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“Great Weekend” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island

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The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   4750 Amelia Island Parkway, Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island, FL 32034-5501   |  
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Hotel amenities
Special Offer
Complimentary 3rd Night
Ranked #4 of 11 Hotels in Fernandina Beach
GreenLeadersBronze level
A TripAdvisor Member
“Great Weekend”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2005

This was my first trip to the island and my third stay at a Ritz in the last year and the service blew me away. I was on the club level and some how they manage to know my name when I entered the room, each time I return the knew the food and drink of my choice. The service was professional but not stuffy. Breakfast was outstanding the food and service first class. My favorite area was the court yard looking over the ocean sipping wine and eating in that location made for the perfect evening. We had free entertainment from a wedding the music was a plus. The big fire and the hay ride on the beach seemed like a great way to spend the weekend. The health club and running on the beach made for a great morning. The coffee service at the beach was a bonus, even valet parking was quick and polite. I will be returning soon and taking friends, I have a new vacation spot thanks to The Ritz Amelia Island.

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1,280 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (304)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2005

My family recently had the opportunity to stay at this beautiful resort while on vacation from our home in Austria. We began our trip in Atlanta and a friend we were visiting suggested a stop at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island. Originally we planned to stay for 9 nights but soon after arriving we decided to extend our stay to include a total of 12 nights. The staff was great and the hotel itself was first rate! My 2 children, ages 11 and 8 enjoyed the pool and beach so much that they have not been able to stop talking about what a great time they had. We plan to return again next year since we had such a wonderful visit and I have already told many of my associates about this very unique and special place.
I am in the hospitality business myself and usually highly critical. This property met with my expectations and then some!

  • Stayed August 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manitoba, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2005

We stayed at the Ritz Carlton for 3 nights in mid September, 2005 and had a wonderful stay. We have never stayed at a Ritz Carlton and were unsure of what to expect. Upon arrival we were greeted by friendly, helpful staff and enjoyed fresh lemonade while waiting to check-in.

We had a beautiful room overlooking the pool which was nice since our 10 year old could barely wait to get down to the pool, hot tub and beach everyday. He was treated so special by the staff at the hotel (they gave him containers to collect shells at the beach, made him special drinks, stopped to talk to him, etc). As all parents can agree - if your kids are happy and having fun .. this makes your holiday so much more enjoyable. The beach was just beautiful and many times we were basically the only ones down there enjoying the large waves.

The room was clean and a good size (2 double beds), and we loved the nice large bathroon with 2 sinks - very handy! The housekeeping staff were very friendly and did a wonderful job. The only thing we really missed was a coffee maker in the room - it would have been great to enjoy a cup of coffee sitting on the balcony early in the morning. We decided to stay at the hotel for our meals as we were already paying $15.00/day to park, and didn't want to have to tip each time we took out our vehicle. Although the meals were pricey, the room service was a nice treat and the food was always wonderful (try the chicken pot pie and spaghetti). After looking through the menus it was a nice suprise that the kids meals were priced reasonably and they were a good size portion. We especially enjoyed large plates of fish and chips by the pool for lunch!

This is a beautiful hotel and although we liked to walk down to the pool/beach in flip-flips and appropriate pool wear, we never felt shunned by the staff - but we did at times feel that from other guests.

One of our concerns was if this would be a "child friendly" hotel, and we were thrilled that our son loved it and said it was the best holiday! Everyone likes to be treated special and pampered, and the Ritz did just that for our entire family - what a great relaxing visit!

  • Stayed September 2005, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2005

Hello,

I have to agree with some of the above reviews. My husband and I have stayed at this hotel a number of times, and we have been very, very satisfied each time. We stayed over the 4th of July and had a balst with our 2 kids. We had so much fun, we decided to go back this past weekend to enjoy one more beach get-away. We arrived at 1:00 and they said no rooms were ready which was fine..so we ate lunch at the poolside grill. They had only 2 people serving about 12 tables and it took forever. The service for drinks and food by the pool takes forever as well. The food is pricey, but it is good..the breakfast buffet is really good as well (and you don't have to pay for kids 5 and under).

The pool attendants and totally USELESS..there were 3 of them just standing there watching me get my towels..didn't even offer to help set them up on the chairs.

The mandatory valet parking is ridiculous as well..they just stood over my husband as he loaded our luggage into the car waiting for their tips..it really does add up all of the tipping that has to take place. I sure don't mind if the service is good.

