Spring Break in Florida: Inside the Luxurious Ritz-Carlton South Beach Hotel
Alcohol and rowdy beach behavior are the traditional ingredients of a spring break in the United States, an annual rite of passage for American students, who swarm for the occasion on golden sandstrips in Florida, in Mexico and the Caribbean.
However, what are the options in this part of the world for families who should be drawn to spring break, but not live la vida loca (i.e. the crazy life)?
Here’s one that’s hugely appealing – The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, South Beach, just on the edge of the trendy bars and restaurants that line Miami Beach’s Art Deco District and where spring parties can get intense.
The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach is a tantalizing option for a Miami Beach spring break — without the hustle and bustle. Pictured is the hotel’s inviting pool
Pictured is the terrace of the Ritz-Carlton’s Latin American restaurant, Fuego Y Mar
Arriving at the Ritz-Carlton, South Beach James received two coconuts (left). A sure sign that paradise was near. The youngest guests were welcomed with a chocolate and cookie turtle
We traveled there in 2021. At the time, mask enforcement was dropped and the main street, Ocean Drive, was closed to traffic (it is now open to one-way traffic), which means revelers could disperse. This meant the city could throw an even bigger party than in previous years along the neon-drenched boulevards.
But a few blocks north, at the corner of Lincoln Road and Collins Avenue, everything was serene and luxurious at the Ritz-Carlton, sparkling from a recent $90 million renovation.
The hotel occupies one of the Art Deco buildings for which Miami is so famous, with crisp white lines standing out against the clear blue Florida sky.
The hotel gave me and my family a warm welcome as we arrived for a few days of rest and relaxation. A huge lounge area greets guests as they enter the main lobby with a classic cocktail bar, Lapidus Bar, located at the back of the lobby.
The Ritz-Carlton occupies one of the Art Deco buildings for which Miami is so famous, with crisp white lines standing out against the clear blue Florida sky
The imposing lobby makes an impressive statement to any guests arriving at the South Beach property
Partying in paradise: Miami Beach, pictured, is a popular pilgrimage for spring breakers
Partygoers (and seagulls) pictured enjoying Miami Beach on the weekend of March 11 this year
Coming of Age: Spring Break is a Rite of Passage for American College Students
All 376 rooms have been meticulously designed with hardwood floors throughout. Full bathrooms with double sinks and marble floors add to the exuberance, and luckily for this busy time the improved soundproofing meant I couldn’t hear a thing from parties and revelers on the streets outside.
One thing to note is that not all rooms face the ocean. I was actually surprised that my room didn’t have a balcony or an ocean view. Felt like most rooms in Miami Beach only had to face one direction.
I was able to get a large room, however, and after weighing whether I would have a balcony with a sea view over the pool and beach or extra space for a family of four – space gained.
Upstairs, the pool area overlooking the Atlantic has plenty of seating – deckchairs and daybeds – and the water is heated to 90F, so when you walk in, you feel like you’re stepping into the hottest bath.
The view of Miami Beach from the Ritz-Carlton South Beach, which is on the corner of Lincoln Road and Collins Avenue
Most of the 376 newly renovated rooms and suites offer ocean views as well as balconies
The Atlantic Ocean is just steps from the back of the hotel, with direct beach and boardwalk access
Miami Beach’s architectural district is home to the world’s largest collection of Art Deco buildings and is a mesmerizing neon-lit rainbow of colors at night
Early morning South Beach can look like an abandoned movie set with everyone on the beaches and traffic-free streets
A tree-lined walkway leading to the soft white sands of South Beach in Miami Beach
Sitting around the pool, we had lunch in our beds, with a mahi mahi sandwich, burger and pizza, all served by the friendly staff. Why does all this food instantly taste better when sitting by a pool?
The soft white sands of South Beach are steps away and although the beach is public, hotel guests receive two lounge chairs and an umbrella as part of their room rate. It’s a welcome benefit. Some hotels in the area charge $10 to $20 for lounge chairs on the beach and a small fee if you need an umbrella for shade.
Another perk is the Club Lounge. It’s an extra $100 per day for guests, but it offers culinary delights throughout the day, basically covering the essentials of all food items on site, with a buffet breakfast each morning, snacks and sandwiches served from 11:00 until after lunch, hors d’oeuvres in the evening. hors d’oeuvres served from 5 p.m. and dinner from 8 p.m.
During my visits to the parlor, I often saw the same people sitting in the same chairs as the offerings came and went around them.
One of the colorful lookout posts on the sands of South Beach in Miami Beach
Ritz-Carlton guests receive two sunbeds and an umbrella as part of their room rate
Tantalizing perspective: This shot shows the Ritz-Carlton’s elegant French bistro, Bagatelle
The luxury hotel’s classic and lavishly furnished cocktail bar, Lapidus Bar, located at the back of the lobby
Some rooms at the Ritz-Carlton South Beach offer downtown Miami views and spectacular sunset views
This basically means that you won’t go wanting during your stay at the hotel, as the lounge will always offer something tasty. The staff will even go out of their way to fetch something extra if what you see isn’t exactly what you were craving.
If you’re traveling with young children, where meals can be hit or miss at the best of times, this is a great perk.
Other dining options at the hotel include the elegant French bistro Bagatelle, a beach bar and restaurant by the pool, the DiLido Beach Club and a Latin American restaurant, Fuego Y Mar, where fresh and simple ingredients bring customers with the flavors of the Mexican, Cuban and Venezuelan coast. and Colombia. In the evening, the restaurant is bathed in a warm orange glow, making it an inviting and romantic place to enjoy quality cuisine.
The icing on the Ritz-Carlton cake was the staff, or ladies and gentlemen as they liked to call themselves.
It’s a big hotel, but they make a sincere effort to know guests by name, find out their food preferences, and generally help make the property the perfect place to party during Spring Break.
Direct flights to Miami are available from the UK with British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and American Airlines. Economy class fares start at £380.
Rooms at The Ritz Carlton, South Beach from $380 / £290 per night.