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“10th Anniversary Splurge”

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The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas
Ranked #3 of 22 Hotels in St. Thomas
Certificate of Excellence
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
38 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“10th Anniversary Splurge”
Reviewed June 11, 2014

As you can see from some of my other reviews, I'm typically not a five star kind of girl. Or maybe I wasn't until this trip. We decided to splurge for our 10th anniversary and chose St. Thomas because of the times of the direct flights available from NYC. As we were only going for four nights, there was no way we were going to transfer. The Ritz is around a 40 minute drive from the airport. There are plenty of taxis available there, and you can split the $90 cost with others. A couple overhead us say were were headed to the Ritz and proposed that we share. Upon arrival we were greeted with an incredible view from reception and a refreshing rum punch presented by Johnny, who then whisked us to our room in a golf cart. I was thrilled to find a Nespresso machine and another fantastic view from the balcony. The staff had also thoughtfully provided a chocolate cake for our anniversary and my husband's birthday as well as champagne!

As we had already been to St. John on a prior trip, and because our stay was so short, we remained at the resort during the day, other than a failed excursion to Charlotte Amalie to purchase a watch. Given my negative experiences with cruisers in European cities we decided to pop in to shop on a day when a ship wasn't in the port, but ALL of the stores were closed. We enjoyed walking around, and climbed up to see the fort, castle, and second oldest synagogue in the west.
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The two beaches, one for the hotel side and one for the time share side, are small and there were ample loungers, each with its own canopy. The water is a bit rocky at the bottom and there are reefs. We sure to be aware of this if you take advantage of the water sports which are included in the resort fee. I was anxious about toppling off the stand up paddle board and destroying a protected marine environment. I only wish the beach were long enough for a stroll. We didn't spend much time at the pool, though we did try the hot tub, which was disappointingly only lukewarm.

In terms of the food, breakfast was our favorite meal. The buffet was impressive, and we couldn't get enough of the french toast! Lunch at Sails was also good, and I was pleased with the vegetarian and healthy options. The quinoa burger was tasty and filling. I'm not much of a daytime drinker as it just makes me lethargic in the sun, but I couldn't resist some of the drinks of the day. The key lime one was particularly good. I wish there were more options for dinner. We decided to venture next door to the Carribbean Fish Market, which is located just next door in the Elysium Beach Resort. There is a casual place and a slightly more formal one. We enjoyed both. We also ventured to Red Hook one night, but it wasn't particularly worth it.

To summarize, the Ritz was upscale without being stuffy and had a lovely island feel. Going during the shoulder season was especially worth it as we had the "Comfort You" package which included breakfast and a $100 resort credit each day.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank nycyogini
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Arlington, Virginia
Level Contributor
58 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed June 9, 2014 via mobile

To start off on a positive note, this property is in a great location and the grounds are beautiful. However, when we arrived we found that our bed sheets were filthy of the sorts I'll choose not to describe. While we understand that "things happen", the management didn't even apologize. Unfortunately, this clouded our vacation experience in the hotel. Luckily, we were able to enjoy the overall property / location. We gave the management a few weeks to respond and, to date, nothing has been done. Hence, we reluctantly felt it was appropriate to write this review.

Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
10 Thank JBC1977
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
STTRZGM, General Manager at The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas, responded to this review, June 12, 2014
Dear JBC1977,

We always welcome our guest’s comments and reviews and learn many things from the feedback provided. We are pleased you found the property location and grounds beautiful and hope you found the service by our Ladies and Gentlemen to be welcoming, genuine and caring. We are sorry that your received no response from anyone so far and we are continuing research to identify whom was made aware of this issue and determine how these linens made their way into a guest room and how our inspection process missed this issue. We strive to ensure all of our guests’ experiences are exceptional and we understand that we did not deliver on this goal with you. Should you wish to discuss this with me further, please reach out to me at rc.sttrz.gm@ritzcarlton.com

We hope you will return to our resort again in the future.

