This is my second visit to the Ritz Lodge and the renovation is fantastic. The common areas are quite nice and the rooms have been redone in spectacular fashion. We had a standard double room but now the rooms have two queen beds instead of doubles which is nice if you are traveling with children. Bathrooms are quite large with a separate shower and tub. The pool area is awesome and the service there is great. Plenty of waiters to cater to your every whim including towel set up and poolside lunching. A big shout out to Travis, our waiter for two days, who took great care of us. There are lots of activities including fishing (you can catch them quickly) and the hotel provides the bait albeit at a $10 surcharge. Which brings me to my only negative remarks and the reason for the 4 star review instead of 5 stars.
First, when we called to rent bikes, we were told that there was a modest fee for the rental. When I asked how much, I was told $15 per hour. For a family of four, $60.00 is not exactly modest and after paying $400-$500 for a room with no real view, you would think that fishing, kayak and bike rentals would be included with the rate. They are in a majority of resorts. Still, we wanted to bike and were told that there would be an attendant there in 5 minutes. We arrived at the bike stand 3 minutes later and waited and waited and no one showed up. We inquired at the concierge desk and were told 5 more minutes. Again, nobody came to assist with the rental. Kids were bummed.
Also, I understand that when staying at a Ritz, you are going to break out the wallet. $16 for a margarita and $17 for a cheeseburger I expect but overall, I just felt nickle and dimed after dropping almost grand for two nights on the rate alone. $10 for internet that I did not use. Also, as other reviews have pointed out, charging $20.00 for valet parking is ludicrous given the fact that this property is in a rural area with plenty of parking. It's not like parking is at a premium out there in Greene County. $5.00 would be considerably more fair.
Overall, this is a fabulous property with a lot going for it. The renovation was superb and the staff is incredible. Service is top notch and the property is beautiful. Will still definitely return.