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“Here currently.... Not pleased so far”

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The Ritz-Carlton Club, St. Thomas
Certificate of Excellence
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Here currently.... Not pleased so far”
Reviewed April 24, 2014 via mobile


It's the Ritz so I will always give it 5 Stars... however.....

For starters the picture most of you are seeing is the picture from the "residential" side of the Ritz (vrbo;time shares etc) it is NOT the hotel side just so we are clear. I am a little sadden because the walk to everything is way to far to walk from the Dahlia side. They so have bell hops that will drive you but you will have to use them every time which warrants a tip. I asked for a room change one of which that was not grants because they said they were booked (for a Thurday... Not sure if I believe that!).... Day one of 4 and so far not impressed. The room is great and cleaned. People are friendly. The coconut cove restaurant is where my husband and I dinned for the evening. It was quite pricey for the meal we had. My husband had the short ribs (only 2... 36.00...Before your mouth start to water)...which were very tender if I could say so myself. The Fuji water was 8 and wings 15.00... I know Ritz means money but I always like to pay for what I get. All in all I wish the room location was better and after attempting looks like I'm stuck I'm this one. For a better experience try to get a residential booking.

Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank AKA77056
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (78)
Date | Rating
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English first
va beach va
Level 6 Contributor
110 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed April 6, 2014

That's what everybody said when we arrived! We stayed with our friends/owners--what an amazing week. Perfect in every way. They've thought of everything you could want…privacy, food, drinks, homelike units, on-site spa….OR venture out to wonderful restaurants, shopping and other islands….St John nearby…we went twice for dinner. Perfect weather…clear blue skies, shooting stars and rainbows! A memorable time…!

Room Tip: All units near the beach… Unless you want to drive on the 'other' side of the road, use pri...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Roxyvb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level 6 Contributor
114 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
Reviewed March 30, 2014

My family (two kids, 9 and 14, + wife) went there for spring break and had a wonderful time. We had a 3 bed, 3.5 bath unit in the "Lilly" building. The views of the harbor were nice to wake up to. The beds were super comfy and the kitchen had all new appliances and was fully stocked. The Ritz's location is superb, as it is on a nice strip of beach, within 2 miles of Secret Harbor, and within 4 miles of very good restaurants and the St. John's ferry. Right where you want to be. The heated pool was never crowded and with the wind coming off the bay it was a great way to end every adventurous day. They also had great games for kids, including ping pong, a huge connect four, some addictive bean bag game, a pool table, a make your own sand art (really nice picture frames, etc.) and large chess board. My son and I played tennis three times; the 2 courts are maintained in excellent shape. And every time we went they gave us two brand new sleeves -- total first rate. We ate the Coconut Cove twice -- once for lunch and once for dinner -- and we had frozen drinks there every day (bartender makes the best bushwackers). The lunch menu was a little pricey but hey, it's the Ritz, it's poolside, and it was delicious ($24 fish tacos are a bit overpriced but really tasty and you just go with it). The check-in was super smooth and everyone at the resort was really nice. A few criticisms, however: (1) the concierge seemed confused by simple questions like, "where's Secret Harbor," taking out a map and looking for it all over the island (It's very close to the Ritz and a top snorkeling spot). I think management can do a better job of training the concierge staff to know the tourist spots, how to get there, the parking situation, etc. (2) there were very few stores and shops on premises. No coffee shop; the little store in the main hotel had very few things. Those are minor items. This is a beautiful resort with huge, well-appointed rooms in the best part of town and is no doubt the #1 place in the USVI and in my opinion one of the top 3 resorts in the Caribbean.

Room Tip: Take the Lady Lynsey cruise. We did the "naturalist" trip (4 hours on a catamaran) and, w...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Adam K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Detroit, Michigan
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed March 11, 2014

I travelled with the first week of march with my husband, parents and two year old to the Ritz Carlton club. Some members of our traveling party were skeptical prior to arrival, but I think everyone in our group was pleasantly surprised how much we enjoyed the Ritz Carlton Club – it really exceeded our expectations. This had a lot to do with the fact that it is REALLY family friendly – we probably wouldn’t opt to stay here if we didn’t have a child in tow.

We opted to take use Bazile’s taxi service from the airport and then rented a car from EZ car rentals who delivered the car to the resort. We ended up using our rental car much less than I expected – a few trips to the food mart, and then a few meals that we ate off the resort. We considered a trip to magen’s bay, but somehow never got around to it. If you are willing to rent a car at the airport and drive yourself to the resort, you’d certainly get more “value” out of the car.

As others have mentioned, the food onsite is very pricey. We generally ate breakfast in our unit and lunch at coconut cove by the pool. The food was nothing amazing (think burgers and sandwiches), but it was good and large enough to split in most cases. For dinner, we went next door to the Elysian to the Caribbean fish market (good) and Sangria (more casual but still good food), and went multiple times to the sunset grille at secret harbor (this turned out to be our favorite). We also ate a few meals at the Grand Pallazzo Club at the top of the gardenia building (also good). All of these places have nice views of the ocean.

The beach is nice, but not totally stunning. There are a lot of beach chairs and it is not super long, but there are some nice trees for shade. Getting a good chair was really never a problem – we were told that the resort was filled to 95% capacity, but it really never felt crowded. The water is calm, and great for little ones. The pools were great – really warm and there was a separate little kids pool, as well as an adult only pool. One thing that would have been helpful to know prior to going is that the resort has quite a few sand toys, noodles, balls, etc for kids to play with at the beach and pool. I brought toys with us, but it probably wasn’t necessary.

Without exception, we found everyone at the resort to be very friendly and helpful. I was prepared for some “island time” service at the restaurants, but this really wasn’t the case.

We took two trips on the hotel’s catamaran (the lady lynsey). Husband and I did the Jost Van Dyke trip, which we really enjoyed. It takes you out for a brief snorkel and then on to Jost where you spend about 2 – 3 hours getting lunch and drinks at soggy dollar and enjoying the beach. The trip is similar to a lot of other options in the area, but this one was really great for us, as you don’t have to mess with driving and parking in red hook, and there were only about 14 people on board (apparently the boat holds up to 49, so this wouldn’t necessarily be the case for all trips). All of the crew were very friendly and worked hard to make sure you were comfortable and always coming by to refill your drink or see if they could be of service. We also did the sunset sail (with parents and toddler). There were more people on board for this (probably 20 -25), but the boat didn’t seem crowded. They serve appetizers and drinks. There were lots of kids on the boat, so I wouldn’t expect this to be a romantic adult-only ride. We all enjoyed it, especially our son.

Overall, highly recommended, especially if you have kids. While I haven’t stayed at the resort so cannot make a real comparison, I thought the club side looked better – more beach area, fewer people, presumably a better value for the rooms (which were really nice and I thought a good value given what we paid).

Room Tip: We stayed on 5th floor of Jasmine - excellent for a good view, and also closest to the main pool.
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank north726
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Mccarmc4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Virginia
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 126 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Deacs24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
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
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Denise B
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

Property: 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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