Having had several pleasant stays here over the past decade, I was disappointed to find a lack of sensitivity to customer relations, particularly in this economy when luxury hotels should be glad of the business. My group of six friends visited for a tennis and sun getaway and had a nice time overall. However, when one is paying over $500 per night per room, it is annoying to be nickeled and dimed for things that cost the hotel nothing.
First: trouble with late checkout. We had scheduled tennis lessons with the hotel's pros from ten o'clock to noon on two consecutive days, including our checkout day. Because the standard checkout time is noon and we had hoped to spend some of the afternoon by the pool and then shower, change and get ready for our evening flight, as soon as we arrived at the hotel, we asked for a late checkout of 4 p.m. (which I have never had a problem getting at other Ritz hotels). We were told that a 4 p.m. checkout would incur a charge for an extra night. We then asked if we could have a 2 p.m. checkout instead, and the response was that we would be charged for an additional half-day for the privilege of having the room for two hours beyond the noon checkout. All the hotel would agree to was a one-hour extension of our checkout time, until 1 p.m. Later one of our group returned and spoke to the manager, who conceded to a late checkout of 2 p.m. She was told that the hotel would be nearly filled with incoming guests on Sunday. As it turned out, when we left the hotel at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, the entire place was empty. Why, then, was the hotel to so rigid in refusing to allow us a 4 p.m. checkout?
Our second complaint was the shower fee. The hotel's gym is on the ground floor of the spa building. The only showers in the building are on the spa level, inside an area containing a locker room as well as a whirlpool, sauna, steam room and lounge. Because we would be leaving the hotel late Sunday afternoon and the late checkout had become difficult, we concluded that we could shower in the spa building (since we would no longer have our rooms) after spending some time by the pool. However, we learned that the hotel policy is that the spa showers and locker room may only be used by guests who purchase a spa service; those who do not purchase a spa service must pay $35 per person to use the showers. This struck us as ridiculous. (By the way, we had spent nearly $400 per day on hotel tennis fees.) Luckily, our group member who managed to get us an extra hour for late checkout was able to get "day passes" from management permitting us to use the spa showers -- one pass issued to each of the three hotel rooms, entitling two guests per room to use the showers. Did this go smoothly? NO. When we arrived at the spa, the spa receptionist said that each pass was only good for ONE person, not two. After some polite argument, we were able to convince her that the three passes had been intended to cover all six of us. We took our showers, but the experience was unpleasant and stressful, for no good reason.
Finally, the restricted pool area. One-third of the poolside area around the "quiet pool" (adults only) is a cabana area available only to guests who pay the $495 daily cabana fee. The daily cabana fee includes lunch for four, massages for two, beverages, and some other services. The cabanas are set back on a raised terrace; down on the lower deck area along the pool's edge are about a dozen of the same sun lounges that surround the rest of the pool. When we got to the pool at about 2 p.m., all of the chairs were taken, except for those in the cabana area, which was completely deserted. We asked the pool manager whether we could just sit on the sun lounges as no other chairs were available. Of course, the answer was "no", though no one at all was using the cabana area -- it just remained empty. They did eventually bring some chairs from another area and jam them into a corner next to the building, so at least we had a place to sit. There was no effort to make us feel welcome, or try to work out a solution that made us glad to be spending money with them.
While it is true that each of these complaints is small in itself, when added together, they made us feel that the level of customer service was not what it should be. In an economy when many are thinking more carefully about where to spend their vacation dollars, this Ritz should be more attuned to its customers and how they feel they are being treated. All we want is to be appreciated as guests. Are you listening, Ritz Naples?
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located on the pristine white sands of Southwest Florida’s Gulf Coast, The Ritz-Carlton, Naples is a Five Star, Four Diamond beach resort that appeals to today’s sophisticated traveler with an array of pampering amenities. With stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico, the resort offers a variety of innovative dining experiences, a luxurious, 51,000 square-foot world class spa, two heated pools, a high tech entertainment lounge, an interactive environmental children’s program and a wide selection of beach activities and water sports. Only three miles from the beach resort and accessible by a convenient hotel shuttle, the 295-room Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort is ranked as the #1 golf resort in Florida by Conde Nast Traveler magazine and as one of the 15 best luxury golf resorts in North America by Golf Digest. The golf resort is home to a pair of 18-hole signature Greg Norman golf courses at Tiburon and hosts the annual PGA TOUR Franklin Templeton Shootout. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Ritz-Carlton, Naples Hotel Naples
- Naples Ritz Carlton
- Ritz Naples
- Ritz-Carlton Naples
- The Ritz-Carlton, Naples Florida