As a continuation of my ideas for places to travel in the USA during the pandemic, I paid a visit to the Ritz Carlton, Amelia Island, to check out the present day protocols of one of my favorite resorts within driving distance of Macon. To my surprise mostly everything was running as usual, with the exception of a few things. The wonderful breakfast that once was served on a tray with a rose came in a paper bag with all disposable utensils. We also missed the band that was always so entertaining in the sitting room in the bar. However, guests are still congregating spaciously in the lobby/lounge area, that all Ritz Carltons are famous for.
The restaurants at this Ritz are still in operation with distancing policies in place. The fine dining, award winning restaurant, SALT, was especially wonderful. It features gourmet food spiced with over 40 different salts of the world to add depth and flavor to their coastal cuisine. All fine dining restaurants at Ritz Carltons have a special surprise to hand you at the end of the dining experience. You can probably guess that we were given a box of an extraordinary salt that is sold in their SALT gift shop.
The pool is especially relaxing at this Ritz. With the breeze sweeping in from the beach you can unwind in comfort, and the waitstaff is at your beck and call for any libations you may have in mind. Another amenity that we especially enjoyed was the bicycles they provide to their guests to ride along the nature path. The gym and spa are also in use during this time. (It’s no surprise that I chose to lounge at the pool rather than workout at the gym!) The spa at the Ritz at Amelia has been named as one of the top spas in the world by the readers of Conde Nast Traveler.
This Ritz has begun to have families with school-aged children checking into the resort for extended stays during this pandemic. While parents need a break from challenges of remote schooling, the barrier island location provides a crowd-free change of scenery with the benefit of outdoor activity on the beach, and easy connectivity to school programs, as well as remote work for parents. For this school year, The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island is taking this a step further, with the introduction of a new remote education series for kids, encouraging outdoor exploration. Knowing school has come in various forms this year – virtual, hybrid, and homeschool – these new programs provide families and small groups with an option to engage in curriculum-enhancing activities in a new environment. The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island is committed to providing small learning groups with these exclusive opportunities while also dedicating space for guests to set up remote classrooms for virtual learning.
For those who wish to venture away from the Ritz for another fine dining experience, I highly recommend the restaurant, David’s, in Fernandina. The concierge recommended this restaurant and it was exceptional.
To assist families staying at the resort, The Ritz-Carlton has converted two meeting spaces into study rooms where kids can study without distractions and connect to school and virtual learning resources with highspeed wireless internet. In addition to the Ecology Field Trip Package, the resort has a year-round naturalist to help families learn about the island ecosystem through guided walks and dune restoration programs for guests. Additional educational programs including discovery sessions on History and Zoology are also offered.
If your company has allowed you to work remotely and you are also homeschooling your children during this time, this Ritz is the perfect “CLASSY” home away from home! If you need help setting up your new home you know who to call!
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