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Ritz-Carltons of Naples, Florida

Betsy Model
From the Print Edition:
Tom Selleck, Nov/Dec 2007

The dilemma of the family vacation is to reconcile varying concepts of leisure. You want to hit the links with a passion, your wife prefers pamper time and the kids are happiest just playing and swimming. But what if you found 36 holes of Greg Norman—designed golf and one of the premier pieces of Gulf Shore fully appointed beachfront property within easy reach of each other?

The tandem of the Ritz-Carlton and Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort in Naples, Florida, has all that in the same city with the same sunsets. With free three-mile shuttles between the two and reciprocal signing privileges, you can stay in one and enjoy the best of both.

The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort is routinely ranked among the top golf destinations and is home to the PGA Tour's Merrill Lynch Shootout. Norman's 36-hole Tiburón Golf Club offers a serene setting, the Rick Smith Golf Academy and GPS-equipped carts.

Postgame, enjoy the ambience of the resort itself, with a decor that includes warm mahogany paneling, leather seating and a bar and lounge area that provides peace and quiet alongside a glass case of cigars. It more than makes up for the lack of a beach with a great pool—and poolside grill—a pair of nine-foot billiard tables and a lounge area complete with big-screen televisions that broadcast sports and entertainment specials. The rooms have luxurious beds and linens, and Bulgari amenities. You can catch a drink at the lobby bar or enjoy the views of the course from the Bella Vista Lounge. There's live entertainment most evenings and, on Friday and Saturday nights, it's a great place for sushi and sake.

At the beach, the Ritz-Carlton Naples has everything that this blessed piece of coastline can offer— balmy breezes, glistening sand and the kinds of sunsets that inspire Jimmy Buffet songs. And it's exactly what you'd expect from most Ritz-Carlton properties: elegant decor with an emphasis on pastels and crystal, exemplary service, and multiple pools and recreation opportunities that draw families intent on making every minute of their precious vacation time count. Mom and Dad can take full advantage of a well-appointed fitness center and an over-the-top spa while kids can enroll in a "Ritz Kids Day Camp" (also offered at the golf resort), or hit the gourmet shop for homemade gelatos and chocolates. Or, what's more common, spend the day as a family on the sand, at the pool or even on the lighted tennis courts, junior's backhand willing.

Our vote is to stay and play at the Golf Resort and catch the shuttle over to the beach property—and spa—to work out the kinks left over from the morning game.

Visit www.ritzcarlton.com or call Ritz-Carlton, Naples at 239-598-3300 or the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples at 239-593-2000.

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