Sometimes I want to be on a permanent vacation. Sometimes I feel like my brain is already on one. And sometimes even a short vacation goes a long way to rewiring your brain for a bit. I definitely felt better after a recent long weekend at the Ritz-Carlton in Naples, Florida!
Let’s just be really honest here…I never thought of myself as a Ritz-Carlton kind of girl (although I’d like to from now on)! I’m not even what you think of when you think Naples (hello retirees). It is an absolutely gorgeous resort, but if my sister hadn’t so kindly included me in her company trip, it’s doubtful I would’ve ever entertained the thought of visiting.
I don’t mean to sound as if I’m putting myself down or being a reverse snob–that’s definitely not the case. It’s just that the amount of money one spends for a few days at the Ritz, could pay for a pretty decent beach vacation for my whole family! Still, it was a chance to spend some much needed time with my sister and escape from the day-to-day. Plus, thanks to some very generous people who allowed my sister to bring me as her plus-one, it didn’t cost me a thing. I definitely won’t be complaining about it!
If you have never stayed at the Ritz in Naples, here a few things you should know:
- It’s expensive. Again, we’re being honest here. Like I said, I didn’t have to pay for it so I’m not at all upset about prices! Plus, if it were super affordable, everyone would want to go there and I seriously doubt you would get the same level of service.
- The service, ah, the service. Employees are so wonderfully helpful and friendly. From making suggestions to just friendly conversation, everyone we encountered was very kind. They offer you champagne upon arrival and if you are lazing by the pool, they will pick up food from any of the on site restaurants and bring it too you! We didn’t really have any major issues. The sweet little boy (they all look like teenagers to me) who checked us in was very flustered and I’m guessing he thought my sister and I were dating, because we got a room with only one bed. I can’t say for sure that she requested a double room (someone else did the booking) or if we just assumed they would be doubles. We were told they would switch our room if we requested it, but we had to wait on one as it was and didn’t want to take the chance. We hadn’t shared a bed in about three decades, but it was a King and we made it through without touching each other!
- You can put everything you purchase–food, tips, beach umbrella, etc.–on your room and just pay one bill. I like not having to carry cash or credit cards everywhere if I don’t want to.
- The beach is gorgeous and clean and there are some really pretty seashells to be found. Some of them are still occupied though, so watch out for that!
- The water felt icy cold to me. But hey, it is March. Someone assured me it wasn’t that bad, but I think they were just numb from being in the icy cold water.
- I am told that you can see dolphins and spectacular sunsets. I totally didn’t see either, but I saw pictures, so I believe they are there!
- From gourmet food shops to cafes to full service restaurants, there is plenty of dining to choose from. We ate at several of them and the food was absolutely fabulous. It was very fresh and the portions were incredibly huge! I’m a big eater and I like meat, but they put so much on their sandwiches that there was no way for me to finish them. The only thing I had that I wasn’t in love with was a lobster roll sandwich. The lobster was just a little too chewy to eat, but that is an easy mistake to make, I think. I loved the food so much that I even came back with ideas for new recipes I want to create. *If you get the chance, go to Gumbo Limbo for the Crab and Black Bean Queso Dip and to Terrazza (at breakfast) for the Banana Bread French Toast. Have mercy!!!
- They have a spa. We didn’t use any of the spa services, but we did visit their shop and cafe. We took a lunch back to the pool and had a picnic. I recommend their hummus. Other people recommend their massages!!
- They have a lounge area in the lobby with fabulous musicians. I’m not sure if this is an every night thing, but the pianist was super talented.
- There are lots of places to shop…if you aren’t as frugal as my sister and I tend to be. It was fun to look though!
- It is fun, it is relaxing, and it is beautiful. There appears to be plenty to do in Naples, but if you are being that pampered, there is really no reason to leave the Ritz!
I’m sure I could tell you more, but the temperature is hovering slightly above 30 degrees here right now and after looking at these pictures, I just want to go back. *sigh*
*This post is purely my opinion. I was not compensated from the Ritz in any way. We just received fabulous service and I thought I should share!