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Hotel Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne Hotel 5 star
Easyexperts
455 GRAND BAY DRIVE 33149 Miami United States Miami, United States of America -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne is one of three hotels of the same group in Miami. The hotel is more of a resort than a boutique hotel, so it is not necessarily ideal for those of you looking for intimacy, but it is one of the best options for families needing to get away from it all. Due to the hotel's location, on Key Biscayne, which is about 30 minutes away from the heat of the action in South Beach, the hotel isn't ideal if you want to be close to South Beach's bars, clubs, restaurants and Art Deco district. One of the hotel's many strong points is its location right on the beach; this teamed with its isolation, gives the hotel a relaxed holiday atmosphere. There is no better option if you want a great big helping of nature, as with the Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park a short bike ride away, the atmosphere here says more 'Florida' than Miami.

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    • Hotel Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne

      Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne   -   © S. Poli / EASYVOYAGE

    • Hotel Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne

      Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne   -   © S. Poli / EASYVOYAGE

       
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    Location 3.0 /10

    The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne is located 30 minutes' drive away from the city centre on an island linked to the mainland via a bridge. The hotel is situated right on the beach and seeing that there no other hotels in the area, guests pretty have the beach to themselves. In terms of surrounding attractions, there is the Sealife Centre close to the bridge linking the Key to the mainland. The Key is more of a residential area than a bustling tourist hotspot, which gives it its charm. The hotel is a short bike ride away from the the Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, which has a lighthouse and a café. The beach here tends to get a little crowded in high season, but there are some pleasant strolls to try out in the area. Not many people walk to the park, so be prepared to get surprised stares from drivers zooming past. For golfing aficionados, there is the renowned Crandon Golf Course a short drive away.

    Accommodation 7.00 /10

    There are 450 rooms, putting this hotel in the large hotel category, hence our earlier warning about lacking intimacy. The rooms are divided up into several categories, the main difference being in the view and the size of the rooms. The hotel also has a club floor, where guests in Club rooms have exclusive access to the Club Lounge, where light meals and snacks are served throughout the day. The rooms are 39m˛ and the suites 84m˛. Otherwise there are the upper suites that come in two sizes: 163m˛ and 210m˛. The rooms have a plain yet fresh décor of browns and pale blues. All rooms have a balcony and sea views, which is the plus point of the rooms here. A word of warning though, if you are a light sleeper, ask for a room high-up as the fountains in the gardens are fairly noisy! The king size beds are dressed in crisp white Frette linen and are extremely cosy, guaranteeing you a very good night's sleep. The rooms all have complimentary tea and coffee making facilities (hidden in the drawer underneath the television), a flat screen television, and an iPod docking station. The rooms are all non-smoking.

    The bathrooms are well-appointed and attractive, especially the mother of pearl mosaic that surrounds the mirror that hangs above the sink. Toiletries are Ritz-Carlton own brand products in the rooms and Bulgari in club rooms and suites. All have separate shower cubicles and bathtubs. All rooms have plush white bathrobes and slippers.

    Overview 7.95 /10

    The atmosphere here is completely different to that of every other hotel in Miami. Set on a verdant island, Key Biscayne, the atmosphere has more of a Florida vibe than a Miami one. As far as the hotel goes, it is an all-round good hotel with enough facilities to keep guests entertained. On first impression the hotel seems to be a large concrete structure, surrounded by other concrete structures, but on the other side of the building luscious gardens help to take the edge of the imposing structure. The fact that the hotel is on the sea front means that there is a breath of holiday atmosphere lingering in the air. The beach front restaurants, Cantina and Dune are in a fantastic setting, especially at sunset.

    The hotel has retained its signature sophisticated Ritz-Carlton feel inside, with marble floors, thick floral carpets and drapes and the like, to satisfy its loyal client-base, but it also has the more relaxed exteriors, which are well worth staying at the hotel for if you are travelling with children and you are looking to have a beach holiday far from the hustle and bustle of Miami.

    The hotel has two pools, one reserved for adults and one that is open to the whole family. The pools tend to get a little crowded in high season, but there is always the beach to retire to for some peace and quiet. You could also try cycling to the nearby Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, which makes for a change of scene from the hotel.

    In terms of facilities the hotel has a 20 000 square foot spa, with excellent therapists. Although not decked out in the most contemporary furniture, the spa comes very highly recommended. Have a full-body massage with candle wax and let everyday stress drift away. There is also a well-equipped gym for exercise fiends and a professional tennis centre, which is also used by some top tennis players as well as the locals. Guests can also rent bikes from the hotel. Otherwise, in the way of restaurants, see the Food and Drink sections below.

