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The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami [In-depth Review]

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Juan Ruiz
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Juan Ruiz

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Nick Ellis

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Key Biscayne is a 5-mile-long barrier island paradise just minutes from downtown Miami. You’ll leave the mainland behind as you journey over the stunning Rickenbacker Causeway to Key Biscayne where you’ll find sandy beaches, nature preserves, and restaurants with amazing views.

My wife and I wanted an easy, 2-night, child-free staycation weekend, so we chose The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami, which is just a 45-minute drive from our home in Fort Lauderdale. We decided to indulge a little and treat ourselves since the hotel is also the only 5-star hotel on the island.

Continue reading to learn more about our stay!

The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami Location

The Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne Miami signage
The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami is located just 10 minutes from downtown Miami.

Even though The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami is just 10 minutes from downtown Miami and 20 minutes from Miami Beach, it seems like a world apart.

Key Biscayne is known for its expensive real estate, beaches lined with palm trees, and high quality of life for residents who want to be near the bustle of the Magic City, yet enjoy a tranquil sanctuary on their own affluent-but-modest island town.

The hotel is located about 15 miles from Miami International Airport (MIA). It takes about 30 minutes to reach the hotel under normal traffic conditions, but it might take considerably longer if you drive during rush hour. Your best bet is to fly into MIA.

Alternatively, you can also fly into Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL), which is 33 miles from the hotel. This trip usually takes a little over an hour, but if there is a lot of traffic on I-95, it can take a lot longer.

Booking The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami

Typically, when booking hotels, I redeem points for complimentary nights. My usual booking procedure involves transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points to my preferred hotel transfer partner, World of Hyatt, or topping off my Marriott Bonvoy or Hilton Honors account balances with American Express Membership Rewards points.

For my stay at The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami, I decided to price out award nights as well as look at the cash rates when booking directly through Marriott and through the American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts program.

I looked around on Marriott’s website and found that a Resort View King room for our weekend would only cost 53,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night. Even though this was a great rate for a hotel that usually charges between $500 and $1,000 per night, I wanted to compare it to the cash rates and see if it made sense to save my points.

Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne Points Rate.
The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami reward night rates.

When I shifted my search on the Marriott website from points to cash, the lowest available nightly rate for a room with a limited view on a low floor was $489 per night. If I opted to use points instead of cash to book my hotel stay, I’d achieve just higher than our 0.7 cents-per-point valuation of Marriott Bonvoy points at about 0.9 cents per point.

Marriott cash rates at The Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne.
Marriott cash rates at The Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne.

Since the hotel is part of Amex’s Fine Hotels + Resorts program, which grants elite-like benefits to cardholders of The Platinum Card® from American ExpressThe Business Platinum Card® from American Express, or Centurion® Card from American Express at more than 1,100 properties worldwide, I logged into my Amex account and searched AmexTravel.com to determine if the rates were comparable.

Surprisingly, room rates through Amex’s Fine Hotels + Resorts program (FHR) started at $499, just $10 more than booking directly through Marriott. Despite the fact that I have Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status as a benefit of my Amex Business Platinum card, I would receive superior benefits by booking my stay via FHR that would far outweigh using points or booking directly through Marriott.

FHR nightly rate for The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne.
FHR nightly rates for The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami.

So, I went ahead and booked a standard king room for 2 nights at the hotel for $998, plus taxes of $129.76, for a grand total of $1,128. While not inexpensive by any stretch, I kept thinking about all the extra benefits I’d get by booking a cash rate via FHR, which would justify spending cash instead of redeeming points.

And because I paid for it with my Amex Business Platinum card through FHR, I earned 5 Membership Rewards points for every dollar I spent, and the following benefits during my stay:

  • Complimentary upgrade to a high-floor room with an island view
  • Complimentary daily breakfast for 2 in the restaurant
  • Complimentary enhanced Wi-Fi
  • Early check-in at 12 p.m.
  • Late checkout at 4 p.m.
  • A $100 credit to be used on-site for anything chargeable to the room

I paid for my incidentals with my Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card to earn 6x points per dollar spent at the property, in addition to the bonus points I earned as a Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite member.

