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“Nicest option in Sarasota, here's why...”

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The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota
Ranked #3 of 50 Hotels in Sarasota
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed 25 February 2014

If you're traveling to Sarasota or Longboat Key and want a luxury hotel with easy access to restaurants and beaches, the Ritz Carlton is hands down your best option...here's why.

1. The Ritz is a short walk to Sarasota's vibrant Main Street restaurants AND the city's plethora of cultural activities (plays, orchestra, etc).
2. The Ritz is also a short drive to the restaurants/shops at St. Armands Circle.
3. If you're a runner or walker, it's an excellent location to begin a run/walk over the bridge to the key islands.
2. The Ritz has a beautiful beach club on Lido Key, just a 10 minute drive away. Yes, the hotel is not on the beach and this is a negative. However it does have pretty bay views available and there are no hotels on the beach that are remotely as nice as the Ritz. The pool/restaurant/common areas of the Longboat Beach Club are not in the same league. If you want luxury, drive the ten minutes to the Ritz beach club where you will have a beautiful pool, excellent restaurant, charming beach bar, and upscale locker room facilities/bathrooms at your fingertips. In all reality, isn't it better to drive during the day, get the luxury experience, then be settled at night where you can walk to town and then return to a luxury room?
3. Ritz service was excellent, had no issues in my entire stay -- and I'm picky on service!
4. Rooms are nice. They're not amazing, but they're very nice. If you can book through American Express and get a few bonus amenities (upgrade, resort credit, free wi-fi), it helps the sting of the price on popular weekends. Be sure to ask for a water view.
4. The bar/restaurant at the Ritz overlooks a charming harbor with glimpses of the bay. It was a lovely restaurant, modern and sophisticated, with nice views and a lively vibe.

Overall, we had a fun weekend at the Ritz Sarasota and felt 100% confident that we made the correct accommodation choice. One last warning, this hotel fills up early for holiday weekends. Book in advance.

Sarasota travel tips:
1. Don't even think about missing the Ringling Museum and mansion. The museum rivals those in Europe and NYC in both architecture and its permanent collection (I know it sounds unbelievable, but it's true). The house is beautiful, almost understated for the wealth involved, and truly special. These are treasures that once you see, you will realize they cannot be missed. The Ringling compound is next to the airport. The museum is free on Mondays.
2. If you want a little liveliness for your evening, stick to downtown Sarasota. Main street has excellent restaurants.
3. The best beaches are on Siesta Key, but they're also the most crowded. Longboat, which is very sedate, has nice beaches but it's hard to find public access. Just park at the Longboat Key Club and go in through the hotel. If you're at the Ritz, best option is still their beach club.
4. If you golf on Longboat, go for the Harborview course for better views. The Ritz can help you with this, and other golf options.
5. It's amazing how much the key islands differ. Drive around, explore!

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank sybarite4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 19 February 2014

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
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 reviewResponded 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

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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1  Thank Desp022
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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3  Thank Dawg_Lover1
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 reviewResponded 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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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
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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 reviewResponded 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

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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
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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 reviewResponded 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

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled on business
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1  Thank Worldtravellers113
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, 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: £229 - £581 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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