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“Ritz at a great price!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota

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The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   1111 Ritz Carlton Drive, Sarasota, FL 34236   |  
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Special Offer
$50 Credit + Breakfast
Ranked #4 of 48 Hotels in Sarasota
Weston, FL
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
“Ritz at a great price!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2007

I had a business meeting at the Ritz in mid August. It was only for one night but at a great corporate rate I stayed an extra night and brought my wife and pre-teen daughter along. From a meeting perspective it was great! The rooms were a nice size and had a good view of the bay and downtown. The meeting room was large and very comfortable. All the catering for the meeting was excellent from the hot and cold items for breakfast and delicious lunch and over the top snacks.

We had a group dinner that evening at the beach club resturant. The food was good but the location was fantastic with a great view of the spectacular sunset.

While I was slaving away in a meeting room my wife and daughter enjoyed all the amenities the hotel had to offer. The pool at the hotel was large enough and they kept the temperature regulated so it was on the cool side (a good thing in Florida in the summer!). They spent a day at the beach club and enjoyed the private beach and the pool area there as well. They had lunch at both pool resturants and dinner at the lounge. They were very satisfied with the quality of the food and the service. We all enjoyed the beach club on the last day and we brought along a change of clothes and were able to use the club locker room and showers before our trip home. The locker rooms were immaculate, although there was no attendant to be found, but we really didn't need anything.

The service from the bellman, valet, conceirge, front desk, wait staff and housekeeping were all you would expect at a Ritz Carlton. Our only regret was that our schedule did not allow us to stay another day.

  • Liked — Clean rooms, great service, private beach club
  • Disliked — had to shuttle or drive to the beach club
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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)
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1,043 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 (247)
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English first
St Petersburg, Fl
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2007

We just returned from a weekend stay at the Ritz Carlton Sarasota. We only live about an hour away so we arrived at 1pm. Check-in is not until 4pm so our room was not ready. We had a club level room so they let us go right up to the club for lunch. The room was not ready until 5:30 which was very aggravating but they did let us checkout an hour late on our last day. We enjoyed our stay and found it very relaxing. The service was great all over the resort and the club level was very well worth the extra price. We paid $319 a night for a club level room. We did not have a water view reserved but they did upgrade us.

Rooms- Nothing special but nice. Much like a Marriott but not as good as I expected from a Ritz. Nice balcony with a table and chairs. Flat screen TV. Loved the extra amenities like the shaving kit and nail kit. Beds were very comfy.

Public areas- Very nice. The pool at the hotel is small but the pool area is lovely. Right off Sarasota bay with a nice peaceful lawn area with hammocks. Good food and beverage service with complimentary ice water always available. Fitness center was crappy. It was an add’l $15 to use the “nice” fitness center. (Huh?)

Beach Club- Great! Pools were very warm. Lockers and bathrooms are fantastic. Beach is nice. I do not like the dark sand- the white sand at St Pete Beach or Clearwater Beach is much nicer. The Gulf was very clear and very warm as usual this time of year. The beach is 3 miles away and they have a shuttle. It is a bit of a pain that the resort is not right on the beach.

Service- Fantastic! When we checked in, we were greeted with champagne and cold towels. Everyone was extremely nice and helpful. The service is really what sets the Ritz apart from other hotels.

Club Level- LOVED IT!!!! So worth the extra $100 or so esp if you drink alcohol. We did not eat out at all because of all the food- we were stuffed! The club level staff was just the best- VERY attentive and helpful. Club level is what made our stay special. Lots of comfy sofas, a nice balcony and beverages always available.The “food presentations” were:

Breakfast- Cereal, pastries, quiche, bagels, tons of fruit, Mimosas, Bloody Mary’s.

Midday Snack- A great lunch with salads, soup, sandwiches, delicious mini desserts, champagne and wine. This was our favorite presentation.

Afternoon Tea- Tea sandwiches and sweets.

Hor'dourves - Lots of fancy appetizers and more mini desserts. Champagne, wine and mixed drinks.

Chocolate presentation- chocolate fondue,truffles,champagne and wine.

All in all, a great stay and we will be back. Get Club Level if you can you will not regret it!!!

  • Stayed August 2007, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, IL
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2007

I stayed at the Sarasota Ritz Carlton for two nights during a business trip -- specifically, June 26 & 27. The room was lovely, the gym was well-equipped, and I've spent more than six weeks battling the hotel to get reimbursed for a pair of shoes that didn't come back from the complementary shoeshine service. No one's disputing that the shoes vanished, but trying to make things right has been an exercise in frustration. The hotel didn't even offer reimbursement -- I had to explicitly ask that the shoes be replaced. The hotel's director of loss prevention was slow to return email and voice messages, the original faxed receipts were misplaced, and I've had to be a nagging witch so that I could finally get a check for $98 -- not a huge outlay, especially considering that this experience has soured me on the property and will prevent me from staying there again. Even though this hotel is one of my company's preferred properties, I've urged everyone I work with to stay away.

