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“Checked out after 1 day” 2 of 5 stars
Review of The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami

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The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   455 Grand Bay Drive, Key Biscayne, FL 33149   |  
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$50 Credit + Breakfast
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Key Biscayne
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Okatie, South Carolina
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
423 helpful votes 423 helpful votes
“Checked out after 1 day”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2006

Had just left the Naples Ritz early (see review under that hotel) thinking we were going to a better property. Was suppose to stay at Key Biscayne 3 nights. Left after 1 night and moved to the Acqualina in Sunny Isle FL (see review) for the remainder of our trip.

We are loyal Ritz/Marriott customers. It is hard to write this review. We know what to expect from Ritz and that is why we pay to stay at a Ritz and not Holiday Inn. The Ritz must be having a hard time finding, training and retaining staff.

We live in the DC area. We have our share of snotty, rude people in this area. I don't need it on vacation. We wanted to be taken away from our busy lives and the hustle of this area, but instead I was wanting to go home after 3 days in Florida all due to the poor experience at the Naples and Key Biscayne Ritz.

You need to decide for yourself. But we did not feel we received good value for the price.

Beach - terrible. By far one of the dirtiest beach areas I've ever seen. Ritz doesn't even clean the area in front of their own resort. If you want to walk/run the beach, take your kids to play, etc. This resort is not for you.

Pool: Nice pool area. Chairs not all that comfortable, but still nice area. The pool has several Iguana's. Entertaining to watch.

Cantina Beach Restaurant: Great Mexican food. Definitely eat here for lunch or dinner. Service spotty, but food good.

Breakfast: It was $50 without taxes and tip. Not worth it either. Basic breakfast buffet. If you do not get breakfast in your room rate - you will want to eat off property.

Room: Better than Naples Ritz, but not spectacular. One sink. Shower was not with tub, but so small, I couldn't bend over to shave my legs. Ocean view not worth the price unless you like looking at a dirty beach.

Service: Not sure we received any in the 20 hours we were at the hotel. We checked out at 10:00 a.m. the morning after our first night.

Recommend in the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale area the Acqualina a Rosewood Property. Puts the Ritz to shame.

  • Liked — Pool
  • Disliked — Service
  • Tips/Secrets — Stay at the Acqualina in Sunny Isle Florida half way between Ft. Lauderdale and Miami
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,356 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (258)
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Miami, Fl USA
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2006

Stayed at the Ritz for a weekend getaway. The hotel was not crowded and I got a good rate off the hotel web-site. Rooms, and hotel facilities are excellent. Service was generally very good to excellent. Weak spots being the beach and pool staff giving off a little "attitude" as has been previously noted. Having previouosly
stayed at the Sonesta (and written a negative review ) I can tell you on Key Biscayne the Ritz is the ONLY place to stay. Some previous posters have noted the issue of having to wear "wrist bands" during the July 4th weekend. There was no such requirement this time and I believe that policy, (although as noted
is not really the stuff of a 5 star hotel ) was related to that holiday ONLY, as Key Biscayne has a large influx of locals trying to get to the beach to view the fireworks display. This Ritz, like any Ritz-Carlton anywhere is EXPENSIVE. The room rate aside, they nickel and dime you to death on everything from the mini-bar to the valet charges ($24.00 / night ) That said however it was worth every penny. Great Hotel, great location!

Stayed September 2006
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2006

I totally disagree with the other review from the 4th of July week. Yes, you had to wear armbands, but the special feeling of this property made it worthwhile. From the moment you walk in the door (met by the valet with a cold bottle of water) you are greeted with the most beautiful fragrance. It turns out to be mango candles that we were able to purchase. Chocolate covered strawberries were waiting for us in our room and a huge buffet breakfast was included (we booked through Amex platinum) For the holiday week, they had all sorts of wonderful programs and entertainment for families. In fact, my husband and i were there by ourselves for a romantic getaway and decided to bring our kids next year for the holiday. Lying by the pool was heaven when carts filled with peppermint scented cold towels are brought around. The cabanas on the beach offer wonderful privacy and protection from the sun. My husband and I both had spa days, and were treated like royalty. The conceirge desk got us into every 'in' restaurant we wanted to visit. From start to finish our experience was heaven. In fact, I am going back next week to recouperate from a back injury. Yes, you pay, but if you are going to gripe, go somewhere else.

