AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. -- The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island goes overboard to counter that air of stuffiness that plagues many luxury hotels. The design and decor of this beachfront resort practically begs guests to relax and feel at ease, all while maintaining that standard of service and style of a Ritz.
More than $65 million has been spent since 2006 to renovate and update this 445-room hotel that opened in 1991. The resort's spa and fine dining are built around the theme of salt, a tribute to the ocean right outside. Every spa treatment starts with a soothing salty foot scrub. The chefs at Salt, the resort's premier restaurant since opening in 2006, cook with 50 different styles of the spice, including Himalayan salt, the purest form on earth. For more casual dining, the Eight Burger Bar & Sports Lounge, opened in 2010, serves up some mean sliders, heaping nacho plates and local brews. The menu at the Cafe 4750 recently moved away from its Italian roots and has gone coastal. Its breakfast buffet tastes great and gets golfers to the first tee on time.
Players will cherish the natural marshlands and playability of the Golf Club of Amelia Island, a Gene Littler/Mark McCumber design next door that hosted the 1998 Liberty Mutual Insurance Legends of Golf, now an official Champions Tour event.