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“Don't Nickel and Dime”

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The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota
Ranked #3 of 48 Hotels in Sarasota
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Don't Nickel and Dime”
Reviewed 19 February 2014 via mobile

This hotel was very nice, but the luxury was overshadowed by their charging $15 a day for wifi access. I can get free wifi if I buy a $4 cup of coffee at Starbucks, buy from the dollar menu at McDonalds or a stay at a budget hotel. When a luxury hotel charges several hundred dollars a night PLUS adds $15 wifi charge, that is nickel and dime. The property has a swimming pool and health center which I did not use, but no doubt was included in the cost of the room. Management, build wifi access in the cost of the room!

Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
3 Thank Traveler N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Damien O, General Manager at The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota, responded to this review, 21 February 2014
Dear Traveler N,

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. I was sorry to hear of your disappointment. Feedback is extremely important to us and how we learn in what areas we need to improve. If you have the time and would like to contact me directly, I can be reached at 941-309-2001.

Best wishes,
Damien O’Riordan
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
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English first
Orlando, Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 19 February 2014

From the moment you pull into the beautiful downtown Sarasota property you are greeted and taken care of by the friendly valet and bellmen. Inside we had to wait a few minutes as we checked in early with the wonderful front desk agent Lori Oches--she immediately offered a glass of champagne and took her time checking us in to tell us all about the property. On our last evening she also sent up a beautiful plate of strawberries and champagne as she knew my boyfriend and I were up from Orlando for a brief staycation/Valentines Day which just was over the top. As soon as we unpacked we jumped on the trolly to head over to the Beach Club for sunset..the views are absolutely breath taking (we spent our entire second day out at the beach club). We finished our evening with light appetizers and drinks on the Jack Dusty patio with Kimmy who was so friendly and intuitive! We started our day two in the bay on the hotel provided kayaks exploring the harbor. The hotel amenities were so worth it and the friendly staff made our mini vacation worth while. Lastly, the hotel is settled right off the Sarasota Recreational Trail which is a must walk/run especially during sunrise and set. For us this hotel met all of our needs and then some really surprising us and we are already making plans to come back!

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Desp022
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ottawa, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
155 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 153 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 February 2014

This is a somewhat dated but still beautiful hotel. In addition, the staff tries very hard and, in most cases, succeeds with their efforts. However, our stay was flawed by three factors:

-They have a key problem. The electronic keys are not reliable and we were forced to repeatedly return to the front desk for new keys. This is a known problem at the hotel, with others sharing our experience. However, they have not moved to fix it.

-The front desk is understaffed. There was not a single occasion when we did not have to stand in line in order to received the required service.

-The most important problem is the fact that there is no venue in the restaurant where one can have a quiet dinner. The only restaurant in the hotel is Jack Dusty (see separate review) and, because of an extremely unfortunate design, noise level are intolerable. It is impossible to carry on a conversation in a normal voice in this venue.

I would not return to this hotel.

Room Tip: The one bedroom suites are very functional.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank byrddawg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Damien O, General Manager at The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota, responded to this review, 21 February 2014
Dear byrddawg,

Thank you for taking the time to leave your comment. I am very sorry to hear that your experience did not meet your expectations. Your feedback is a valuable tool so we can avoid any recurrence and to that end, if you can afford the time, please feel free to contact me directly at your convenience at 941-309-2001 as I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss this with you further.

Best wishes,
Damien O’Riordan
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alexandria, Virginia
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 February 2014

Note, most of what I write in this review is bench marked against the Naples Ritz - which I believe is simply the best. Both provide exceptional service throughout the hotels. However, the Sarasota Ritz just falls short in so many areas. For example, the rooms (at least #427) are sooooo average and lack any personality or character. But that's okay since everything felt clean and well stocked.

The Beach Club was excellent but 3 miles away. Not a big deal getting there in the morning - that is, not much traffic. However, oh boy!! Leaving around 4pm and you better watch out! Over 45 minutes to get back to the hotel. This is an observation that needs to be pointed out (certainly the hotel will say there is nothing they can do to control the traffic, and they are right). However, I'm writing this review to inform others of one of the glaring downsides of staying at this hotel. Its just disappointing that you have to literally get in a vehicle (or you could ride a bike I suppose) to get to the beach only to get back in a vehicle and wait in just downright awful traffic to get back (Sunday afternoon).

Here is where I really had an issue with this hotel. They offer the "Ritz Kids" program which obviously is meant to cater to families. Seems like a wonderful program. Throughout the stay, I was so impressed with the Kids program coordinator who was very friendly and helpful. However, relative to the Naples Ritz, you simply can't get anything casual to eat for the kids at the hotel (not at the Beach Club). I simply wanted to get my kids ice cream...plain ol vanilla or strawberry ice cream. At the Naples Ritz, they had a little shop where you can purchase drinks, snacks, candy, coffee and ice cream. Nothing exists here.

So, I proceeded to go into the only restaurant on the property (Jack Dusty) and ask the hostess if they served ice cream - and specifically ice cream for the kids. She said they do offer ice cream. She was very pleasant and friendly and sat us in the lobby. The waitress then offers up the ice cream on the adult menu, which is priced at $9. She recommended one for each child. I was confused why I would need two servings for a 5 and 3 year old. She explained it was pretty much one scoop. It was barely one scoop...for $9! Unacceptable.