    Food and drink 8.45 /10

    The dining options at Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne are excellent. In total there are six outlets including restaurants and bars. The setting of each outlet is different, rendering each restaurant distinctive in its atmosphere. For an Italian dining experience, Cioppino's is a good choice. With all the restaurant's cheeses being imported from Italy twice weekly, the chef really tries to bring an authentic Tuscan experience to the table. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and brunch are served here. Otherwise you have the Rumbar, set in a hushed Old-Havana ambiance, offering an impressive collection of rums - 52 rums, cachacas and piscos from over 18 countries, to be exact! Snacks are also served here. The bar is only open from 3:00pm. One of our favorite hangouts however, is the St Tropez style Dune Burger Lounge, which is very simple and yet very sophisticated. The restaurant is set between the pool and the beach and makes for a very relaxing area to watch the sun set. Otherwise, there is the lobby lounge and scoop, the pool-side ice-cream parlour, which we recommend! We tried Cantina, the Mexican restaurant, which was absolutely delicious. All set to a backdrop of endless blue ocean and colourful, casually sophisticated décor, Miami's only oceanfront, coastal Mexican restaurant, Cantina Beach presents innovative menu additions and daily specials inspired by Mexico's culinary regions, created by Chiapas, Mexico-native Chef de Cuisine, Andres Parlange. Vibrant hues of red and blue alongside espresso furnishings accent the cavernous, thatched palapa roofed restaurant, built by the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians. Plush lounges, tiki torches and a fire pit complement the natural oceanfront setting, which is so captivating in its beauty that the island's first settlers named the location, "favorite path of the rising moon".

    A Tequilier (tequila specialist trained in Mexico's Agave growing regions) Heriberto Ovideo offers recommendations on the restaurants 85 premium tequila selection, the largest 100 percent Agave tequila collection in Miami. For a memorable dining experience, Tequilier Heriberto is available to pair any meal with a tequila of choice or margarita from the nearby, full-service bar. While sniffing, sniffing and savouring to ascertain nuances (similar to wine tastings), learn fun facts and old wives tales, including using tequila shots with lime and salt as a cold remedy. Each day at 6 p.m. the Tequilier presents resort guests with complimentary tequila tastings to further add to vacation memories.

    Beach 8.70 /10

    As the Ritz-Carlton is one of the handful of hotels on Key Biscayne, the hotel beach is fairly quiet. There are sun loungers and parasols available for guests. The beach is a little narrow, but it is long and clean. There isn't much difference from Miami Beach, but it is less crowded in high season. The water tends to be calm, which is an advantage if you are travelling with young children.

    To know

    There is Wi-Fi throughout the hotel, but it comes at a fee. For families, there is a VIK 'Very Important Kids' program on offer, which is fairly elaborate in the activities it provides.

    Equipment

    • Car park
    • Handicap access
    • Restaurant
    • Internet access
    • Air conditioning
    • Spa

      massage, beauty salon, sauna, hammam, keep fit, spa, Turkish bath, wellness

    • Swimming pool
    • Sports equipment

      tennis, water skiing, gym, mountain bike, water-polo, fitness, sports

    • Hairdresser
    • Barber
    • Whirlpool bath
    • Safe
    • Non-smoking rooms
    • Solarium
    • Meeting room

    advantage

    • All-round good quality facilities, from the spa to the restaurants.
    • Located right on the beach.
    • The holiday atmosphere.
    • Friendly service.
    • Caters well for children.

    disadvantages

    • Far from the centre of Miami and South Beach.
    • Large scale resort lacking an intimate atmosphere.

    Traveller Reviews

    2
    • Overall Score 6.50/10
      • Package deals in November 2010 Posted on 2011-02-15 Family - One week or more (Room with a view)

        We also stayed at this hotel! I agree with Pete - it's far from everything, but if you have children, it's a good option.

      • Advantages

        'VIK' programme ('Very Important Kids'), the spaaaaaa, the nature surrounding the hotel(although all palm trees are organised into neat rows

      • Disavantages

        Too far from the city or South Beach, expensive, standard rooms are small and the hotel lack intimacy.

      • Overview
      • Accommodation
      • Location
      • Food and Drink
      • Sport / Leisure
      • Animation / Entertainment
      • Value for money
      • Overall Score 6.67/10
      • Package deals in January 2011 Posted on 2011-02-15 Friends - One week or more (Room with a view)

        After spendind time in SoBe, we headed to Key Bsicayne. The hotel was a little too big for our liking and the staff too robotic.

      • Advantages

        The spa, the choice of restaurants, esp the Mexican, the views of the sea, easy beach access.

      • Disavantages

        Too far from anything; we spent lots of getting taxis to move around. Best to just grab some bikes and stay on the island.

      • Overview
      • Accommodation
      • Location
      • Food and Drink
      • Sport / Leisure
      • Animation / Entertainment
      • Value for money
      • Overall Score 6.00/10
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