You could spend a pleasurable week at the Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas without knowing you had at your disposal the skills of former Olympic windsurfer Paul Stoeken, but that would be a shame.
Along with members of his certified team, Stoeken, owner of Island Sol Water Sports, runs the Ritz-Kids Sailing Camp, held every weekday at the property for kids ages 8 to 13. Youll pay $110 for the first child and $95 for each additional kid, and if you know what sailing lessons usually cost (a lot more) this is a good deal. Each lesson is tailored to your childs skill and interest level. Kids can train on windsurfing equipment, a dinghy called an Optimist Pram (that your child will likely call Optimus Prime, if your child is anything like me) or a Hobie cat, the most popular craft among campers.
If you want to defray the cost of any lessons a bit, you could avail yourself of the Ritzs Reconnect package, valid through April 30, which includes a $100 daily resort credit that you can put toward sports lessons, spa services, meals, and other resort costs. The package, starting at $519 a night, also covers daily breakfast for two adults.
But what about breakfast and meals for the kids? Consider the Ritzs kids meal plan $29 per day for kids 12 and under and good for select meals at certain restaurants; the resort has four. Covered daily are lunch and dinner off the kids menus as well as a buffet breakfast. And because most hotel breakfast buffets will jack you for 30 bucks or more just to feed your kids for a single morning, the flat-rate meal plan packs appeal.
If the Reconnect package doesnt quite fit with your plans, there might be another way to get back a hundred bucks a day. The Ritz Carlton, St. Thomas is one of the properties participating in the USVI Department of Tourisms escape promotion (www.visitusvi.com) where you and a traveling companion can save $500 total ($250 per person) for a five-night minimum stay. The deal's good for travel between March 3 and May 31 and must be booked by March 31 through one of 14 vacation providers that include Delta Vacations, Liberty Travel, and Travelocity.