Ritz Carlton Amelia Island, Florida

Stephanie Miller-Murphy is the owner of Travel With Stephanie, and helps clients in Mandeville, Covington, and New Orleans, LA plan their perfect luxury vacation.

March 15 – 17, 2013

I recently returned from a three day jaunt to the Ritz Carlton Amelia Island. This resort truly wowed me with their amazing staff, amenities and attention to detail!

Situated along 13 miles of pristine Atlantic coastline, Amelia Island is the southernmost of the Sea Islands, a chain of barrier islands along the eastern U.S. coastline. Home to Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island is the only U.S. city to have once been under the domain of eight different nations, and is still known as the Isle of 8 Flags.

This hotel offers 446 well-appointed guest rooms, including 43 Club Level rooms and 42 luxurious suites. All rooms and suites have their own private balconies and ocean view. The oceanfront suites are perfect for families and can sleep up to 8 with connecting bedrooms.

Upon arriving to the resort I was greeted by name in traditional Ritz Carlton style and whisked away to my Club Level Ocean View Room. I had the cutest sea turtle amenity greet me upon entering my room.

sea turtle on plate

I immediately stepped out on the balcony to take in the amazing ocean view.  The hotel is U-shape and the Club Rooms are in the center of the U offering the best, unobstructed views of the Atlantic.

Ocean View

My room’s furnishings were casual, yet elegant.  The couch is actually a pull out twin bed which is very handy for a couple traveling with a child.

bed in room

It is always a treat to be on the Club Level at a Ritz Carlton but I must say this Club Level was an experience in itself!

With its exclusive lounge, services and dedicated staff, this Club added to my sense of comfort and enjoyment during my visit.  There is a Club Concierge available from 7:00am – 10:00pm every day to assist you with restaurant reservations, information on local area attractions, spa appointments and other requests.  This staff does not disappoint!

The Club Level culinary presentations are fabulous and include Breakfast, Lunch, Lite Afternoon Snacks, Evening Hors d’oeuvres and late evening Sweets and Cordials.  These daily culinary presentations are hearty and the offerings can be considered full meals for breakfast and lunch. Complimentary Wine, Beer and Champagne are available daily from 12noon until 10pm.

Our first evening we took an amazing culinary journey in SALT, the resort’s upscale fine dining restaurant. This restaurant has a sophisticated design and elegant oceanfront ambience. We experienced the Chef’s Signature Adventure Menu which included four courses with wine pairings. It was a true culinary WOW!

Insider Tip: There is a Chefs Table located in the midst of the kitchen which offers a private, customized dining experience and menu.

We took a full resort tour Saturday morning and it really helped put into perspective how spectacular this resort really is.

Group of girls

The pool area is so inviting and has ample seating. There is a very fun kiddie pool with lots of water features. Ocean Bar and Grill is outside and offers casual poolside dining.

pool at resort

The fitness center has a full range of cardio equipment and free weights. They offer personal training as well as several group fitness classes. The fitness center is open 24/7 with room key access and is reserved for hotel guest only 18 years and over or those 12 to 17 of age accompanied by a supervising adult.

Exercise Room

As we walked the grounds we had the pleasure of meeting Amelia the Parrot entertaining children with a story. The children’s offerings at this resort are plentiful and include a Pirate Tuck-In program with Amelia leading the charge.

Amelia the Parrot

After our resort tour we were whisked away in a trolley bus and taken on a tour of downtown Fernandina. This is such a quaint town complete with restaurants, specialty shops and the oldest bar in Florida dating back to 1878!

Next we boarded our river boat and took the most interesting cruise on the Amelia River. This is a must do adventure! Beginning at Fernandina’s Historic waterfront we jaunted to Cumberland Island, Georgia he aring fascinating stories of pirates and adventure along the way. We even passed a Civil War era fort.

 Civil War era fort

We cruised through salt marshes and had up close views of wild horses on Cumberland Island.

Salt Marshes

We spotted egrets and herons this day. If only it was a touch warmer we would have most likely would have seen dolphins, sea turtles and manatee as well.

group on the boat

My personal favorite being from Louisiana was the pelicans! They were amazing and just posed for our cameras!

pelican

My personal favorite being from Louisiana was the pelicans!

We even cruised past the house used to film the nostalgic movie Pippy Long Stockings!

Pippy Long Stocking house

Saturday evening we experienced a more casual dining experience in Café 4750. This restaurant offers indoor and outdoor seating and a menu that is inspired by fresh, seasonal local and regional ingredients. Café 4750 offers all day dining and has The Gourmet Shop attached to it offering gourmet coffees, pastries, carry-out and gift items and the most amazing gelato that is made in house.

Our visit was capped off by a Sunday morning visit to The Spa and the most amazing massage I have experienced in many years!

The icing on the cake is the exclusive Virtuoso amenities that I can offer my clients. They include upgrade upon arrival (based on availability), complimentary daily breakfast for two, $100 spa credit and early/late check out (based on availability).
In conclusion, I was most impressed with the Ritz Carlton Amelia Island. I would recommend this to all of my clients for many types of travel including a couples weekend, a family vacation or a girls get-a-way. This resort offers it all!