We asked for late check out and the front desk girl said, "Oh, I guess 1:00 would be ok" Thanks...regular checkout is noon and the place was not crowded at all. Over the 4th of July they let us check out at 4pm. Bottom line is this hotel is border-line Ritz on the service it provides. Go to Orlando Grande Lakes Ritz and they will KNOCK your socks off. It is sad because Amelia is such a beautiful place and this hotel was once very special. We had already booked another 2 nights at this hotel for the end of October, but I am going to cancel because it just isn't worth the money.

  • Stayed October 2005
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2005

We stayed here before a few years ago and it was special and delightful. This September 2005 visit was a very different story. The service level is far below what it used to be, the furnishings are tired, the towels are stained and tattered, the food a pricey disappointment.

Upon check-in we were shown a room we were not thrilled with, so we asked at the front desk for another room and were told there were none. An hour later we asked again and the excellent front of the house mgr immediately placed us exactly where we had been told was fully occupied. (His name is Tom Smith, and Irishman, and a perfect example of the "old" R-C standard.

The concierge was unhelpful and her promised follow-up on a request we made never happened. Internet access is $10/day - a ridiculous sum when most hotels offer it free these days. Wait staff in the cafe ask, "You guys ready to order" and "Howya guys doin'? Need anything else?" Grrrr.
We were there a week and will not go back.

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2005

My boyfriend and I stayed at the Ritz-Carlton on Amelia Island July 1-5, 2005. We decided to stay there based largely on the many positive Trip Advisor reviews and on the resort’s being featured in the book 1000 Places To See Before You Die. I wish I could report that we had a terrific vacation at an amazing resort, but unfortunately, I cannot. That’s not to say the R-C is a terrible place. It has its positive points (attractive property, nice, large suites, exquisite bed linens). However, we definitely won’t be going back.

The problems (which may seem small individually, but are cumulatively unacceptable for a $600+ per night destination) began at check-in. When I made the reservation, I requested a suite on an upper floor and was told that all suites were located on floors 6-8. When we checked in, we were given a 1st floor suite, which, we were told, was the only one available. The desk clerk did not know why I would’ve been told that suites were only on floors 6-8, as there are suites on every floor. We made it very clear to the desk clerk that we wanted to be on a higher floor and were told that a 3rd floor suite might be coming available the next day.

So we spent our first day and night—and much of the second day, since we weren’t moved until after 5 pm—in a lovely suite which completely lacked privacy. Its patio was located right at the walkway to the beach, so we had a steady stream of people walking past. This made it impossible to leave the draperies or doors open to enjoy the view. It also made enjoying our patio very difficult as the people passed by, either speaking to us or pretending not to see us.

The suite itself seemed nice enough. It was, at least, very large. But there were a couple issues beyond the lack of privacy. First, ants on the bedside table. Then we had an unpleasant surprise the next morning. The sheets had become untucked during the night, revealing a large brown stain and the dead bodies of several insects on the mattress pad. We were shocked and disgusted.

Another shocker was the price of items in the minibar. Now, I’m well aware that it’s standard for minibar items to be overpriced. But get this: a tiny can of Pringles that goes for $.59 at the store cost $4 at the R-C minibar. A small jar of nuts (not including the jar) was $10. Maybe we’re naïve, but that seemed a bit excessive to us.

Anyway, about the beach. Not so great. Dirty, strewn with litter and seaweed. As an added bonus, the R-C beach “attendant” (and I use the term very loosely) constantly drove a loud, smelly diesel-powered cart up and down the beach. From what we could tell, his sole job was to pick up umbrellas and towels and to inform guests when they were required to vacate the chaise lounges. One day, he passed us 8 times in 15 minutes. The noise, the stink, the sheer absurdity of our peaceful beach vacation at a supposedly 5-star resort being disrupted by such a thing—ridiculous! And very disappointing. The attendant was there driving his stink-buggy every day we were at the beach. The most ironic thing is that the R-C makes a big deal about being environmentally conscious. For example, you’re not allowed to walk on the dunes. Yet it’s the hotel’s policy to spoil the beach, not to mention the guests’ vacation, with this odiferous vehicle.

Late on day 2 we were moved to a 3rd floor suite. It had a great view, and a stale, moldy smell. I called the front desk to complain about the odor. Did anyone come up? Um, no. It wasn’t until hours later when housekeeping came to do turndown service that something was done. That something was spraying the carpet with Febreeze. So we basically spent the next few days in a large, overpriced mold box. God help the guest with allergies who gets stuck in this suite!

We’d read great things about the R-C’s tres fancy restaurant, The Grille, and were looking forward to a spectacular meal with impeccable service. We were—surprise, surprise—a bit disappointed.

