Stayed at Summer Beach Resort just south of the Ritz. Condo was very nicely decorated and very, very clean which we appreciated. However, this did not hold true for the pool area. The place hasn't had a good scrubbing in ages. Gunk buildup around the inside pool edges and the globe lamps had a very unique dust/spider web mixture adhered to them - every one of them. The landscape was nicely kept but the place is so densely populated and the buildings so close together that you really don't notice the nice grass or manicured banks. The owner's fault but just another straw on the camel's back - half the TV's in our condo had no signal.
The beach - you need to know that there is no normal sand beach here. There are dunes and some sand at the feet of them, but the beach you sit on and that the water breaks on is 100% ground up seashells. Don't think of bringing water shoes, sandles or flip flops because then the shells will just get lodged between your feet and the bottoms of the shoes and it will hurt way more than just toughing it out and going barefoot. At low tide, you can get out far enough to find a sand bottom and give your feet a rest, but at high tide there is no such pleasure.
The "shops" - same ol' small little cubbies packed slap full of Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, Bangladesh, etc made cheapo stuff marked up bizarre amounts. Don't miss the "Buy Local" signs in the windows. Try a cup of frozen yogurt for $7.00. No, you can't make this stuff up.
Restaurants - I kid you not - the best meal we had was at Krystal. The restaurants are Red Lobster meets Captain D's in quality but you won't get out of there for less than $20 per person and that is settling for the 'lower priced' items.
All this would have been acceptable had this trip, including all meals, etc not costed literally twice what nearly any other beach stay on the South East coast would have costed. This place is extremely mediocre, bordering sub-par in many aspects but the prices are very, very high. Yes, there's a Ritz Carlton on the island. Yes, there is a near-absence of folks that look like they rode in on the Ghetto-Supreme bus, but Amelia/Fernandina just is not "all that". Nope, not even a little bit.
I won't go into detail about the project housing located in the slap middle of the island. I've got to ask though, where else can you find a Ritz Carlton within 3 miles of the projects?
There you have it.
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