While nearby Omni is sprawling, massive, and thoroughly modern, the Ritz is glitzier and smaller, but no less impressive. While there is a great kids’ program here, I still recommend the Omni for kids over this place. The Ritz is more for couples looking to retreat into luxury and to bask in its beachy glow or, perhaps, make use of the extensive recreational facilities, including a beautiful 18-hole championship golf course. The rooms—all with oceanfront or oceanview balconies or patios—are large and typical Ritz with marble bathrooms and fancy bath products. The swanky Sal, the longest-running AAA Five Diamond restaurant in Florida, features a modern American menu heavy on steaks and seafood (the Florida snapper with black garlic pasta is to go gaga for); the restaurant is named after the 30-plus international salts the kitchen collects. You could easily plan your stay around one of their fantastic, hands-on cooking classes or the chef’s nightly changing “Chef’s Adventure” menus. Check the website for dates. There’s a beautiful outdoor pool with all sorts of Ritzy amenities—spritz of Evian on your face perhaps? And an indoor heated pool for chillier temps. While chairs at the pristine beach are free, umbrellas will set you back $25. There’s also a state-of-the-art spa with a sublime, adults-only spa pool.
- Frommer's Staff