Sometimes you just want to pamper yourself at an upscale hotel when you’re on a Caribbean vacation. In the US Virgin Islands, The Ritz-Carlton St. Thomas is situated on 30 acres on the island’s eastern tip. The luxury property is far enough away from Charlotte Amalie’s cruise ships and crowds to be quiet, but still close enough to get a taxi into town for shopping, which makes it the perfect oasis. At a Ritz-Carlton you expect good service and food; otherwise, why pay the upmarket prices?
Here are three fun activities at the Ritz-Carlton St. Thomas that you may not already know about.
1. Go island-hopping: From your chaise lounge on the resort’s beach, you can see St. John in the distance. The resort’s position on the island’s eastern tip makes it easy to go island-hopping. You can board a ferry at the nearby terminal to St. John or book excursions aboard the resort’s yacht, the Lady Lynsey to St. John or to the British Virgin Islands’ Jost Van Dyke.
2. Learn about the sea: The Jean-Michel Cousteau Ambassadors of the Environment program isn’t just for kids. The activities target kids, adults, and families with a goal to create awareness of the region’s ecology and culture through engaging activities. At the Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas, you can feed the iguanas, hold live sea critters, go on guided day and night snorkels, learn about the night sky, and enjoy other outings. The Ambassadors program is available at just four Ritz properties – St. Thomas; Grand Cayman; Kapalua, Hawaii; and Dorado Beach, Puerto Rico.
3. Pick your fish dinner from the fishermen: You can’t get fish any fresher than at the Sea to Sails restaurant. Along with the chef, you wade into the water to the fishermen’s boats to see the haul. Depending on the catch, you might select snapper, mahi mahi, wahoo, or Caribbean lobster. The cook at Sails, the beachside, open-air restaurant, prepares your meal and you dine to live music. It’s like a beach party but with really good, fresh fare. Sea to Sails is available Tuesdays and Saturdays.
Still Want More?
Like all Ritz-Carltons, the rooms at the St. Thomas property are tasteful and large, starting at 450-square-feet. Club Lounge rooms provide access to a lounge that serves breakfast and snacks in a living room-like atmosphere.
My only caveat about the St. Thomas resort concerns the beach. Although the water is calm, clear, and inviting, the sands are neither particularly wide nor long and shade is somewhat scarce. The lounge chairs’ adjustable canopy tops tend not to provide full coverage from the sun. If you want that, then you need to reserve a spot under the sea grape tree. We were told on our August visit that the resort does not offer beach umbrellas. So the fair skinned should be forewarned to book a shady beach spot.