What high school student wouldn't want to take his prom date to the Ritz Carlton Sarasota? That would be a dream come true right? Of course! I stayed for one night, even though it wasn't really in my budget, I wanted to splurge.
I ordered my stay using Priceline, and managed to get myself a room for somewhere in the neighborhood of about $200 if I remember correctly. Ritz usually charges more for their rooms and I distinctly remember paying less for my room than if I had just walked in and asked for a room. Not exactly the cheapest room in town, but how else do you expect to impress your girlfriend? Hey, I can't help it; I'm a Leo and I have a penchant for extravagant luxuries even if I'm not the high roller that I often wish I were.
What is not to love about the Ritz Carlton (except the price of course)? The Ritz has nice comfy beds, a courteous staff that is willing to cater to your every need, and an excellent, albeit expensive El Verona restaurant with excellent though overpriced food. My other ex just confessed that she paid $75 fairly recently and just went there for their Sunday brunch. It is worth noting that people associate quality with price, and perhaps I'm no exception to the rule. If it's expensive it has to be great right? The bathrooms are immaculately clean and well stocked with not just hotel soap but lotion and plenty of clean towels.
Heck, there's even a fairly well stocked mini bar (well, it's actually just a mini fridge). Just be aware that you will be billed if you grab something in the fridge thinking that you already paid for it with the cost of admission, you didn't. Don't expect any freebies at the Ritz. I personally recommend bringing your own fine spirits of your choosing, so plan ahead.
Don't forget to bring some cash to tip the valets. You will likely generate some ill-will if you don't tip, and the valets will probably think you are some kind of cheapskate. I don't have the greatest car but I wouldn't want some valet flogging my car around as retribution for the lack of a tip. Ritz pays their valets fairly well, but it's still a good idea to a LEAST throw them a Washington or two.
I don't think there is anything to hate about this establishment except for the price. Also, I wouldn't mind the ability to park my own car. Perhaps I'm mistaken, but I think you have to use the valet service. Like I said they pay the valets well, but I wouldn't necessarily trust them unless you tip them. Also make sure you carry your own bags to the door. They will offer to carry your bags for you, but then they will likely expect a tip for their services. Just don't give them the chance to expect the tip unless you have a few extra dollars to spare.
In conclusion, I really had a memorable stay at the Ritz, but I had a loved one with me. Don't plan on it being quite as fun if you are staying alone.
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