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“Wife and I loved it”

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The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Key Biscayne
Certificate of Excellence
New York
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Wife and I loved it”
Reviewed December 31, 2006

This was our second visit. Once again, the service was superior and the hotel luxurious. It's close enough to Miami to have dinner and enjoy the attractions but far enough to still have a resort like feel, unlike South Beach. My wife enjoyed the spa and I enjoyed the tennis. The weather this time of year is hit or miss so we didn't really get to enjoy the pool or beach but it was just right for a long weekend.

  • Liked — It was a luxurious retreat
  • Disliked — Weather
  • Stayed December 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank Needvacay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,942 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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Home of the Toronto Raptors!
Level Contributor
14 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
Reviewed December 13, 2006

Having read a fair number of mediocre reviews, I was a bit worried about my stay at this Key Biscayne hotel. My fears were misplaced.

The hotel is very comfortable and indeed comforting. The hammocks, the excellent pools, the proximity of the beach, the SUPERB fitness centre and spa are huge assets for this hotel.

On the downside, the main restaurant is kind of lousy and very overpriced. Interestingly, the "Cantina" has great and much less expensive (though still upscale) food. I agree with previous comments about the staff. They seem well-intentioned but VERY poorly trained in the ways of service. Really, the service leaders of this hotel should spend a week at even a mediocre hotel in Hong Kong...they would learn from the best.

This is as much a spa as it is a hotel. The spa is very nice but not world-class. That being said (and no great surprise, as this is a Ritz) the spa prices are nothing short of insane. I have been at some of the top spas in the world and many are less expensive.

The rooms range from okay to excellent. Most are nothing to write home about, but certainly comfortable. Very nice to have a fridge for drinks and fruit. Good bathrooms. TVs need an upgrading...no plasmas.

So, in sum, good place. Worth a visit.

  • Liked — The hammocks by the beach/pool AND the excellent fitness centre.
  • Disliked — Level of service from the staff.
  • Tips/Secrets — GREAT Cuban coffee place/bakery an easy walk from hotel...something like El Pan...
  • Stayed December 2006, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
10 Thank xsollyx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southlake, Texas
Level Contributor
17 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed November 24, 2006

We stayed at the RC Key Biscayne for six days. We checked out the day after Thanksgiving.

The welcoming staff was wonderful. All employees had friendly and happy attitudes. The grounds and the hotel are just beautiful. The gym is well equipped. Don't forget about the Drawing Room, where my family and I retreated to on more than one occasion. It was a great place to play chess and card games. The concierge desk was very helpful when asked about very specific things. I would have appreciated more advice on things to do and places to go, however.

The two pool areas were beautiful. Service at the pool was also excellent. My son used the large, fluffy white bathrobes provided in the rooms down near the pool. They really warmed him up when he got out of the pool. There is no indoor pool, which would have been nice on the colder days.

We were pleasantly surprised with an upgrade to an oceanview room; however, the room had two double beds. My preteen son slept in one bed while my husband and I squished ourselves into the other. If you are offered an upgrade, make sure you check the bed sizes being offered. Also, once you lay your head down on their down pillows, they reduce themselves to about an inch high. If you're used to having better support while you sleep, you will have to ask for a few extra pillows.

Waking up to the ocean view was WONDERFUL! There were times when I just sat in my room with a small table next to me and looked out over the ocean. The sound of the waves filled my ears along with water from all the beautiful fountains on the premises.

A newspaper is delivered to your door every morning. The weather forecast for the next day is provided in the evenings along with a few chocolates on your bed. Housekeeping came twice a day.

The bathroom was immaculate, had lovely toiletries and even had an ionized hairdryer. The showerhead made my morning showers a special treat. There were always more than enough towels.

As with many of the beaches in the Miami / Keys area, the beaches do not provide much beachfront. Because there is such a short distance between sand and water, the beach can get rather crowded quickly. If you're used to ample beachfront, like on Hilton Head or Padre Island, you'll have to do some adjusting. But it certainly is possible to have a very pleasant beach experience.

