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“Close to perfect, but needs work”

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The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas
Ranked #3 of 22 Hotels in St. Thomas
Certificate of Excellence
Lockport, Illinois
Level Contributor
24 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Close to perfect, but needs work”
Reviewed 24 June 2014

This resort is almost completely amazing. I say almost because there was a major let down. But first the good.

The staff at this resort are outstanding!!!! The level of service and hospitality given to each guest was incredible. This is the first time at a Ritz and we were impressed. We were welcomed by a friendly front desk and gorgeous views. We then had the pleasure of meeting our Bellman, Johnny. Talk about service!!!! The service he provided to us alone would make us return to the Ritz. From starting us off with delicious rum punches, picking us up and dropping us off at our room whenever we needed and to being so thoughtful for making my wife's birthday even more special, Johnny gets a thumbs up. I hope the Ritz realizes what a great employee they have. I also had the pleasure of getting to know a member of the Housekeeping staff named Valentine (Vali). She let me know about a lot of great things that the island of St. Thomas has to offer especially the local cuisine. Our talk centered around food and how we both took pleasure in cooking and taking care of our families. This woman went above and beyond in giving me a opportunity to experience St. Thomas on a local level and for that I am grateful. Again, I hope the Ritz realizes what a great employee they have. Every employee made a point to always say hello and help in anyway they could. That is service true and true.

The resort itself is AMAZING!!! Beautiful views no matter where you were. We stayed on the 2nd floor and woke up everyday overlooking Great Bay and the scenic islands beyond. The beaches were great. The 3 pools available were all fantastic especially the infinity pool looking out over the Bay. We had our 7 y/o daughter with us and she loved it. Lots of kids to play with but not an overwhelming amount. NOT DISNEY!! Always got a seat at the pool or on the beach. Amenities on the beach available to guests were a blast. Paddle boating, kayaking, snorkeling, sailing, etc. Also feeding the local iguanas if your adventurous was a nice touch. A few suggestions. Better pillows. Plain and simple, yours suck. Directions on how to operate the coffee maker and thermostat in the room. Still not sure which buttons to push to make the coffee and which to get the temp to stay where I wanted it. Finally, signage to direct guests to the ice machines. They are in a room behind an unmarked door that looks like every other door in the hotel.

And now for what makes this an almost amazing resort...the bad. I'm sorry, but for a Ritz property your FOOD IS TERRIBLE!!!! Not only is it terrible but it is so far over priced that it is not even worth eating on property. This is evident in the half full restaurants. Half full is being generous. If you'd like to subsist on chicken wings, pizza and chips and salsa you'll make it. But anything else is not worth the time. We ate at all 4 restaurants at the resort. Out of the 4, nothing was rated above an average mark. Bland food, overcooked, old (sitting under a heat lamp forever) this food is subpar for the Ritz. You'd expect better but you will not find it here. I understand that there is a mark up for island food and the Ritz name but the pricing is borderline gouging. $15 for a PB&J. $31 for 2 rum drinks. $26 for a salad with chicken. Ridiculous. I would gladly pay a higher price if the food was at least of a decent quality. But I have gotten better quality food at the local hot dog stand than here. The Ritz' mistake is not taking advantage of what the island has to offer in food. If they incorporated the local cuisine on a larger scale and utilized the resources available to the Ritz through their corporation maybe people would stay on property more often to eat. But for now your restaurants will always prevent you from getting a solid 5 stars. Many of the guests we spoke with had the same complaints. Bad food. Overpriced. And extremely slow service in the restaurants. This is another area that needs improving. "Island time" should not exist at a resort that caters to people from the mainland. Being laid back is one thing. But the slow motion that the restaurant staff moves in is completely ridiculous. 45 minutes to get a PB&J and an order of conch fritters. 20 minutes for drink. The best service was the buffet for breakfast. We served ourselves. With all the great chefs in the world and the way food has taken on a rock star, pop culture status, you would think the Ritz would make a concentrated effort in this department. Instead they fail miserably. And by this they fail their guests. I'm sorry for being so harsh on the food, but we all need to eat. And at the Ritz, who's attention to customer service goes above and beyond, the food quality sadly has a "just good enough" attitude.

All in all with the exception of the food this is a great property and we will be back with our family. Hopefully the Ritz will be able to read and make changes to their menu so this will be a true 5 start resort. If not there's always a local mini mart on the island that has frozen dinners.