I spoke to the manager and expressed my disappointment. He was kind enough to comp it which was extremely nice. So to conclude, nice but not great facilities; lacks certain amenities for kids; and lacks any personality as a hotel.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank jandheather
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Damien O, General Manager at The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota, responded to this review, 21 February 2014
Dear jandheather,

Thank you for your review. I was pleased you enjoyed the overall service provided during your stay but very sorry to learn we did not provide the traditional Ritz-Carlton facilities, location and children’s offerings you have come to enjoy and expect. If you could afford the time, I would very much appreciate the opportunity to be in touch with you. Please feel free to contact me directly at 941-309-2001 at your convenience.

Best wishes,
Damien O’Riordan
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Diego, CA
Level 6 Contributor
125 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 February 2014

Let me start with the wonderful power walk I took around the Sarasota Recreational Trail. When I arrived back at the Ritz Carlton I was sweaty and exhilarated. One of the bellman greeted me with a towel and icy water. What a great "welcome back". Talk about making you feel like a valued guest. In addition, big shout out to Katie the concierge who facilitated my husband's surprise flowers and wine gift in my room! And not to forget the always friendly and accommodating front desk staff. A great stay thanks to all of them....

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank GeorgiBG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Damien O, General Manager at The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota, responded to this review, 21 February 2014
Dear GeorgiBG,

Thank you for sharing your wonderful review with the TripAdvisor Community regarding your recent experience at our beautiful resort located at the base of the Ringling Bridge Causeway overlooking Sarasota Bay and gateway to vibrant downtown Sarasota on one side of the Hotel and St. Armand’s Circle on the other. I am delighted you enjoyed your stay and the personalized service provided by our Concierge Katie and Front Desk team. We look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

Best wishes,
Damien O’Riordan
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Orlando, Florida
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 February 2014

I had the pleasure of staying at the Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota for a recent conference. The hotel is situated near the marina on beautifully landscaped grounds. The lounge/restaurant, Jack Dusty, featured indoor and outdoor service. It was upscale, yet not stuffy, which was basically the feeling of the entire resort.

The room featured very comfortable beds with high thread-count sheets. Housekeeping was quick to respond with extra hangers. Nice toiletry products in the bath. The only downside was that i could hear the conversation of the people styling next door and would hear people in the hallway or doors close, so a white noise machine would be helpful.

The beach is not on-site because the hotel is downtown rather than oceanside. The Ritz offers a complimentary shuttle to their beach club which arrives every half hour or so. Once at the beach, it is incredible. The lounge chairs, towels, umbrellas and more are ready for guests. The pool is surrounded by towering palms and has a luxurious Caribbean feel. There is a full service restaurant and bar with legendary Ritz-Carlton service.

The staff was friendly we never had to look far for assistance or to have a question answered. Upon departure, the taxi took a bit longer than expected, so one of the staff drove us to the airport in the hotel's car.

If I would make any recommendation, it would be for the resort to offer a larger lobby or common space so that groups could more easily mingle.

Overall, understated luxury, casual elegance. Visit if you are able!

Room Tip: Request a room at the end of the hallway, high floor if you are a light sleeper. Walk is a bit longe...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Worldtravellers113
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leawood, Kansas
Level 6 Contributor
393 reviews
80 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 141 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 February 2014

Although we are frequent Marriott customers, this was our first stay at a Ritz. The location is perfect- just across the US 41 from the downtown restaurants and adjacent to the Lido bridge. The rooms are not exceptional; they are pretty much like a Marriott with some hardwood flooring. The bathrooms are a bit larger, but don't provide additional utility. Beds are comfortable. The only shortcoming of the rooms is not enough easily accessible electrical outlets to support the myriad of electronics that we now feel compelled to bring on travels. The two plugs on the desk are too close together and only allow one charger at a time.
Where the hotel shines is service. The concierge and front desk personnel where exceptional and clearly a cut above other premium hotel chains. The valet personnel and fast and very personable. We had a small issue with our first room and the response from the young woman at the front desk was immediate " that is unacceptable, his is the Ritz Carlton and you are supposed to be relaxing. We will move you right away and breakfast is on us." Needless to say we were impressed.

Room Tip: Water view is preferred
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank kstraveler81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Damien O, General Manager at The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota, responded to this review, 17 February 2014
Dear kstraveler81,

Thank you for sharing your experience with the TripAdvisor Community. I am delighted you enjoyed our location, facilities and the fine and timely service from our ladies and gentlemen overall.

Your constructive comments regarding electrical outlets in the room is appreciated and will be shared with my senior leadership in an effort to amend this shortcoming.

In the meantime, I appreciate your feedback and hope to have the opportunity to serve you again in the future.

Best wishes,

Damien O'Riordan
General Manager
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, Sarasota

Property: The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota
Address: 1111 Ritz-Carlton Drive, Sarasota, FL 34236-5594
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Florida > Southwest Gulf Coast > Sarasota
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Green Hotel in Sarasota
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:5 star — The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota 5*
Number of rooms: 266
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Experience a resort where the casual Gulf Coast lifestyle meets the sophisticated, cosmopolitan excitement of the city. Featuring exceptional dining, a luxurious spa, championship golf,off-site Beach Club nearby, lavish accommodations and sweeping bay and city views, The Ritz-Carlton in Sarasota, Florida, provides guests with a relaxing escape from the everyday. While you're visiting, be sure to enjoy the sandy beaches recently named the 2017 "Best Beach in America." ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota Hotel Sarasota
Sarasota Ritz Carlton
Ritz Sarasota
Ritz-Carlton Sarasota
The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota Florida

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