Hotel Review: The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota

by Anthony Losanno
Ritz Carlton Sarasota 91

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We decided to spend a weekend at the beach and wanted to try something different. A staycation in Sarasota (which is around 65 minutes from us) seemed like a good way to go. I had heard mixed things about The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota. The property was said to be dated, but the service was commended. We decided to give it a go and had a great time after some initial hiccups.

Anthony’s Take: The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota is an upscale option when staying in the area. Service was great throughout and the Club Lounge offered a nice, elevated experience. Breakfast was particularly noteworthy. I was not pleased when we arrived at 5:30 PM to be told our room was not ready, but service recovery was impressive and we actually only had to wait around 20 minutes.

Ritz Carlton Sarasota Rate


I booked a Deluxe, Guest Room, 1 King, Balcony directly from on a Redemption rate. I used a Free Night Certificate, which I thought was a good value considering that the hotel was starting around $850 plus tax when we stayed. The hotel can normally be booked for 52,000-94,000 Bonvoy points per night. Rates have varied since Marriott eliminated its award buckets a few years ago.

Ritz Sarasota Map

Transportation to/from the Hotel

We drove from our home in Tampa and it took around 65 minutes for the 61.8 miles. Heading home took around the same time. Overnight valet parking is $49 plus tax.

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The hotel is within walking distance of several restaurants and bars. There are beaches not far from the resort, but nothing within walking distance.

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We arrived at the hotel around 5:30 PM and our room was not ready. The agent was telling guest after guest that there was a delay and that he was uncertain as to when their rooms would be ready. When he assisted me, I expressed my frustration that the room was not ready so late after posted check-in time and he apologized. He said that he could get us into a suite if we waited around 45 minutes and he would offer me a $200 credit to use on property. I had inquired about adding Club Lounge access prior to arrival and he had keys coded for that (it cost $350 for the two of us for the day). While we waited, we went to the Club Lounge for refreshments and a comfortable space to pass time until we could go to the suite. Breakfast, elite benefits, an overview of the lounge, and a brief rundown of the hotel were given. My welcome amenity was 1,000 points. There is a $60 plus tax Resort Fee and I’m not a fan (inclusions are listed below).

Lounge access is not given here to elites and must be purchased in order to take advantage of all that it has to offer. It provides a decent food and beverage service throughout the day as well as a great breakfast in the morning. I’m on the fence if it’s worth the money. If you drink enough you can get your money’s worth, but the lounge is not as nice as others we have enjoyed. I asked about a late checkout and was denied. I got a call about 15 minutes after we arrived in the lounge informing us that the suite was ready. I went back to the check-in desk and was handed the keys.

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The Club Lounge benefits and hours are outlined above.

Ritz Carlton Sarasota Resort Fee

The Resort Fee includes lots of equipment for activities like kayaks, bikes, and more. We did not use any of it and I am not a fan of Resort Fees in general.

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The lobby is not huge, but it’s inviting with an old Florida vibe. The guests were mostly in their 60s and 70s with a few families mixed in.

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The concierge desk was not staffed while we visited.

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The lobby is clean and well maintained.

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I liked this dog sculpture in the lobby.

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Elevators were around the corner from reception.

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The hallways and elevator lobbies were also nicely decorated and well maintained.

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Bay View Suite (401)

Our suite was on the fourth floor. The Club Lounge is located on the eighth floor. The hotel has 276 guest rooms and suites.

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The suite opens to a spacious living area. with a couch, TV, and chair.

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This sculpture was a nice addition to the space.

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A half bath is located to the left upon entry. It held a toilet and sink.

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Mouthwash, Diptyque Philosykos brand Body Lotion and a soap bar were found on the counter.

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A Nespresso machine and mini bar were in a cabinet to the left of the half bath.

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The Nespresso machine had plenty of pods and condiments.

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The mini-bar in the refrigerator below did not offer much space for guest use.

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A table with two chairs and some snacks and alcohol for sale were in the living room.

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The snacks and alcohol were what you’d expect for mini-bar pricing.

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A balcony could be accessed through here.

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It held a bench as well as a table and chairs.

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We had a pretty nice view from the balcony.

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The bedroom was located past the living room.

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It contained a king-sized bed, nightstands, a chaise lounge, a dresser, a desk, TV, and two wardrobes.

