The Texan in me really misses mild winter weather where I spent my holidays wearing a leather jacket and a scarf. Things have definitely changed. I read a weather blog daily, pray that it warms up to 40 degrees, and continuously dream of warmer weather. Each year I have vow to fly somewhere warm for the winter. Key Biscayne is an athletic playground. It's home to bicycling, tennis, and world-class golf. Florida is always a perfect choice, but staying in South Beach was not on the agenda. I give you the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne. Key Biscayne gets a bad rap. It’s considered not as hip as South Beach, but what you get is a true escape with the sand and beach with direct hotel access.
What makes the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne Bay different from their South Beach property is what I asked myself on arrival. This property has the same customer service and exquisite rooms, but the vibe is completely different. You don’t have to worry about having the latest stilettos or that you just stepped out of a fashion magazine. The dress is classic resort elegance. Tunic dresses, colorful bikinis, and flip-flops rule. The Ritz-Carlton has exceptional service at all of their properties and that is why they have repeat customers.
The property is tucked away amongst lush greenery to reveal a hotel that belongs on a postcard from the Caribbean. After entering the lobby with its view of the Atlantic Ocean, I knew it was just the getaway I needed. The hotel has direct access to the beach if you decide to leave the adults-only pool. The hotel is indeed a family property, but the bonus adult pool is worth a trip. I don't have children, but if I did then the Ritz-Carlton would definitely be our home away from home. Dinner and a movie by the pool for the kids? Why not.
If you need to work on your back hand and serve, the hotel can arrange lessons and a game at the Cliff Drysdale Tennis Center which features ten soft clay courts and one hard court. The center was designed and name for Cliff Drysdale, a top 50 tennis player of all time and who is the ultimate person to take a lesson from to make you feel as if you are part of the USTA.
Deciding where to eat is not a problem. Choices range from elegant dining with a stellar wine list at Cioppino to casual nibbling is available at Cantina with a backdrop of the ocean. It wouldn’t be the beach without the variety of tequilas available and if you want to learn more about the agave elixir from Mexico the hotel's Tequilier (tequila specialist) gives suggestions on the 85 tequila varieties. Rumbar transports you to Havana with music from Grupo Nostalgia, over 50 rums to sip, Rum tastings, and VIP Rum Lockers for regular guests.
This is a dream location for a girls or couples getaway to soak up the sun, relax on the beach, and in the spa. The spa features over 21 treatment rooms, salon, Wellness Center and over 21,000 square feet of space to relax. The luxury skin care line Babor will have your skin pampered and rejuvenated. Shopping is never far from this girl's mind and the shops at Key Biscayne featured some of my favorite beauty and fashion lines such as Tokyo-Milk, Trina Turk, Undrest, and Archipelago candles.
Photos courtesy of Ritz-Carlton