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The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island
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Reviewed June 9, 2013

For those of you that have read my previous reviews, I like to do my reviews from the perspective of someone that is Platinum with Marriott. There are a lot of road warriors like me out there, and I always appreciate other reviews from someone that expects certain things from a Marriott-branded property.

Overall, this is an excellent hotel. You will have a nice stay here as long as you go in with the right expectations. I wasn't quite sure what to expect after reading some of the previous reviews, but I'm very glad I stayed at this hotel. If you go in expecting high-end Marriott, you will be happy.

Let's get the negatives out of the way first. The $20/day valet charge is a money grab. The beds are hard (the featherbeds help a bit), and the bathrooms do feature old Marriott showerheads and plastic shower curtains. I have the same showerhead in my home, and mine looks a lot nicer after 7 years. I'm not sure why this hotel doesn't just enhance those features. However, those are the only negatives I found during my stay. If you can't get past these minor things, you are probably difficult to please.

Check In:

Check in was fast. We were very happy with our room, but being offered an inexpensive upgrade to an ocean view seemed a bit tacky at the rate we were already paying. However, our room had a very nice view and the special touches were a great surprise! I was very impressed with the preparation the staff made for our arrival.

All of the staff we encountered were super helpful and friendly.

Room:

Similar to a high-end JW Marriott room. Clean and comfortable. The room renovations look nice, with hints of Marriott and Ritz blended together. If you need a fancy shower, the spa has one of the most amazing showers I have ever used.

Housekeeping:

Housekeeping was awesome during our stay. They made sure we had plenty of toiletries and kept the room in nice shape. Every time we left the room, housekeeping was there asking if there was anything they could get for us. We never went without toiletries, chocolate or bottled water during our stay, which was awesome. The housekeeping staff were all genuinely nice and did an outstanding job.

Pools/Ocean:

The ocean was very nice in my opinion. The pools were also nice, although the spa pool could have been a bit warmer. If you are expecting expansive pools, you might be disappointed. This hotel has an outdoor pool, a private spa pool for people using the spa, an indoor pool, and several hot tubs. If you need an expansive pool--there is this thing called the ocean.

Food:

We did not have a bad meal while we were here. The breakfast buffet was delicious, Salt was also delicious, and even the ocean bar/grill was good. The service was typical Ritz--extremely attentive.

Yes, you will need to get used to the fact that there will be little kids in all of the restaurants. This seems to be a family resort, and with the package deals they offer, you will likely see little kids eating filet migon and drinking copious amounts of fruity drinks so their parents can use up their daily resort credits. If that isn't your cup of tea, then this resort may not be into you.

Overall:

I had a great stay at this resort, and all of the staff were outstanding. I will definitely be returning. This hotel has a very interesting mix of guests--from wealthy seniors to trust fund baby college students to successful young businesspeople to surgically-enhanced people trying to keep up with the Joneses to familes with kids.

If you like cars, take advantage of the BMW driving experience. The hotel lets you take a car for a few hours to try it out at no charge. I had a lot of fun doing this.

Also, if you are looking for things to do, stop by the concierge office. They have a great list of local activities.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank WisconsinBadgerGuy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 2, 2013

We spent Memorial Day weekend at The Ritz-Carlton on Amelia Island. This was one of our In Constant Pursuit road trips and we had an excellent weekend experience. The service is Ritz-Carlton and it is superb. We dined in the restaurants, and ordered room service, and all of the food was exceptional. The Spa is great. We both had treatments and are pleased with the experience and the service. The beach and beach service is also exceptional. The grounds are beautiful and the hotel is adjacent to the beautiful Amelia Island Golf Club. A great setting and location. The Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island is an enjoyable and relaxing experience. Highly Recommended.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank InConstantPursuit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 1, 2013

The hotel is beautiful, and the amenities outstanding. The staff here treated us like family, and are the reason we will be back. The resort has several restaurants, each serving a unique variety of delicious dishes. There really is nothing better than fish tacos and strawberry daiquiris at the pool. If you are in Amelia Island, you owe it to yourself to stay here.

Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
2  Thank LBpsu83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 1, 2013

My family and brother-in-law's family, eight of us, stayed here for 3 nights over Memorial Day weekend. The service was really good with a few exceptions in the bar area due to the 100% occupancy where staff dropped the ball on our order. The beach access and pool area truly feel tropical and are the property's strongest points. The rooms were nothing special for this price level...and overall the appointments of the property are classic Ritz conservative...not my style. We will go back but as soon as another 5-star option that is more modern and updated is available on the GA/FL coast, we'll be switching in a heartbeat.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Cutterback
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 31, 2013

Overall, a fabulous place to visit and especially if you are doing-so on somebody else's expense account. My wife and I stayed for three nights on a sales incentive trip and we both enjoyed the enitre experience from beginning to end. Most of the TA reviews I read are spot-on so no need to repeat the same comments...this is four and five star property.
As to the "little things that matter," most of the employees are overtly friendly with very few exceptions. We greatly appreciated the kindness of Elaine at the front desk and Andrea by the pool, both destined for higher positions in the future. The Valet and Baggage staff was excellent. A few servers seemed a little sloppy in their outfits and if I was manager of the property I would do something about this. The pool area is nice but the hot tub needs to
be renovated. I would recommend this property to any of my friends.

Room Tip: We stayed in the courtyard on the 5th floor of North Tower. I liked not having the direct sun on our balcony.
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled on business
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1  Thank bigdave1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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