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“Relaxing Anniversary Trip”

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The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island
Ranked #4 of 12 Hotels in Fernandina Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Milford, Michigan
Level Contributor
33 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Relaxing Anniversary Trip”
Reviewed 2 August 2014

I read some of the reviews here, and was grateful that we did not share the experiences of some of the other guests. For example, yes, there were conferences going on while we were here, but the pool and restaurants did not seem overly crowded. The pool area seemed well maintained and very clean. What most impressed us were the servers and staff. They seemed truly friendly and really seemed to care that you were happy and taken care of during your stay. The beach is easy to get to and a wonderful place to walk during the mornings and evenings. Like other reviewers, I did not like the extra charges. Please, just charge me more for the room. I also didn't like that we had to use valet parking. To us, it was a hassle, especially if we just wanted to run out quickly for a small item. The sink in our room actually had a crack in it, and the frame around the mirror needed to be cleaned. The mattress was much to soft for our liking, but the room was otherwise lovely and we really enjoyed the balcony with the view of the ocean.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Marie42472
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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Johnson City, Tennessee
Level Contributor
295 reviews
114 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 August 2014 via mobile

It's hard to be critical of an expensive place when it has amenities, service, a d the location of this resort. Beach, golf, great food and kids love it.
Yes, the rooms are not big, but beds are Comfy and bathrooms are spacious and impeccable. The views are to die for, the environment of the whole facility is amazing and the location is great.
If you want an inexpensive 3 day stay, I recommend you look elsewhere but, if you want to be treated nicely and pampered... This is THE PLACE.

  • Stayed July 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank yaser z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Omaha, Nebraska
Level Contributor
634 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 155 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 July 2014

Let's do the cons first. It is expensive. The satellite TV is also unreliable (but does anyone really go here to watch the tube?). Now take a deep breath, for here is the rebuttal.
The rooms are large, all (or almost all) with at least partial ocean views, and very well furnished. The service is uniformly (and more importantly, seemingly genuinely), friendly There are sufficient bars and restaurants, and again, while pricey, the food and drink is fresh, healthy and well-prepared. There is lots to do. The pools are great, with no extra charges (and none of this resort charge baloney, either). An umbrella at the lovely beach is $25 per day (with exceptions for some groups), but chairs and towels are gratis.
We love the setting, which is why we return year after year. And Amelia Island and the town of Fernandina Beach are lovely, with good shops and many wonderful restaurants and bars.
A special shout out this year to a great concierge, David, who turned us onto to the Island's great new restaurant, Cucina South (kin to Barzin).
This is a classic resort hotel. We look forward to returning when we have grandchildren. This is that sort of place.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jays911
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 31 July 2014

We have visited the Ritz at Amelia several times. While we enjoy so many parts of the resort not one thing surpasses the food. All the chef's are amazing but Chef Rick in Salt is our favorite. Incredible experience every time. Also, Chef Shane in the pastry shop can certainly do some amazing creations. Thanks for always making our visit great and memorable.

Room Tip: Make sure you at least have a beach view. The best are the rooms that face the courtyard and the oc...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank CraigCarter66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nashville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
45 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 July 2014

My husband and I have been staying at the Ritz since the early 90s and continue to be impressed. We have been there in the winter and summer and both are wonderful. The beach is pristine and easy access from the hotel. All the rooms have recently been updated. We usually get just a hotel room however this time we got a junior suite. Oh WOW. It was just marvelous. Lottie at the front desk took her time in locating a great suite and view. The staff, ladies and gentlemen taking care of ladies and gentlemen, knew our names and made us feel so very welcome. The food was wonderful and they would make anything they could, even if not on the menu, to please you!! This time we took our grandson, who is almost 6, and it was grand to see how they spoiled him!!
I would recommend your consideration of this hotel for your next trip.

Room Tip: I prefer the north side to avoid afternoon sun.
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Green Features: I was pleased they incorporate friendly practices.
  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Ilsa K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City
Level Contributor
79 reviews
60 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 145 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 July 2014

This is a return visit after about twenty years. The hotel is beautiful. My room was in perfect condition, and I can't understand why people think the hotel needs to be renovated. The food, for the most part was good, and the staff, for the most part, were lovely. There were some service failures, and over five days they added up to one major headache. I would return to the hotel, but I would be prepared for similar failures, and have lower expectations.