Our stay was relatively quiet and nice until the day before Thanksgiving. That's when the families with lots of young kids poured in. If you're looking for peace and quiet, be selective about the dates you choose to visit.

Make sure you have plenty of tipping money available. Your car will only be available to you through the valet service. Just keep plenty of bills stashed in the glove compartment. It will make your life easier!

You will be much better off with a car at RC Key Biscayne. There's not much to do or any place to eat within walking distance. And once again, every time you leave the island, you'll have to pay $1.25 to get back there. Keep those dollar bills handy!

Eating at the hotel is expensive. My husband and I didn't like the idea of paying $15 per hamburger in the Library, so we opted for one of their appetizers...a meat and cheese tray. It was fantastic and worth the $22. I also paid $20 for a glass of mediocre wine. However, being charged $9.00 for a plain bagel and a cup of coffee at the breakfast cart irked me. It's not that people who stay at the Ritz lack the money; but perhaps management thinks people with money don't mind wasting it. I do...and it ticks me off paying $5.00 for a bagel.

If you're looking for someplace wonderful to eat, when you leave the hotel, turn left on Crandon Blvd. In a shopping center on your right there will be a Peruvian restaurant called El Gran Inka. Their seafood was fantastic! Their desserts were marvelous. Don't miss it.

If my family and I opted to go to Key Biscayne again, we would certainly consider staying at the Ritz Carlton again.

  • Liked — The staff and the service they provided.
  • Disliked — High priced food and beverages.
  • Tips/Secrets — Keep money available for tipping.
  • Stayed October 2006, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank HumanRace
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dublin
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed November 13, 2006

I arrived on Key Biscayne and was delighted to come back to the Ritz Carlton, it had been 2 years since i visited the place, and i was waiting to return to the beautiful establishment and excellent staff. As soon as I got out of the vehicle my family and I were given a very warm welcome by the valet staff and on entering the hotel were greeted by the very professional and immaculately dressed staff of the Ritz Carlton. it was great to be back and on holidays.

The room I was given had a beautiful pool and sea view and a wonderful lounge room that the children and baby could relax. My children all they wanted was to relax and play at the beautiful safe and spotlessly clean pool. My wife and I were able to relax and keep and eye on the children while the baby relaxed in the beautiful weather. It is important to see how my kids played in the pool until the evening became dark . it is good to see what makes children happy and what they will remember when they grow up and the Ritz Carlton certainly provided these children with great memories ( and sleep that night).

the family spent the evening at the mexican cantina restaurant with thatched roof palapa and enjoyed the music and food that was provided.

To anybody looking to relax and enjoy a getaway on the edge of Miami the Ritz Carlton is the place to stay at Key Biscayne, so I would tell anybody to go and enjoy the experience, From excellent staff and management , beautiful choice of menu and very clean and safe hotel. go there and go back home with great memories , until I return.... again ... hopefully sooner.

  • Liked — The best beds to relax in and being able to wake up overlooking the sea
  • Disliked — Nothing, except offering plastic cups for alcoholic drinks at pool , it should be fake plastic glasses. I know you need to have safety near the pool ares
  • Tips/Secrets — try and see if you can get a late checkout by checking with checkin desk
  • Stayed November 2006, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank neno
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northeast
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed November 3, 2006

I went to this hotel specifically to sit on the beach, relax and "electronically detach" , as well as for the exemplary service Ritz Carlton's are known to deliver. I can honestly say they tried most of the time but didn't deliver the value I've received at other Ritz's and for this price point.

The good - the main concierge Jessica was phenomenal; spa was nice; grounds are beautiful; nice bed.

What I was surprised about.. and didn't live up to expectations..

The beach was filled with debris and seaweed. They didn't clean it for 3 days since occcupancy at the hotel was low supposedly. (The other posters writing this are not overstating the problem, which I thought they might have been.. it was nasty and I didn't go in the water there for 3 days..)

As soon as a convention was checking in Thursday, they cleaned the mounds (yes, literal mounds) of debris and seaweed.. The water itself is a bay on a "U" and thus when the wind blows from the east, trash and other sea debris is floating in the water and accumulates on the beach. However, a quarter mile down the road there is a pristine beach at the state park with no issues.. No one at the RC tells you this till you raise the issue.

