A Magical Stay at the Ritz Carlton on Amelia Island, FL
Amelia Island has everything you want out of a beach vacation, couple that with the incredible service of the Ritz Carlton and you have a perfect family get away.
The boys and I joined my parents at the Ritz Carlton on Amelia Island for a beach vacation while they attended a conference on property. It was a wonderful opportunity to enjoy this pristine Atlantic Coast beach.
While there is plenty to do around Amelia Island, and we typically love to be on the go, we found plenty to do on property and never left during our 3 day stay.
Staying Club Level for All Inclusive Feel
We had club level rooms, which essentially made our stay all inclusive. The club has food and beverages pretty much all day, including kid friendly fair. Kids on the club level attend the weekend evening ‘Ritz Kids” program free of charge.
Breakfast at the club had a little bit of everything. On weekends they bring in extra special made to order treats. We had omelets on Saturday and waffles on Sunday.
There is a large lunch spread each afternoon in the club. You can also have your lunch bagged and delivered down to your beach chair. We opted for that one day – perfection!
Dinners in the club had lovely adult options and kid corner each night. Pizza night and Hot Dog in Blankets topped the list.
Yes, yes, yes we live on the beach. I also always claim that we are not beach people. However, we can certainly appreciate a great beach. Amelia Island is a great beach.
Amelia Island has a lovely flat beach. The water gently rolls on to the beach leaving wide swatches to play in the shallow water.
We went on beach walks most mornings before breakfast and again in the evenings. There are so many shells and sharks teeth to be found. The boys filled up plenty of cups with their favorite shell picks. There was no shortage of options.
The beach is also home to plenty of other critters. The turtle nests are well marked and we made sure to only use the provided red light flashlights for our walks after the sun had gone down. We also saw birds sand small crabs sharing the sand and even some dolphins playing out in the water.
One afternoon we attempted the beach with the sun up high – it was just so hot! We brought some sand toys with us, but the Ritz has a large borrow bin by the towel stand. They have everything you could possibly need so don’t feel the need to pack anything.
Chairs are provided by the hotel for all resort guests. Umbrellas are available for rent. Club level guests get chairs and umbrellas free of charge, this is also where they deliver your lunch if you so desire. The concierge on the beach will also provide any non alcoholic drinks that are available in the club to your chairs.
The boys and I soaked in this luxury, since we don’t typically get to travel this way!
The wide beach also provides a wonderful area to play that has just enough water to keep you cool, but not so much that you are pushed by the large waves. The wide beach also means that despite being popular Amelia Island beaches don’t really feel crowded.
So clearly, despite the heat, we enjoyed our beach time.
One of our favorite features though were these amazing Automatic Foot Showers! They need to get these everywhere. Sure for kids they were basically lower body showers! These sprayers took the sand right off my feet!
My children are basically fish, so when we weren’t playing on the beach we were in the pool!
When you arrive at the pool the attendant will set up a few chairs for you. We had them set up in different spots each visit, so we could try different parts of the pool. Our favorite spot turned out to be at the far end of the pool with our back to the bar looking up at the hotel. This part of the pool has wide stairs that were perfect for the kids to play on.
Each entrance to the large pool is slightly different. There is no “shallow” end though, so we brought floats along for the little littles to make swimming here, with only one adult, a bit more manageable.
We are early risers so most mornings we had the pool to ourselves. Around 10am most people start making their way down to the pool, by noon the place is positively crowded.
This pool just sparked the kids imaginations. The shape gives rise to each stair way feeling like its own little “cove.” It is not the most innovative pool we’ve seen at resorts, but the kids never tired of swimming in it.
There is also a kiddie pool with a variety of water squirting amusements that my Littles have largely aged out of it. That didn’t stop us from checking it out, but it wasn’t a huge hit. (The first summer we ever game here the Big Little was not even one and we lived in this little pool where he could paddle around safely.)
All three of the boys are actually decent swimmers that love to put their faces in the water, so this little pool has lost some of its draw.
As if all this was not enough there is also a lovely indoor pool. Hitting the outdoor pool early meant we could move to the indoor pool when the sun got hot and high in the sky.
The draw to the indoor pool was a semicircular hot tub with jets. The boys would throw thier water balls into the jets and it would be pushed back to them. This proved endlessly amusing.
Inside or out all three boys took turns enjoying laying on the beach chairs. I got a little glimpse of hope that perhaps soon, they will all want a little break with a book to be part of their routine.
A mom can dream… right?
Other Activities around Property
The Littles are right in the sweet spot for activities around the property. Each week a list of activities is published – we stuck just to the free activities and found ourselves with plenty to do.
Each morning there is a Parrot and Fish feeding at Ritz Kids. This is free of charge, fun and informative. The boys asked to go most mornings. You can check your kids into RitzKids (for a fee) for the day as well. We just dropped by for these free morning gatherings.
One afternoon we joined the Ritz Pirate for a treasure hunt around the property. It is silly but the Littles get to take home some pirate coins and loved running around the property looking for the treasure boxes.
There was also a pirate toast. The Littles drank some juice and adults got a more appropriate pirate drink. We were regaled with pirate song and then the Littles learned how to take a shot. They thought it was marvelous.
On Saturday morning the Littles dropped their favorite stuffed animals off with the Concierge for a playdate with Amelia (the ritz parrot.) When they picked them up they had a sheet with photos from their day. The Middle Little is still talking to his lovie about his day at “Ritz Camp.”
We also attended a guided shell and sharks tooth walk. While we found tons of shells we struck out with sharks’ teeth.
The Ritz Carlton makes sure that no one leaves the hunt empty handed. Each little got a sharks tooth necklace to take home with them. (My Big Little proudly wore his around for the rest of the trip.)
Exploring the Property
The Ritz Property is also worth just walking around. We found plenty of lawn for the kids to run on.
The tourtises come in from the dunes to eat the grass and flowers. Once someone pointed them out to us we came across them nearly every afternoon.
If you are on property and walk by a flower bed that moves a bit, take a look! They love to nestle into the beds for a snack.
The Ritz also has a small game room. There is a small movie theater that always seemed to be showing some sort of kids movie. This was a great place to visit when we needed some down time and also to wait out the afternoon thunderstorms.
There are several video games in this space as well, but honestly this is one of the few places on property I felt needed a refresh. Its not a large space, but could certainly offer a few more options for younger children. I did get to teach the kids to play pac-man though!
We also fully utilized some empty space in the conference wing. The sessions were out for the day, it was pouring rain and we needed somewhere to run some energy off. This large open space was just perfect for the boys to be silly without distributing anyone or destroying anything.
We don’t take a lot of “relaxing” trips, I sort of thought it wasn’t possible with three Littles running around. However, the Ritz Carlton at Amelia Island made relaxing possible and exactly what I wanted to be doing with these three munchkins.