Caneel Bay Resort Rating: 4.5 Pearls
Built from a historic sugar plantation, this profoundly serene 166-room resort sits on 170 acres of a protected national park dotted with seven remote beaches. Even with a quaint pool and rustic rooms that lack TVs and phones, Caneel's attentive service and unparalleled setting make it one of the Caribbean's best resorts.
The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas Rating: 4.0 Pearls
The Ritz-Carlton is St. Thomas' classiest resort, located only five minutes from Red Hook's fun dining and yacht scene. Its private sailboat, fitness center, spa, and soft-sand beach -- a marine-life sanctuary -- are all among the best in St. Thomas. But the food and service don't compare to swankier Ritzs elsewhere.
Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort Rating: 4.0 Pearls
A clean, modern resort with stunning views, this 478-room Marriott is a cut above every other hotel in St. Thomas, except, maybe, the pricier Ritz Carlton. It's sprawling, the food's overpriced, and it can, at times, become packed with conventioneers. But its excellent gym, great pools, top-notch beds, and soft-sand beach rival the island's best.
Secret Harbour Beach Resort Rating: 4.0 Pearls
Secret Harbor Beach Resort is an upscale boutique property located on Nazareth Bay on the East End of St. Thomas. The resort’s beach is truly a tropical paradise, with palm trees, hammocks, loungers, white sand, and turquoise water. The resort has two on-site restaurants and a lively beach bar. Guests have a choice of Studios or One- or Two-Bedroom Condos, and each has updated decor (except for some bedspreads) and fully equipped kitchens. All units are beachfront and offer great views. The pool is slightly off-site, a two-minute walk to another property, but with this beach, you won’t miss it.
The Westin St. John Resort & Villas Rating: 3.5 Pearls
Arguably the best family resort in the U.S. Virgin Islands, the 175-room Westin has a huge pool, a beautiful, fun beach with trampolines, great kids' camp, and kitchen-equipped villas in addition to its standard rooms. But for the price, its worn rooms and lackadaisical staff don't compare to the Wyndham on St. Thomas.
Crystal Cove Beach Resort on Sapphire Bay Rating: 2.5 Pearls
Crystal Cove Beach Resort on Sapphire Beach has distinctive pros and cons. Situated on gorgeous Sapphire Beach, this stretch of sand is one of the best in the Virgin Islands -- clear, turquoise, and calm, with great snorkeling and lots of sea life. The property also has a large pool and tennis courts and offers condo-style living at an affordable price. However, this is an older property and many of the units are dated with cheesy wicker tropical furnishings, floral bedspreads, and old kitchens.
Bolongo Bay Beach Resort Rating: 2.5 Pearls
Family-owned and run since 1974, Bolongo is a laid-back resort with an excellent beach, great food, and a warm, helpful staff that keeps guests coming back year after year, despite the small pool and scarce features. But beware the "Value Rooms," which have old, sagging mattresses.
Sapphire Beach Resort and Marina Rating: 3.0 Pearls
The beach is Sapphire Beach Resort’s main draw. It's on one of the best stretches of sand on the island, and the water is clear, turquoise, and calm; the view from the beach is stunning -- St. John and other satellite islands are visible in the distance. There aren’t, however, many property amenities -- there is a fee for Wi-Fi, not many places to eat on the property, and no fitness center, business center, or spa. The units at the resort are individually owned and managed by different companies, so the quality of the rooms varies greatly.
Island Beachcomber Hotel Rating: 3.0 Pearls
The first beachfront hotel on St. Thomas, Island Beachcomber Hotel has been mostly family owned since 1956. The hotel is located right next to the airport, which is convenient for island hoppers or guests staying only one night. However, there is a good amount of plane noise. Island Beachcomber is located on a gorgeous beach and has some of the lowest prices for a beachfront room on the island. The tradeoff is that the rooms are dated and have some maintenance issues. If you want beachfront and convenience but don’t want to pay a lot, Island Beachcomber is a good choice.
BEST WESTERN PLUS Emerald Beach Rating: 3.0 Pearls
The Best Western Plus Emerald Beach has distinctive upgrades from its neighbor, Best Western Carib Beach. This mid-range property has a lot to offer, including a beautiful beachfront with turquoise blue water, a fitness center, an on-site restaurant and bar, and a large pool. The 90 rooms have a few slightly dated tropical touches (floral curtains, bamboo furniture) but updates included flat-screen TVs, modern bathrooms, and iPod docks; all units have outdoor space and face the beach. The hotel’s location right next to the airport may be a deterrent for some, as plane traffic noise can be heard throughout the day.