Let me tip the ol’ top hat to a fine establishment here in Sarasota as well as worldwide – the Ritz-Carlton. If you’re searching for somewhere glamorous to wine, dine, or rest your weary body, there’s no place classier than the Ritz. The grounds alone, with lush palm trees lining the entryway, beckon the most discriminating traveler.
Although I have not stayed at our Ritz, I have dined there several times. Jack Dusty, the waterfront restaurant and lounge, has both indoor and outdoor seating – all exquisite. The emphasis is on local, fresh cuisine, specialty cocktails, and craft microbrews. The last time I was there a real live mermaid was stretched out over the bar!
I stopped in the other day to pick up a gift certificate for a friend. Santa’s elf greeted me at the door and ushered me to the concierge who showed me around. The lobby and restaurant were decked out for the holidays, complete with a colorful merry-go-round in the lobby. I noted plans were in the works for a festive New Year’s Eve party.
The verdant grounds hold several buildings including a luxury spa that is billed as “a synergistic balance of energy, earth, and sea-inspired services…designed to heal the body, mind, and spirit.” What an ideal gift that would make.
The Ritz sits on Sarasota Bay, but if you’re a beach bum, you can catch the complimentary shuttle to their Gulf-front Beach Club on Lido key. Grab lunch or wet your whistle at the restaurant and bar there, the Grille, which has a jumpin’ happy hour and live music.
Of course it wouldn’t be the Ritz without a world-class golf course. Factor in a nicely appointed gym, kayaks, fishing poles, snorkeling gear, bicycles, and tennis courts, and you have the ideal get-away. So the next time you want to pamper yourself or your guests, head to Sarasota’s Ritz-Carlton. Who cares if you spend every dime…if you are havin’ a good time!
The Sarasota Spectator
Our Sarasota Spectator is Betsy Miller, a retired high school teacher and college professor. Originally from Columbus, Betsy has fallen in love with the Gulf Coast of Florida, especially Sarasota. Blogging about the area has been a creative outlet for the writer, opening up an avenue of exploration. You may find the bon vivant enjoying happy hour at a tiki bar, shopping on historic Main Street, or seated at a concert or show at a local theater. Chances are you also might find her buried in a book on one of our beautiful beaches. Asked to give one word about her feelings for Sarasota, Betsy replied, “Smitten.”