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“Not up to Ritz-Carlton standards (but still pretty nice)”

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The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Key Biscayne
Certificate of Excellence
Minnesota
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Not up to Ritz-Carlton standards (but still pretty nice)”
Reviewed April 18, 2014

We recently stayed in a 2BR suite with our 3 young children. Overall we had a wonderful vacation and enjoyed many aspects of this property. However, like many others who have posted reviews here, we felt that this property is not up to Ritz-Carlton standard (and not even close). We did not have any major issues and certainly nothing that got in the way of our enjoyment of our trip. However, there were enough little issues that we were left feeling disappointed, especially considering the amount of money we spent on a 2BR suite.

The suite we stayed in was very spacious, well laid out and had a great view of the ocean with two separate balconies. However, the quality of the furnishings was not what we would have expected. Also, we had a full kitchen in our suite although it was seriously understocked in terms of dishes and silverware. We contacted the front desk with a long list of items we could use in the kitchen and while they brought some of them, we never did receive some of them. Our biggest complaint on the suite is that the doors to bedrooms are not solid (i.e., they have wood slats in them like shutters) and therefore they provide absolutely no sound barrier. One of our main reasons for getting a suite is because our young children go to bed much ealier than we do so its nice to have a separate room we can be in after they have gone to sleep.

The pool area is very nice and we spent a lot of time here. Our only complaint on the pool is that they have several "makeshift" cabanas set up in prime areas around the pool. They are asking $500 per day for the cabanas and given that they are basically a tent over a few chairs they were seldom used during the entire week we were there. They should either upgrade these cabanas to Ritz standards so they actually get used or get rid of them so that this prime real estate at the pool can be used.

The beach has the potential to be very nice, although during our stay there was a significant amount of seaweed all over the beach and in the shallow water so we ended up not spending as much time there as we would have liked.

Overall the service that we received was not what we have experienced at other Ritz properties. We did have some very positive experiences, including Hussein who is the manager at the Cantina restaurant and the conceirge, both of whom exceed our expectations. We contacted the concierge in advance of our stay with a number of questions including where we could buy groceries on island and if any places delivered groceries on the island. She said that there were no delivery services on the island, but that if we wanted to send a list to her, she would be happy to go shopping for us and have our kitchen stocked for us and she did exactly this for us. Way above and beyond what we would expect, even from the Ritz-Carlton.

Finally, we really enjoyed all of the restaurants on the property. Both the food and service at all of them were consistently exceptional.

Overall we had a great trip and probably would go back some day, although I'd sure like to see them make some improvements to get this up to Ritz standards and I don't think this would take much. They just need to give the entire property, including the rooms, a major facelift and have Hussein and the concierge staff train the rest of the staff on how to deliver Ritz-Carlton level service!

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Casey S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level 6 Contributor
69 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed April 17, 2014

A two star rating is harsh, but typically only low or high ratings ever get any attention on Trip Advisor!
I have stayed a a number of Ritz-Carlton resort hotels, such as Grand Cayman and Puerto Rico and love the luxury experience. However, I just felt that the Key Biscaye hotel needs some revamping to justify the top tier pricing of the hotel group.
The initial impression is very positive with a beautifully landscaped, palm tree lined driveway and a foyer area with stunning views beyond the fountains out to the sea. On the face of it this is a high-end resort that personifies luxury. However, the devil is in the detail and the actual experience of staying there does undermine that initial wow factor. There is just not enough attention to detail for such a pricy hotel. Examples, may include waiting over 30 mins for some ice to be brought to the room despite three calls to reception, the poor quality food at the pool bar (it takes for ever to arrive despite the barman advising not to use the bar menu as it would be slow and presenting the more elaborate menu), asking the concierge for a car rental and being told Hertz was busy, but he would call me only cellphone when a car was available, but never did. The hotel delivered odd chocolate creations daily, but would not guests prefer they skipped this and offered a better FREE WiFi service?
All-in-all these are just details, but often the details make for the overall experience. The Ritz-Carlton have a setting made in heaven, but seem to be resting on their laurels.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Rob T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rosie S, Executive Office at The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami, responded to this review, April 21, 2014
Dear Rob T,
Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback on Trip Advisor. We regret that your recent visit to The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami did not meet your expectations and would like the opportunity to personally speak with you about your experience. Kindly contact the Executive office at (305) 365-4500 should you wish to further discuss.

Sincerely,
Kimberly Wilson
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed April 16, 2014 via mobile

Went with my family (2 kids under 10) for a few days. Love the proximity to miami without the city feel. You feel like you could be on a Caribbean island ( i guess you basically are).

We had a 1 bedroom suite with a partial ocean view. Nice private balcony. The room itself was nice. It had a kitchenette with a full size refrigerator and dining room table. Nice when you have kids.

The pool area was great. Plenty of food options. Great service by the pool.

We had two issues with our rooms being made up for the day. We had to call down both times for the rooms to be made. This was even after we had asked for the rooms to be cleaned hours earlier in the day. There was a large corporate thing going on there. Maybe the staff was overwhelmed.

Overall. A good stay. Loved the statues and art everywhere. Way better than SoBe but still close enough to enjoy all that miami and miami beach have to offer. Oh. And if you are in the area checkout MC Kitchen. Great restaurant in the Design district.

