Ritz-Carlton Hotels of Miami

Ritz-Carlton Hotels of Miami

Miami is a convenient getaway destination, especially for our Midwest and East Coast clients! It features warm weather, great food, nightlife, culture, and a plethora of luxury hotels and resorts and, as one of our key hotel partners, we are big fans of the Ritz-Carlton Hotels of Miami. Side Note: We’ve created a map of all our preferred Florida hotels, which serves as a great resource when you are looking for a Florida getaway destination. 

I recently spent two days conducting site-inspections at the four Ritz-Carlton Hotels of Miami. Here’s a round up of my thoughts and experiences and you can see all of my pictures on the Ourisman Travel Flickr page:

Ritz-Carlton Hotels of Miami

Ritz-Carlton South Beach

Ritz-Carlton Hotels of Miami: South Beach
It was tough for me to single out my personal favorite from all of the hotel options, but I have ultimately settled on the Ritz-Carlton South Beach. It maintains a perfectly balanced blend of historic glamour with contemporary design, business-oriented simplicity with leisure-oriented indulgences, and family-friendly playfulness with a dash of quiet romance for the couples. Located in the heart of South Beach, this hotel is in the perfect location for anyone wanting to enjoy the area’s energetic nightlife as well as the beautiful beaches, convenient access to the beach and promenade, and charming art-deco architecture. When you’re done exploring, you can soak up the sun on the pool deck with perfect people-watching views of the promenade or retreat to the club lounge for a complimentary glass of wine and some snacks (requires a reservation in a club-level room). One of my favorite hotel amenities is the #AprésBeach cocktail hour (Thursday and Friday evenings) with refreshing beverages, after-sun elixirs, and a DJ setting the perfectly relaxed mood after a day in the sun.

Brilliant idea! #apresbeach happy hour @ritzcarlton South Beach Miami – the bourbon watermelon combo is so refreshing.

A photo posted by Jessica Ourisman (@jessicaourisman) on

Most rooms here will share very similar floor plans and the decor is all the same, so your choice in room category is mostly about the view. Remember that the beach is public and the hotel is set back behind the promenade. So, even the ocean front views are not completely unobstructed. The hotel has a U-shape and the best Oceanfront views are at the ends of either wings and some people may not love the longer walk to their room; ocean and partial-ocean views will typically also look over the pool. The “Lanai Pool View” rooms are the most unique. They are located along the two “legs” of the U-shape and ground-floor rooms boast direct pool access from your patio (must request ground-floor location at booking; cannot always be guaranteed). I always recommend the club-level rooms for the best value, but I especially encourage booking a club room at the Ritz-Carlton South Beach. It is one of the best club lounges in the brand! The presentations are delicious, service is attentive, and the views are fabulous.

This hotel is part of Virtuoso and our guests receive the following amenities during their stay (when booking the BAR rate):

  • Upgrade at time of booking, subject to availability
  • Daily Buffet breakfast, for up to two in room guests
  • $100 USD Resort credit to be utilized during stay (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full, not valid on retail)
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability

(Bonus hotel) The Miami Beach EDITION

Ritz-Carlton Hotels of Miami: Edition
Technically, this is not a Ritz-Carlton hotel, but it does participate in STARS (see description below) and it is affiliated through the brands’ mutual relationship with Marriott hotels. Located in Miami Beach, the EDITION serves as a perfect retreat from the party-scene of South Beach with a fun and energetic vibe all to itself. The hotel opened in 2014 to rave reviews and our clients have all returned home happy! There’s a bowling ally, an ice-skating rink, a nightclub, an interactive food hall, a serene spa, two pools… there is something for everyone here! This hotel perfectly walks the line between a buzzy city hotel and a resort-like retreat.

Ritz-Carlton Hotels of Miami: Edition

While the space was clearly designed for the “cool kids” but just as welcoming and comfortable for us regular folk; the relaxed vibe means that nobody feels (or looks) out of place here. Ian Schrager, founder of the EDITION brand, lends his famously impeccable attention to detail to every corner of the hotel’s design, layout, personality, and ambiance and the hotel guest is the true benefactor; every need is anticipated and and every desire is indulged upon. Rooms are open and airy with light wood tones and a creamy color pallet; large sliding doors around the bathroom allow you to open up the entire space or create extra privacy when it is needed. Every bathroom features a double vanity, but you won’t find any bathtubs in these rooms.