Kind Regards,
Bernd Kuhlen
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NYC
Level Contributor
31 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed June 9, 2014

Please bring my fiancée and I were looking for a quick getaway and decided to go to St. Thomas and get married. I cannot write a review on the weather, for it is no one's fault that it rained our entire trip, however, we were very pleased with our choice of accommodation.
When you think of a Ritz-Carlton establishment, you may expect top notch design/architecture with state-of-the-art facilities and whatnot. If you are expecting that at this location, be prepared that it is not the case here. I personally preferred to feel like I am on a tropical island. And while it is apparent that the Ritz Carlton took over this already established property, I do not find it a disappointment whatsoever. It has that very nice island feel to it. Very clean and well kept. The bathrooms are very spacious and modernly designed.
We have tried dining in other restaurants off the property, but the food at the Ritz Carlton restaurants was still the best , even though it could be a bit pricey.
The beach was nice, I have seen better, on other islands that is. But be advised, you are on the bay, not the ocean. There is a lot of seagrass, which is pretty much unavoidable. If you decide to explore, wear water shoes. There are sea urchins! My husband found out the hard way.
I would definitely stay here again if I choose to return to St. Thomas. Hopefully with better weather of course.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Danyca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chevy Chase, Maryland
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed June 8, 2014

What a great resort. We had five rooms and three generations together for a week. Except for a one-day expedition to Trunk Bay at St. John, we stayed put. I polled our group for any negatives. One daughter was concerned that the hotel didn't recycle. Turns out there is no recycling on St. Thomas so separating the plastic, etc., would be eyewash. There were many dining choices, all offering wonderful views. The cold buffet at breakfast was so good, I never got to the hot buffet. For lunch, we opted to dine on the beach at our deck chairs. Two members of the group have food allergies and after the first day or two, the staff needed no complicated instructions to bring the salad or sandwich minus the allergy producing items. At dinner, the chef(s) came to the table to explain the various dishes that were soy and dairy free and went on to explain how he could adjust other menu items if that was desired. Talk about leaning over backwards. The resort fee covered a long list of water activities including Hobie Cats, wind surfers, paddle boards, snorkels and fins (which could be taken over to St John), kayaks, aqua socks, and more. For those wanting more adventure, there were modestly priced ($95 for Scuba) diving trips by boat to reefs. Our rooms were excellent but the best part was the staff. Everyone from front desk to servers to maids to maintenance staff to waterfront staff smiled and leaned over backwards to be helpful. Coupled with the balmy temperatures, white beach, turquoise water, and pleasant trade winds, our group had ear to ear smiles. A really wonderful experience for all eight of us.

Room Tip: All of our rooms had balconies and great water views.
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank John B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
105 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed June 7, 2014 via mobile

We have stayed at other hotels here and the best by far is the Ritz... Great rooms and uber friendly staff. The gate guards will when make you smile. They don't miss a step and I'm always excited to come back!

Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank Steven J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kauai, Hawaii
Level Contributor
28 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed June 5, 2014

I have stayed at this property many times. I have to say they have one of the nicest infinity pools I have ever swam in overlooking the Caribbean sea. This property has great water sports including paddle boats, kayaks,wind surging and snorkeling. I recommend sailing on the Lady Lynsey. The food is wonderful at the pool side restaurant. Worth staying at. Bring lots of sunscreen.

From Andrea
http://mrsandrea.com

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Andrea K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shelby Township, Michigan
Level Contributor
34 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed June 3, 2014