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The bed was comfortable.

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A chaise lounge took up the space near the window.

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The desk was near the bathroom.

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A dresser and wall-mounted TV were across from the bed.

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One wardrobe held a luggage rack, a robe, iron and ironing board, flashlight, and safe.

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The safe was mounted on the wall.

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The other wardrobe held another luggage rack as well as an extra blanket and pillow.

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The master bathroom was off of the bedroom. It offered dual sinks, a toilet, a standalone bathtub, and a shower.

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More toiletries were on the counter.

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There were also vanity kits and showercaps on the counter.

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The bathtub looked spacious, but did not get used.

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It had a tray with bath amenities.

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The shower was on the smaller side, but it had good water pressure and temperature.

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Wall-mounted Diptyque Philosykos shampoo, conditioner, and body was were in the shower.

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The toilet had its own space. I hate when it’s butted up against the shower.

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Club Lounge

The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota has a Club Lounge on the eighth floor. It’s open for breakfast, afternoon tea/snacks, an evening spread, and then desserts and cordials.

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Upon entering, there is a staffed desk for assistance on the left. Insider tip: grab a cookie from the wooden box.

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The right side has a coffee machine and beverages.

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The lounge has a good amount of space and was never too crowded when we were there.

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There are lots of different seating configurations.

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There is also an outdoor space overlooking the marina.

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It was evening when we arrived and we started with some Brut Rosé.

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Evening hors d’oeuvres were being served.

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These included various meats and cheeses.

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Chips, salsa, and Spanish almonds

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Boursin Mousse with Blackberry

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Tuna Poke

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Beef and Polenta

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Brie Almond Purses

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Turkey Fig Sandwiches

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Whole fruit

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Packaged Snacks

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Later in the evening, we returned for dessert. This included Mini Banana Muffins.

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Dulcey Cheesecake

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Lemon Blueberry Pie

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Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

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Sundae toppings

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There is a candy bar near the bathroom throughout the day.

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The single bathroom is in the back of the lounge.

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We returned again in the morning for breakfast. I was impressed with the quantity and quality of the food.

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Bread and butter, cereal, and a toaster for guest use.

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Fresh fruit

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Yogurt and toppings

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Smoked Salmon and tomatoes

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Meats and cheeses

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Scrambled Egg Whites and Scrambled Eggs

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Pork Sausage and Potatoes

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Bacon Cheddar Quiche

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Make-your-own waffles

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Gluten-free Muffins

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Pastries and Croissants

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Fresh juice and tea

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Public Areas & Amenities

The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota offers the lobby seating noted above, a spa, fitness center, a beach shuttle, golf (also located off property), a Club Lounge, an outdoor pool, lots of games, and Jack Dusty restaurant in the lobby (pictured above).

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The outdoor pool is large and offers great sunset views.

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There were tons of chairs and attendants were right there with towels and bottled water.

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A self-serve station was also available.

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We did not get to check out the fitness center, but it looks pretty decent.

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To get to the pool, you need to go through an area that contains multiple games.

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Pool table and TV

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A frog zen garden

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Overall Impression: The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota is a nice spot for a long weekend with access to a pool while being close to lots of restaurants. I wish the beach was on site, but people have spoken highly of the beach club and shuttles that the hotel offers.

Anthony’s Credit Card Pick: When I’m staying at a Marriott hotel, I want to maximize my points earned. My card of choice is the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card. With it, I earn six Marriott Bonvoy® points for each dollar spent at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program. It also includes up to $300 statement credits per calendar year (up to $25 per month ) for dining in restaurants worldwide. Plus, a free night award that I can redeem at any Marriott hotel with a redemption level at or under 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points. For rates and fees of theMarriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card, please visit

(Fitness Center Image: Marriott.)

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Bob April 28, 2024 - 1:05 pm

Bad copy and paste: “Anthony’s Take: The Ritz-Carlton, Budapest is an upscale option when staying in the area.“

Frankfurt Airport Lufthansa
Anthony Losanno April 28, 2024 - 1:08 pm

Good catch. Fixed.

Frank April 28, 2024 - 2:40 pm

Wait so how did you get club lounge access?

Frankfurt Airport Lufthansa
Anthony Losanno April 28, 2024 - 5:42 pm

I paid to have it added for the night.


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