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The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota
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Reviews (2,355)
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Reviewed 26 March 2012

This is a very nice property, but what sets the experience aside is the attentive staff. It has to be one of the best staffs in the entire country! You are greeted by a friendly bell and front desk staff and greeted with a glass of sparkling wine as you check in. My daughter had a recent surery and we were surprised in our room with a sand castle and candy plate of goodies with a "Get Well Soon" message. These details and attention is a good example what sets this property from the others.

Our room was very nice - a little dissappointed with our view of the roof, so I would ask for a higher floor. We were on the second floor and could hear the band each night too but did not keep us from sleeping after busy days.

The hotel pool is great and nice service from the staff as we got an afternoon snack. The Beach Club is amazing with lockers showers and all the amentities. We spent the day down at the beach and had towels, chairs and water to keep us cool. Lunch at the beach was great as well. Dinner at the Beach Club was wonderful and all our entrees were prepared great. Sunset was beautiful to watch as we dined outside. The concergie, David, was so helpful making dinner reservations for us and pointed us to some great neighborhood finds in the downtown area. All the staff from the housekeeping staff to the valet service remember your names and welcome you back as you come and go each day. There also is a game room down by the pool that the kids loved. We ate breakfast in the Verona and the food was amazing! We will certainly return and look forward to it.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank OlaSnow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 March 2012

We enjoyed a fabulous week as part of a large group. We really liked that the staff are genuinely friendly and would converse with us instead of just a perfunctory greeting. We've stayed at Ritz properties before and this location wins our service award by a mile. We enjoyed the location and walked to the old downtown shopping area that is only a couple of blocks away. There were cute shops, several theaters, quaint restaurants and bars with entertainment.
* Our room was spotless and comfortable with a nice view and balcony big enough to actually use. Housekeeping and turn-down service was prompt and thorough, without being a pain. My only complaint would be the down-type pillows that are very soft. I finally piled two together on the last night and, while it started out too high, they squashed down to the proper angle for me before long.
* Food was excellent and plentiful. Breakfast buffet in-house at Vernona offered an array of tasty options. The Ca D'zan Lounge is comfortable and the bartender (Louis, I believe) was nice to tell us about local events and attractions. Food was just as good at the beach club -- nice lunch menu, quick service, and reasonable prices. We had a large group dinner onsite the last night we were there and it was extremely well done with all food fresh and the correct temperature, and quiet-but-attentive servers.
* While some in our group were surprised that this is NOT a beachfront hotel, there is a beach club approx. 15 minutes away via complimentary shuttle. Shuttle service to the beach club was prompt and drivers were helpful. Beach club was well serviced -- with sparkling pool, clean beach area, plenty of towels and wait staff. I also noticed a bin of beach toys for kids to borrow, which I thought was a nice touch. It is an excellent place for people watching. The bartenders at the tiki bar were fun to watch and interact with.
* Lastly, a shout-out to the doormen, bellhops, and front desk staff, who were inundated when our large group arrived and then checked out en masse. We had no problems with luggage, confusion, or chaos. The staff got it all done with smiles on their faces and still took the time to address individual needs of guests.
* I would love to get the opportunity to stay here again, and would recommend this property to anyone who is looking for a classy, pampered (albeit high-end) experience. This hotel is my new benchmark on which all future travel will be based.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank FamFieldTrips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 March 2012

Great hotel without being stuffy. From the moment we arrived the staff knew and addressed us by name. Nothing was too much trouble. Our waterfront room was lovely with a nice bathroom with two sinks which we always like. We hired bikes for our stay which provided great flexibility when travelling the three miles to the beach club which is serviced by a shuttle which runs on the hour and stops at st armands circle en route to the beach club. The shuttle returns again at half past the hour.

The pool at the hotel was lovely with great service and jugs of iced water refreshed whenever requested. Sun beds were comfortable.

The beach club was great. I preferred to swim in the sea as the beach club pool is incredibly shallow and more designed for wallowing or for children. The tiki bar on the beach was lovely at sunset. The only thing I would change is I would invest in plastic glasses which resembled proper wine glasses or cocktail glasses as I don't like drinking wine or cocktails out of disposable plastic cups (but this is a picky snobby Brit thing!)

We ate off the breakfast buffet each day with lovely fresh omelettes and found the choice was lovely. It did sometimes seem to take a while to get you seated when there were lots of spare tables. Breakfast can be eaten indoors or out.

The burger bar at the hotel which is only open at weekends was good as was the bar food on the terrace. Cocktails were great and prices not high for a hotel of this quality. We ate in the hotel restaurant and despite reading mixed reviews thoroughly enjoyed our meal. I found eating outside by candlelight far more atmospheric.

The concierge who arranged our bike hire was so pleasant. The best thing I can say is that if I return to Sarasota (andi hope I do) I would look no further than the ritz for my accommodation.

Room Tip: Would choose high room with water view
  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Coogie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 March 2012

We reviewed this hotel last year and it must have been good as we returned this March. However, we almost wish we hadn't due to a few irritations. Firstly, let me say that as a property it is excellent and if you need them all the facilities are there that you would ever need. The staff are friendly and welcoming and the rooms a good size. However, a couple of gripes and observations:

1. Valet Parking - last year we just used it, and paid $24 a day. without question. This year we checked things out and realised that you can park less than 50 yards from the hotel on the entrance roads for free so we abandonned it. This can be quite sensible as at peak check in/out times or when the daily influx of meetings hits, it can take forever to get the car. The issue however was that once you put your car in (we did on arrival) - they keep charging every day even if you don't use the service and you have to chase them for a credit, which we had to do twice.

2. WiFi - this was our biggest issue - since we visited last year they have started charging $11.95 a day for wi-fi, and not very fast wi-fi either. I was, to use an English expression, gob smacked that a US hotel at this level should penny pinch in this way, particularly as you drive past any number of run down motels in the area advertising free wi-fi just yards from the hotel. Come on RC, this is out of order. They also charge a $1, plus tax, for local calls, again, penny pinching.

3. The "Events" - notwithstanding the baseball teams around for spring training, every day had some sort of major event going on at the hotel (Girls Inc, Florida Ladies, etc etc etc) with large numbers of people turning up at the same time, causing congestion, and also taking the majority of the staff's attention. By the end of the week we felt that as "run of the mill" guests, we were rather second class to the daily incomers and also the "Members" of the local RC club

I know that these may seem minor, but at, in the end, close to $4000 for a 9 night stay, with just 3 light room service meals as extras. you expect to feel a little more special.

Having said all that, we had a great time, and one traveller tip - last year we paid extra for a water view and while we looked out on the harbour we also looked over the adjacent vacant lot and the main road. This year, we didn't bother as we were out most of the time anyway, and got a great view with the bay to the front, the city and marina to the left, and the bay to the right, all from our balcony - ask for room 705!

Room Tip: See the main review, don't bother with the water view, you get just as good a vew from some of the city view rooms
  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Big_Blue_Traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 March 2012

This Ritz Carlton lived up to thier service standards and then some! The entire staff we dealt with during our 4 days there were extremely friendly and accomodating. The food was outstanding in the hotel as well as the Beach Club. The Beach Club has an outstanding beach and don't miss the sunset! Ask for a room on a higher floor to enjoy the view of the bay.

Room Tip: The Beach Club is a 10 to 15 minute ride from the hotel.
  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Billiken12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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