Between the RC not cleaning the beach from Monday till Wednesday and what occurs naturally from the east wind, I couldn't swim there. I went to South Beach RC to swim for a day at the concierge's recommendation.. Had to pay out of pocket for beach access and parking there, no compensation from RC Key Biscayne. RC South Beach was a nice property, very urban, Miami chic and accommodating.. They gave me club access for the day since I had it at Key Biscayne - but that was only b/c I talked to the front desk and concierge at SOBE - no one from Key Biscayne called on my behalf, despite my request to do so.

The staff at Key Biscayne varies greatly - there is no consistent service level. Individuals did go out of their way to try to make my stay relaxing.. But it wasn't overall. There was no follow-through to requests, limited availability of staff in general and priority placed on the convention in house when it arrrived. This is very much not my experience at other Ritz Carton's or Marriott's even...

My room had mixed cleanliness and there was a little mold in my shower. Corners and other areas are not cleaned regularly.. My last night there was confusion from housekeeping and my room was not cleaned at all. When I called they apologized and supposedly cleaned it but didn't - only put out fresh towels and made the bed (had dirty sheets, no tissues, no soap and a still-dirty shower with no shampoo or face cloth and dirty floor mats)... This may have been since it was the night staff doing it, don't know?? (If this had been my only issue I wouldn't have minded)..

There are no "adult only" areas.. Forget it if you do not want to be near kids or do not want to sit next to an unsupervised 7 year old in the one outdoor jacuzzi on property. Many kids are unsupervised and I was told it is much worse in high season. The staff proactively told alot of the adults on the beach who were being disturbed that they were not allowed to say or do anything about it.. My recommendation to the hotel is that separate, adult only areas would be nice. (Or at least warn those without kids that this property is primarily targeted to families)

When there are conventions in the hotel, people are doing business on the beach and in the club lounge. I mean all day on the cell phones about work.. I understand that, but it was precisely what I wanted to escape! I had to move my chair a few times to find quiet..

I am told in the high/busy season the hotel is nuts and not relaxing.. It is very kid oriented and crowded. I was told not to go there to relax unless it was low season (from hotel staff and others who frequented, whom I met once there)..

My final comment is they should refesh their billing system. I settled my bill the night before I departed to make my exit more smooth and relaxing. They had charged me for over $100 in mini-bar charges which were not accurate. They apologized and removed. The next morning I wake up to a new bill under the door where I was double charged for a night's stay and charges. Took 3 iterations, a discussion with a manager and almost raising my voice to get it corrected. This shouldn't have happened. And there went my relaxing exit.. Took half my morning since no one was available to meet with me to fix it.. Had it not been for the concierge intervening, I might still be trying to resolve this.

I am hoping they respond to my customer satisfation survey. Been a few weeks and so far, they have not..

btw, if you decide to go in the low season be specific with what services you expect and confirm they have them. They cancel things and understaff without notice. (note the other posting about the club being closed without notice and then having to purchase breakfast which should have been included with the club)

  • Liked — Grounds (not beach); spa; Key Biscayne area
  • Disliked — Beach, inconsistent service level, emphasis on conventions
  • Tips/Secrets — Understand what you want and if this property can deliver when you are there
  • Stayed October 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
8 Thank travelisfun19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed October 20, 2006

We stayed at the Ritz at the end of September with our almost 4 year old and 9 month old children.

Room: We booked a one-bedroom apartment, which consisted of a small kitchen (full size fridge/freezer, microwave, stove, stovetop, sink, dishwasher, toaster, blender, coffee maker), living room with pull out sofabed, dining table with four chairs, bedroom with kingsize bed and walk-in closet, and full bathroom (Jacuzzi tub, separate shower stall, separate toilet area and a washer/dryer). The room had a large balcony with chairs and small side tables. The size of the apartment was adequate for a family of four and it was relatively clean. We had some issues with housekeeping but they were minor and we attribute it to a language barrier. A crib was provided – not as nice as some of the other cribs we have seen at other Ritz locations – but it worked. We used our own sheets/blankets so that the baby would be more comfortable.

