My husband Andrew and I had a great experience at this hotel and would definitely go back! We absolutely LOVED Sarasota and had now idea how much this area had to offer until now. You all know we are HUGE Marriott people and pretty much always stay at a brand hotel. This is not a sponsored post, but a full honest review of our experience. Click here to see the hotel website.
Downtown Sarasota has tons to offer! Cute shops, cafes, restaurants and so much more. About a 5 minute drive to tons of great stuff in the downtown area we had dinner both nights downtown.
St. Armand’s Circle, the cutest little attraction in town is about an 8 minute drive from the hotel (again the free shuttle goes here every 30 minutes). This area is as adorable as it gets and has several ice cream shops, restaurants, and little clothing stores.
– Very spacious
– Comfortable bed
– Nice bathroom
– Chargers built into the nightstands
– Nespresso machine
– Balcony with a great view of pool and bay
I only have one “Con” to the room. The walls were very thin and the only time it was an issue was in the morning. We obviously had a family with small children staying next door and both mornings were awaken by the noise from they room. If it have been a longer stay, we would have requested a different room, but just 2 short nights there was no sense in moving all of our stuff.
I am a Spa Junkie and almost always find a way to have time to make it to the spa at the hotel if there is time. I booked an appointment for 50 minute Stress Relief Massage. The price was $150, with a 20% gratuity and tax the total was $186. Photography was not allowed in the spa, so all I have is this one pic sorry y’all!
For being the Ritz Carlton I have to stay the aesthetics of the spa did not blow me away. With the rooms being recently redone I assume they have yet to redo this part of the hotel. The facility had the basic of course: waiting area with light snacks (very light), lockers, showers, and an area to get ready. The “Wellness Area” was surprisingly small with a 4 person whirlpool, sauna and steam room. All of these spaces were a bit outdated, but nice that they had them.
While the space was outdated, the service was definitely up to par. From booking my reservation over the phone, the front desk check in, the locker room attendant and my actual massage therapist – the staff could not have been more personable.
The massage itself was great! I don’y have any complaints here, the treatment room was relaxing, clean, and the therapist listened to the areas I wanted her to focus on. She was not chatty, which I appreciate and did a good job making sure the pressure was was I wanted. On a scale of 1-10 from the worst to the best massage I have ever had I would give it an 8.
So overall, a good experience! Expensive, but hey it’s the Ritz. I would not recommend purchasing entrance to the “spa facilities” unless you just really need a sauna or steam room the space itself is nothing to write home about.
The valet was interesting. The rate was $26 per night, so again for the nature of the hotel what I would have expected. The entire valet staff was very nice and again personable. When we would call to have our car brought down, they usually asked if and how many bottles of water we would like in the car. Each time we said 2, but they were never there. Not a big deal, but maybe just put them in the car as a surprise otherwise its a request unfulfilled. They were very timely, every time we called the car was always there pulled up in front. The other weird/ semi-annoying thing was there was always just “one” guy who had “all” of the keys to the car. So when we would walk out and see our car we would walk up and then they would say the guy who has the key will be right over. The only flaw to this was he was pulling cars as well so we did usually have to wait to get the actual keys to the car – not a huge deal but I feel a better system can be put in place.
We did not spend anytime at the actual hotel pool. I did go by to see the space several times and it was never too buys which is nice! The area was well maintained, clean and the staff as usual was very friendly.
Something very important to note about this hotel is it does not sit on directly the beach, but on the bay. To get to the beach, the hotel provides a shuttle that leaves every 30 minutes to the Ritz Carlton Beach Club. The pro to this is the shuttle ride (less than 10 minutes) goes right through the St. Armand Circle, which is a super fun area and you can also stop here. The con of course is that you can’t just walk from your room down to the beach. Note, you can also drive your own vehicle to the club as well if you wish.
So here is the rundown on the Beach Club. This is a private club for Ritz Carlton Residence Owners and Ritz Carlton Hotel Guests. Open from 9am until sunset (the sunset view is amazing) the pool and beach are ready and waiting for guests. The pool and beach area have full service wait staff to service drinks and food, all of which can be charged directly to your room. Plenty of lounge chairs, by the pool as well as tons of towels you can help yourself to. If you want to sit on the beach, a staff member will ask how many in your party, ask if you’d like a umbrella and then will get you all set up. The set up for us was two lounge chairs (made up with towels – nice touch) a small table, umbrella and a little bucket of ice with complimentary bottled water.
The set up was nice and very functional, but the umbrellas looked like they had been through a sandstorm. The drinks were great, I had a frozen daiquiri and the hubs some cocktails and beer. The food was good, nothing spectacular. Wouldn’t recommend the chips and salsa/guacamole – the guac was hands down pre-packaged not fresh (disappointed by that). The quesadillas were good, would order them again. Our beach waiter Don was super nice, very attentive and did a great job! I wasn’t sure how I would like the whole, beach club thing but I really enjoyed it!
What sets the Ritz Carlton apart from other hotels?
A lot of people wonder what makes a hotel 5 Star Quality and say things like, “it’s just a room, you’re barely in it”. For some trips and travelers this may be true. For us, we enjoy the small touches of a “5 Star” hotel and for a place like Florida where showers come at any moment you may spend more time in your room/hotel then planned.
Touches We Appreciate
- Welcome Drinks Upon Arrival: I love a cocktail any day, but especially when I arrive to the hotel and am “officially” starting vacation. A cocktail at check in is the best!
- Turn Down: A good turndown service is always a sign of a quality hotel. Who wouldn’t love the bed turned down, two chocolates waiting for you after dinner and a forecast update for the next day.
- Recognition by Name – Mr. & Mrs. Johnson: After just a short, 2 night and 3 day stay several staff members recognize who you are and make a point together to know you. For someone like me, who loves making a connection with people wherever I go, this makes all the difference.