Saint Thomas is a verdant paradise in the Caribbean Sea. Surrounded by an archipelago of other spectacular islands, it is the gateway to the United States Virgin Islands. Whether you arrive via airplane or cruise ship, Saint Thomas will leave a lasting impression. You'll love the small villages, the lofty peaks, and the island's notable yacht culture. The best part? No passport is required for U.S. citizens. (However, if you’d like to explore the nearby British Virgin Islands, you’ll need to bring your passport along.)
In 2017, Saint Thomas was ravaged by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, which left much of the island in shambles. Locals and visitors alike who have fallen in love with the island are committed to returning it to its former state. Unfortunately, many of the island’s beloved luxury hotels have yet to reopen, but when they do, they promise to deliver beyond the level of service that visitors have come to expect.
Here are some of the best luxury resorts on Saint Thomas.
5. Secret Harbour Beach Resort
Located on the east end of Saint Thomas, Secret Harbour Beach Resort is a boutique condo resort with both beachfront and hillside apartment-style rooms. The resort also includes two restaurants, water sports rentals, a pool, tennis courts, excursion boats, and more. Staying at Secret Harbour is like stepping into an idyllic Caribbean fantasy, complete with turquoise water, palm trees, golden sand, and gently lilting hammocks. It is a fan favorite on Saint Thomas and is popular with repeat visitors.
The staff is what sets Secret Harbour apart from its competition. Many guests have high praise for the general manager, Javier De La Rosa, who never makes guests feel like a request is too big. The restaurant and bar are the heart of the resort, and visitors love the live music, fresh food, and friendly service.
4. Casa Cielo Vista
Perched high above Saint Thomas on the island's tallest peak, Casa Cielo Vista offers the best views in town. Guests can feast their eyes on more than 30 islands -- as well as the world-famous Magens Bay -- from the secluded sanctuary of the villa's balcony and hot tub. Just minutes from downtown Charlotte Amalie, this luxury vacation rental is perfect for weddings, family reunions, or just a private, five-star escape.
Guests rave about the accommodations and say it felt like they were “sleeping in the clouds.” The million-dollar view is the most popular feature of the villa, but guests also appreciate the resort’s privacy and tranquility, the pool, and the gardens.
3. Point Pleasant Resort
Nestled on 15 acres of hillside, Point Pleasant Resort offers spectacular views of Water Bay with the other U.S. Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands in the distance. The villas at this luxury resort are beautifully designed; each comes with a fully equipped kitchen for a home-away-from-home feel, and the property features three swimming pools, two restaurants, and a grocery delivery service.
Guests can't say enough about the views and the friendliness of the staff, both of which make a stay at Point Pleasant Resort unique. But the spectacular views do come at a bit of a price, since guests must walk up and down many sets of stairs in order to get around. Past guests have mentioned that anyone not in tip-top shape might find the exercise required uncomfortable. The rooms, restaurants, and services, however, are exceptional.
2. Marriott’s Frenchman’s Cove
Marriott’s Frenchman's Cove consists of two- and three-bedroom villas that are located on the property of the Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort. Previously one of the most beloved resorts on Saint Thomas, Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort is currently shuttered; it’s expected to reopen in 2020. When it opens, it will be under new management and branding. The company that will manage it is still to be determined. What is known is that the resort is undergoing $200 million in renovations and will have new infinity pools, restaurants by Richard Sandoval, and more.
Frenchman’s Cove sits on a hillside overlooking Pacquereau Bay. Guests of the villas will have full access to the resort when it reopens, but for now guests are satisfied with the location of the resort (it overlooks Charlotte Amalie) as well as the beach access and infinity pool. The best part? All rooms have views of the sea.
1. The Ritz-Carlton, Saint Thomas
Although The Ritz-Carlton, Saint Thomas is currently closed due to damage from the 2017 hurricanes, the property is undergoing a $100 million renovation and will reopen in December with all-new public spaces, 180 refreshed rooms and suites, four dining venues (including the brand-new Alloro), and more. Past guests are excited for the return of the resort's private luxury catamaran, Lady Lynsey, whose reincarnation, Lady Lynsey II, will be a 60-foot vessel able to accommodate up to 75 guests.
At the moment, guests are staying next door at The Ritz-Carlton Club and are reporting that the resort is going to be absolutely stunning when it reopens in full Ritz-Carlton glamour.
Since much of Saint Thomas is still in reconstruction mode, many visitors are seeking out luxury accommodations that don’t fall under the traditional hotel category. Here are just a few of those alternative -- but still amazing -- accommodations.
Sapphire Sunrise Beach Villa
This newly renovated luxury villa is a duplex located right on Sapphire Beach in Saint Thomas; guests can see Saint John and the British Virgin Islands in the distance. The Sapphire Sunrise Beach Villa is part of the Sapphire Beach Resort and features new flooring, a new kitchen, new bathroom fixtures, and more. Guests of the villa have access to the resort's amenities, like paddleboarding and kayaking, as well as the resort's swimming pool. Just steps from the villa is a dive shop, as well as a marina with access to chartered boats and excursions for sunset dinner cruises, fishing, or trips to the British Virgin Islands.
This villa is extremely popular for its beach access as well as for its views. Guests appreciate how clean and spacious it is, and they love the beach bar that is located right next door. Red Hook, the town from which the ferry to Saint John departs, is very close as well.
Salty Sway Villas
Located on Bolongo Bay, the Salty Sway Villas are three gorgeous villas that are well equipped for families or groups of friends. With amazing views over the cerulean sea, the villas feature full kitchens, spacious patios, and luxury amenities.
Guests find that the hosts of the villas are helpful, accommodating, and anticipate the needs of their visitors. They recommend renting a car to get around, but they report that the location and amenities give this home-away-from-home-style vacation spot luxury status.
Sand Dollar Estate
Painted white and decorated with natural stone, this stunning nine-bedroom property pops against the turquoise sea. Sand Dollar Estate, a six-bedroom mansion plus a three-bedroom villa, sits perched on its own section of Magens Bay. Guests say that the estate’s amenities are better than those of most resorts and include private beach access, a roof deck, a gym, and a private spa. The beach and roof deck are connected by several lovely terraces, while a long swimming pool and hot tub greet travelers along the way. And that's just the outside. Inside, the mansion and villa are drenched with natural sunlight through floor-to-ceiling glass windows. The lower level features a game room and a billiards table.
Across the board, guests give this property five stars. In fact, many have reported that the villa and mansion were even better than advertised. The location and amenities combined with the privacy of a real home make this property one of the most spectacular places to stay in the entire Caribbean. Guests rave about the chief beach officer, who acts as a personal concierge and is on hand to see to every detail.