  • Liked — spacious room, good linens, wel-equipped gym
  • Disliked — nightmare experience getting reimbursed for shoes lost by staff
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, PA
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2007

From the moment we arrived, every staff person seemed to know it was our anniversary and greated us with a nice "Happy Anniversary". We were upgraded to a ninth floor room overlooking the Bay which made the setting from the balcony extra nice.
The service at the Beach Club was very good. As soon as we arrived, our beach chairs were readied and we were given a glass of water and towels. If you can make it for the sunset, do yourself a favor and take it in. It will be a great memory.
The Spa was also quite a treat. The services provided are top rate and the staff encourages you to stay and relax as long as you want after your treatment.
We were concerned about the shuttle service, but found out it was very convenient and the drivers were all very helpful. One even took us on a tour of downtown Sarasota.
Off property, if you get a chance to visit the Botanical Gardens, don't hesitate. They are wonderful.
We plan on spending our anniversary there next year.

  • Liked — The friendly service
  • Disliked — The hot weather in the summer
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arkansas
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2007

My friends and I visited Sarasota for our 30th birthday trip last week. We had a great time which is why I gave our overall experience an above average rating. We got a great deal with an association membership and stayed on the club level. I've stayed on the club level of other ritz properties and this one was a little lacking in the perfect service we've had other places. The food presentations were all wonderful and for the price, it's hard to complain too much. We had connecting rooms. They brought a roll away bed right away at our request and delivered chocolate covered strawberries with a Happy 30th Birthday message which was a very nice touch. The main problem was with the shuttle to the beach club. It was not organized! The shuttle would often be full and we had to wait and beg for someone to go ahead and take us back to the hotel. Not Ritz service! The beach was nice and drink service good. The restaurant at the beach club was just so-so. There's a pool at the beach club and a pool at the hotel. The hotel pool is fine. Finally on the 3rd day, we were offered a cold towel but those Ritz amenities were lacking. The poolside food at the hotel was better. We had two great meals at the Selva Grill and Rustic Grill. I recommend both these restaurants!

Stayed July 2007, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southern California
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
193 helpful votes 193 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2007

We stayed over the July 4th holiday at this hotel, which is billed as one of the nicest hotels in Sarasota. Since we have a family condo in Sarasota, this is the first time that we've stayed here although we have had the great Sunday brunch here on a previous stay. The Sunday brunch is still excellent and memorable with the biggest and highest quality spread of seafood, sushi, seafood/beef carpaccio, cooked food, breakfast, dessert, etc. stations. At $65, it's a bargain for the food served.

We checked in very early due to a red-eye flight. Upon check-in, we were given a basic room on a lower floor since the hotel was full. Our rate included an upgrade if available, so I was okay with this. I wasn't happy with the hotel manager who told me that they wouldn't be able to move us to a nicer room later. But it wasn't important enough for me to make a fuss.

The room was a bit musty when we arrived so I had to turn on the air full-blast. The furniture in the room reminded me of a Hyatt or Marriott - not the opulence that I would expect of a Ritz. The room layout was reminescient of those types of hotels. The only exception was the bathroom which was marble and roomy. Seemed to me like they socked it in the bathroom - the Bvlgari toiletries were nice but it wasn't the green line that I use so bummer!

The one amenity that we really liked was the coffee in the room. It was delicious! I normally don't bother making coffee in the room because of cleanliness issues with the cups, and the instant is normally total crap. This wasn't. We also liked the nice touch of chocolate-covered strawberries for my birthday. There's also a free shoeshine service, which we took advantage of and got our shoes back in a box. Very nice!

The biggest downside of the room, besides the mediocre furnishings, is that the walls are paper thin. Any noise from the hallway sound as if they are inside your room. We were woken up by noisy kids and chatty maids every morning. I felt like we were at a Hilton.

As for the property, the pool is okay - at this time of the year, it is infested with people and kids. It is not a relaxing place at all. The deck chairs are put so closely next to each other that you have to figure out how to get into the chairs. We visited the pool 1x and decided to pass. Similar experience with the beach.

