Ritz Carlton Sunset
Family Trips, Florida, Hotel Reviews, Travel

Ritz Carlton Sarasota: A much needed overnight get-away.

A couple of weeks ago, Memorial Day weekend,  Aaron and I decided to actually celebrate our anniversary.  Usually, the day comes and goes without much notice but this year we thought we should do something special– It had been 10 years, that has to be worth something, right?   Luckily, there was a really good deal at the Ritz Carlton Sarasota and we decided to go for it.

This was the ultimate stay-cation—the hotel is only about 6 miles from our house and we drive by it almost everyday.  We felt a little weird about staying in a hotel in our city—but we weren’t alone.  The first couple that we met was also from Sarasota and also celebrating their anniversary!  What a nice coincidence to make us feel less silly about our adventure.

I’m sure you know that the Ritz Carlton is a nice hotel.

Beautiful views of Sarasota Bay,

Marble bathrooms,

Even a shoe shine station in your room.  We only brought slippers (flip flops) and sandals so we didn’t use it….not that we would even know how.

There were all kinds of special little touches that made our stay really nice like…

A special tray of chocolates delivered to our room while we were out.  Little treats like this always make me happy.  More resorts should take notice—things like this cost the hotels very little but make such an impact on guests like me.  By the way, the chocolate in the top left corner was a combination of peanut butter and fruit.  It was like a mini-peanut butter and jelly dipped in chocolate.  So good!  I ate them all while Aaron napped but he didn’t mind.  What a guy!

A luau feast to celebrate the start of the Memorial Day weekend.   For Aaron, this was perfect.   He would have rather have been in Hawaii but this was a good second best.  They served us a nice dinner buffet on the beach complete with tons of ahi (tuna) poke, lomi lomi salmon and pork cooked in an imu.  They greeted us with a lei and treated us to a hula and fire dancer.  Dinner came with mai tais and free wine and a nice little dessert bar.  It was nice to sit and chat with other guests–especially the very encouraging lawyer we met from Pittsburgh.

The beach club!  The Ritz Sarasota isn’t on the Gulf of Mexico but on Sarasota Bay–which is pretty but nothing like the Gulf.  BUT, they have the Ritz Carlton Beach Club on Lido Beach, right down the road from the main hotel.  They have a shuttle that makes trips to the beach club every half an hour.  At the beach club, there is a beautiful beach (duh!), a very nice pool and lots of kids activities.  We had the kids come meet us to hang out at the Beach Club and it just so happens that they had a waterslide, face painting, hair braiding, and even a real live mermaid.  All of these activities were free–although tipping the artists was encouraged. (For a photo of the face painting talent see this post. Unfortunately, right after the girls had their faces painted, they jumped in the pool.)

Rosie brought her best friend along as they are mermaid maniacs.  They were SO excited to meet the mermaid.  The Bean was very curious as to how she was going to get into the pool (If you are also curious, this is how they did it: one of the resort staff carried her in, later they wheeled her out in a satin covered wheelchair).   Once the mermaid appeared, lots of little girls gathered around her, asking her questions like, “Do you know Ariel?”, “What do you eat?”, “Are you scared of sharks?”  The dads had lots of questions for her too.

After this celebratory weekend, I have decided that anniversaries are fun!  (And a great excuse to getaway).  We were able to have nice meals without pouring ketchup, cleaning up spills, and breaking up squabbles.  We were able to drink more than one glass of wine–without worrying about driving home or getting the kids to bed.  We were able to sleep in and watch cable TV!  (Since we turned off our cable, this was a very big deal.)  We were able to just have nice conversation and just have fun.  I highly recommend it.

Oh, and the Ritz Sarasota is a great property.  Check their website for specials and packages as you may get a great deal.