The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach
What We Love
- Perfect location right off Collins Avenue at the (not much) quieter southern end of South Beach
- The cucumber manicure is perfect for a gentle touch-up, but the real draw are the Carita services on the spa menu
- The DiLido Beach Club is the perfect spot for people watching along the beach over handcrafted cocktails
What To Know
- Don’t stick around for the restaurants — there’s more exciting eats nearby
- The resort is family-friendly, so if you’re looking for a party scene, this isn’t it
- If you want a view of more than rooftops, you’ll have to book a premium room
- READ MORE: Find your perfect Miami vacation?
- Free WiFi
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
No man made his mark on South Beach’s distinctive architectural style like Morris Lapidus, and his Midcentury Modern genius reached its apogee with this enormous 1953 landmark set between swanky Collins Avenue and the beach. Designed to look like a docked ocean liner from the water, the effect of grandeur is not lost inside, where guests are greeted with a huge foyer recalling the grand entrances of glamorous White Star Line cruise ships, complete with sweeping staircases, discreet sitting areas and an understatedly sophisticated bar scene tucked away in the back. More family-friendly than most South Beach resorts, the Ritz-Carlton has a vast pool area that is a respite from the party scenes at neighboring hotels, and its section of the beach is prime for people watching and a swim.
Bed & Bath
The original wing may be more than 60 years old, with some odd corners and nooks, but there are no cramped, old-school rooms here. The guest quarters measure up to Ritz-Carlton’s spacious standards, with even entry-level rooms clocking in at nearly 400 square feet. Though the decor palette is the usual taupe and cream melange, there are beach-inspired inflections of sea-foam green, coral and Caribbean teal, as well as sophisticated touches such as artsy coffee table books to peruse. The all-marble bathrooms account for almost half the size of rooms — all the better to spend time luxuriating in the deep soaking tub or in the separate walk-in shower, which is stocked with refreshingly clean-scented Asprey bath products.
In South Beach, location is everything, and the Ritz-Carlton is anchored on a prime piece of beachfront real estate that means easy access to a stretch of sand set aside for hotel guests as well as colorful people watching from the DiLido Beach Club restaurant and bar. The enormous pool deck beckons with a surfeit of lounge chairs and a family-friendly vibe, and guests can also stop into the adjacent Bistro One LR for a typical surf ’n’ turf supper. Although spa services, like the age-defying facial and citrus pedicures, are a sublime way to rejuvenate after a day at the beach, the Carita menu, including such treatments as the Le Renovateur Body Polish, incorporating a serum whose secret recipe includes French sunflower oil, are what the hardcore spa-goers come for.
In the Area
Culture vultures flock to South Beach for the architecture, so take a walking tour with Art Deco Walking Tours to fully appreciate the fact that the style reached its apex in South Beach and its colorful menagerie of hotels. Or visit the over-the-top Spanish Colonial–style mansion Vizcaya, with its famous gardens. Although the charms of the beach are plenty, to fully appreciate Miami you should get out on the water with Golden Yacht Charters, and then after you drop anchor, drop some cash on high-end duds along with Miami’s grande dames at the famous Shops at Bal Harbour. Of course, you’ll find no shortage of celebrity chef restaurants and Cuban eateries in the area, but for something a little more local, try the swanky Southeast Asian cuisine at Khong River House.
How to Get There
This hotel is in a good spot on Miami Beach and is an easy walk to anywhere you might want to go. The hotel is also lovely inside and has a nice, albeit busy, pool area. The concierge made fantastic suggestions every time we asked.
However, in many respects the service is appalling. A few examples:
1. You are given a voucher for a free cocktail when you check in. We went to the bar to claim this and found that the my husband was allergic to one of the ingredients of the free cocktail of the day. Instead of offering to adapt it, or give him a different one, they made him pay full price for an alternative. Obviously if you're staying at a Ritz Carlton you can afford to pay for a cocktail- but it's not really the point- it's just poor service.
2. We headed to the beach, found the guys who were setting up in the Ritz Carlton beach area, and got four loungers and umbrellas for myself, my husband and my two teenage children. Tipped the guy who set it up for us. Five minutes later he returned and said that as there were four of us we needed to pay- the hotel only allows two loungers and one umbrella per room (even though we had a four person, family room). I was very unhappy about this- we should have been told before we got set up (and before we tipped him) so we left the beach and vowed not to stay at the hotel again. I can understand this at busy times, possibly, but to charge your paying guests a not inconsiderable amount to use a pool umbrella when they are all lying on the beach unused and the loungers are all empty is just rude and unnecessary. Had we been told before we were fully set up it might have been different too, but to set us up and then return and tell us is just terrible service, and frankly rude.
3. The beach cafe (I've forgotten the name) was never open at the times it should be- no idea why, except once they said rain was predicted. It didn't rain, but it was still closed.
4. Service at the pool was very patchy. One day I forgot my purse and my husband was five minutes behind me, so I couldn't tip immediately when we first arrived at the pool. What a difference that made! We didn't get offered drinks, the servers ignored us and just handed us towels to set ourselves up. I understand tipping culture, but in a Ritz-Carlton the service should be good anyway, even if you forget your purse for ten minutes. As an aside the loungers are very packed in around the pool. Obviously this is Miami, so that's pretty standard, but it's something to keep in mind if you prefer a quieter, more exclusive feeling.
We were able to ideally situate here amidst the Art Basel week, with great amenities and all that is needed for a wonderful trip! The valet is very fast during busy season, and you could walk down the Lincoln road quite easily for a quick shopping! We have been here several times(-can only appoint as of April 2017 onwards for the review)
You can't beat this location! Walking distance to so many things! We stayed in a "Lanai Pool View, Guest room, 1 King, Balcony". Room was on the smaller side, but the distance to the pool was fantastic.
Have been coming and staying here for last numerous years.Always had a great experience with service, cuisine,and the bar.View is gorgeous and pool is kid friendly .Waiting for it to open again.Recommend to stay at club rooms and the room facing ocean.
Great hotel lots going on and the bar staff are Super. Rooms are big and comfy also very clean.
I bought a round of drinks in the bar in the evening for a couple of friends, we all had cocktails, I needed another drink when I got the tab $268 for 4 drinks !! Despite that I would use again, its not everyday.