The beach is not onsite - there is a shuttle bus that takes you there which takes about 10 minutes. The beach is part of a Ritz beach club where there is a clubhouse, pool and beach with full-service. Mediocre all the way!!! The food sucked at the clubhouse - two burgers and sodas came to $50. The pool was as swamped with people as the hotel pool - this became a trend but people would reserve deck chairs so it was hard to find a lounge that wasn't 'occupied' even though people weren't exactly lying on them. We decided to pass on the pool and head to the beach. It was the same experience with the lounge chairs. Aside from this, the beach itself is not as nice as Siesta Key. Lido Key beaches don't have the fine sand beaches of Siesta - the strip of sand was actually quite narrow. Perhaps, we were there at high tide, but still. Very disappointing experience so we spent the rest of our days at Sieasta Key. This is the beach to go to - the sand is so soft and fine and the stretch of sand feels endless.

The service was very inconsistent. For the most part, I found the staff to be friendly but I had a couple of instances which marred it slightly. The first is that we rented our car through Hertz which had an affiliated desk at the Ritz. During the trip, the rental seemed fine, but a week after I got home, I received an email from Hertz asking about returning the car. The Ritz never notified Hertz of the return so I was charged some extra things which I'm still sorting through. I'm very disappointed in the concierge who I tipped $20 when I left, which we didn't use except to book this car.

The second incident ended up being a positive one, but I was annoyed about the inconsistencies. When I wanted to extend my stay by a night, I tried to get the special that we were booked on. When I contacted reservation, their revenue department quoted me a rate $200 more than my current one so I took it. But I then called the Front Desk to see if they could provide me with my existing rate - the first person refused but quoted me a slightly different rate. That night when I was calling downstairs to ensure that we wouldn't have to check out the next morning, the Front Desk attendant couldn't find my extension. He offered to extend my room at my original rate - SCORE! But I was so annoyed that the other staff refused to do it if it was possible.

The spa treatments that I had were the sugar glow scrub and a massage - kind of expensive and not as relaxing as other spas where I've been. For some reason, the vichy shower for the scrub was used more like a finishing touch so I was disappointed. When I asked for a firmer massage, I was told that I didn't book a deep tissue. Ugh. For over $250 for both treatments, you'd think that they'd be more accomodating. Then, they tried to add a 20% tip on the bill - I wasn't having any of that so I added what I thought was a fair tip.

All in all, it's a decent hotel if you are able to get a good rate - I wouldn't pay the normal Ritz prices for this hotel, though. If you're in the area and don't need the full services of a hotel, I would recommend just renting a condo on Siesta Key. We normally use our family condo at the Excelsior property, which has a far nicer beach and quiet pool.

I would just go for the Sunday Brunch!

  • Liked — Sunday brunch, nice bathroom
  • Disliked — Paper-thin walls of rooms, room decor, pool, beach
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2007

We recently stayed here with 2 small children. We were here to celebrate one of the girls' birthdays. Not only was nothing special done for her, but we were made to feel very unwelcome at the lobby lounge. There is no where available that is more casual than this room in this hotel when the weather is inclement and you cannot eat outdoors.

The servers were very rude and service extreremely slow. We had to get our own extra chairs, silverware and menus and we got our own drinks at the bar because we got tired of waiting to be served.

We took the girls to tea and again received poor service. We were never even offered more tea and had to ask for refills as well as cream - this at the exhorbitant prices we wer paying for pre-made and very unappetizing food.

The girls are very well behaved, but we were definitely made to feel that children were not wanted in these restaurants.

I did send a letter of complaint on the form provided in our room and never even got a response.

We are local and have frequented this hotel often, but no more.

Food was mediocre and very expensive. Service was rude and slow.

Take your kids to ANY Disney property and save money and have aridiculously wonderful experience.

  • Liked — nice lobby
  • Disliked — rude service and poor food quality in restaurants
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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, Sarasota

Address: 1111 Ritz Carlton Drive, Sarasota, FL 34236
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Southwest Gulf Coast > Sarasota
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Sarasota
#4 Business Hotel in Sarasota
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota 5*
Number of rooms: 266
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Experience a resort where the casual Gulf Coast lifestyle meets the sophisticated, cosmopolitan excitement of the city. Featuring exceptional dining, a luxurious spa, championship golf,off-site Beach Club nearby, lavish accommodations and sweeping bay and city views, The Ritz-Carlton in Sarasota, Florida, provides guests with a relaxing escape from the everyday. While you're visiting, be sure to enjoy the sandy beaches recently named the 2011 "Best Beach in America". ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota Hotel Sarasota
Sarasota Ritz Carlton
Ritz Sarasota
Ritz-Carlton Sarasota

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