Cigar Aficionado

The Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island Resort, Florida

The eye-catching cigar menu is a good indicator of the cigar’s importance at The Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island. Comfortable seating around the fire pit looking over the dunes, beach and ocean add warmth and romance to a nighttime ambiance accented by refreshing sea breezes, star-filled sky and sounds of waves. It’s also a very welcoming environment in which to light up.

The cigar bill-of-fare offers such information as a stick’s history, tobacco blend, grower biography and flavor notes. Selections include Fuente Fuente OpusX, Padrón 1964 Anniversary, Davidoff, Rocky Patel Olde World, Ashton Cabinet Selection, Camacho and Graycliff. Prices range from $28 to $105.

Ritz-Carlton’s location on a barrier beach island in the extreme northeast corner of Florida is but a short 30 minute drive from Jacksonville’s airport and only 10 minutes to the Victorian seaport town of Fernandina Beach.

The luxury oceanfront hotel setting is striking and blends pleasantly with the surrounding sand, water and sky. It stands prominently surveying the sea and sandy beaches with long views up and down the coast. The exceptional service-oriented staff’s attentive, relaxed style made for a very enjoyable stay at the 444-ocean view balconied guestroom and suite hotel, and dining at Café 4750 and Salt Restaurant.

The lovely coastal setting is conducive to amenities, both indoor and outdoor, as well as recreational activities, including full-service spa, heated swimming pools, whirlpools, fitness center, biking, horse riding on the beach, kayaking, sailing, fishing, tennis and golf. Adjacent to the hotel is The Golf Club of Amelia Island, a Mark McCumber/Gene Littler design, for members and Ritz-Carlton guests. It’s a delightful resort track offering a very playable layout or challenging round, depending on your choice of tees.

After dinner, I fired up a Camacho Liberty Series 2006 that came in a numbered cedar box. While enjoying the smoke, darkness fell and an explosion of fireworks caught me by surprise. Launched from the beach in front of the hotel, it filled the sky with an extended display, a vibrant show that complemented the night and the cigar.

Freelancer Bill Nestor explores globally to write about travel, golf, food, nature and lifestyles.

The Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island Resort

4750 Amelia Island Parkway
Amelia Island, Florida 32034

"The trip from Jacksonville is a cigar and a half. The fire pit is huge, seating is very comfortable, great view of ocean. Service is superb as we ate dinner at fire pit smoking with a nice Maker 46. There is live music inside on Friday. Woke up and had coffee and cigar. " —May 16, 2013 02:20 AM
"What better way to enjoy the beauty of the Ritz-Carlton than to arrive with a cigar in hand with a customized blend and a <a href="">personlaized</a> label." —April 9, 2013 15:30 PM
"I must pay this venue a visit. Great article. Best Regards, Antonio" —February 25, 2013 11:05 AM