Hotel: The hotel itself is beautiful…beautiful grounds that are right on the beach. The inside of hotel was decorated with lots of fresh pink roses – a nice touch. There is also fresh fruit provided in certain areas. The second floor catwalk provides a wonderful view of the ocean.

Pool/Beach: The hotel has 2 pools, one that is a “family” pool with beach entry and the other is more for adults. The kids loved the “family” pool and so did we. We never had a problem finding lounge chairs close to the pool entry and the pool staff was great – very nice and attentive. So were the bar personnel – very accommodating to the kids. For example, my eldest loves maraschino cherries and when the bartender saw this, he gave us a whole bowl of them for her! Milkshakes were also whipped up for the kids, even though not on their menu. Also frozen treats are passed around each afternoon. We didn’t go to the beach but from what we saw it was clean.

Food: The Club Level was closed during our stay as it was low season. We were a little disappointed because the reservations desk had promised that we would have access. Not a big deal but disappointing…The hotel has a limited number of restaurants as compared to some of the other Ritz locations we have stayed at. There is the Cantina Grill (good Mexican food), Il Cioppino (delicious Italian food but very limited menu), the Lobby Lounge (mixed menu of salads, pizza, hamburgers, quesadillas, etc.) and the pool-side grill (chicken fingers, salads, burgers, etc.). There was also a breakfast cart in the Lobby serving small breakfast items such as muffins, croissants, coffee, etc. Note we were told that before 7 am, coffee is complimentary!

Transportation: We made the big mistake of not renting a car. Car rentals for the area are really cheap but we thought we wouldn’t use the car. Again, big mistake. We took a cab from the airport (about 20 minutes) and that runs $41 each way plus tip. We could have rented a car for less than $100. The hotel charges $24 per day for valet parking. I understand there is a free parking lot right before the entrance of the hotel but I didn’t see it. Note that the hotel sits way back off the main street and the driveway to the hotel is very long. Just walking to the main road takes a good 5 minutes when you have small children in tow.

Local area: We went to a few places in the local area. We had breakfast at La Nouvelle Boulangerie – about a 10 minute walk. Great breakfast – loved the coffee. In the same shopping center, we had dinner at an Argentinian/Italian restaurant that was so-so (even though highly recommended by the concierge). We had gelato at a place in the same shopping center and it was excellent. We also visited the Winn-Dixie which is a 10 minute walk in the opposite direction for supplies. The kitchen, while equipped with pots, pans, utensils, etc., did not have dish soap, paper napkins, or sponge. Housekeeping would clean your dishes for you but I would rather do it myself, especially the baby’s bottles, etc. The Winn-Dixie is a full size supermarket and we were able to get some necessary supplies for the kids. While we didn’t go there, there is a CVS Pharmacy in that shopping center as well.

All in all, we had a great time and would return at some point in the future. It’s a nice location especially if you plan to travel with young children. Be prepared to tip a lot! And note that 18% gratuity is included in just about everything – even at the breakfast cart in the Lobby!

  • Stayed September 2006, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Tosca3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed October 11, 2006

We stayed 4 nights at the Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne and had a great time. The food, service and atmosphere were perfect. The only negative -- and it is a big one if you are a beach lover like we are -- is the water at the beach. Although the beach is directly on the ocean, it is more of a bay and the waves are very small. The worst part, however, is all of the weeds and garbage that is floating in the water. I don't think you can blame the Ritz, because it all seems to come and go with the tide, and the same conditions prevail up and down the coast of Key Biscayne. if swimmimg in the ocean is not important to you, this will not be significant, since the two pools are magnificent. And yes, $20 per day for an umbrella is pushing the envelope, but despite all of the above we highly recommend this hotel.

  • Liked — Service
  • Disliked — water at beach
  • Stayed October 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Multtravel
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 Key Biscayne, Miami

Property: The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami
Address: 455 Grand Bay Drive, Key Biscayne, FL 33149
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
Reservation Options:
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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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