With a waterfront location on a harbor, not the beach, there’s little reason to stay here unless you’re boating or have a business meeting at the hotel. Rooms have luxurious features but little style. Guests who want to hit the beach, or just be in a lively area with restaurants and shops, are better off staying in Santa Monica or Venice.
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.
With a super-hip lobby bar, 24-hour room service, free Wi-Fi, and free bike rentals, the Bowery Hotel redefines class in a gentrified downtown neighborhood where punk rock and squalor once ruled. The 135 loft-like rooms — drenched in natural light from the large factory-style windows, which provide superb city views — are flawlessly appointed, with antique Turkish rugs, wool blankets, high-definition plasma flat-screen TVs, and marble bathrooms. Cool-seekers who prefer a modern vibe and a pool could take Sixty LES into consideration.
Separated from busy South Beach by lush gardens, this 46-room art deco hotel is a low-key oasis. There’s a top-notch restaurant, free off-site gym passes, and a small, but serene pool. For the price, other hotels offer more features or direct beach access, but the massive, Wallace Tutt-designed rooms are hard to beat.