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A Sense of Arrival

Nestled within a 30-acre beachfront estate, the recently renovated Ritz-Carlton St. Thomas blends understated elegance with warm Caribbean hospitality.

A total transformation by full-service, Dallas-based hospitality firm Premier Project Management, the full hotel renovation included the lobbies, common areas, and luxury rooms and suites, adding several world-class culinary venues, expanding the existing pool facilities, and updating all amenities, including the seaside enclave spa.

“We wanted The Ritz-Carlton St. Thomas property to be the point of arrival, where adventures begin and celebrations take place,” Halah Ciafardini, design director, Premier Project Management, told InspireDesign. “When digging into the history of the island, we found that St. Thomas acted as a large trading post to the surrounding islands. Being inspired by this, we created a sense of arrival through the centrally located lobby, which we named ‘Customs House.’ Similarly, details on the furniture and lighting throughout the property have contextual references to the rich culture and history of the island.”

Also inspired by the backdrop of the turquoise Caribbean waters, the resort’s tropical island aesthetic is defined by neutral colors. Drawing inspiration from St. Thomas’ green palm leaves and the coral color of the conch shell, the interior color palette of both the resort and spa captures the lightness of the exterior island’s atmosphere.

Post-hurricane, the Premier Project Management team began the design process with what was effectively a blank canvas. The result? An unforgettable stay that caters to the whole guest, addressing mind, body and spirit.

“The largest challenge, in terms of the design, was the configuration of the wall-to-wall millwork casegoods in the guestrooms. To achieve the high-end aesthetic our Ritz-Carlton guest expects, we integrated accent lighting into the headboard, switched with top-of-the-line integrated switches on the face of the headboard. We also designed a live-edge desk with an overhead pendant light, again with integrated electrical on the TV wall. We paid special attention to how all the components would ship and install into each guestroom type,” Ciafardini explained.

Diverse cultures and early Danish settlement also played a significant part in the design inspiration for the Ritz-Carlton St. Thomas. Acting as a large trading post to the surrounding islands, St. Thomas’ economy was founded on the import and export trades.

“St. Thomas’ culture, history and the location of the property influenced the overall aesthetic, from the centrally located lobby, to the guestrooms, to the new Alloro restaurant, and throughout all other areas of the hotel,” Ciafardini said. “The interior colors align with the colors and lightness of the exterior. Drawing inspiration from St. Thomas’ blue ocean waters, the green palm leaves, and the coral color of the conch shell, the color palette exudes elegant island flare. Light ivories and accents of pale grays and coral continue from the lobby into the guestrooms, providing a tranquil retreat from the heat of the island.”