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“Dissapointing” 3 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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$500 Resort Credit
Ranked #1 of 3 hotels in Key Biscayne
New Hampshire
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Dissapointing”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2007

We stayed at this hotel three times over the past several years. After each stay, our experience with the hotel went from excellent to average to neutral, and after our most recent stay in July 06, we decided that we will not be coming back.

What we liked:
1. Location.
Relatively close to South Beach, downtown Miami, airport but is secluded and quiet enough.

2. Property and grounds.
The property and the grounds are beautiful. Nice lobby, spa, library bar, two nicely sized swimming pools, long stretch of the beach.

3. 4th of the July festivities.
Watching amazing fireworks from the hotel's beach, Sand Castle (it took the hotel's staff 10 hrs to make it), BBQ on the lawn.

What we didn't like:
1. Management turnover. It seems like the hotel has changed management a lot in the past several years. This resulted in somewhat spotty service (especially on the beach and poolside), changes in rules (guests were ordered to wear wristbands), and lack of client intimacy that the Ritz and other hotels of this class are known for.

2. Beach and pool chairs/umbrellas.
They were nearly impossible to get and the staff was not very helpful in securing these to the guest. Furthermore, during our most recent stay at the hotel , we've discovered that they have changed all beach chairs from a comphy high end ones colored in Ritz's signature blue to generic plastic ones.

3. Dining.
Very limited options. Not good value for money.

  • Stayed July 2006
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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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
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NYC
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2007

I just got back from a convention at this hotel and was very disappointed by the experience. Firstly, the hotel territory is huge and although it is meticulously groomed, it has the air of a 3-4 star megaresort. Everything about the grounds is so mediocre, including the pool area and the thin strip of gray-sand beach in front. The room was tolerable at best. The furniture was huge and overbearing and made the space too crammed and tight to move around in. The curtains bore a disgraceful motel flower pattern. The TV was clearly from 1890. The shower stall in the nice marble bathroom was very tiny (I'm a 5'6", 128 lbs girl who couldn't even bend down to shave her legs!) and the shower head was positioned poorly and was immovable. The only pleasant aspect of the room was the super comfortable bed. The food which the convention catered from the Ritz was also stellar. But, at $600 per night and the Ritz name, one would hope for a better experience.

Also, there are more screaming kids on the premises than square feet on the grounds. I guess that makes it great for families with little kids, but was not good for us, who wanted to hear the waves on the beach in the limited free time that we had.

  • Stayed January 2007, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Boston, Massachusetts
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2007

my friends and i landed at key biscayne after spending 5 days at sobe ritz. they cannnot be compared. they are very diffrent ritz's and made for diffrent types of stays.

we went to relax and thats about all you could do there. you better have a car. and money for valet.

this hotel is so slow paced, you almost grow older walking thru it! lol it was a very nice property but i just dont get that luxurious feel in my room. the hotel itself was very romantic and luxurious, but the rooms are more marriott type. i mean, i dont want to stay at a ritz and have a kitchen in my room, thats what room service is for. i guess this place is great for families. i did have an awesome view of the ocean and the beds were comfy, but not as comfy as south beach. (mabey i am biased? nooo)
the bathrooms were nice, but not as big and the balconies were small also.

lets move on to the pools: there is a beautiful pool, laguna style with a bar/ cafe right around it. here's a tip: get to the pool at 5am because if you don't, you will not have a place to sit! when the sun goes down around 2ish, there are about 5 chairs that recieve sun. and people mark their teritory with books and other things. youll stand no chance! the pool attentddents are dopey, they are young and just stand around, SO not attentive. there is also another pool and a hot tub. the ocean was beautiful, although we never went down to it beacuse of the seaweed.

there is a cart downstairs every morning that u have to actually pay for coffee?? whats up with that. its like schoool lunch cart time! ghetto. the only other complaint i have is that u have to wait about 20 mintues for your car to come. where do they store the cars? across the bridge?

on the brighter side, beautiful grounds, with geckos all around and great views. the service was great, people were friendly and remembered your name. loved the concierge he got us into one of the hottest night clubs in sobe. vip. yay.

all in all, this is a very nice hotel, not made for people in their 20's-30's....more like a senior citizen feel. the roses are a nice touch, but the kitchens are not. loved the location of the hotel and the actual building itself.

would i stay there again? when im 65.

  • Liked — the location
  • Disliked — the feel of the place (can u say senior citizen)
  • Stayed January 2007, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Westchester, NY
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2007

We stayed here for the second time during the week of Christmas. As a seasoned luxury traveller, I cannot say enough about this hotel. The staff truly goes out of their way to accomodate every request. The activities for children are plentiful and interesting. We loved the game room and movie night. The grounds are beautiful and immaculately groomed. The pools are very clean and perfect for kids. My children truly loved this hotel and we will cherish the family memories that we shared there. The food is outstanding, but expensive. All meals had a children's menu which was great and not entirely comprised of junk food. The rooms are not particularly spacious, but are very clean with comfortable linens and beds.

Downsides are as follows: the pool chair situation is survival of the fittest. Given the price that guests pay here, I think there should be a more civilized way of assigning chairs. People start placing items on chairs to reserve them at 5:00 am, and several times I could not get a decent chair when I arrived at the pool at 7:30 am. Many people "reserved" chairs with personal items and never actually used them. Many people were fighting over the chairs near the pool. The hotel is like a reverse ATM machine. You must know going in that your room rate is just a small portion of the money that your vacation will cost. Every meal for our family of five was upwards of $150, so when you multiply that by 7 days, it is pretty steep.

