At most other hotels, our stay would have been fine, but you expect more from a Ritz-Carlton and this property simply did not live up to those expectations. I have actually stayed at this particular Ritz a couple of times before and been there on numerous other occasions for meetings and to visit the restaurant/lounge, so I was looking forward to a weekend “staycation” with my spouse (we live in the area).
- Valet – While I don’t particularly like valet parking (being charged a lot of money for someone else to do something I would rather do myself), when traveling I accept it because I am generally not familiar enough with the area to be aware of other (equally safe) options. I do, however draw the line at spending 25/night for parking in my hometown when there are other alternatives within a block or two of the hotel. When we pulled up to the hotel so my husband could drop me off with the luggage, he told the valet that he would be parking off-site the guy seemed to take it personally and walked away without offering to help with the luggage.
- Check in – We arrived at 4:00, but when we went to check in we were told that the computers were down and that they would call when a room was available. At this point they appeared to divide guests into different class categories: some were offered a round of drinks at the bar while they waited and others a glass of champagne. Those of us in the “didn’t valet” caste were offered nothing and waved off to the lobby. 45 minutes later when we noticed that the lobby had cleared out and that new arrivals were getting keys, we went back up to find out the status of our room. It was ready, and when we asked why they did not call, we were told that they were “busy”.
- A couple of weeks before our arrival date, we made a reservation at the beach club restaurant through the online concierge and received an email indicating that someone would contact us to confirm the reservation. No one ever did, so that was another 5 minutes added to the check in process while they called the restaurant to verify that the reservation was there.
- Housekeeping – We did not get back to the room until 4:15 and it had still not been cleaned. When we called down, we were told that rooms are serviced between 9 to 4:30 (4:30 really…., again, this is the Ritz).
- The beach club is great and the staff there goes above and beyond. Be sure to have a drink at the Tiki Bar!
- The beach club restaurant – this hovered between a pro and a con. The food is just so-so (there much better dining options close to the hotel), but the view overlooking the ocean more than makes up for that. Our waiter encouraged us to get up and go outside to the balcony to view the sunset.
- Rooms are small but well-appointed and you can’t beat the Ritz bed for comfort. In comparison to the room, the bathroom is huge -with all that space it would be nice if they had a separate walk-in shower vs. the shower/tub combination.
- Unlike some, I actually like the updated restaurant/lounge area (Jack Dusty). Although its ultra-modern design is somewhat jarring when compared to the old world ambience of the rest of the hotel, it has an awesome outdoor area and was actually still hopping long after most other Sarasota night-life options had rolled up their carpets.
Again, nothing horrible and a lot that was good, but just disappointing when compared to previous stays and this hotel and at other Ritz properties in general.
- 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