First, the dress code. We’d read that a jacket is required for men, so my boyfriend dutifully wore one. Much to his annoyance, he was the only one—aside from the waiters—wearing one. Some of the men were actually wearing shorts.

Then there was our table. We were initially seated right in the center of the restaurant. No privacy. Intimate, romantic dinner for this young couple? Nope. I even asked when we were seated if there was a better table, or if one would be available soon. Sorry, no, the teenage hostess with braces told us. Ten minutes later, two cozy tables by windows opened up. I told our waiter that we would prefer one of those tables. He went and got the hostess, to whom I had to repeat my request. We were, a large suppressed sigh later, duly moved.

Now, on to the drinks and food. My boyfriend loves his sweet tea. He is a southerner, after all. And Amelia Island is, if not in the south, pretty darn close. No sweet tea in The Grille, none in the entire hotel. Annoying. The most annoying part was how the waiter said it. “We don’t have sweet tea.” He did not say, “I’m sorry, we don’t have sweet tea. How about a Coke or Sprite?” Five-star service, my eye.

I ordered the veal. It was good. My boyfriend got the grilled trout. Nothing special. In fact, he said it tasted frozen. For dessert I got the soufflé with grand marneir and strawberry sauce. Good. My boyfriend got the cheese tray. Disgusting. Truly nasty. Our bill was $220. Steep, but not too surprising.

What was surprising was that it showed up on our bill at check-out. We’d paid at the restaurant with a debit card. Nowhere on the restaurant bill was our room number mentioned, nor did we tell anyone we were staying at the hotel. We can only conclude that it’s hotel policy to cross-check names to see if restaurant patrons are also hotel guests, to charge the meal both to the guests’ room and credit card, and then hope no one notices.

This theory was somewhat substantiated when we checked out. Three other people who were checking out at the same time had also been double-billed. Why did this happen? “Oh, um, it was just a mistake. Sorry.” Sorry indeed.

I’m sure I’ve left things out. It was such a disappointing stay in so many ways. Even the toiletries are lousy. The deal with valet parking, getting charged $15/day just to take up a parking spot, then having to tip every time you want to go somewhere. Ridiculous.

I wouldn’t recommend this hotel to anyone. This was our first time staying at a Ritz-Carlton, and we had such a bad experience, we probably won’t ever stay at another one.

For a relaxing, hassle-free time at an upscale hotel with really outstanding service, go to the Lodge & Club at Ponte Vedra Beach. They take care of you there.

  • Stayed July 2005
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jacksonville, fl
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
125 helpful votes 125 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2005

We stayed at the Ritz-Amelia for an overnight business trip on 9/16. Our room on the 8th floor was immaculate, no mold, as reported in a previous review. (That must have been an isolated problem) The beds and pillows were the normal Ritz standard, which is fabulous. The 8th floor is the conceirge level. This allows you to visit several "tastings" per day. We were able to sample treats from the menu downstairs. Wine and beverages were also complementary on this level.
The staff were all generous and cheerful. I especially enjoyed my time in the spa. The women there were very relaxed and friendly, not stuffy like some spa staff I have met in other resorts.
The pool area was spotless and the sun beds were very comfortable. The pool staff were all friendly and assisted us to find "our own area" at the pool and even draped our sun beds with towels. There was iced water and cups available at the pool side. One area for improvement here would be to have wait staff come around with mixed drinks and snacks that could be charged to your room. If this service is offered, it was absent during my stay.
The beach was beautiful. I feel that for the money this is an area the Ritz Amelia could improve on. The beach chairs/cabanas were RENTALS! I felt this was ridiculous. If you are paying to stay at a beach resort the idea of extra charges for beach chairs and umbrella shades is sub standard.
Please don't take this review wrong. I absolutely love this Ritz property. I stay one to two times each year at this exact property. I was pleased with the service and property. I have just two little areas near the pool and beach that I feel could be improved. I can't brag enough on the staff of the Ritz. Keep up the good work Ritz!

  • Stayed September 2005, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island

Address: 4750 Amelia Island Parkway, Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island, FL 32034-5501
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Amelia Island > Fernandina Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in Fernandina Beach
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Fernandina Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island 5*
Number of rooms: 446
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Immerse yourself in southern charm at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island. With miles of pristine beaches to explore, you’ll find yourself basking in the glow of the sun as you swim, relax or walk along the sandy shore. As one of the most popular beach destinations on the East Coast, this luxury hotel in Florida provides a welcome barrier between you and the world beyond. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Ritz-Carlton - Amelia Island Hotel Amelia Island
Ritz Carlton Amelia Island
Ritz Amelia Island
Amelia Island Ritz-Carlton
The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island Fernandina Beach, FL

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