I have to say that the make up of guests of the hotel can be unnerving at times. Having lived in New York City for 15 years, I noticed a vast majority of the guests were extremely uptight New Yorkers who were talking on cell phones, complaining about everything, and generally looking for things to be unhappy about. It reminded me of being in East Hampton during Labor Day.

  • Liked — overall experience very relaxing
  • Disliked — pool chair scene
  • Stayed December 2006, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bangkok, Thailand
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
993 helpful votes 993 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2007

Although I read many of the mediocre and negative reviews on the Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne, I thought how bad could it be bearing the Ritz-Carlton name and decided to stay there. I paid the price and quickly realized the relevance of such reviews and why so many guests leave this hotel feeling unsatisfied. We shall not return here simply because when staying at a 5-star hotel, we have a certain level of expectation, and the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne clearly failed to meet up to this expectation.

We booked a “Key to Luxury Mercedes Package” which promised use of a Mercedes Benz S 550 or CLS 500 with GPS navigator, etc. for the duration of the stay with valet parking fees included. Upon arrival, I was asked to fill out the usual forms (issued by Mercedes Benz) and was told that the car would be ready within 30 minutes. I received no other information at this point and decided to proceed to my room and come back down in a few minutes. Upon arrival in my room, I received a telephone call from the front desk informing that neither the Mercedes S 550 nor CLS 500 was available due to some confusion (everything was confirmed and re-confirmed days prior to my arrival). I was told that a Jaguar had been arranged (recall this was advertised as a ‘Mercedes Package’ promising those two specific models, which can be regarded as top-range), which nevertheless sounded acceptable. I did not ask which model, assuming that such a replacement would be with a comparable range model car, e.g. Jaguar XJ or XR series.

I was very surprised when the valet pulled up a compact X-Type model (small, entry level model). To add further to my surprise, there was no GPS navigation system as promised for one of the Mercedes cars. I did not immediately drive away and raised my dissatisfaction to the hotel staff concerning the lack of GPS and the car itself, who only resorted to explaining that there had been a mix-up and offering their regrets. Finally, after my insistence, a handheld GPS navigator was installed in the Jaguar and I decided to accept the given car.

Unfortunately, my annoyance did not end with the car situation. I was further greeted with lack of professionalism and coordination at this hotel (also not something to be expected at a Ritz Carlton property) as I arrived back in the car late at night. As I pulled up, the valet asked whether I was checking in. I had to explain that I am already checked-in under the Mercedes Package (despite driving the Jaguar) and that all I needed was someone to park the car (as complimentary valet parking came as part of the package). This seemed to cause a considerable amount of unnecessary confusion, and another attendant came out to repeatedly ask whether I was checking in. I recall having had to explain 3 times that I was driving THEIR hotel car and that all I wanted was for someone to park it. Finally another attendant showed up and seemed to know what he was supposed to do and finally issued me a valet ticket and instructed my car be driven away. This whole process took almost half-an-hour!

In the early morning hours, prior to check-out, I received a folio of charges under my door and everything was in order. Upon check out, I was asked whether all charges were in order and I agreed and signed off the charges. I noticed upon walking away that the final figure did not match up with the folio I was presented earlier. It turned out that a valet parking fee of $25.00 was added to the final bill. Although I went back and pointed this out and the charges were reversed, it simply shows the lack of attention to details and coordination within this property.

All these glitches at a fine property such as the Ritz Carlton have diminished what should have been a pleasant and worry-free stay. It is not what one should expect at a hotel in this category. All in all, we categorize this package offering as a scam, or false advertising at best. Beware when booking such packages at the Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne, although there is no recourse in any case. I had everything in writing but all that they were willing to do is offer their regrets.

Stayed December 2006
Was this review helpful? Yes 100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2007

This was our second visit. Once again, the service was superior and the hotel luxurious. It's close enough to Miami to have dinner and enjoy the attractions but far enough to still have a resort like feel, unlike South Beach. My wife enjoyed the spa and I enjoyed the tennis. The weather this time of year is hit or miss so we didn't really get to enjoy the pool or beach but it was just right for a long weekend.

  • Liked — It was a luxurious retreat
  • Disliked — Weather
  • Stayed December 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Home of the Toronto Raptors!
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
107 helpful votes 107 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2006

Having read a fair number of mediocre reviews, I was a bit worried about my stay at this Key Biscayne hotel. My fears were misplaced.

The hotel is very comfortable and indeed comforting. The hammocks, the excellent pools, the proximity of the beach, the SUPERB fitness centre and spa are huge assets for this hotel.

On the downside, the main restaurant is kind of lousy and very overpriced. Interestingly, the "Cantina" has great and much less expensive (though still upscale) food. I agree with previous comments about the staff. They seem well-intentioned but VERY poorly trained in the ways of service. Really, the service leaders of this hotel should spend a week at even a mediocre hotel in Hong Kong...they would learn from the best.

This is as much a spa as it is a hotel. The spa is very nice but not world-class. That being said (and no great surprise, as this is a Ritz) the spa prices are nothing short of insane. I have been at some of the top spas in the world and many are less expensive.

The rooms range from okay to excellent. Most are nothing to write home about, but certainly comfortable. Very nice to have a fridge for drinks and fruit. Good bathrooms. TVs need an upgrading...no plasmas.

So, in sum, good place. Worth a visit.

  • Liked — The hammocks by the beach/pool AND the excellent fitness centre.
  • Disliked — Level of service from the staff.
  • Tips/Secrets — GREAT Cuban coffee place/bakery an easy walk from hotel...something like El Pan...
  • Stayed December 2006, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
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
Amenities:
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*
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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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