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The Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island [Master Thread]

The Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island [Master Thread]

Old May 20, 20, 4:06 pm
  #16  
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Anyone know if the club lounge is open and operating? Buffet? Self-serve drinks?
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Old May 22, 20, 6:46 am
  #17  
 
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Club lounge did not appear to be open, It was not offered when I booked the room and not offered as an upgrade at check-in.
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Old May 22, 20, 1:29 pm
  #18  
 
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Random booking for 5 days on June 5 using code Z16 shows club room available to book
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Old May 25, 20, 10:59 am
  #19  
 
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Quick Review - Memorial Day 2020 Stay

I will post more later when I have time but for the folks wondering about status of the property post-COVID-19, it is open and operating.

We were told the hotel was capped at 50% capacity but frankly it felt more full than that. All restaurants open except Salt and the Pub. The employees deserve commendation for making a valiant effort as they are clearly understaffed while they ramp up operations. Service was frankly very strained - hour long waits for food in the restaurants was the norm. Room service was not 24-7 and we heard that 90-120 min waits for food was standard for that offering. Poolside service for drinks was up to par however.

As noted this is clearly an unusual time and everyone working at the hotel was doing the best they could. If I had been paying cash - we used points - at the nightly posted rate (~$800/night when I checked last week) I would not have been happy.

I will post a full review soon.
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Old May 25, 20, 2:45 pm
  #20  
 
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Full Review March 22-25 2020

As noted above we stayed on points, 200K points total, over Memorial Day weekend. Iíve stayed at this property several times in the past, with the last stay about three years ago.

Iím not going to mention any service issues in this review because it was clear that every single employee we encountered was doing their best in what is of course a challenging time. No one working at the resort had anything but a great attitude and folks repeatedly went above and beyond even when they were obviously harried from being severely overworked.

Which leads to my next comment - there are clearly some tough management choices taking place at this hotel right now. Why would you open the hotel, even supposedly with an occupancy cap, so obviously understaffed and be charging $800/night (the rate when I looked mid-week last week; the cash rate was about $600ish when I booked my points trip two weeks ago). Of course this is a difficult time and I know these are not easy choices, and I know that they need the money. It is not cheap to keep the lights on at the Ritz. But for folks that are less patient than I am, Iím guessing those guests may not return in some cases considering how severely strained the property was. If I had paid $600-$800 a night for a standard room I would have been very upset with what I received. Not to mention the resort fee, questionable in normal times, that ďpaysĒ for some things that are simply not available to any guest for any price during COVID-19.

All the above said, the big issue with this resort is actually the physical plant. The remodeled common areas look great - we didnít try the sushi, but the overall experience at the new indoor lobby bar was super pleasant. But all the other areas of the resort, save the brand new pool restaurant, range from a bit tired to legitimately run-down.

The exterior is dying for a paint job. The roof needs repair in multiple places. The gym is small and tired for a hotel of this supposed caliber. Tattered pillows in the guest room. Brass doorknobs showing 25 years of wear. Tennis courts with mud in the middle of the clay and tattered shade netting. A pool area that is severely undersized for even the supposedly reduced COVID-19 guest load. I could go on but you get the picture.

Another major annoyance is that there is no adult pool - when you have a pool area that is so undersized and the pool chairs are pushed in so close to the childrenís play area, you should have an adult pool. Instead, they make you use the spa pool to get any quiet since it is 18+ and the charge is $40/person/day. On top of the resort fee. On top of the room charge. And required valet charge. You get the picture.

Bright spots of our stay included an excellent meal at the new pool restaurant, Coquina, a very friendly tennis pro, excellent housekeeping, and two guys in (seriously, I am not making this up) full suits made of an orange and pineapple print material walking into the spa pool area and handing out chilled pineapple chunks, with one of the guys fully suited walking into the pool, soaked, to hand them to the swimming guests.

If I were Marriott corporate Iíd give this property two years to make the required investment to bring it back to Ritz standards. If not, Iíd pull the flag. You just canít justify the rack rates here with the property in the condition it is in.