While the location and views are fantastic and grounds are very pretty for a tropical location, there were just so many little things that bothered us that we don't see ourselves returning to this particular RC. Most staff were extremely friendly and helpful. The grounds were constantly being maintained and plantings were beautiful but you saw numerous broken walkway tiles, rust spots, missing hinges, etc. everywhere you went. They had even painted over missing parts of doors, gates, etc. rather than fix them. Location of hotel is great as it is totally on the opposite end from where the cruise ships come in and is on a beautiful bay overlooking St. John. One thing about hotel that might be a problem for people with mobility issues is that the buildings are quite a distance from one end to the other and there are steps everywhere you go. It may be up and down one step or it may be an entire flight, but we felt like we were constantly climbing stairs. Elevators were few and far between. They do have golf carts that will transport you to and from the lobby to your building, but they only run across the front of the property and not in the areas of the restaurants, pool, etc. You have to traverse long paths and staircases or search for elevators. Again, not a problem for us but I have several older relatives that would have been in big trouble here. We had a club level room but were disappointed to be put on the first floor, which left us basically looking at trees and the back of the activities building as opposed to the water and required that we climb down a flight of stairs (again!) to access our room. As the resort was relatively empty during our stay, there really was no reason to put anyone in a less desirable room, especially if you are staying in the club level. Both elevator and ice machines were way on the other end of the building and difficult to find as there were no signage for them. Room itself was clean, large, and the bed was extremely comfortable. Wi-fi worked well. Bathroom was huge. Closet space good but could have used some more drawers as they use one of your larger dresser drawers to house the ice bucket and glasses. There was a nice love seat in the room and a large patio. Housekeeping was an issue. We had two broken lights in our bathroom from the time we arrived. By day 3 I finally asked the concierge in the club to call maintenance is it obviously was not a concern for our housekeeper. Turn down service was supposed to be done before 9 p.m.. By 9:30 or 10 each night we gave up and put up our privacy sign so we could shower and relax. There was always a little bag on our door knob the next morning with our chocolates, water and daily bulletin, so I have no idea what time they finally showed up. One morning the day housekeeper showed up just as I was returning with a bucket of ice. She shamed me for getting ice myself telling me that was her job and promised to make sure our bucket was filled every time she cleaned. You guessed it, never saw a single ice cube and continued shlepping my own ice for the next week. They have several good restaurants on site. Bleuwater was good enough to visit twice. Ate at Sails one evening when they had their Sea at Sails night. They had a presentation at 4 pm where you could view the fish and lobsters being brought off the boat, take pictures with the day's catch and the chef, and they prepared all of it that evening at the restaurant. While the meal was tasty, it was heavily overpriced for the little piece of fish that we got ($45). Another niggle to this location is that they have 4 restaurants, and they randomly close two of them each night. Maybe it was because it was the start of their slow season, but it was irritating to decide to eat at one of them on a certain day just to find out that it was closed. They have no real bar here except for Sails, and it not only was closed most afternoons and several nights while we were there but closed very early on evenings they WERE open. Entertainment doesn't exist other than the steel band they have a couple of times a week at Sails and even that is done by 8:30 or so. The pool was very nice, clean and water perfect. Pool service was great, once you got over the shock that that little plastic cup cost you upwards of $17. Fruit and drink-of-the-day samples brought around occasionally. Nice row of rocking chairs right off beach that were enjoyable at night looking at stars and lights of St. John. We did stay at the club level, which was well worth the money. We ate breakfast there every morning as they prepare eggs and waffles, and have every sort of fruit, pastry, cereal, juice, etc. you could want. Nice afternoon and evening snacks, along with alcoholic drinks and sodas available all day. They keep at least 8 flavored rums and several juices out in the afternoon. Was fun to mix and match flavors and create my own rum punches. Friendly and helpful staff and concierge. Diaz at the egg station was a real character- we loved this lady. If you stay at the club level you must try the cookies. They are addicting. Joke among all guests that got to know each other in the club was that we couldn't go to bed each night without our cookies. They do really, really, really need to improve on their shops. They have a captive audience at their remote location - use it to your advantage and for your guests' convenience. You see a sign that says "Shops", but all there is is a small jewelry shop (which had some nice pieces), and a very small gift shop. There were no newspapers, magazines, books, very little in the way of snacks, toiletries, souvenirs or clothing. To be fair, they said there was a strike of some sort going on that had stopped their reading material supply, but I didn't even see an area where they may have kept more than a miniscule supply in normal times. As you are way out of reach of any other stores here, this shop is hugely understocked and underserves its guests. So, lovely location, beautiful views, nice beach and pool, friendly staff, tasty food at restaurants, but poorly designed, overpriced for food venues, closed restaurants randomly, has no shopping available, and poor decisions on where to house their guests . Lastly, and I don't know if this is a new thing or central to this Ritz, but they hit our credit card with a hold for the entire amount of our room plus "anticipated costs" of an extra $200 per day as soon as we arrived- on top of the $1500 they had charged a few days before we arrived. They then did a credit back at end of stay for the overage. We certainly had enough credit, but that may have been a huge issue for someone else. Irritating and poor business acumen no matter how you look at it.

