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“The most lackluster Ritz we've been to”

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The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale
Ranked #6 of 128 Hotels in Fort Lauderdale
Certificate of Excellence
St. Louis
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“The most lackluster Ritz we've been to”
Reviewed 26 March 2013

My husband and I took our two children to Ft. Lauderdale for Spring Break and after two nights at the HIlton (booked using different rewards) we spent the remaining four nights of our trip at the Ritz. Our family life is hectic during the school year so we figure a stay at a luxury hotel is worth the money for a nice break from the craziness of it all.

The hotel is nice, no doubt, albeit a departure from more typical Ritz getup with its expansive marble lobby and more modern decor. However, we did not leave the hotel thinking what a great, relaxed stay we had, as we did when visiting, say, Ritz Naples, Ritz Key Biscayne or even Ritz St. Louis.

On our first evening there we arrived at the pool at 4:30 p.m. We had to scout around for a while to figure out where the pool towels were kept, since none of the pool guys were in sight. After finding the towels behind a desk we swam for a bit, then tried tracking down the poolside waitstaff. They had no problems helping the crowds of hipsters at the bar who seemd to be attending a hotel wedding that weekend, but for some reason to order our kids meals and burgers we had to literally circle the bar for five minutes until someone finally got our attention and took our order. Later on another waiter grudgingly brought the food eventually to our table. I was rather unsettled by this initial experience, and I decided to ask to speak with a manager at the front desk later on that evening, and asked what time the pool closes... she told me that the pool closes at 5:00. OK, no wonder, I thought, maybe we just got there too late, and decided to end it right there...except that the next day I read a sign near the hot tub (the broken one closer to the door that remained broken throughout our stay) that listed the pool as being open until 6:00. Hmm. Whatever. We order lunch poolside for the rest of our stay, and one server was helpful, although it was hard to grab someone...the pool is obviously understaffed.

On one night, after housekeeping had left, we found that there were still crumbs and paper remnants left on the carpet, and called the front desk (there is no separate housekeeping number in the hotel phone directory) to ask that they actually vacuum the rug. It was vacuumed, but ew...this is housekeeping service not befitting a luxury hotel. There is turndown service, which is always nice, but that hotel staff, like the help at the front desk, the restaurant staff, etc., is not always welcoming and with a positive attitude, and it is not always easy to get the help that you want. Ridiculous. I feel that I have something to compare this service to, as just before we stayed at the HIlton (refer to that review), where staff was literally verywhere, and extremely helpful and accommodating.

On our last evening we went downstairs to eat at Via Luna, and the hostess curtly informed us that they were not seating yet for dinner. Perhaps she thought we were not hotel guests judging from her snobby attitude and thus not worthy of her time...when we left the hotel lobby there were many parties sitting on the outside tables eating....why we coudn't have had one of those tables is beyond me.

All in all, should we ever revisit Ft. Lauderdale, this hotel is not worth a repeat visit. I give it three stars only because the decor is still nice, and the rooms are decent (not great). However, now way is this hotel worth the going rates. I will gladly stay again at any of the other Ritz properties I've visited, just not this one.

P.S. This hotel does have a beachfront location connected by a seventh floor walkway from the pool on that floor. However, it is a little jarring that Spring Break Central is literally right next to the hotel (along with the cheesy Fat Tuesdays, and other establishments of dubious nature.) In that area the bodies during warmer days were literally packed like sardines, with significant overflow onto the beach property in front of the Ritz. I have no judgments against partying, drunk college kids hanging out like sardines in string bikinis and tattoos all over...we were all young once. I just don't necessarily want to witness this when I'm paying luxury hotel rates to have a quiet family vacation. Just down the road there are other beachfront hotels with mre manageable crowd control.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
5 Thank satellite1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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New York City, New York
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 26 March 2013