For me, the real highlight at the Miami Beach EDITION was the Matador Room restaurant by Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. The space features a unique, original light fixture and a sunken dining room similar to a retro conversation-pit. The menu is a superb mix of Spanish and South American flavors served tapas-style so you don’t have to decide on just one dish. The flavors do lean on the spicy side, which was fine with me, and the cocktails are well worth the higher range price-tags. Matador Room is a must for anyone visiting Miami!

Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne

Ritz-Carlton Hotels of Miami: Key Biscayne
For me, the highlights at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne are the quiet beach, the beachfront club lounge, the grab-and-go cafe in the lobby, and the famous cocktails at Dunes beachfront bar! Gino the bartender and his famous blended mojitos are a local treasure! The large spa and smart separation from quiet adult spaces and more energetic kid-friendly spaces is also appreciated.

While my room was comfortable and I loved my view, I did feel that it was time for a refresh and, just in time, the hotel is embarking on a room renovation project beginning this summer! Rooms will be taken out of inventory floor by floor for renovations, but they expect to have newly renovated rooms available to guests by fall of 2016.

Again, I highly recommend springing for a room with club access for the best value. Key Biscayne has introduced a beachfront extension to the club lounge. They don’t offer alcoholic beverages at the beach lounge, but they do offer convenient access to complimentary non-alcoholic beverages and snacks – perfect for families!

My time at Key Biscayne was short, but sweet. Of all of the Ritz-Carlton Hotels of Miami that I toured, this was the one where I really wish I had more time. I would have loved some extra time to rent a bike and explore the nearby state park and historic lighthouse and I look forward to a return trip!

This hotel is part of Virtuoso and our guests receive the following amenities during their stay (when booking the BAR rate):

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Daily Buffet breakfast, for up to two in room guests
  • $100 USD Equivalent Resort or Hotel credit, to be utilized during stay (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability

Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbour
You may remember this hotel as One Bal Harbour; it underwent some minor soft-good updates when it was added it to the Ritz-Carlton Hotels of Miami portfolio , but the layout of the property and the selling points remain the same. Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbour guests choose this hotel when they want space and privacy. Additionally, the on-site Exhale Spa and easy proximity to high-end shopping are nice-to-have. My favorite feature is the marina views from the bathtub!
Ritz-Carlton Hotels of Miami: Bal Harbour

With space galore, this hotel is a perfect match for families. Many of the suites feature full kitchens and connecting room options; every room in the hotel has a balcony. The large pool area and lawn also provides ample space for families to spread out and the private cabanas with TVs and private hot tubs make an excellent “home-base” for family gatherings. Similarly, the large rooms and pool cabanas along with an excellent spa and nearby shopping and cultural centers make this a great option for girls’ getaway weekends!

Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove
This Coral Gables boutique-ish hotel (only 115 rooms) with very eclectic interior decor often flies under the radar and is easily forgotten, but it is a great option if you’d like to experience Miami as a local. Settle into this quiet neighborhood and enjoy ease access to the Miami Science Museum and Planetarium, botanic gardens, and Cocowalk, a nearby pedestrian shopping village with local dining options. The real highlight at the Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove is the Farmers Market Brunch held on the last Sunday of every month at Bizcaya.

(Bonus hotel) Ritz-Carlton Fort Lauderdale
If you’re looking to venture a bit further from Miami, don’t forget about Fort Lauderdale, the yachting capital of the world! The Ritz-Carlton Fort Lauderdale is a perfect option for pre/post cruise and the hotel embraces its proximity to the large cruise terminal; it even looks a bit like a cruise ship from the exterior! I’ve also found that flights to FLL can be quite a bit more convenient and affordable depending on your home-base airport, so it is worth consideration for a quick weekend beach getaway. I spent a January weekend here once with my sister and her two young kids and, while the weather took an unfortunate turn toward icy-cold rain, the club lounge saved our vacation! That is a story for another post…

We are proud to be a part of the Ritz-Carlton STARS program and our clients enjoy the following amenities at all Ritz-Carlton and affiliate properties:

  • Late check out, based on availability
  • Continental breakfast for 2 guests daily
  • Welcome amenity
  • Complimentary Internet

As always, if you are interested in planning your next trip to Miami or any other destination, we would love to hear from you!

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