For sand traps and sandy beaches, for scrumptious eats and opulent shopping, well-heeled northerners who would rather wear sandals in the winter have long gone to Naples, Florida.
Naples sings a song of casual affluence, and what better place for Ritz-Carlton to play a duet. It has two properties in Naples, the Ritz-Carlton Naples on the beach and the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort Naples at the upscale inland Tiburon development. The properties bring the world of Naples together with golf, tennis, surf and sun through a connection of a shuttle and sophistication.
The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort has the higher visibility of the two. The Greg Norman's Franklin-Templeton Shootout event held on the Gold Course has been a fixture for 15 years, and the LPGA's final event of the season, the CME Group Tour Championship has been there since 2015. Two courses designed by Norman, serving both the hotel and the Tiburon community as a private club, provide a clubby atmosphere often lacking in a purely resort setting. The golf pro shop has an impressive array of golf fashions over a wide range of lines.
The hotel has renovated its 295 rooms and club lounge and is reimagining its dining spaces. What it didn't need to reimagine were its levels of service and comfort, which are typically Ritz. You could always take the short walk to the golf clubhouse for lunch or a quaff, but just sitting on the back patio—the Bella Vista Lounge—outside the lobby bar gives you a view of the course and the tropical landscaping as well as a place to smoke a cigar, several brands of which are offered at the bar.
Pools and a small spa facility grace the golf resort, but if it's the beach or the full spa experience you want, you can hop the complimentary shuttle to the other Ritz, 10 minutes away. There, the full glory of the Gulf of Mexico can be yours, as well as a 50,000-square-foot spa that offers all manner of treatments and pampering. Plus, a full-service beach facility with lounges, drinks and dining services is at hand.
Most of the Ritz on the Gulf eateries, such as the casual Gumbo Limbo and adjoining Sand Bar, Terrazza, take advantage of the beach setting. For the Sushi lover there is Dusk, with outdoor seating and a 13-course menu is served Omakase-style, which translates to "I'll leave it to you," and in this case means being served the delights of chef Harunobu Furuta at his whim. A steakhouse, The Grill, offers more formal dining. And you are located a short drive or cab ride from 5th Avenue South, Naples' dining, shopping and cultural center.
So, if a Naples trip is in your plans, you can "put on the Ritz." In this case, two of them.