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  • Writer's pictureParadiseCoastMama

Glowing up on the Gulf Coast.

Growing up in Naples, The Ritz Carlton has always been a beacon of excellence and comfort, it was built on our small stretch of the Gulf Coast in 1985, and I came along in 1987, so you could say we've sort of grown up together in this tiny town. It's been many things to me over the years, A place to celebrate, to relax and to treat myself. Even as a small child, I knew The Ritz Carlton was definitely a special place, unlike the others. I've spent countless days on Vanderbilt beach with friends and the resort, was always there, welcoming us over for lunch at Gumbo Limbo, sandy feet and all. Once I became an adult I was eager to introduce my kids to this old friend of mine and quickly started sweet traditions that we charish. We've celebrated holidays, birthdays and wedding days and nights. My entire family has a love for the brand and their unrivaled dedication to fine experiences and hospitality.

Then, in September of 2022, Hurricane Ian ravaged the west coast of Florida. A deadly and extremely destructive Category 5 hurricane. Ian was the third-costliest weather disaster on record, and sadly the deadliest hurricane to strike the state of Florida since 1935. The hotel reopened on July 6th of this year but It had been quite some time since I had been on property. I was excited to visit recently, like going to catch up with an old friend! I don't know what i was expecting. But I was completely impressed by the renovations. The property truly took this natural disaster and made something beautiful out of it, this wasn't a comeback, this was a glow up!

The grand drive has transformed, thanks to a new open design and water feature. The lobby and champagne bar is sleek and modern with floor to ceiling windows and lots of beautiful and unique chandeliers that catch your eye, there are new shops, restaurant expansions and an entirely new tower! The Vanderbilt tower comprised exclusively of club rooms and suites, flaunts the largest club level in the country with the only club level bar, It's beautiful with thoughtful design features. The club lounge is also super kid friendly, with an entire playroom, soaked in sunshine and dedicated to the littles in your life. The spread of food options was impressive, offering guests both an omelet station and a breakfast buffet with hot station. menu items on the grab and go buffet then rotate throughout the day. There’s also a cold buffet of smoked salmon, charcuterie, fruits and yogurt and a selection of muffins, croissants, and toasts. gluten-free options and a children's buffet with tasty and familiar finger foods. There's lots of beautiful places to relax and even a private lounge room, a patio and a workspace.

Right off of the spa, is a peaceful Butterfly garden, a fleet of electric bikes that beacon you to take a cruise and a new game room for the kids. The spa is huge with lots of new work out classes, an entire Pilates studio, massive gyms teaming with pelotons and all the latest equipment. They even have a Spa cafe, serving up smoothies, salads and more to the private spa terrace and dip pool. Speaking of pools. They've added a new, adults only pool off of the Vanderbilt tower, its beautiful and has a lap pool, comfortable open-air cabanas and soft spots to soak up the sun, as well as the new suites. Individual air-conditioned pool side suites, available for rent by both the adult and family pools, complete with their own private restroom, mini fridge, seating and more, just steps from the pool deck. They're perfect for spending a full day by the pool with your family, or celebrating a special occasion. The family pool now has a fun green space complete with yard games, a new pool shop and a walk-up coal fired pizza oven window is coming soon!

During my visit, I was treated to a delicious lunch at Sofra, located poolside in the Vanderbilt tower. The design features are fun and totally embrace the coastal lifestyle and ambiance of the area. Food was absolutely delish, we had an incredibly fresh shrimp ceviche and hummus to start, followed by an authentic Greek salad that I've been dreaming of ever since and a super flavorful Vegi burger. cocktails were out of this world.

The salon as well as all bars and restruants on property are open to the public and the price point is similar to what you'll find downtown. It's truly such a fantastic date night spot, the perfect place to grab lunch and drinks with the girls and will forever be one of my favorite places to treat myself to a staycation. We're truly spoiled having two Ritz Carlton properties The Naples Beach Resort and The Tiburon Golf Resort just 5 miles away from one another. Did you know that if you stay at either, you're welcome to use amenities at both? Yep, Just hop on a complimentary shuttle and enjoy both properties.

One of the reasons why I love The Ritz Carlton brand as a whole, is because They truly embrace and help to elevate the family vacation. Its chic and timeless, yet comfortable, They welcome children and locals. There's no need to dress up, sandals and resort wear is just fine. It's laid-back luxury, luxury without limits and its in 2024 it's time to take full advantage of living where everyone else vacations. So, stop by sometime soon, grab a glass of champagne in the lobby and check out The Ritz- Carlton Naples, The queen of Paradise Coast and take in all the gandeur of her glow up for yourself.


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