“Table for two”
The question has been asked millions of times, but it takes on a special meaning this night in St. Thomas. The host is pointing to a single table on a solitary beach, set with the finest china and encircled by tiki torches whose flames dance against the starless sky. The surf expires with a soft sigh a few feet from the table. There is not a soul in sight, save for a waiter whose evening is dedicated to serving one couple.
This is an experience reserved for privileged guests of the Ritz-Carlton, the grande dame among St. Thomas resorts. A couple of years ago, the resort underwent a $40-million renovation, stepping up more than the accommodations. To compete on the same playing field as the top properties of the Caribbean, it elevated all its offerings to make them more exclusive and more memorable. The beachfront dining experience is only the beginning.
The spa is a shrine to all-out luxury, but the ultimate experience happens at night, under the stars. The couple’s massage involves a walk to the cliff’s edge, where a private cabana awaits. The therapists throw open the plantation shutters to admit the night breezes and the rhythmic drone of the sea. The setting is so tranquil and the massage so soothing that a relaxed state of being is guaranteed.
During the day, the thing to do is board the Lady Lynsey for an excursion across the bay to the Virgin Islands National Park, a protected marine paradise off the shores of St. John. Snorkelers float above clear waters, catching glimpses of hawksbill turtles, stingrays, remoras, coral formations and all manner of iridescent fish before reboarding the 53-foot catamaran for an alfresco dinner and guava coladas. The good life doesn’t get much better than this. (340-775-3333, ritzcarlton.com/stthomas)