The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota
After our private ceremony (offsite), we held a small dinner reception for us and our 5 guests and the Ritz-Carlton Sarasota's Jack Dusty restaurant. They gave us spectacular service and attention. The food & cocktails were excellent. We loved every part of our experience here, start to finish. Would recommend for a casual wedding or rehearsal dinner!
We started planning a destination beach wedding in September 2012. We spent countless hours/days/weeks reading the wedding wire reviews. We looked at about 6 venues around the St Pete area and are extremely pleased we chose The Ritz Carlton, Sarasota, Florida. Chris Starman was very helpful from the beginning to the end, he was quick to answer all questions.
Mariela was assigned to be our wedding day coordinator. We were impressed with her attention to details, organizational skills, patience, quick response to questions, suggestions, and dedication to making a smooth ,terrific wedding day experience. Due to torrential rain the morning of, a decision had to be made as to where everything would now take place. The rain continued. So my outdoor beach ceremony and reception became an outdoor patio ceremony and a ballroom. They went above and beyond to make sure the space was perfect. They put extra time into the details; setting up the dinner tables, the presentation of the dinner and the atmosphere all around. My guest had the best time even through the horrible weather.
The hot and cold appetizers that Chris Starman and Mariela recommended were a huge hit. As for the dinner, I was pleasantly surprised as to how tender the steak was. As it turned out it we chose the yellow cake with key lime filing and topped with fresh strawberries and it was scrumptiousNot your average wedding food!
Cindy and the beach club staff were extremely accommodating and helpful when visiting the venue and during the rehearsal. They all knew what was going on, where we should be and made sure that we were taken care of. The staff overall at the Ritz, was amazing, very friendly, professional, accommodating, reassuring, and cared about my wedding. All the staff made it a point to ask if we or our guest needed anything throughout our entire stay.
The Ritz staff went above and beyond to make our tears of sadness turn into tears of joy that evening. Thank you!
We are from the UK so had to do everything via the internet. I was initially nervous as my wedding co-ordintaor from the Ritz was very slow to get back to my emails and got a lot of things wrong - u really have to keep on top of the invoices as a lot of mine were wrong. However my wedding day was AMAZING!!! The Ritz is a STUNNING location and we had a beautiful sunset as we were married. The food was delicious and the service surpassed our expectations. We would definitely recommend the Ritz as the perfect venue!
We had our wedding in June at the members beach club on Lido Key, Sarasota. The area was beautiful and the site was amazing. Overall I was very happy with the service and have no real complaints, but that was not without many hours of coordination and planning (this was a destination wedding). I felt if we didn't push for certain items, it may have been a totally different experience. For example, we had our ceremony on the beach,the cost was $3000.00 to use the beach. Part of the experience was that water would be provided, if we did not inquire on how this would be done, it would of been just white plastic tables without cloth and plain plastic pitchers of water. After multiple conversations, this was changed to nice glass water dispensers with lemon or lime mixed on top of white table clothes and real glasses. This may seem to be a minor issue, but to us its all about presentation. When I chose the Ritz, I expected A++ presentation, but you really have to be on top of them to get what you paid for.
The service and staff lead by Wedding Coordinator Cesar Garza was excellent, the staff during the reception were amazing. My only advice is that the person who shows you the package, i.e the sales person is not on the same page as the wedding coordinator. The sales people will tell you they do everything, well that is not the case. We eventually got everything we were promised, but it required extra phone calls.
I am happy with my finished product and have zero regrets, Our wedding was great, it was a blast, the food was great and service was above par. Oh, my only slight disappointment was the cake and lighting. The lighting who was associated with the Ritz was very weak and definitely not worth the money. The cake was was overpriced for what we got and taste was ok. I wish I had outsourced the cake...
We had our wedding & reception at the Ritz Carlton Beach Club on Lido Key. The venue is breathtaking. The staff was incredibly accommodating. However, they did not read the banquet set-up sheet. They screwed up serving the soup, totally did not serve a special dessert for which we'd paid extra & the cake has become known as the "ugliest wedding cake in history", it was just down right embarrassing.
Overall, the food was fabulous but their screw-ups were simply ridiculous for the price of a wedding at the Ritz. The quality of food was phenomenal but the screw-ups were so incredibly disappointing. For the price & reputation of the Ritz-Carlton Sarasota, they did NOT exceed my expectations. You can't beat the food or service staff BUT I would make sure, check, double check and triple check your event.
Overall, our wedding at the Ritz beach club was a success. Our guests had fun, enjoyed the food, and those not involved in the wedding (guests outside the wedding party) likely saw no problems. However, throughout the entire planning process and even after the wedding, we had problems with our assigned wedding assistant, Jacey Wood. She made mistakes at almost every step of the planning process and even after the wedding with our bills. She lacked attention to detail, was at times very flaky and not as responsive as I would have liked her to be and when faced with a mistake made excuses. People in our wedding party noticed these traits as well. Although the end result was ok, it was a completely frustrating planning process for us and really put a damper on our wedding memories and is the reason for the low star ratings here. She reflected poorly on the Ritz name and we warn future couples to avoid her at all costs in planning their event. We had limited contact with Chris Starman during our initial decision to go with the Ritz. We really liked him and he seemed very competent, but apparently he was not available to help with the tasks beyond “selling” us the event.