Room Tip: Definitely go higher. Better views. The floors are all tile so you will hear the person above you if...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Jim B
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, 12 July 2014
Dear JimB,

I appreciate when our guests take the time to write about our Ladies and Gentlemen and I will certainly recognize Johnny and Valentine for the exemplary service they provided you. These individuals are definitely super stars! It is truly a testament to our hotel and brand that you found all of my team to be helpful and friendly. Our Island and resort are beautiful but it is our Ladies and Gentlemen who make the difference. I am pleased to hear that you and your family enjoyed the resort and will return!

I am sorry that your culinary experiences where not up to your expectations and your feedback is very valuable to us. You will be pleased to know that we have revamped our menus and concepts to better accommodate our guests preferences.

I will look forward to seeing you again at The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas!

Kind Regards,
Bernd Kuhlen
General Manager
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Greater Cincinnati
Level Contributor
90 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 June 2014

This was our first time at the property in St. Thomas. It is not a stretch to say amazing. The staff begin at the initial greeting when you pull up and the helpfulness does not stop. The open air lobby and registration offers you an amazing ocean view as you check in.

The rooms were amazing... and the bed puts the Westin Heavenly Bed to shame.

Overall, worth every penny of our stay.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank RussellGentry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
22 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 June 2014

We needed a relaxing vacation. We booked this family trip with our 4 year old and 8 month old daughters. From the first day, everything we expected and more happened. From the time we checked in until the time we checked out, the service, staff, amenities and activities were absolutely amazing. The staff and guest were super nice and friendly. To name a few people, Scott, the life guard, a young man with super hero energy was amazing especially when he pulled me and my 4 year old daughter out of the water after our Hobbie tipped over. Alexander, the towel boy, was professional, kind, and respectful in everyday. He set us up with beach chairs and towels every morning. Jeff, in the aquatic center, spent time teaching me how to sail and surf. Wilson, brought us amazing drinks to the beach. The list goes on and on. The waitresses at the Bleuwater restaurant were very friendly. They were super nice with our 4 year old daughter and constantly checked in on us to make sure everything was good. The checkin/checkout staff was also great. Housekeeping was wonderful. We asked for a crib for our 8 month old daughter, they brought us the crib with a baby package that included electric outlet covers, shampoo, etc. They also provided us with a refrigerator and microwave so that we can heat food for the baby and keep other foods that required refrigeration. Room service was very quick and the food was always hot and fresh. Overall, we had an amazing, relaxing, dream vacation at the Ritz. Thank you everyone at the Ritz in St. Thomas that made this vacation so wonderful.

Room Tip: If you want to be pampered and treated well, this is the place. Once you experience the Ritz, you w...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Wsayejmd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
16 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 June 2014 via mobile

I just want to let know everyone who read my review, that the Ritz-Carlton hotel at St. Thomas has the best guest service, great and luxury rooms, as well as very pretty hotel áreas, and superb chefs.
My experience has been one of the bests, and I would come back everytime I could.

  • Stayed June 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Pepe D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 June 2014

I am travelling to St.Thomas and will be staying at the Ritz this month. My issue so far with the hotel is the Concierge. We are going down for a girls trip. We have reserved the Ritz Carlton Penthouse as well as an ocean front adjoining room. We were extremely excited about the trip until I contacted the concierge asking for help renting some jeeps while on the island as well as help with airport transportation. It's not as if I was asking them to fly special flowers in from the island of Hawaii or asking for a rare bottle of pinot noir to be waiting for us. I mean, after all, I'm paying for the penthouse and another room...you think I would get a bit more service. All I was asking for was help with renting a car and airport transportation. Nothing else. This has been going on for days. Still don't have jeeps. Finally got the airport transportation but only after we did the leg work. Spoke to someone in the concierge and she informed me that they could only give me suggestions but could not help with reservations....HUH?!?! You're the concierge. I've gotten broadway tickets, dinner reservations, a picnic packed, etc, etc. from other hotels before but I cannot get them to help with basic request?? I was told by the one concierge lady that she would have her supervisor call me today. In fact, she promised. Guess what. End of the day and haven't heard a word. At this point we have come up with other transportation alternatives after spending two hours on the phone calling around ourselves. Can't believe I'm paying all of this money for service like this. We are still going and plan to have an enjoyable time in spite of this. After all, the airline tickets are non refundable and my one girlfriend comes back every year (stays at the Westin). I feel bad because I'm the one that insisted that the Ritz would be the best....keeping my fingers crossed...I will write and let everyone know how it goes.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
15 Thank trina c
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, 18 June 2014
Dear Trina C,

We are very excited that you and your friends have chosen our beautiful destination for your trip and I am glad to hear that my team have already reached out to you to provide you with the expected level of service and that everything is now in order for your pending getaway.

