We had a 4 day family pleasure break and found Amelia Island to be beautiful and enchanting and the Ritz our home away from home. The hotel is right on a wide beautiful beach and the grounds and facilities are top notch. The pool area is beautifully arranged and landscaped, bar just a few steps away, kids area separate, and beach just down the walkway. The spa is full service and has indoor pool that is great for chilly days and outdoor pool that is serene and offers some wind protection on days that it's needed.
We stayed in an oceanfront suite that was grand....plenty of room for multiple folks. We had a few room issues....minifrig was not cooling (they changed the frig) and one bathroom had a vanity cabinet that blew cold air right on your feet. (not so welcome on a chilly day and made it difficult to use the sink without feeling frigid). Fortunately, there are separate bathrooms so choices abound. There is a half bath near the entry that is generous with a great wide vanity....good lighting and plenty of counter space.. There is an additional separate commode room (tiny) and separate walk in shower/vanity space. There is also a 3rd vanity (the one blowing cold air) that is part of the tub/vanity space. The view from the room was gorgeous. The balcony is great for coffee in the morning watching the sun come up. Closet space is generous. Every space and comfort you would expect in a Ritz.
Complaints about the room? A few....the minifrig, the cold air under the vanity, and the nightstand was very dusty and required my cleaning (a small thing but noticeable). Unlike the remainder of the suite which was very clean. Internet is charged separately which I find a complete nuisance. Travelers staying in lesser hotels get free internet. But leave it to the Ritz to make you feel "nickle and dimed" to death during your stay. This is an annoyance that should not be for an upscale hotel chain that prides itself on taking care of you. Internet connections are slow as well.
The staff at this hotel is outstanding. They are friendly, attentive, great problem solvers, prompt and competent. Cannot say enough nice things about the staff. They make your stay a pleasure no matter what is going on. Did not meet one person who did not measure up! Just great!
My one area of disappointment was the quality of the food and I have written the hotel about this.
Their food is very southern traditional and not much better than you would find at Applebee's. Very high in fat, salt, and sugar. We are healthy eaters, one a vegetarian and were having trouble finding quality choices at this hotel. The chef was not very accommodating or creative either. So we did a little grocery shopping and ate off site. The Ritz really needs to revamp their menus to come up to speed with healthy and fresh options. It would be good to move away from heavy meat dishes, dishes laden with butter and oil and add some healthy grain and vegetable choices. And vegetables that are not overcooked. This was a real problem for us and given that we were in Florida where there should be major fresh produce, we were truly disappointed. Thus 4 stars instead of 5.
Will we return? Yes. Amelia Island is beautiful, restful and we loved it. We would come back to the Ritz and just engineer our food differently....more off site eating, buying healthy snacks and breakfast items at the nearby grocery store, etc. But I do wish they would improve in this area.