PS - if you decide to dine off property, both Bar Zin and Cucina South are just down the street and both are excellent for dinner.
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Old May 25, 20, 4:55 pm
  #21  
 
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Originally Posted by Nash_Andrew View Post
If I were Marriott corporate Iíd give this property two years to make the required investment to bring it back to Ritz standards. If not, Iíd pull the flag. You just canít justify the rack rates here with the property in the condition it is in.
After reading your review I'm glad I didn't blow any points or cash on a weekend getaway. I know it's a bit of a nitpick but there's nothing that annoys me more than paying a ton for a room and then having worn out bedding or towels. Plus all the other stuff doesn't sounds great, I agree with your sentiment that if they're charging $800 /night the stay better be seamless instead of being able to come up with a long list of things they could do to improve. The Ritz brand is just so inconsistent, I've stayed at ones where I've thought it's incredible and nothing they could do to improve, and others where I thought they could rebrand as a standard Marriott property and I'd still have gripes.
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Old May 25, 20, 8:44 pm
  #22  
 
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Originally Posted by Nash_Andrew View Post
As noted above we stayed on points, 200K points total, over Memorial Day weekend. Iíve stayed at this property several times in the past, with the last stay about three years ago...
If I were Marriott corporate Iíd give this property two years to make the required investment to bring it back to Ritz standards. If not, Iíd pull the flag. You just canít justify the rack rates here with the property in the condition it is in.
.
Thanks for the interesting review. Have you posted on the Marriott or Tripadvisor site? If so, has the property responded?
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Old May 25, 20, 9:04 pm
  #23  
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I've stayed here in the past, and even without the COVID-19 closures and service issues, I wouldn't it consider it to be worth anywhere close to $600-800 per night. IMO it's one of the worst RCs and the rates should reflect this, even if the service is good. In fact, my worst RC experiences have been in smaller and less obvious (for RC) markets in the USA such as Kansas City (historic suburban shopping center, IIRC no longer flagged as a RC), Clayton (suburb of St Louis, almost next to the Washington University campus), and Half Moon Bay (CA coastal park near SF). Still, I generally like the RC "civilized/gracious living" style for both service and hard product, although that presumes that the hard product has been maintained extremely well given that RCs are positioned as luxury (plus) hotels.
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Old May 26, 20, 6:02 am
  #24  
 
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Originally Posted by ohmark View Post
Thanks for the interesting review. Have you posted on the Marriott or Tripadvisor site? If so, has the property responded?
I have not - where would be the appropriate place to comment on the Marriott site? I do not use TripAdvisor. Thanks.
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Old May 26, 20, 4:38 pm
  #25  
 
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Originally Posted by Nash_Andrew View Post
As noted above we stayed on points, 200K points total, over Memorial Day weekend. I’ve stayed at this property several times in the past, with the last stay about three years ago.

I’m not going to mention any service issues in this review because it was clear that every single employee we encountered was doing their best in what is of course a challenging time. No one working at the resort had anything but a great attitude and folks repeatedly went above and beyond even when they were obviously harried from being severely overworked.

Which leads to my next comment - there are clearly some tough management choices taking place at this hotel right now. Why would you open the hotel, even supposedly with an occupancy cap, so obviously understaffed and be charging $800/night (the rate when I looked mid-week last week; the cash rate was about $600ish when I booked my points trip two weeks ago). Of course this is a difficult time and I know these are not easy choices, and I know that they need the money. It is not cheap to keep the lights on at the Ritz. But for folks that are less patient than I am, I’m guessing those guests may not return in some cases considering how severely strained the property was. If I had paid $600-$800 a night for a standard room I would have been very upset with what I received. Not to mention the resort fee, questionable in normal times, that “pays” for some things that are simply not available to any guest for any price during COVID-19.

All the above said, the big issue with this resort is actually the physical plant. The remodeled common areas look great - we didn’t try the sushi, but the overall experience at the new indoor lobby bar was super pleasant. But all the other areas of the resort, save the brand new pool restaurant, range from a bit tired to legitimately run-down.

