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caneel bay/ritz st thomas

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caneel bay/ritz st thomas

we are currently booked at caneel bay but are considering changing to the ritz. we are 4 adults any opinions or thoughts would be appreciated

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1. Re: caneel bay/ritz st thomas


That would be the biggest mistake of your life. I have stayed in the best suite at the ritz in st thomas. Don't know about the regular rooms but the suite was spacious and nicely decorated. Here's the scoop, the infinity pool was cute, the beach is nothing special at all! The dining is good. An thats it.

If your looking to spend the majority of your vacation shopping, the ritz st thomas is a good choice. If you want to relax at one of the most beautiful resort properties in the carribbean, you have chosen the right place.

I went on vacation to St Thomas with my future wife 5 years ago. We went for a day trip to St John and fell in love. We have been back 3 times in the last four years. Have stayed at the westin every time. (We rented villa in this Jan)

I have visited Caneel on every trip st St John. Would have stayed at Caneel but had price/availability issues when we wated to travel. Be sure to rent a jeep and explore the incredible island. Driving is safe and manageable. Not that many cars on the road.

Your first choice was the right choice.

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2. Re: caneel bay/ritz st thomas

Please don't cancel your trip to St. John!!!My husband and I have stayed at both properties, the Ritz is more modern and up to date, but Caneel is set on one of the most pristine pieces of land in the Caribbean.

The choice of restaurnts on St. John I find much superior and St. John feels light years away from St. Thomas.

Since we own a villa on St. John that would always be my first choice, and I find staying at a villa a superior choice over Caneel or the Westin.

St. John will not disappoint.

Parker, Colorado
Destination Expert
for St. John
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3. Re: caneel bay/ritz st thomas

Go Caneel. IMHO, you'd be making a mistake if you changed your plans...and you'd know it within 5 minutes of exiting the ferry in STJ for a day trip.

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4. Re: caneel bay/ritz st thomas

We are repeat Caneel visitors and absolutely love the resort but it isn't for everyone.

Ask yourself what you are looking for in a vacation. If beaching it is high on the list - absolutely go to Caneel. If you like to enjoy resort offerings such as luxury rooms, pools, etc. maybe the Ritz is a better choice.

I say this because we often travel with friends who aren't into snorkelling. lounging on the beach all day and the like. They are more drinks by the pool, shopping, and whirl pool tubs. They are more Ritz while we are more Caneel.

Hamilton, New Jersey
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425 posts
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5. Re: caneel bay/ritz st thomas

Caneel is my choice...definetly. Ritz is a nice stay but all the other posts are accurate. A much nicer property at Caneel. Great beaches (7), beautiful sunsets, a large walkable property, outstanding restaurants, and when you drive out the front gate, you have one of the most beautiful islands in the caribbean.

St. John has it all over St. Thomas. Not even close. You drive away from Ritz and you must drive for awhile through traffic to get to where your going (not a lot to see in between).

Enjoy Caneel and St. John.

New Haven...
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6. Re: caneel bay/ritz st thomas

Caneel, no question.

The Ritz is a very nice property and has all the luxury you would expect, but St. John is so much nicer than St. Thomas. I have been going to STT since childhood and never spent too much time on St. John- now, I can't get over to St. John quickly enough.

There's such a different feel on St. John- you will love it!

I've been down three times this year and St. John is where it's at :) Have a great time!

Huntington Beach, CA
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7. Re: caneel bay/ritz st thomas

I have stayed at both the Ritz Carlton on St. Thomas and at Caneel Bay (4 times).

The Ritz Carlton is a beautiful resort with great service and every service that you would expect from a "world class" resort.

Caneel Bay is VERY different. First the 160 rooms are set in about 160 acres. That works out to be an acre per room! The rooms at Caneel are not luxurious, but very comfortable. There is no room service, nor telephones to call for room service if room service was available!

At the Ritz Carlton you can mingle with other guests. At Caneel, you are more likely to mingle with the wild donkeys than other guests. Caneel Bay has been full during each of our visits and we always wonder where the other guests are. One of our favorite things is walking the dimly-lit paths at Caneel Bay at night. It is so quite and peaceful it makes you feel special just to have the priveledge of being there.

I think we got used to the service at Caneel Bay and rated it excellent on our last two visits. What I mean is that there is no rushing at Caneel Bay. Everything moves at a slower pace including the service. Greet the resorts associates with a friendly "good morning, good day, or good evening" and they will be treat you in a similar manner.

I have posted about 60 photos of Caneel bay on webshots.com, for those interested.

My only regret is that my income has not kept pace with the rising rates at Caneel Bay and we can no longer afford our favorite resort.

rhode island
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8. Re: caneel bay/ritz st thomas

IMO...stay with your plans at Caneel!!! you won't regret staying at this resort nor will you regret being on st. john...st. thomas is nice..st. john is beautiful!! i would suggest the 4 of you rent a car for the week or part of the stay so you have the freedom to explore the island at your lesiure..stop when or where ever you choose, makes for more of an adventure and you're not at the mercy of the taxis. the town of cruz bay is great fun/nice shops/fabulous restaurants/interesting bars !! also you should take the drive to coral bay...without your own wheels it's not easy to get there and some good spots/beaches out at that end of the island(bars/shops/restaurants)again, keep to the original plan !!!!

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9. Re: caneel bay/ritz st thomas

Caneel Bay is a naturally pretty place, but I certainly wouldn't waste my money. The service is the pitts, the food is okay (expect lots of bugs swarming and stray cats roaming - YUCK), the beaches are more like lakeshores (but the snorkeling is incredible) with rickety, plastic beach chairs, and the rooms were the pitts. The Brown Jordan patio furniture might qualify as antiques, the cheap Trevira fabric and low-end furnishings used in their rooms (which at least is pretty minimal) would make a La Quinta Inn look like the Four Seasons. Oh, and don't worry about packing on the weight while you are there, as you'll be hiking to and from breakfast, lunch and dinner. It's a campground with no RVs allowed.

We ended up at the Ritz Carlton (which is pretty typical of Caneel Bay guests and by the way, much less money). It is a really small Ritz property, but the service was nice and our room was superb (especially after having to play "pioneers" at Caneel Bay - I'm seriously suprised there was electric at all). The Club Level there is the way to go.

I can't say that I would make St. Thomas my vacation destination again. It's just so touristy. But why on earth, would anyone want to stay at a glorified campground?

New Jersey
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10. Re: caneel bay/ritz st thomas

Clemmie05’s post is a great illustration of why you need to decide what’s important to you on a vacation, as Cleobeach said earlier. We aren’t cruise people, but most everyone we know loves them. We hurry to get off St. Thomas as fast as we can, while millions of people flock there.

I once made the mistake of suggesting a villa on St. John to a honeymooning couple I didn’t really know all that well. Huge mistake. Turned out what they really wanted was to be pampered, room service, umbrella drinks on the beach, bar scene at night, shopping — all those thing we go to STJ to get away FROM.