By Katrice L. Mines
The idea of stateside travel locales that make you feel transported abroad … Yes, to this. And The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami is one such destination.
A tropical island oasis located minutes from downtown Miami and South Beach, the four-star resort is situated along miles of golden beaches in what feels like a place set apart. Separated by little more than lush greens and the ocean; a brief drive in is all that’s needed to disconnect. Simple. But, enough. The hotel recently completed its final stage in a resort re-imagination that included a redesign of its guest rooms, reception area and a new signature restaurant, Lightkeepers. One of Miami’s most iconic hotels located along the five-mile barrier island, the resort draws a variety of travelers seeking sundry experiences from family vacations to luxury jaunts. The basics and the intricacies of designing a traveler’s home away from home experience are all done well here.
Opulent king and double bed options are featured in relaxing room layouts that are an extension of the hotel’s breathtaking surroundings down to the details of custom-designed furniture and tropical ambiance. Impeccable wood floor entries, fine Frette bed linens, and floor-to-ceiling sliding doors ensure a flood of light and beckoning access to full and half balconies that welcome you into splendid seclusion.
Two pools — one for families with a cascading waterfall and a separate adult tranquility pool for couples, nestled in lush tropical surroundings offer rest and recreation. It is believable that the resort has become a go-to destination for its indulgent nightly tequila tastings and world-class dining in one of the resort’s five-globally inspired dining destinations. Or for the evening cruises which sail the island of Biscayne Bay, Miami with panoramic views of the Miami Skyline and the Cliff Drysdale Tennis Center — one the largest tennis centers of any Ritz-Carlton worldwide. The Tennis Center features one hard court and 10 soft clay Hydrocourts, and several clinics and lessons for tennis enthusiasts of all ages. A novice of the game, my lesson and the matches being played around me inspired me to buy a racket and take lessons back at home after my stay; proof that The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami is doing something right.
At the 25,000-square-foot Ritz-Carlton Spa, Key Biscayne, 21 treatment rooms evoke classic West Indies glamour and tranquility, and services are inspired by the rich history of native Tequesta Indians, famed explorers and coconut plantations. The spa features a co-ed Sanctuary, eucalyptus steam rooms, saunas, whirlpools and vitamin C infused showers as well as two signature Couple’s Suites, a full-service hair salon, fitness center, movement studio and Spa Boutique.
A wide variety of dining options has made the resort a culinary destination for even the most discerning palates. Grab coffee, snacks and sweet treats at Key Pantry, an open-style marketplace café or settle into the ocean breeze on plush sofas and cabanas for a gourmet burger at Dune Burgers on the Beach. If you’re looking for a more intricate meal, Lightkeepers’ inviting menu is influenced by the abundance of fresh seafood sourced from the southern waters of Florida and the fertile soils of the Florida Keys, northward. With cheeses from Winter Park, beef from Ocoee, and snapper from Key West, locally grown and caught ingredients are key to the quality and diversity of taste options. My suggestion, the Palmetto Creek Pork with smoked chorizo, white bean ragout and mustard molasses glaze.
At The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami the well-established nuances are not its exception; they are the rule.
Rates start at $299.