1. Upon checkin the key folio had a different room number than what we were assigned to. Off to a bad start.
2. The club lounge was fine the first day, but on the second, the breakfast was mainly gone by 9 am and the lunch was gone at 1. When I asked the server where the cereal bowls were (there were none, and had to be replenished), I got a nasty response. Tables covered in dirty dishes. Cheese covered in small bugs. Room too warm for the food that was on display.
3. There is no concierge in the club room - a first I believe in all the RC's I have visited. I was told that any server in the club room could help me, but one attempt at an in-house dinner reservation was botched by the server I asked (she wasn't even sure of her computer log-in). There is a concierge hidden in the business office - if you are in the north elevators you will never pass him, and I was not told of his existence.
4. One day my room was not made up until after 5, despite not being in there since 9; turn-down followed 45 minutes later. Five times I asked for, and did not receive, a plastic bag from housekeeping (you can't get connected to housekeeping - all messages are routed through guest services). Finally I said: I probably won't get it this time, but feel free to surprise me, and I got the bag.
5. Reservations at Salt was extremely difficult. One night we ate in the bar, and I mentioned to the manager that I would like to come back the next night, any time, and would be fine eating in the bar. He said he wouldn't be there, but would make sure I got a table, and would pass on the message to a manager who would be there. Next night - nobody had heard of me. (They did have a table become available and they tracked me down.) I asked for a steak medium rare, not rare, and pasta plain - no butter. Steak was delivered rare - cold in the middle, and the pasta was swimming in butter. I sent back the steak, not the pasta, and what was returned was only slightly better. Apparently my steak made the rounds to various people in the kitchen before it was returned almost 15 minutes later. Server was very apologetic, but dinner was wasted.
6. Arrived at their casual restaurant one night a couple of minutes before closing and was greeted with: do you know about our other dining venues? I did. Salt I couldn't get into and I didn't feel like the sports bar with the kids running around. I thought that was a rude welcome, especially because others were waiting to order when we were finally seated.
7. A customer service person gave me his phone number to contact him if I needed anything. I did leave a message, which he didn't get, because he had moved offices and didn't check his old number. People mean well but the execution was lousy.
8. Received an invitation to the gold event the night I had checked out, with my final bill. Why invite me?
9. Given little flags on the beach for beach service the final day (only), but after 30 minutes nobody came by, so we went to the bar ourselves.

In conclusion, this is a beautiful property, staffed by nice people. It is an easy flight from NY, and a quick cab ride (we did not rent a car, and stayed on the property for five days). We hope that the hotel will raise the bar on their service - many of these issues were easy to prevent.

Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank Fontaine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
51 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 July 2014

We just returned from a 6 day stay at the Ritz in Amelia Island. I was not impressed and actually very disappointed. The one word I would choose to describe this resort is inconsistent. Our room was outdated and in much need of a renovation although the property claims to have had a "soft" renovation within the past year. Housekeeping was terrrible! Although they refreshed the towels twice a day, they skipped cleaning major areas like the bathroom and floors. Coffee supplies, wine glasses, bathroom supplies were in the room when we checked in but were not replaced throughout the visit. Everything at the hotel is nickel and dimed~ We had a breakfast package included. This is the first Ritz that we have stayed where tax and gratuity are not included in the package. They tell you that you have a $52 credit toward breakfast but if you only spend $30 you are still responsible for the tax and gratuity. This is ridiculous since we in fact already paid that amount with the pre-paid package! All the classes at the gym are extra. There is no changing/shower facility so if you want to steam after a class you have to pay a $25 day spa charge! Spa facilities such as steam, sauna, showers, etc should be included for all resort guests as they are in the other Ritz's we have stayed at. The beach is beautiful but the service is terrible. I walked down with my 2 kids with all of our beach stuff and was watched by 5 attendants as I asked for towels and went to set up my own beach chairs. No one offered to find us chairs or set them up. I was offered an umbrella once and then charged the $25 fee for the day. There are dirty towels lying all over the chairs. No one removes them until the end of the day when there is obviously no one sitting at the chair. There is a tiki bar on the beach but you are not allowed to get the free Ritz water at the beach. They will only sell you the $8 Fuji water bottle. We asked for the free Ritz water or at least a cup of ice (which would melt into water) and were told we had to treck up to the hotel to get our own water. The recreation rentals for paddle boards and boogie boards are ridiculously overpriced as compared to the rentals down at the public beach. There is "beach service" where a waiter will come and take your order but only on Saturday afternoons. The pool is ok but very crowded and dirty. Used cups, plates, snacks, and towels aren't picked up and the area looks very unappealing. On our first day, a guest thought that they saw fecal material in the pool. We overheard them speaking with a pool attendant so we got out right away. It took about 30 minutes for the pool attendants to analyze what was in the pool and never told the other guests to get out. We left before they figured out what it was and didn't swim in the pool the rest of our vacation. Also, many of the towels are stained yellow. I presume it's from sunblock but very unappealing to lay down on a dirty looking towel.

The Ritz nickels and dimes over every detail that it becomes less of a relaxing vacation and more of a task in budgeting! At $500-600 a night a room, there should be most of these amenities included! We will not return to stay at this resort. It is definitely not worth it's expensive price tag!!!

Room Tip: All rooms have ocean front views.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank 157Jen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jon F, Manager at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, responded to this review, 2 August 2014
Good afternoon,

Thank you for taking the time to share the feedback from your recent visit. I was disappointed to hear of the shotcomings in our service during your vacation. We strive to provide unique, personalized experiences. I have shared your feedback with the senior leadership team, along with the departmental leaders to ensure we are identifying root causes of the breakdowns and modify our processes to eliminate these opportunities moving forward. I thank you for your loyalty, and hope to have a chance to welcome you back to the resort in the future.

Warmly,

Jon
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, Amelia Island

Property: The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island
Address: 4750 Amelia Island Parkway, Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island, FL 32034-5501
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Florida > Amelia Island > Fernandina Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Fernandina Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island 5*
Number of rooms: 446
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Immerse yourself in southern charm at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island. With miles of pristine beaches to explore, you’ll find yourself basking in the glow of the sun as you swim, relax or walk along the sandy shore. As one of the most popular beach destinations on the East Coast, this luxury hotel in Florida provides a welcome barrier between you and the world beyond. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Ritz-Carlton - Amelia Island Hotel Amelia Island
Ritz Carlton Amelia Island
Ritz Amelia Island
Amelia Island Ritz-Carlton
The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island Fernandina Beach

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