It’s worth noting that the hotel tacks on a resort fee of $48 per day which is added to your daily room rate. In exchange for the fee, guests receive the following amenities and services: beach access, beach loungers, beach activities (kayak, paddleboard, and float rental), pool access, spa access, and spa tub access.

Hot Tip:

Check out our guide that compares Amex’s The Hotel Collection and Fine Hotels + Resorts programs to see how they can both save you money and give you more perks on your hotel stay.

Checking In

We approached a security gate and explained to the attendant that we were checking in for our stay. He asked for our last name while he looked up the day’s reservations and waved us through after our name was confirmed to be on the list. We proceeded down the road past a few roundabouts before arriving at the hotel’s valet.

Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne valet
Valet parking is located right at the front of the hotel’s entrance.

We arrived at The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami shortly before 1 p.m. on a Friday afternoon, and there were 3 front desk agents assisting guests. Because I booked via the Amex FHR program, one of the advantages I hoped to get was an early check-in beginning at 12 p.m.

Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne lobby
The check-in desk is to the right of the lobby at The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami.

While we were waiting in line, numerous others arrived behind us, and there were now nearly a dozen people waiting to be checked in. The front desk manager came by and offered us — and all the other guests waiting — a welcome drink. Our choices were a glass of prosecco or a bottle of water. We chose the prosecco, which provided a nice start to our short weekend getaway.

Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne welcome drink
The glass of prosecco was a nice gesture while waiting at the front desk.

The front desk staff kept their composure despite the sudden influx of guests waiting to be attended to, and after a few minutes, a friendly associate waved us over and started the check-in process with us.

She immediately looked up our reservation after asking for my last name and identification. She remarked how I had booked through FHR and how much she enjoys the program and uses it for her own hotel stays on occasion. I felt good about the fact that I usually pay for hotel stays with points, but this was a rare instance that I paid cash — and did so strategically by booking through FHR. As a result, I received some nice added perks.

The friendly agent promptly let me know that I had been upgraded to a room with an island view on the 12th floor and provided me with a 1-page document of my FHR perks, which included a guaranteed 4 p.m. late checkout and daily breakfast credit for 2, $100 in property credits to utilize throughout our stay, and premium Wi-Fi.

Amex FHR benefits at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne.
Amex FHR benefits at The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami (click to enlarge).

I was given 2 keys, an envelope with my name on it which inside included 2 drink tickets (thanks to my Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status) redeemable at the hotel’s Lightkeepers restaurant, and a map of the property. Then, we were on our way up to our 12th-floor room to drop off our bags and head back downstairs for lunch.

Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne welcome envelope.
I was given an envelope with drink tickets and a map of the hotel.
Hot Tip:

If you book a hotel reservation with Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts, you’re eligible for a room upgrade of 1 category higher than what you originally booked. If there’s a particular room or view you’d like to have during your stay, keep this in mind.

Lobby

As soon as you walk into the hotel lobby, you can’t help but notice the towering, regal design style.

Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne lobby chandelier
The lofty ceilings and brass chandeliers give the lobby an old-world charm.

The majestic staircase, brass chandeliers, and very high arched ceilings instantly captured my attention.

Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne lobby staircase
I love a grand staircase with some curvature!

When you enter the hotel via the lobby, the reception counter, paneled in dark wood, will be immediately on your right.

Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne front desk counter
The front desk counter is to the immediate right of the hotel’s main entrance.

Having visited a number of other Ritz-Carlton locations in Florida and around the world, I can attest that this location possessed the same old-world elegance and luxury as many of the others.

Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne lobby seating
Plenty of seating in the lobby area while you wait or to get some work done.