  • Liked — the feeling of serenity
  • Disliked — the rooms are not large
  • Stayed July 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St Louis
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
72 helpful votes 72 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2006

My wife, 2 1/2 year old daughter and I had booked a long 4th of July weekend stay at the Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne, because of the poor way the Key Biscayne Ritz was treating its customers we checked out 3 days early and moved to the Mandarin Oriental in Miami.

The primary problem we ran into at the Key Biscayne Ritz was that they had such poor control of their property that they were forcing their guests to wear permanently attached orange, medical, vinyl type wrist bands. Apparently the management decided that it was perfectly acceptable to put the onus of property control on to the guests instead of on the employees (where it belongs at a supposed 5 star hotel).

When discussing the facts with the management, the management's stated that it would be crazy not to wear the identifying band, that security would harass you the whole time if you did not. Supposedly this was especially the case at the pool and on the beach. The management was so nazi like in the administration of the arm bands that were requiring the guests to rivet them on / or cut them off at the front desk. They actually wanted me to fetch my wife and 2 1/2 year old daughter up from the distant pool area rather than let me carry the arm bands down to them. My poor little daughter hated the wrist band and it irritated her skin. After I had the management confirm that wearing the nasty wrist bands was a condition of the stay, we checked out.

Before making a reservation with the Key Biscayne Ritz Carlton, I strongly advise that you check to see if they will be requiring you to wear wrist bands as a condition of the stay. I have to say that it truly makes me wonder what is going on at that hotel, if they have these kinds of problems with property control and are so ignorant about how to control property without inconveniencing the guests (especially in a quiet place like Key Biscayne).

The wrist/arm band issue aside, Staying at the Key Biscayne Ritz Carlton is much like getting checking into a movie theater. Everything is at movie theater pricing, such is to be expected at a Ritz. However, this Ritz fails to deliver the goods in a couple of key areas and that makes the pricing not worth it.

First the rooms are small for a Ritz. We had an Ocean front room on a higher floor. The sleeping area was small, and there were 20lbs of bathroom fit into 10lbs of bathroom space. The door to the bath actually blocks the shower when open, and it is impossible to actually close the door to the water closet when it is occupied. As far as rooms go, you will get much more for your money at the South Beach Ritz. The view from the ocean front room was also weak. The hotel is U shaped, and that effectively puts blinders on the view. Plus, the rooms are actually quite some distance from the ocean. If you are planning to stay at this Ritz I suggest that you reserve a corner balcony room on the "PH" floor with an "ISLAND VIEW". A high floor view back towards Miami is actually nicer than the supposed "ocean view"
I think the rooms are the small size they are because they had to fit enough business guests into the property to make the large spa area pay off. If you are traveling with children, make sure to check in early, having a crib sent up the room takes about 3 hours. The crib is a ratty looking, folding wood affair, but at least it did come with children's bath care products.

In regards to the beach, as others have mentioned, it is not the most idyllic beach, Miami South Beach is actually MUCH nicer. The Key Biscayne beach only has two advantages, there is less wave action and more than likely the locals are not using the beach sand as a lavatory (ala South Beach).

The hotel pool is quite nice. Actually there are two pools; an adult pool, and a family pool. The family pool is quite large and features a zero degree entry (ie no steps, just a gentle slope) The zero degree entry is perfect for toddlers. The pool/towel service, however, is the worst service in the facility, they are rude, lazy and dim witted.

The Spa on the other hand is outstanding. The Spa features a large roman type whirlpool. The air is filled with a refreshing aromatic salt spray fragrance. The sauna, steam room and large locker area are also nice. All these areas are available to guest at no charge. I also had a great deep tissue message at the spa, definitely worth the money.

The Hair Salon is also top notch, if you need hair services I suggest you ask for Diane. She gave my wife and my 2 1/2 year old daughter the most wonderful hair cuts. We would fly back to Miami just for hair cuts by Diane.

In regards to dining, the Cioppino restaurant certainly deserves its 5 star rating as far as the dinner menu is concerned. The chefs apparently take great care with what is delivered to your table. The peanut butter and jelly sandwich they made for my daughter is arguably the best PBJ I have ever seen. It was pleasing to look at and tasted great. If they take such great care with a minor part of the menu, you can well imagine the rest of the dinner. The only thing lacking was the service. I would rate it 4star, but it was solely a manpower issue.

