinner. That all said, the food we did have on the site was great. I wish all restaurants and hotels had service to this level. I will go back.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore, Maryland
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2014 via mobile

The Ritz Carlton resort is beautiful. The condos, pool, landscaping and setting are top-notch. The architect and landscaper are to be congratulated. The interiors are timeless and tasteful, with plantation accents, rich wood, and marble. Top notch as well. The staff is also amazing- friendly and warm. You will feel welcome here. The asterisk has to do with the dining. The week I was there was not crowded, so the restaurants were typically half full. Despite that, service was often unacceptable. One meal was put in front of us and then no one was to be seen for over 30 minutes (despite not having placed a drink order; we had no opportunity to do so)! We finished our meal with the help of the maître D. The next day, the table next to us at another Ritz restaurant left after waiting 20 minutes for menus. On Valentines Day, we ate at their top-end restaurant, after the concierge made reservations, telling us there was no 'event' menu. We arrived to find a single 5-course meal was the only option, with no price listing. We were surprised to find each meal was $125, much more expensive tan their typical menu. The meal was excellent, but the 'execution' left much to be desired and is typically a practice I see with low-rent establishments. Once they get the dining experience at the same level as everything else at the resort, this place will be hard to beat. Until then, lower your expectations.

Stayed February 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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 Club, St. Thomas

Address: Great Bay, 00802, St. Thomas
Location: Caribbean > U.S. Virgin Islands > St. Thomas > East End
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 ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Specialty Lodging in East End
Number of rooms: 105
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Breathtaking natural beauty right on the beach. A bounty of outdoor adventure with perpetually perfect climate are just a few of the reasons why St. Thomas attracts the savy traveler from around the world. Everything the Ritz Carlton is famous for but raised to a higher level in these stunning private residences. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
The Ritz-Carlton Club, St. Thomas Hotel u.s. Virgin Islands
The Ritz-Carlton Club, St. Thomas U.S. Virgin Islands

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