There is no other hotel I will ever stay at when visiting Ft. Lauderdale but the Ritz Carlton.
The service and attention to detail by the staff (Amina, Paola, Benjamin, Valerie + Matt @The Spa) was UNPARALLELED!!! We plan to go back in July but bring the kiddies this time!
A few bullet points below
-Quick and easy check in. I arrived far earlier than expected due to a change in my flight and our 3 Bedroom Suite was ready! They then also allowed for a late check out providing us
access to all amenities since our flight was delayed.
-Pools were great, Always someone around to help you find a lounge chair. They even provided free ice cream to the guest by the pool! SWEET!!!
-Hotel was quiet even though it was at full capacity.
-Perfect location, it's in the middle of it all in Ft. Lauderdale.
Honestly the hotel is so special because of it's amazing staff.
I really can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank Clj714
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, Massachusetts
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 26 March 2013

We were looking for a quick, relaxing, weekend getaway in the sun and the Ritz, Fort Lauderdale met our needs. The hotel is a short 15 minute taxi ride from airport (about $20). Once we arrived at the hotel we were greeted by the very friendly staff. Our oceanfront room on the 12th floor had a great balcony, directly overlooking the ocean. The room was nice...not over the top, but comfortable. We really weren't there to spend time in the room.

The pool was nice...again nothing too special. It was crowded, but I guess it was mid March in Florida. We had to get to the pool early in the morning (by 9:30) to claim our chairs. Pool service was good. Free waters and popsicles were offered for free. There is also a walkway from the pool to an elevator that takes you to the beach. No drink service available at the beach.

The wine bar was great. The sommelier, Jose, was very knowledgeable, and my husband and I enjoyed talking to him. The cocktail bar was nice and offered indoor and outdoor seating. My only complaint was that the service at the bar was very slow. It took more than 20 minutes to get a glass of wine!

All in all, we had a great weekend. The sun was shining and it was 85! Beats the cold, snowy weather we left behind.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank MegT77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Roanoke, Virginia
Level 4 Contributor
48 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 March 2013

The hotel is nicely located with beautiful views and convenience to restaurants etc. that are within walking distance. Beautiful facility however there were some some stains noted on the room chair which should not be present in a hotel of this caliber. All in all, my two night stay was very comfortable and relaxing with no other problems encountered.

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled with family
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank richard n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Long Lake, Minnesota
Level 5 Contributor
49 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 March 2013

Wonderful hotel. Only issue was carpet in room had a stain. Great hosts and good food. Rooftop deck was nice with a skyway across the road to the beach. Staff reserved spaces on the beach for hotel guests. Walk the beach or go shopping.

Room Tip: We got a corner room with a wrap around deck and two walls of windows.
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled on business
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Helpful?
2 Thank jjswanso
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TAUNTON UK
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 March 2013

We stayed at this hotel at the beginning of our holiday for three nights. We had got an amazing deal through a random booking agent based in Germany. We thought the service was first class, the hotel itself grand and immaculate. The restaurant wasnt wonderful but in terms of hotel restaurants the standard was good. The pool area was good and the service there was equally good. having read some poor reviews before we arrived we were a little concerned, but I can recommend this hotel, although we are from Britain and are probably less demanding than perhaps others. It was a fab start in any event. And I have just remembered it was probably the best bed I have EVER slept in!

Room Tip: We were on the pool floor so walked out of our room onto the pool terrace. I am not sure how well t...
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank TauntonUkDawnee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Midwest
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 March 2013

I was so excited to return to this Ritz location. It had been two years since our first stay at the Ritz which was an unplanned, 1 day 1 night, that turned out wonderfully. BUT this last stay was so GOD AWFUL, I had to re review:

We decided to change up our typical Palm Beach routine at the Breakers and spend 3 days at the FTL Ritz & 5 at The Breakers. We should have just gone to the Breakers or tried the new St Regis in Bal Harbour. We learned our lesson & I am never coming back here. We booked our stay in a residential style suite with a full kitchen, 2 bathrooms, and ocean front.