As good as the dinner was, the breakfast service has lost some its luster from the days when the restaurant was known as Arias. I would say that the South Beach Ritz defiantly has the edge on Breakfast and Brunch.

Lastly, we noticed two distinctly different crowds of people at the hotel. There were several nice families with children, but there was also a rude single 30 something plastic body part crowd there too. The later came out of their shells the most at the pool area.

In summary, I would say that Ritz Key Biscayne is on its way down. It does have some very nice facets but other areas are very flawed. To go back to my movie theater analogy, its like staying at an expensive Cinemaplex 20 only to find out that 19 of the 20 theaters have small screens and that the usher picks his nose. I don't think I will stay at this hotel again, but it is worth a trip in for the Hair salon, Spa or dinner. But if you truly want luxury, stay at the Mandarin Oriental in Miami.

  • Liked — Hair Salon, Dinner, Spa
  • Disliked — Being made to wear permanently attached vinly wrist bands to gain access to the hotel
  • Tips/Secrets — Avoid the ocean view, get a High Floor corner balcony room with an island view
  • Stayed July 2006, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2006

My wife and I stayed at the Ritz Carlton for 16 nights (a long time - I know). We had an Oceanview suite and it was spacious and very well equipped. The staff are very friendly and the service we received was excellent. Yes- it is expensive (almost $25 a day for valet parking and dinner for two will set you back about $200 for a modest choice of food and wine) but I have always believed that "you get what you pay for". In this case, a first-class hotel and first-class service - with a smile. I can't imagine why people complain about this resort.

  • Stayed July 2006
    • 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hamilton, Bermuda
Top Contributor
112 reviews 112 reviews
54 hotel reviews
Reviews in 53 cities Reviews in 53 cities
114 helpful votes 114 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2006

I was at the RC for a conference in mid July 2006. The hotel was nice enough to allow the same low rate for my stay of six days although the conference was only two days. The room was a good size for a single person or couple with a king bed, desk with two chairs and chair with an ottoman. The bath was very large with both a private toilet, shower and tub. The shampoo and body wash were heavenly. I was in a northwest facing room and the views were not bad. I could see bits of the Miami skyline but there are huge apartment blocks on both sides.

I have read reviews on this site that rate from one to five stars. I think you can ignore the extremes and I think this RC is a solid four. The staff was friendly and helpful, often remembering me by name. I was not too interested in the Italian themed restaurant but I have to admit, this was the highlight of my stay. The restaurant is 5 stars and this if from a person who is not too fussy about Italian cuisine. The steak was first class and cooked to my expectation. The breads, vegetables and desserts were second to none. The morning brunch ($25) was a little disappointing as the waffles and pancakes were pre-cooked and left in a warming tray. The butter would not melt on them as they were pretty cold.

I also found the gym to be very nice and not overcrowded. There were some regulars but there were always machines available. The gym, like the room, always had plenty of bottled water. The valets at the front entrance had chilled bottles on hand which was appreciated. (Note valet parking is $20 per day plus tax. There is no self parking)

The only downside of this hotel is that it seems isolated. This is good if you want to get away from it all, but if you want to see the area you need a car. Key Biscayne is a good 6 miles from the main parts of Miami and I spend nearly $100 one evening taking a round trip taxi ride to town.

I was very happy with the experience that RC offered at Key Biscayne. I should have taken my spouse because it is a good place for couples. I would stay here again, even if just to eat at the restaurant.

  • Stayed July 2006, 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.
A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2006

Nice luxury resort in general. Great hospitality. Family friendly. But, very small rooms. You will get more comfort at any Hampton Inn. Expect to pay absurd prices for food and parking (i.e $ 24/day for parking, $ 18 a burger, $70/person for brunch). I give it a 4 stars out of 5. I expected more for the money.

  • Stayed July 2006
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
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 Key Biscayne, Miami

Address: 455 Grand Bay Drive, Key Biscayne, FL 33149
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Key Biscayne
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Key Biscayne
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami 5*
Number of rooms: 352
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Also Known As:
The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami Hotel Key Biscayne
Key Biscayne Ritz Carlton
Ritz Key Biscayne
Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne

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