Postcard from The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas
Wednesday, January 6, 2016
I hope you all had a restful holiday with your loved ones. 2015 was such a spectacular year. I traveled so much that I hardly had time to post about it here on Travel Write Draw (a problem, I realize, I'm extraordinarily grateful to have). This past September I turned the BIG 3-0, and to make the milestone even more memorable, I spent five exquisite days at the beautiful Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas to celebrate. The minute I pulled all my photos together for this postcard, the memories came flooding back. This team DEFINITELY knows how to make a guest feel special...
When I arrived at the hotel, I was greeted with the most sensational view of the blue water from their main terrace (see above). After settling into my oceanfront room, Chef Susanto came to my door with a bottle of champagne, and personalized cupcakes, that had my logo and illustrations printed on top (see below)!! Needless to say, I was absolutely speechless. After working so hard for so long in NYC, it was an amazing feeling to be in this beautiful place, doing exactly what I love to do - traveling, writing, and illustrating. AND not to mention, those cupcakes were 100% mouth-watering (I'm still salivating) and the most touching gesture I've ever received.
My only scheduled event that day was a deep tissue massage (such hard work). You can see above a photo from their stunning cabana treatment room which overlooks that immaculate blue water. Between the sound of the waves kissing the rocks, and the skillful hands of my masseuse, I can assure you I have never felt more blissed-out!! I definitely relished in being outside for my massage - so unique to the property met with the perfect natural temperature.
I also took every opportunity I could to illustrate the vibe of this destination. Though it is a 5 star Ritz-Carlton hotel, the feeling is a familiar one, like a home away from home. Reggae music floats in the air around the pool and cocktails are clinking from afternoon till evening. There is nothing remotely uptight or pretentious about this destination. I especially loved my sunset cruise on Lady Lynsey (see above), accompanied by the hotel's beautiful and wickedly funny PR Manager, Andy Bruce.
The food on this trip deserves its own blog post. My Happy Birthday dish above was from my dinner at their newest restaurant, Essenza. Not only was the food a yummy medley of rustic Italian, but the view from our table outside was lit by the natural moonlight (a full moon to be exact). I also got to eat my breakfast in the newly renovated Club Lounge (last photo above). This space was the perfect on-property hideaway, filled with tasty treats from morning to night, and an inspiring place to work on some emails while overlooking the tranquil water. But perhaps my most memorable meal of all was my last meal at Bleuwater prepared by Chef Susanto. I was so inspired by his creative talents that I put my own to the test and illustrated his special dish in this video below...
Looking back, I can't believe how lucky I am to have lived this experience. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Catherine Leitner, Andy Bruce, and the incredible staff over at The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas for making me feel so darn special during my stay. I couldn't have asked for a more memorable way to celebrate my 30 years here on earth. I will cherish this trip for a lifetime and you can make your own memories there too...