1. The room was a handicap room which imo is always totally unacceptable.

2. There were lamps in our room EVERYWHERE. 5 in just the bedroom portion of the suite. I felt like I was in a storage closet

3. The tv's "reception" was awful in both the living room portion and bedroom- fuzzy/grainy/poor picture

4. Ice maker in fridge was a disaster. the ice looked like it had been there about 3 years and was in a huge block

5. Service was so bad, Id actually call this a NO SERVICE hotel. Prior to staying here, I had only heard of service this poor. I thought it was an urban legend, something one would only find at an all inclusive but no, it's alive and well here. Just some examples
a. No pool service? Oh it may exist, but it never actually happened. We never got a drink, or ice, no one came to check on us or ask if we needed anything. We just sat at the pool for 2 hours flagging down the staff who would say theyd be right with us but never were.
b. pool restaurant service is awful. I asked if there was a certain ingredient in the food and the waitress shrugged.
c. this hotel will NEVER EVER EVER give you silverware or refill a beverage. Everytime we ate at this hotel, the food came and no silverware to be found. I watched my coconut sorbet melt on 3 separate occasions.
d. HORRIBLE gift shop. no tampons ladies. have you ever heard of a gift shop on EARTH with no fem. protection products??I asked and they directed me to the CVS ACROSS THE STREET!!! AHEM EXCUSE ME???? isnt this supposed to be a 5 star resort where you OFFER to get them for me??? Charge me all day long, but really? What is the point of the Ritz? NO SERVICE?
e.Valet made us throw out our own water bottles from our car. We asked as we arrived, "is it possible to get rid of some of these empty water bottles wed accumulated from our drive from PB to FTL?" yep. he directed us to a trash can. Thanks. Is this a Disney Hotel?
e. Pool restaurant food is TERRIBLE. Tiny random menu and grocery store level quality. My salad looked like the kind you buy pre tossed in the deli section of a Publix, the quesadilla looked like something my babysitter wouldve made me growing up with american cheese and lavash. the guacamole was good though.

My advice is go to the Ritz in Manalapan if you like RC's. Skip this place. It is NOT Ritz quality,not even close. We will never come back. Next time Im heading to the St Regis if I want to try something new or Canyon Ranch. The Breakers is always my go to, at least I can have some level of service there.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank ChloeLove
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, Fort Lauderdale

Property: The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale
Address: 1 North Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304-4392
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Florida > Broward County > Fort Lauderdale
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Fort Lauderdale
#3 Luxury Hotel in Fort Lauderdale
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Fort Lauderdale
#8 Family Hotel in Fort Lauderdale
#9 Business Hotel in Fort Lauderdale
#11 Romantic Hotel in Fort Lauderdale
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:5 star — The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale 5*
Number of rooms: 192
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale infuses the Gold Coast with casual luxury as the city's first and only AAA Five Diamond hotel. The 24-story, dramatically tiered and glass walled structure has sweeping curves that are reminiscent of a luxury liner. Design elements recall the 1940's, with artwork that includes playful murals inspired by French artist Jean Cocteau and a 13-foot high mural of a seascape inspired by the 1880 painting, "King Neptune and His Horses." The property features 192 guest rooms and suites; a 2,200 square foot Club Lounge, 24,000 square feet of light-filled meeting space; a 29,000 square foot oceanfront sundeck with an infinity pool and private cabanas; destination Spa with an organic and active-botanical treatment menu and a water-view fitness center. Four dining and entertainment options include the new Via Luna Italian grill with seating indoors or al fresco on an oceanfront patio, the dramatic oceanfront Via Luna Bar, a private Wine Room with a 5,000 bottle wine cellar and a seventh floor Poolside Cafe with commanding ocean views. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Ritz Carlton Fort Lauderdale Hotel Fort Lauderdale
Ritz Carlton Fort Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale Ritz Carlton
St Regis Fort Lauderdale
St Regis Ft Lauderdale

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