We love this hotel. Great location. Great beach. Great service. Great rooms. Great food. Great club level. Everything that make a Ritz a Ritz is present in this hotel. It is expensive. You will have a hard time keeping money in your wallet at this hotel. But in all of our travels, I honestly can't think of a hotel I like more in the US than this particular Ritz.
We just spent eight days at this hotel for our teenagers' spring break. I would say that the hotel was one third business travelers, one third families spring breaking and one third "Ritz" people. The hotel was at 95+% capacity. The pools were pretty busy, but the there were chairs on the beaches and the hotel's restaurants absorbed the guests very well. The spring break crowd to either side of the Ritz was pretty rowdy, but at the hotel, it was a calm atmosphere perfect for teens and younger kids. I only saw a few groups of college kids by themselves at the hotel. And they were really great.
We had club level rooms, which are spectacular if you are traveling with kids. There is constant food in the club lounge. Something is going on all day. I think you nearly offset the extra cost of the club level by saving on breakfast, drinks and snacks. If you can afford it, the club level is the best way to go.
I have two very minor quibbles.
First, if you are charging me $900+ a night for a room, please don't nickle and dime me for wifi. Ritz, as a chain, you need to fix this issue. If the Hamption Inn can provide complimentary wifi, so can you. This is stupid.
Second, this particular Ritz even more so than others at which we have stayed tends to attract high net worth people who monopolize the attention of the hotel staff. I don't blame the staff . . . they are simply responding to hotel guests. But Thurston and Lovie Howell occasionally make it difficult, if not impossible, for "normal" guests to get the level of service that Thurston and Lovie demand. The hotel needs to remind the staff that the family driving the SUV is paying the same price for the their room that the folks who drove up in a Bentley are paying. THIS IS NOT A STAFF ISSUE. It's a hotel culture issue.
Again though, these are just minor quibbles. This is the best beach hotel in the United States, bar none. If you can afford it, stay here.