I first went to the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne in May when I attended the Mom 2.0 Summit blog conference. I had never been to a Ritz before in my life. That weekend, I busted my butt with work and then got the flu, so I really didn’t get to enjoy the property as much as I would have liked. Peter and Penelope came with me that weekend, at least they had a blast.
When the Ritz offered to host my family and I for a few nights this August, I about fell out of my chair. I was so excited. Peter’s parents live in Miami and we were planning a trip down there to visit them anyway. We also were planning the trip to check out schools and houses in Jupiter since we are moving there next summer.
When you walk into the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, you are in another world. Both times I have been, it’s been like a fashion show: the bags, the shoes, the jewelry the other women wore were just amazing. I saw a Birkin bag for the first time in person and I had to restrain myself from reaching out and petting it. Part of the ambiance is the most beautiful rose flower arrangement in the lobby, it will take your breath away!
We tried to get a family picture in front of it. Penelope was not having it though. Do you ever look at perfect family photos, and think, “why, God, why, won’t my children smile and pose like other children do?” Hopefully this picture makes you feel better. They gave us that cute hat my husband has on. He went to a magnet high school right down the street, so he was happy to represent Key Biscayne.
Peter and I both felt out of our league, but not out of place. The world’s wealth comes here to relax, but we met many regular families just like us while at the family pool, families who come here year after year because they know it is an amazing place that is also family-friendly. Like everyone we met at the pool, we felt like we were in on a special secret.
So the moral of my story is, yes, it is expensive. But it’s really no more expensive than a Disney vacation. Or any other vacation really. And after this trip, Peter and I decided we are not a Disney family. Sure, we will go again, but I don’t think we will ever buy annual passes again. Penelope has way more fun at the beach and in the pool than she does at Disney. No, in the future, we will go the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne instead.
Peter and I talked about it at length and, for us, it’s a quality versus quantity thing. You can either have a bunch of cheap clothes, or a few really nice, well-made clothes. I would rather stay a couple of nights at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne than 7 nights at a sub-par hotel.
We have stayed in cheap hotels in the past, it is not relaxing in the sligh
. You never get that feeling of deep relaxation, walking around without a care in the world. When we were younger, we didn’t travel to relax, we traveled to explore and see as much as we could. Now that we are parents, we need some respite, we need that relaxation. At the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, you get that immediately upon crossing the threshold into the hotel.
Upon check-in, Peter and I were greeted with a glass of champagne – the perfect thing to kick off our stay in the right mood. The service at the Ritz is flawless. Everyone is beyond nice and they are all bending over backwards to make you feel comfortable, happy and welcome. When you are a mother, you are always on, always taking care of everyone else. It’s so nice to have someone take care you for a change.
The food was insane. I have become such a foodie these last few years, and again, Peter and I would rather go to one really nice dinner than eat at lots of cheap chain restaurants. In general, we both have no problem spending good money on good food, and the food at the Ritz is beyond good.
We tried all the restaurants. We did room service for breakfast. And oh, let me tell you about the coffee. I drank two huge cups every morning, because it tasted glorious, even though I don’t normally drink caffeine. Like something I had a gourmet cafe in Paris, I would take a bath in that coffee if I could. Our trip coincided with my would-have-been-due-date, and I was feeling pretty sad right before we got there. The luxuries of the whole experience was like chicken soup for my soul.
We ate lunch by the pool. Quesadillas, chips and guacamole for all of us; lots of margaritas for me. We also had dinner one night at the Cantina Beach restaurant. I had the steak fajitas without the rice and tortillas, and I didn’t even miss the carbs, that’s how satisfying the flavors of the steak and peppers were.