If you follow me on twitter, then you know the past couple days we were road-tripping from Pennsylvania to Florida. The first day we drove 14 hours and made it to Amelia Island, Florida where there happens to be a Ritz-Carlton property. We had a jet ski in tow, so the valet team was very accommodating and let me take the truck and jet ski back to park myself. While I was parking, Mallory checked in and was shown to the room.
We arrived at the hotel at about 9 PM, but we hadn’t had dinner yet. We were hungry, tired, and didn’t want to leave our room, so room service was the only option. I found the menu to be a bit small. There were only about 2.5 small pages of options for all-day in-room dining. I ordered the organic chicken and Mallory got the spinach and kale salad with grilled shrimp. I also ordered a slice of Key Lime Pie to share for dessert.
They said the food would arrive in 25 minutes, but it ended up taking about 45 minutes. When it came the employee setup a little table in our room, so it felt like we were eating at home. Mallory and I both enjoyed our meals, but the key lime pie was definitely the star of the show!
Since I booked our stay through American Express’ Fine Hotel and Resorts, which was actually cheaper than the standard rate on the Ritz-Carlton website, we received complimentary breakfast, guaranteed 4PM check-out (so we could spend the whole day enjoying the resort), and $100 credit to be used at the spa. Breakfast was served in the resort’s Coast restaurant. Coast offered both a la carte and buffet options for breakfast, but Mallory and I both chose the buffet.
There wasn’t an overwhelming number of choices like some buffets have, but there was a nice selection of fruit, pastries, charcuterie, and an omelet station. I had the bacon, spinach, and sundried tomato omelet (BLT) and really enjoyed it.
After Mallory’s spa treatment was finished, she met me at the pool where we had a light lunch of Blackened Tuna, Chipotle Spring Rolls, and Rum punch. All were fantastic, especially for being poolside food.
We were in a standard first floor Costal View room. Being on the first floor and in the corner was nice since we had Grace with us. She was able to hop over the little wall on our terrace, so going to play in the open grass area or on the beach was a breeze. The bathroom was stocked Asprey Purple Water toiletries. The purple water products aren’t my favorite, but they are still pretty nice.
Since we had $100 credit to the spa Mallory found a treatment she wanted and we booked it. Mallory is going to write up a review of the Spa at the Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island, so keep an eye out for that later this week!
While Mallory was at the spa, I looked around the shops and enjoyed the pool. I was surprised how many kids were around at the pool, and found out that this Ritz-Carlton has a great kids program. It was still very relaxing and the service of the pool staff was very attentive coming over every 15 or 20 minutes to see if everything was OK.
One of the features that I bet not very many guests take advantage of is the resort has a photographer on staff that will do a 30-45-minute photo-shoot for free. Since Grace turned one yesterday we thought it would be nice to have some family shots taken. We had our session right after we checked-out, so it wasn’t the typical session, but he still got some great shots.
Usually you have a 30-45-minute shoot, then the next day you come back and look at the edited photos. We had about a 20-minute shoot before the camera fogged up too bad to shoot and we picked out the pictures we liked right after the session.
The resort is in a beautiful spot and the property is huge. We only got to enjoy a fraction of the resort in our short one-night stay, but the service, food, and amenities we enjoyed while we were there was enough to book another stay. We will be returning to the Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island in about three-weeks to celebrate our first anniversary! I booked the stay through AMEX Fine Hotels and Resorts again, hopefully, next time we will be able to experience an upgraded room! If you are looking for a place to stay near Jacksonville (30 minutes south), or looking for a spot for your next trip, I recommend you check out the Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island! Room rates start at about $300/night or you can book rooms starting at 40,000 Marriott/Ritz-Carlton Rewards points per night.