The exterior is dying for a paint job. The roof needs repair in multiple places. The gym is small and tired for a hotel of this supposed caliber. Tattered pillows in the guest room. Brass doorknobs showing 25 years of wear. Tennis courts with mud in the middle of the clay and tattered shade netting. A pool area that is severely undersized for even the supposedly reduced COVID-19 guest load. I could go on but you get the picture.

Another major annoyance is that there is no adult pool - when you have a pool area that is so undersized and the pool chairs are pushed in so close to the children’s play area, you should have an adult pool. Instead, they make you use the spa pool to get any quiet since it is 18+ and the charge is $40/person/day. On top of the resort fee. On top of the room charge. And required valet charge. You get the picture.

Bright spots of our stay included an excellent meal at the new pool restaurant, Coquina, a very friendly tennis pro, excellent housekeeping, and two guys in (seriously, I am not making this up) full suits made of an orange and pineapple print material walking into the spa pool area and handing out chilled pineapple chunks, with one of the guys fully suited walking into the pool, soaked, to hand them to the swimming guests.

If I were Marriott corporate I’d give this property two years to make the required investment to bring it back to Ritz standards. If not, I’d pull the flag. You just can’t justify the rack rates here with the property in the condition it is in.

PS - if you decide to dine off property, both Bar Zin and Cucina South are just down the street and both are excellent for dinner.
Basic question - at these reopened resorts, are there any visible capacity controls at the restaurant, bar, pool bar, etc? And people are swimming? Do individuals try to social distance in the common areas (not interact with those they don’t know) or are people conversing with other guests? Just trying to get a handle of what to expect for travel in general over the next few months. Based on what I am reading it seems like I can plan on having my annual summer pool trip to Vegas
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Old Aug 6, 20, 4:10 pm
  #26  
 
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Can't agree more. This property is not up to Ritz Carlton standards. Very tired rooms, food service was horrendous. That said the people from valet to front desk to in-room dining, to housekeeping, to beach attendants were awesome. Very disappointing that the club lounge and Salt were closed. Eating at Coast was like eating at Waffle House. Check that.... Waffle House might have an edge. Also, watch your bill and keep receipts. They tend to charge things that you didn't buy / consume.
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Old Aug 7, 20, 9:33 am
  #27  
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Originally Posted by jemctag View Post
Can't agree more. This property is not up to Ritz Carlton standards. Very tired rooms, food service was horrendous. That said the people from valet to front desk to in-room dining, to housekeeping, to beach attendants were awesome. Very disappointing that the club lounge and Salt were closed. Eating at Coast was like eating at Waffle House. Check that.... Waffle House might have an edge. Also, watch your bill and keep receipts. They tend to charge things that you didn't buy / consume.
Hello jemctag,

We're sorry to hear about your experience at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island. In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) threat, our hotels have suspended lounge operations. The hotels are alternative offering varies by brand. Please contact your hotel directly to understand what alternative is being offered. Some typical hotel services and amenities normally offered in the Bonvoy participating hotels may not be available or may be limited during this time. Therefore, requests for compensation for the Lounge Access are currently not being extended. Thanks for your understanding, if there is anything else you would like us to assist you, please send us more information via email at [email protected] . Have a wonderful day and stay safe.
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Old Aug 7, 20, 1:51 pm
  #28  
 
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Originally Posted by jemctag View Post
Can't agree more. This property is not up to Ritz Carlton standards. Very tired rooms, food service was horrendous. That said the people from valet to front desk to in-room dining, to housekeeping, to beach attendants were awesome. Very disappointing that the club lounge and Salt were closed. Eating at Coast was like eating at Waffle House. Check that.... Waffle House might have an edge. Also, watch your bill and keep receipts. They tend to charge things that you didn't buy / consume.
This brand inconsistency is really becoming a problem with RC in my opinion. There are some out there that are very nice and others fall below what I would expect even from an average Marriott or Ren. With that said, this is by no means the only brand in the portfolio that suffers from inconsistency problems, but in the price point that RC is marketed to, these inconsistencies are really unacceptable.
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