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Savor a Little Sun, Sand, and Spa at the Ritz-Carlton South Beach


Sipping on my chilled glass of rosé, I gazed out at the turquoise Atlantic and listened to the “shush” of the waves. I’d come to The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach to rest and recharge—and boy, had I found beachside bliss.

Recently, as I prepared to start a new job (after a brief stint of unemployment), I decided that I needed a little getaway to celebrate the chapter of life that was finishing and the beginning of a new one. I was looking for a South Florida spot where all I planned to do for two days was sip that previously mentioned rosé by the water, sleep, eat, and recharge. And my mind immediately went to The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach, which I’d visited a few years prior.

Located about 13 miles from Miami International Airport (and about 29 miles from Fort Lauderdale International Airport), this Marriott Bonvoy property sits just beyond the South Beach sand. My favorite part about its location is that while all of the restaurant and bar action is just moments away, this Ritz-Carlton is tucked down a side street. So, you can leave the frenetic South Beach scene at the door when you return home for the evening. 

Read on to learn why I think The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach should be on your to-visit list the next time you need a fit and well getaway to recharge your batteries. 

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Guests who book on the Club Level have access to complimentary food and beverages in The Ritz Club Lounge.

What We Love

  • The goodies included in the resort fee, which include a one-hour daily health and wellness class (ranging from Pilates to yoga), beach chair and umbrella service, beach games like volleyball and paddle ball, complimentary bike rentals, and more
  • Booking a room on the Club Level, where you’ll enjoy complimentary meal presentations and beer, wine, and cocktails, as well as a dedicated Club Level Concierge
  • The on-the-beach location
  • The hustle and bustle of South Beach is just a few blocks away
  • If you’re a Marriott Bonvoy member, you can earn points for your stay.

What Not to Miss

  • The Nourished Glow spa treatment, which will leave your skin revived and renewed
  • Having the Club Level Lounge team pack a small cooler of sandwiches and snacks for lunch on the beach
  • A run or walk to South Pointe Park (just under two miles away) to watch the boats come into the port.
  • Dinner at the property’s upscale Bagatelle House, known for its French Mediterranean cuisine
  • Lounging poolside and taking advantage of the complimentary aloe and sunscreen products
Partial Ocean View Room
The partial ocean-view rooms provide plenty of natural light along with picturesque views.

Guest Rooms

Clean whites and furnishings decked out in warm blues and golds describe the contemporary South Beach chic decor that welcomed me to my Club Level, partial ocean view room. When I’m at the beach, I want to be able to see it from my hotel room, so I recommend springing for at least the partial ocean view, because for me, the “partial” view is just as good as the “oceanfront.” The room itself was cozy and outfitted with all the amenities you’d expect at a Ritz-Carlton, including a cloud-like bed with luxurious linens, bathrobes, slippers, a fully stocked honor bar, and Diptyque toiletries. And each night, there is turndown service

But, here’s why I recommend booking a Club Level room: If you like VIP access and enjoy food and cocktails, I think this option is definitely worth the investment. First, the Club Level Lounge has expansive views of the Atlantic and offers a peaceful getaway from the chaos of South Beach. Daily breakfast, lunch, light snack, evening hors d’oeuvres, and dessert and cordial spreads are all included in your stay. Plus, you’ll enjoy complimentary beer, wine, Champagne, cocktails, and nonalcoholic beverages. (More on what the Club Level cuisine includes in just a moment.) Then, there’s the dedicated staff for the club who are there to make you feel like a VIP. Whether I needed a restaurant reservation or wanted to pack a cooler of sandwiches and snacks for the beach, they were there to assist. Oh, and if you need a few items of clothing pressed, don’t forget—two daily garment pressings are also included in your stay.

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The terrace at Fuego Y Mar is the perfect place to enjoy the outdoor ambience.

Waffles with whipped cream for breakfast, chicken pesto sandwiches for lunch, and delicious potstickers and spring rolls for evening hors d’oeuvres. These are just a few of the bites that I enjoyed as part of the culinary presentations in the Club Level Lounge. And the best part is that if you would rather enjoy a meal or snack in the comfort of your room or in your chaise lounge on the sand, the team will do all they can to pack everything up so you can do just that.

But, if you’re looking to enjoy a bite beyond the lounge, the property offers up a few options to suit every palate. First, there’s Bagatelle House Miami, which is a stellar option for a more elevated dinner. (Think eclectic DJ performances and French gastronomy.) Reservations are recommended, and the goal of this nosh spot is to “bring the flavors of the French Riviera to your plate.” Enjoy flavors like grilled octopus with a toasted almond red pepper and tomato condiment, lobster fettuccine, or a rack of grilled veal. Or, if you’re looking for a more low-key vibe with delectable dishes, visit Fuego Y Mar (open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner). If the weather is nice, opt to sit on the patio and enjoy the Bit of Beets salad, the red snapper and risotto, or cioppino.

Other on-property options for a bite or drink include the DiLido Beach Club for a poke bowl or some chips and guacamole, or you can sip on a beautifully crafted cocktail at Lapidus Bar in the hotel’s Art Deco-inspired lobby.  

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The Ritz-Carlton Spa, South Beach provides guests with a deep dive into wellness.
Spa, Fitness, and Activities

Bliss. That’s what I felt as the therapist applied the salt and oil concoction to exfoliate my dull skin. During my visit, I opted for the Nourished Glow treatment ($200, 50 minutes), which also included a personalized back massage that was exactly what my tired muscles needed. But, if a more traditional facial or massage is more your speed, the spa at The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach offers a variety of services. If you’re short on time, I like that the spa offers its Timeless Capsule, which is a private space where clients can receive express treatments (ranging from 25 to 40 minutes). For example, during a past visit, I tried a 40-minute facial with a 12-minute Foot Rescue massage, which allowed me to maximize my treatment time in a private space—and still treat myself to a spa visit. And be sure to save some time for shopping in the boutique, as you’ll find brands ranging from Nature Bissé to Illesteva Sunglasses to Maxine Yachtwear.

When it comes to working out during your visit, the property offers a variety of options. As I’ve already mentioned, the resort fee includes a complimentary daily fitness class. Choose from a daily 60-minute outdoor class that includes formats like yoga, power sculpt, and Pilates. Other outdoor options include taking advantage of the complimentary bike rentals and beach sports (also included in the resort fee). But, if the weather isn’t cooperating, head to the hotel’s 24-hour fitness center, where you’ll find a range of equipment including treadmills, bikes, elliptical machines, free weights, stability balls, resistance bands, yoga mats, and more.

About The Author
Amelia Pavlik

For more than 10 years, wellness cultivator Amelia Pavlik has worked as a wellness journalist, visiting more than 50 spas from Vail to Vienna, and has spent 20-plus years teaching in the fitness industry. Over the years, Amelia searched for a resource that could provide her with the latest in luxury wellness products and experiences to suit her budget whether it was $50 or $5,000, but she couldn’t find one. So, in February 2021, she took matters into her own hands and launched FRESHJUICE + bubbly, a boutique business focused on connecting clients to wellness splurges to suit budgets big and small.