Transportation from the airport has been known to be confusing as there are local laws that control transfers via taxis and other commercial operations and we are sorry that this translated into the miscommunication in booking a rental car with our staff.

Whilst you will find everything you could need at our resort, including two white sand beaches over-looking crystal clear turquoise waters, plenty of water sport activities and equipment, multiple swimming pools, a tranquil and relaxing full service spa, a state-of-the-art fitness center and four dining venues, the location of our island paradise is also near to other destinations. St. John is a short ferry ride away, or you can charter a luxury yacht experience, where you will find some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. If you have your Passport, the British Virgin Islands are conveniently near for day excursions. You can enjoy the islands from Jost Van Dyke to Virgin Gorda.

We are looking forward to welcoming you and your friends and hosting your getaway.

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
Level Contributor
92 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 June 2014

We had a good time with lots to do on what felt like private beaches of St. Thomas (which are actually public). We enjoyed the restaurant selection, space, and amenities in very nice rooms with excellent daily maid service. My only complaint would be that the costs for food and drink are standard Ritz expensive and my sheets and pillowcases smelled bad, even after being freshly laundered. I don't think I'm being overly sensitive, management needs to QC the laundering process in the residences...

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank WoodGlobal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
60 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 June 2014

The Ritz is a gorgeous property and my husband and I agree about that! When we were checking in I just glanced out the window and tears came to my eyes. We had a non-stop flight from philly to paradise! Couldn't believe I was there in only 4 hours. We were celebrating our 10th anniversary. This was one of the most relaxing vacations we have ever had and I believe the sleepy dreamy setting of the Ritz was the reason. We had a few day trips here and there (we honeymooned in St John so we had to go back), but mostly we just enjoyed hanging out by the pool, enjoying some of the water sports (paddle board was awesome), scuba through the shop on site (awesome), and walking around. Truly a vacation from the business of our normal lives.
My husband and I don't agree about some things, though, so this is a bit of a 'tale of two trips.' He prefers *not* to have full-service, where we have to call the valet to get our rental car brought around and then make the walk back to the lobby. They would have picked us up in a golf cart but he didn't want to wait for that kind of service either. If you have bad knees/hips there are a lot of stairs and inclines around the property, so be prepared for that.
He also didn't like paying a lot for lunch service at the pool bar. He doesn't mind paying a lot for the fancy dinners at the two restaurants there, and we had a beautiful meal & experience at each, but lunch is just lunch (and we paid $80 for two sandwiches and two alcoholic drinks.) We preferred heading to Red Hook and trying the various bars and restaurants there. It was only 5 mins away, and we had a fabulous time checking them all out and trying all the different drinks and food.
We also had an issue with the hot water not being hot. I can't take a bath at home so I LOVE taking a bath on vacay, otherwise we wouldn't have complained about it. It did take three tries for them to get it hot enough, but the problem WAS fixed so I don't complain, just my husband does, again, since he is paying for full service.
The last thing we disagree on was the 'ocean view.' We could actually see more of the mangrove tree reserve area that is in the center of the property because we were on the first floor. We are not the type to complain to get a higher up room, but I kinda wish we had. Yes, I could see the ocean from my terrace, so again, I thought it was just beautiful and would not complain.
OH one more thing! The nespresso in the room was such an amazing touch! Really helped us enjoy lazy mornings.

Room Tip: We stayed in Dahlia, and on the first floor could see more trees than ocean. Ask for a higher floor.
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank hawaiianwannabe
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, St. Thomas

Property: The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas
Address: 6900 Great Bay | U.S. Virgin Islands, 00802, St. Thomas
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > U.S. Virgin Islands > St. Thomas
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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 Top resorts Hotel in St. Thomas
#3 Spa 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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