My wife and I have stayed at the SMB Marriott for the past four years. This year with the beach in front of the Marriott shrinking, we decided to shell out 90,000 more points for 7 nights and stay at the Ritz. We were both a little apprehensive, as we enjoyed the service at the Marriott; However, the Ritz proved to be worth the extra points/money. Check in was smooth. They offered rum punch and cookies while we were checking in. Our room was on the resort side on the fifth floor. I was hoping since I am a Marriott platinum member with 112 nights the previous year, that we'd get upgraded to the across the street location; however, we the resort room view (although not much of a view) ended up working well for us. We had quick access to the coffee in the Silver Palm lounge each morning, and the walk across the street via the indoor walkway was quick and enjoyable...art work along the wall, iguanas occasionally seen outside the windows along the way, etc. I could gush on about the resort like most of the other reviews, but I think I'll try to focus on more practical information...Here goes!
-If you're staying on points, you'll still have to shell out the $50 resort fee per day, along with $28.40 per day service fee. Soooo your "free" room will cost you $78.40 per day. I felt that the Ritz should have shown that it appreciates it's frequent guests by halving ($25) the resort fee. After all being a Platinum includes many of the "resort fee" extras.
-We rented a car; however, there is a grocery store and several great restaurants nearby, so it wouldn't be absolutely necessary to rent one. We found it convenient. We did not use the valet parking, as we'd like to just pop out, get in the car, and be on our way instead of waiting for them to retrieve the car.
-If you want a front row lounge chair, you should be down there by 7:10. We found that an aisle location in the second row worked well for us. The chairs are stacked pretty close together in the front row. The fourth row was wide open most of the day. The attendants are very helpful getting you towels and set up.
-ICE CREAM at 3:00!!!! We loved this "perk." Every day at the ocean side of the pool towel hut, they'd roll out a cart and offer free bomb pops, ice cream sandwiches, frozen strawberry smoothies, etc. These were very yummy and we looked forward to this each day. They would also bring around pineapple, apple, cranberry, etc. juice each day as well. We face towels were brought around the pool, but not the beach each day.
-The pool on the resort (away from beach) side is incredibly peaceful! It can be a nice break,.
-The workout room is great, and the yoga classes seem to be well attended.
-Walking down the beach for 1/2 an hour and then retracing your tracks gives you a nice hour walk with great scenery.
-Even at spring break time, the 7 mile beach remains amazingly uncrowded!
-The hot tub is just another name for kiddie pool! Every time we walked by, there'd be at least 5-8 little ones splashing around.
-Two iguanas peek into the windows at the end of the hall as you are walking to the beach. It's the first "end" before a turn to get to the beach.
-We asked and received a microwave so we could have oatmeal in the morning along with our complimentary coffee.
The refrigerator is small, but you can put a couple of beers, a half gallon of milk, and a container of OJ in there...very snug, however.
-The safe is shallow, so things have to stand up (like IPads) and have a tendency to tip over.
-They provide complimentary coffee, tea, hot chocolate in the Silver Palms Lounge in the morning from 6:00-9:00...I think it's 9:00...maybe 10:00.
-Two complimentary bottles of water are in your room and are replaced if necessary during the nightly turn down.
-Back to the exercise room...They have good weight machines, free weights, ellipticals, treadmills, a yoga room, etc. It's 1000 percent better than the miniscule Marriott workout room.
The lobby, silver palm lounge, walkway to beach are all on floor 3.
-Floor one is the spa, weight room, resort pool, and the street where we parked our car.
-Blue is expensive, and features tasting menus. This did not look appealing to us. They featured, raw, mostly raw, and slightly cooked fish...not to my liking...sorry! :)
-We didn't eat at Periwinkles, located by the resort pool, but the menu looked good, and it had an authentic Italian flare. We'll go there next time.
-Sunshine Grill (5 minute walk) has great fish tacos and excellent hamburgers at a fraction of the cost of the Ritz (Hamburger $20 at Ritz).
-The kayaks were fun to take out. The water tricycle was cumbersome, but it was a good leg workout. The standing paddle surfboards were popular, but you'd better have good balance.
-All of the staff were EXCELLENT! Very helpful and all were driven to make sure you were having a good vacation.
-We're already planning on going back next February! We've done the spring break, but our schedule is a bit different next year so we'll be going back for 8 nights instead of 7.
-Can't wait to go back!
Ocean side would be nice, but we were perfectly happy with the resort side. Get a higher floor. Do...
See more room tips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.