Venue: Getting married at the beach club was a perfect venue for our outdoor wedding. We had the ceremony on the lawn and the cocktail hour/dinner reception on the sunset terrace. It was a lovely view overlooking the beach, water and sunset. The only drawback was that as a bride who needed to be concealed from the groom prior to the ceremony, I had to wait in the bathroom prior to the ceremony, but it was private and chairs were provided. Also, since it is the Ritz, the prices were definitely on the high side. We expected this for the venue/food, but we ended up doing a lot of DIY things regarding room decorations/video set up and getting other vendors for things such as the ceremony sound system because it was much cheaper.
Catering: The Ritz did all of our catering. We picked out the food during the tasting. Our guests seem to enjoy the food. The wedding party missed cocktail hour due to photographs but I was given a plate of the hors d'oeuvres and they were very good. I never got to eat my actual dinner because the catering folks took it away before I could get to it. Granted, it was there for over an hour, but I still wish they had left it for me. We were very disappointed with the cupcakes. At the tasting the cupcakes were very dry. To make them more moist on the wedding day they were soaked/injected in sugar water, which had the effect of making them very crumbly and sweet, albeit moist. We should have gone with Publix for our dream cupcake cake -- they were much better. We also thought the display of the cupcakes could have been better. We asked for three tiers (one for each flavor), but instead, the cupcakes were displayed in four small bowls on tiers with the different flavors mixed together.
Salon: I was an out of state bride with out of state guests and using the Ritz Salon made sense. My two bridesmaids, my mother and my groom’s mother and I all utilized the Ritz Salon on the day of wedding. Working with Susan to set up the salon appointments was very easy. She was very accommodating with changes to services and schedule. Everyone who helped us was very nice. I was satisfied with my nails, hair and make up, having done a practice run about two months before the wedding. One of my bridesmaids was not happy with her hair or makeup and did some of her own touch up to both before the wedding. My mother’s makeup also made her look much older than what she normally looks rather than enhancing her beauty. My other bridesmaid and my groom’s mother both had their hair done and they looked fabulous. So, overall, the consensus about the salon services was split.
We got married on the lawn at the Ritz Member’s Beach club and had the reception upstairs at the sunset terrace. The venue is absolutely stunning, all of our pictures turned out gorgeous because of the backdrop. The food was amazing and our cake turned out beautifully. We worked with Lourdes for our wedding. She was very accommodating and made sure everything would be perfect on the big day. The rest of the staff was wonderful as well. Our wedding was everything we dreamed of. Thank you for making our day so special!
I had my ceremony on Lido Beach at the Ritz's Members Beach club and my reception on the sunset terrace. The food was great, the weather was warm as expected, (May 28, 2011). I worked with Scott and wasn't completly impressed with my interface at the Ritz. He frequently took a few days to get back to me and dropped the ball on coordinating the shuttle to and from the Beach Club after hours. We ended up having to hire a bunch of cabs at the last minute to take my stranded guests home. I partly blame my wedding planner (Shannon,Table 6), who convienently went home "sick" DURING my wedding. The Ritz also charged the wrong credit card on two separate occasions which contribute to my opinion that they lacked the organization skills or "customer service" to pull off my wedding over memorial day weekend. Overall, I hope these not so great memories will fade soon. But as a cautionary statement, be ontop of what you want keep track of the Ritz's commitments, and make sure you have a planner you can trust, otherwise things will get overlooked, misplaced, lost etc.
Everything about the Ritz was wonderful. The Beach Club setting was amazing and everyone who was affiliated with our wedding day made sure everything was spectacular. We could not have asked for anything more!
Our wedding day was perfect! I wanted to acknowledge the salon and spa people as they did my (and my mothers) hair/makeup perfectly. The Hotel itself was beautiful and the staff were beyond friendly. We absolutely loved our wedding...it was perfect
The Ritz Carlton Sarasota was the absolute best place to have my wedding! It was beyond what I could have imagined. My ceremony took place on the beach at the Ritz Carlton Members Beach Club, and the reception was at the beach club inside at the grill. The location was just perfect. But, the staff made everything that much better! I couldn't have asked for a better team of people to help me plan and to carry out everything on my Big Day! Kim was exceptional, she made everything go so smoothly without me having to lift a finger! Maria and Stacy were wonderful and so sweet as well! Me and the entire wedding party and guests couldn't get over just how nice and friendly everyone was! Absolutly the best venue! Thanks so much everyone for making our day the best ever!
The food from the Ritz-Carlton in Sarasota was absolutely amazing. They were very helpful in helping us select and perfect the perfect menu for our wedding day. We also got our cake from the Ritz-Carlton and they did exactly what we wanted.
The Members' Beach Club on Lido Beach is a gorgeous venue.
The cuisine was out-of-this-world, the chef outdid himself.
The h'ors d'oeuvres, entrees, cake, etc. was perfect. (Intermezzo was divine.)
The staff was professional and gracious.
It was the Ritz, what more can I say?
(Also, their spa did a phenomenal job with our hair & makeup)
I cannot say enough good things about the staff and service at the Ritz. We were faced with relocating our entire wedding one week before the event due to an impending hurricane. They handled the deadline with ease, gently guided us through our choices, and worked with our original budget even though it was one third less than the set pricing structure. The hurricane ended up missing us, so we attempted an outdoor ceremony, but when the time came...so did the rain. The Ritz staff relocated our wedding indoors with lightening speed. The service at the reception was delightful, the food was delicious, and our wedding went from disater to fabulous. "Thank you" does not even come close to expressing our gratitude.