Stayed April 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Glider17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raeford, North Carolina
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed April 11, 2014

We just returned from a wonderful trip at the Ritz Carlton. We had a great experience. The staff was the friendliest and most accommodating staff that I have encountered. The hotel was very nice and clean. Beds were very comfortable. The beach was beautiful and the water was crystal clear. They had two pools, one for families and one for adults only. I really enjoyed that. The pools were heated and the temperature just right. They had water with fruit by the pools for our enjoyment. Anything you need on the beach, they will bring it to you. The food was amazing in all the restaurants. We have no complaints about this place. We hope to visit again soon.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MaddysMommy1209
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charleston, South Carolina
Level 6 Contributor
75 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed April 11, 2014

We stayed here for a girls' weekend and had a blast. We were upgraded to balcony rooms that were super clean and comfortable. The ipod dock was a nice touch and I had the best night of sleep that I've had in a long time. My only complaint with the room is that the bathroom set up does not give you a whole lot of privacy.

We spent the majority of time in the adult pool. We put the various staff through their paces each day - there were 6 of us, one pregnant and one injured and the remainder requesting drinks non-stop, and our service was prompt and friendly. Everything was overpriced, as expected, but at least it all tasted good - the micheladas and mahi sandwich were especially delicious. The fruit water, sunscreen, and lotion were great touches. We did get to the pool early-ish (around 10) to make sure we had chaises together.

The beach was very pretty, although small just in front of the resort. It was great for nice jogs each day (park to the north, lighthouse to the south) .

Eric, the shuttle driver (available for trips around the island), was very friendly and had good recommendations.

The staff was very accommodating and gave us a late check out. I had a late night flight so could enjoy the beach and pool all day and then had access the spa for their shower and changing rooms.

I wish there was a little more info on the restaurants and menus and services (besides the spa) in the room. It took me three days to figure out there was ice cream in the family pool area and didn't know there was a take out breakfast option in the lobby bar until I asked the hostess at the sit down restaurant. Other than that, we all had a great time and I'm sure will be back.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank skbmjh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed April 10, 2014

I was not impressed with this hotel last week during my stay. Rooms were badly in need of renovation -- seemed like a hack job on their previous renovation many years ago with baseboards chipped throughout, cracks in grout between the tiles, squeaky bed, minimal outlets throughout, plastic pergo floors in the entryway of each room, terrible views from the room facing another roof and subpar customer service. I've stayed at 10 different Ritz Carlton resorts in the world and I can say with absolute certainty that this one was the worst.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled solo
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Helpful?
5 Thank Ryan W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rosie S, General Manager at The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami, responded to this review, April 14, 2014
Dear Ryan W,
Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback on Trip Advisor. As our valued guest we are extremely disappointed to learn of your experience and apologize that your visit was not up to our Ritz-Carlton standards.
We would be most appreciative for the opportunity to personally speak with you. Kindly contact the Executive office 305-365-4500, at your convenience, should you wish to discuss your stay further.

Sincerely,
Kimberly Wilson
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Potomac, Maryland
Level 6 Contributor
156 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
Reviewed April 8, 2014

This is a nice property and professionally run. The staff is well trained and knows what to say but they don’t always deliver. Prior to arrival, I received a nice welcome email asking about preferences. I responded and got an "out of office reply" with another email to forward it to. I did but it bounced back as not recognizable. While Checking in, simple requests were not honored because hotel was very full but like a well trained staff they promised to block a room for the next day and would help us move. While checking in, I noticed that people who booked and paid using Ritz/Marriott points got any room they wanted - upgrades, views, gifts, etc., while people like me who were paying $1000/night had no luck with front desk.
The room wasn’t ready but we arrived early - they said they would call us once room ready and took our cell phone number- after 4 hours we checked and yes the room was ready but no one had called.
Other minor issues during the stay - Turn down service removed all towels and left 1 hand towel. This was resolved in 15 second with a call to housekeeping but still.... Charging $20 for an umbrella on the beach is insulting. Paying $1000 a night and then charging $20 to use an umbrella - cash only.
The next day the room opened up that we wanted and we had asked them to move our bags which we had packed. The front desk said it was taken care of and not to worry as we were going to be away from the hotel for the day. Upon returning late in the evening, not only was the room not correct but no one had moved the bags. Again - after 40 minutes we had our bags moved - not a big deal but traveling with an 8 year old at night we don’t want to wait.
I’ve stayed at this property before and always enjoyed it so was disappointed about all the promises made but no delivery. I called to talk to the manager about the stay because I felt they should know. The front desk person took the call so he could tell the manager what it was about. He took all the info and my contact information. He even said they had a person that dealt exclusively with guest related issues. Again - promises and no follow through. It’s been 3 weeks and still haven’t heard from anyone – don’t expect to. Come on - the hotel is a Ritz property - follow through and deliver on what you promise.

Room Tip: Use points to book a room dont pay with cash or credit card - People who actually pay are 2nd class...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank RR22RR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rosie S, General Manager at The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami, responded to this review, April 10, 2014
Dear Eric R,
Thank you for taking the time to provide us with your feedback on Trip Advisor. We take all of our guest’s feedback extremely seriously, and use it improve our resort and the experiences that we provide to our guests.
Please accept our sincere apologies for the shortfalls you experienced, we would be grateful for the opportunity to discuss them directly with you. Please contact the Executive Offices at 305 365 4500, at your convenience, so that we may address your concerns further.

Sincerely,
Kimberly Wilson
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami

Property: The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami
Address: 455 Grand Bay Drive, Key Biscayne, FL 33149-1900
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*
Number of rooms: 352
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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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