You know whatâ€™s great? Having a vacation-in-a-vacation. I discovered this last year, when I booked a stay at the Ritz Carlton Sarasota during my Floridian vacation. My friend and I absolutely loved our experience last year then that we opted to take another vacation-in-a-vacation this year. And the Ritz Carlton Sarasota did not disappoint.
Ritz Carlton Sarasota – The Entrance
We learned from our trip last year and planned for an even better time this year. We left Madeira Beach around 7:30am so that weâ€™d make it to the Ritz Sarasota on time for our 9am massages (stay tuned for an review post about our spa experiences).
a lovely welcome – we do love chocolate
By 11am or so, we were done our spa treatments, we were checked into our room (the Ritz was able to accommodate my early check-in request, and I was very thankful), and we were on the shuttle bus to the Beach Club. The Ritz Sarasota has two properties. The first is the hotel in downtown Sarasota. Itâ€™s on the water, but itâ€™s not on a beach. The second property is the Beach Club at Lido Beach, which is about a 10 minute drive from the hotel. The Ritz shuttle bus leaves on the hour from the hotel to go to the beach club.
just pretending (side note: I wore this Ralph Lauren t-shirt dress a lot while in Florida)
The beach club is amazing. The pool is large, the lounge chairs are comfortable, the towel service is perfect, and the poolside food options are excellent. Since the beach club is on the beach, seating and service is also available on the beach. We opted to park ourselves poolside so that we could enjoy the music and stay sand-free, but we did go for a walk on the beach, too. Lido Beach is lovely, but itâ€™s not as beautiful as nearby Siesta Key or Madeira Beach (yes, I may be biased).
We stayed at the Beach Club for the full day – in the sun and in the shade. It. Was. Perfect. My poolside lunch consisted of a cheese quesadilla (good) and an ice cream sandwich (amazing). The ladies at the seats next to me all stared (in envy, I’m sure!) when I pulled out the ice cream treat from the container. Since calories donâ€™t count on vacation, I thoroughly enjoyed this classic summertime treat. I strongly encourage you to order one if you go, and I wonâ€™t judge if you eat it all by yourself (like I did – yum!).
we spent hours at the Beach Club
Our room was the same set-up as our room last year. The bathroom, the bed, the balcony, and the view are my favourite parts of the room. Way to narrow things down, right? The bathroom is so spacious and well-appointed. Towels are fluffy and the Asprey products are lovely. The beds are so comfortable; I had an exceptional sleep! I must say that itâ€™s wise for waterfront hotels to have balconies so that guests can enjoy the outdoors while in their own rooms. Our view was over the restaurantâ€™s patio, pool, and water. The decor reflects the sea, sun, and sand with its blue-beige colour palette, the curves on the headboards and chairs, and the artwork and pillow details.
The Ritz bed is extremely comfortable!
All the Asprey and marble!Â
a sweet seating area
One of the other (of the many) things that I really like about about the Ritz Sarasota is the shuttle bus service. As I mentioned, the shuttle bus takes guests to the Beach Club. It also takes guests to St. Armand’s Circle – a hot destination for restaurants and shopping. We made a reservation at Shore after doing some research poolside earlier in the day. My friend and I were both pleased with our meals, and we’d definitely return. Because of the Ritz shuttle service, we didn’t have to worry about driving, directions, parking, etc. So darn easy!Â
I had to! (at St. Armand’s Circle)
dinner at Shore at St. Armand’s Circle
And we ended the evening with an evening swim. So lovely!
the Ritz Carlton Sarasota – at night
On day 2, we opted to stay in Sarasota rather than shuttling over to the beach club. This gave us the opportunity to wonder around town, stumble upon the weekly market, eat a French breakfast at Câ€™est La Vie on Main St., and pop in and out of shops.
white architecture of the library
Main St. Sarasota
a stop in at Sur La Table
mmm…a French breakfast in Florida…oui, oui!
After our morning stroll, we spent the day at the hotel pool. It was fantastic. Absolutely perfect. It was quieter than the beach club, and it offered a slightly different poolside menu. Since we wanted to stay at the Ritz for as long as they’d let us, we asked about using the pool beyond check-out. Here’s another great thing about the Ritz Sarasota – even after check-out, guests are still able to use the hotelâ€™s amenities, including the pool. This made us thrilled!
the hotel pool
the well-manicured grounds of the Ritz Sarasota
For lunch, I snacked on the pita, veggie, and hummus dip. It was a light mid-day meal. When itâ€™s so hot out, I really donâ€™t feel like eating, and I was glad to see a variety of options on the hotelâ€™s poolside menu. I mostly just feel like going from my lounge chair to the hammock to the pool.
that was fun!
We stayed until late afternoon and left right before the rain came. When our lounge chair neighbours predicted that a storm was about 7 miles away, we took it as a cue to pack up and leave.
Once again, I had a great time at the Ritz Sarasota and if all goes as planned, I’ll make another appearance there next year!
Enjoy the rest of your labour day long weekend, everyone!
Many thanks to S.A. and the Ritz Carlton Sarasota team for ensuring our stay was just perfect.
All photos are my own. See a few more photos at #WhiteCabanaGoesToTheRitz.