The Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne
455 Grand Bay Drive, Key Biscayne, Florida, United States, 33149
- Recommended for:
- Couples, Families with younger children, Foodies, Honeymooners, Sporty types, Chilling out, Escaping the crowds, No fuss, Relaxation, Special occasions
Best for Families - Expert review of The Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne
The expansive, colonial themed lobby exudes warmth, a welcome enhanced by the concierge who greeted me by name and handed me a bottle of ice-cold water, confirming what I already knew - that this is a hotel that’s all about premium service. Its 450 rooms and suites make it one of the area’s largest, but it’s also Miami’s only AAA five diamond resort – I never felt I was just one of the crowd.
Six miles away but an easy drive from South Beach, the barrier island of Key Biscayne is handy for a quick escape when you’ve had your fill of Ocean Drive’s exuberance and shopping on Lincoln Road. The hotel sits amid copious tropical foliage on a 12-acre stretch of Atlantic beachfront, offering plenty of quiet corners to hide out.
All rooms received a full refurbishment two years ago, although the hotel had then been open less than eight. Marble tubs and spa toiletries lend a European feel to the bathrooms, while beds are dressed in the finest grade Frette linens. iPod docking stations, now obligatory in any hotel makeover, complete the modern touches.
The two pools couldn’t be more different. An adults-only, cabana-surrounded tranquillity pool designed for relaxation is shielded from the lively, zero-entry family pool by judicious use of bamboo screening, which absorbs almost all the noise. Inside, wooden framed furniture and period décor evokes a feel of 1950s Havana, particularly in the unusual rum bar that offers regular tastings of 52 rums from 18 countries.
I loved the idea of “moonrise dinners” on the outside tables of the Cioppino Italian restaurant. Star-spotting tips from the resident constellation concierge, and a telescope on every table, complement the wonderful Tuscan cuisine. But the hotel’s culinary gem is the beachfront Mexican-themed Cantina. The snapper cerviche is a must, and executive chef Andres Palange squeezes every lime by hand. The restaurant also boasts the country’s first and only tequilier, who can advise on more than 85 varieties.
I’ve seen entire hotels smaller than the 20,000 square feet spa, where darkened, candlelit hallways set the scene for the tranquillity therein. The more adventurous head for the 11 tennis courts, where former Wimbledon semi-finalist Cliff Drysdale is the resident professional. One of the biggest tournaments in tennis, the Sony Ericsson Open, takes place on Key Biscayne every March and it’s not unusual to see the game’s biggest names staying at the hotel.
Every staff member carries a credo card with the motto: “We are ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen.” It shows.
Families, couples seeking respite from the party-pace of South Beach, tennis professionals and those who would like to be.
Themed packages offer significant savings on daily rates, and can include breakfasts, tennis court time, spa treatments and bicycle and kayak rentals.
More information on The Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne:
- Price from:
- 455 Grand Bay Drive, Key Biscayne, Florida, United States, 33149
- Free tags / Keywords:
- Business Centre, Fitness Centre, High-Speed Internet, Parking, Restaurant, Room Service, Swimming Pool