Room Tip: Insist on something higher than the first floor and use the club level.
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank travelerwithtaste
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
STTRZGM, General Manager at The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas, responded to this review, June 5, 2014
Dear travelerwithtaste,

We always appreciate our guest’s detailed experiences regarding our property and service. The construction on the resort was completed in 1990, prior to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1993. This is a truly unique resort as it was designed to give the feel of an intimate and private enclave instead of the upright hotel towers, with one after another perched along the shoreline. Our resort’s design was to compliment the mountainous tropical landscape and give visitors a sense of exclusivity and privacy. The hotel was not originally a Ritz-Carlton but came to be after a devastating hurricane in 1995. Over the years we have made many modifications to the resort to make our disabled guests comfortable, our terrain accessible friendly all the while maintaining our original Caribbean ambiance. We are also happy to report that we are meeting all ADA requirements required by US Federal Law.

Thank you for bringing to our attention the challenges you had with our turndown offering, we will continue to train our Ladies and Gentlemen to ensure our guests are well cared for and comfortable and that services are delivered in a timely manner.

We will share your comments with our Culinary and Food & Beverage teams as well. We are pleased that you enjoyed the culinary creations of our Bleuwater restaurant. Sea to Sails is one of our guest’s favorites, the fresh fish, brought to the beach by local fishermen illustrates the bounty of the sea, coupled with the delicious accoutrements from our chefs provides for a wonderful Caribbean experience. As you mentioned, another crowd pleaser is the flavored rums in our Club Lounge. These are produced by our local distillery, Cruzan Rum and they inspire relaxation, have great tropical flavors and are truly an “island” experience.

We are working to make improvements to our retail offerings as we realize not all of our guests like to travel to our downtown waterfront shops. We look to have many new offerings coming soon. As you may appreciate, living on a small island in the middle of the Caribbean significantly adds to the cost of bringing in the various items and foods that our guests enjoy, with the exception of a few things, these goods are either brought in by plane or boat. We are sorry about the miscommunication with your credit card pre-authorizations, it is a standard practice in the hotel industry.

Finally, and most importantly, I will share your affection for our wonderful Diaz with her, I agree with you wholeheartedly that she is a wonderful lady and we are fortunate to have such a gem.

We hope to see you again soon.

Kind Regards,
Bernd Kuhlen
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas

Property: The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas
Address: 6900 Great Bay | U.S. Virgin Islands, 00802, St. Thomas
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > U.S. Virgin Islands > St. Thomas
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) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 On the Beach Hotel in St. Thomas
#3 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: 180
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled within a 30-acre beachfront estate, The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas blends classic European elegance with warm Caribbean hospitality. The resort overlooks sparkling turquoise waters and white sand beaches on the eastern tip of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands, along Great Bay and with views of St. John. 180 Guestrooms each have private balconies, Caribbean-inspired decor and views of the Caribbean Sea and tropical surroundings. Other features of our beach resort in St. Thomas include a full service spa and salon, 24-hour fitness center, a Club Level with private concierge and complimentary food and beverage presentations, infinity pool, a beach and aquatic center with ample complimentary water sports, and four restaurants for gourmet dining and personalized service. ... more   less 
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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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