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Hotel Check: The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas

BACKGROUND Fresh from a $100 million remodel, the contemporary elegance of this resort involves island chic décor and unending turquoise views of Great Bay. The neighboring Ritz-Carlton Residences section also has a beach and shares many of the resort facilities.

WHERE IS IT? About 45 minutes from the airport, this resort is set in a private cove with its own beach.

WHAT”S IT LIKE? The main palazzo-style reception building ushers guests into a sit-down check-in and a welcome drink (try the homemade lemongrass iced tea with or without rum). Pathways lead down from the accommodations toward the beach and pools assuring panoramic water views from most vantage points.

ROOMS Housed in buildings named for tropical flowers, the rooms showcase captivating views from furnished balconies. The Ritz-Carlton touches abound from the signature pillowtop bed with plush duvets to bottled water and cozy robes. Convenient power and USB outlets are by the bed and near the curvaceous wooden desk. Bathrooms have double vanities, separate water closet and glass shower stall, and deep soaking tub. Fragrant Asprey Purple Water toiletries, another Ritz-Carlton signature, line the counter. Club level rooms are in their own building with access to a lounge offering concierge service and multiple daily food and beverage presentations, including breakfast, lunch, all-day refreshments and evening appetizers.

FOOD AND DRINK Sicilian cuisine including homemade pastas and grilled fish are on the dinner menu at Alloro, which has a beautiful outdoor terrace. Bleuwater serves an impressive breakfast spread and has a new Asian fusion menu at dinner. By the pool, burgers and salads are a big draw, but the views of the ocean are even more enticing at Sails. Live music at Coconut Cove accompanies the island-centric cuisine while a grab-and-go market sells snacks, coffee and sundries.

LEISURE FACILITIES The main swimming pools are shrouded in palm trees and umbrella-shaded lounge chairs. The infinity-edge pool looks as if it is spilling directly into the ocean. New cabanas offer extra privacy. A waterslide and kids splashing pool are great for families while the spa and salon encourage adult relaxation. There are more cushioned lounge chairs on the beach, and a new addition includes a separate beach section for club room guests. The fitness center is enormous with the latest equipment, and nonmotorized watersports and tennis courts with rackets are included in the daily resort fee. 

BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES Wireless Internet works well everywhere including by the pools. Ballrooms with natural light and an outdoor terrace for receptions or breakout sessions attract both business and leisure groups to the resort.

VERDICT The finest resort on St. Thomas, and the only one with a club lounge, The Ritz-Carlton has scores of loyal repeat guests and does not disappoint.

BEST FOR Oceanfront stays with terrific dining, swimming pools and an expansive beach.

DON’T MISS Standup paddle boarding and touring around the islands on a luxury catamaran.

PRICE Internet rates for a traditional room start at $881.

CONTACT The Ritz-Carlton St. Thomas,  6900 Great Bay, St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands, 00802, Tel 340-775-3333