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Luxury resort commemorates two decades of creating lifetime memories

ST. THOMAS, U.S.V.I. (DEC. 8, 2016) – On December 14, The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas will proudly celebrate 20 years of offering exclusive island luxury to guests.

The beach resort opened its doors as a Ritz-Carlton hotel—the first in the Caribbean—in 1996, after assuming management of the former Grand Palazzo Hotel. The opening came at an especially meaningful time for the small Caribbean island, following Hurricane Marilyn, which had a forceful and halting impact on the island’s economy when it caused widespread, sustained closures and outages. Since its opening, the resort has undergone numerous renovations, added guest rooms, received abundant accolades and most recently acquired new ownership, all while helping to forge indelible memories of the Virgin Islands-and creating Ritz-Carlton guests for life in the process.  

“Since opening 20 years ago, The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas has provided unparalleled luxury while sharing the unique culture of the Virgin Islands,” said Marco Ortlam, the resort’s general manager. “I’m honored to be celebrating this milestone with our guests and employees, some of whom have been here since the beginning. Guests return year after year to see them. It’s wonderful to see.”

To honor the occasion, the mixologists at Essenza, the resort’s Italian restaurant, have created a signature cocktail highlighting flavors and ingredients that celebrate St. Thomas culture and flavors. The inspiration for the drink is a Cuban daiquiri, a classic West Indian rum cocktail. The signature cocktail-named “Platinum Bliss,” uses Botany Bay Estate Rum, made on the island. The rum is infused with lemongrass harvested from the resort’s herb garden and combined with fresh squeezed lime juice, simple syrup for sweetness and egg whites for the creamy top layer. The finished cocktail is served up in a chilled martini glass and garnished with a platinum sugar rim and fresh lemongrass. The anniversary cocktail will be available in Essenza throughout the holidays.