Amenities

While the property’s grounds are expansive, the hotel itself is comparatively small, though it manages to pack in all the expected 5-star resort amenities.

Let’s explore what’s on hand.

Pools

Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne family pool
The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami features 2 pools: an adults-only pool and a family-friendly pool.

The hotel has 2 swimming pools, one of which was geared toward families with children and included a splash pad, while the other was designed specifically for adults. An expansive lawn functions as a divider between the 2 swimming pools in the resort’s courtyard.

Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne courtyard
The courtyard separates both pools.

The Tranquility Pool was just for adults. It’s surrounded by palm trees to make it even more private.

Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne Tranquility pool.
The adults-only pool is called the Tranquility Pool.

Due to the large number of families with young children staying at the hotel, the adults-only pool was extremely popular with guests without children.

Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne Tranquility pool privacy
The adults-only pool was quiet and secluded from the family pool.

The only hot tub is in the Tranquility Pool area, a good distance from the family pool and only a few feet from the gate leading to the sandy beach.

Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne hot tub
With the unbearable heat in June, the hot tub was rarely used by guests.

The Family Pool had a zero-entry place where young children could play in the water safely.

Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne family pool
The family pool at the Ritz Key Biscayne was a hit with families.

This pool area was bigger than the adults-only area, and there were plenty of pool chairs with umbrellas so there was no need to get up at dawn to secure your favorite spot by the pool.

Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne family pool chairs
No need to fight for a pool chair here, there were plenty for all guests.

The splash pad was a big hit with the smaller kids, and there were even lounge chairs where parents could recline and watch their kids splash around.

Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne splash pad
Families with young children will appreciate the splash pad for added fun.

Thanks to our FHR-guaranteed 4 p.m. late checkout, we were able to spend the last day in the family pool. Even our daughters and their grandparents came along so they could enjoy the pool and splash pad.

Both pools were open to hotel guests daily from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m.

Hot Tip:

From the comfort of poolside loungers, guests may order food from any of the hotel’s dining options. If you’d like a menu, just ask one of the friendly pool servers.

Beach

Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne beach
The beach at The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami provided a quiet escape from the pool area.

There are finer beaches in other parts of South Florida — I’ve been to Key Biscayne hundreds of times and know this to be true. You can expect blueish-green waters with some sargassum (a type of seaweed), but the hotel does a great job of removing as much as possible on a daily basis.

The beach in front of the hotel is fine, but out-of-towners shouldn’t anticipate the same crystal-clear waters and powdery white sand as they would find on Florida’s Gulf Coast.

Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne resort fee amenities
Guests can rent out kayaks, paddleboards, or floats. Just ask the beach attendant for help accessing those amenities.

Hotel guests are provided with 2 beach loungers and 1 umbrella and have access to kayaks, paddleboards, and floats courtesy of the hotel’s resort fee.

Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne beach chairs
The beach in front of the hotel is small but perfectly adequate for a day in the sand.

When it’s busy, it might seem a little crowded on the hotel’s designated section of the beach due to the short width and the abundance of beach chairs and umbrellas.

Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne beach front
In the early morning, you can have the beach all to yourself.

Having said that, who can grumble when the beach is just a few steps from their hotel room?

Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne Beach View Resort

Fitness Center

Guests at The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami have access to a fitness facility that is conveniently positioned on the ground floor beside the enormous water fountain in the hotel courtyard and in front of the adults-only pool.

Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne Courtyard Water fountain
If you walk out unto the courtyard and face the water fountain, the fitness center is adjacent to your left.

There were enough free weights and cardio machines for a thorough workout.

Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne Fitness Equipment
I had no trouble hitting the free weights for an hour each morning without a wait.

If resistance and cadence bike training are more your speed, 2 Peloton bicycles were available for guests on a first-come, first-served basis.

Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne Peloton bikes
The newest Peloton bikes were available for resort guests.

The fitness center also featured a private space for FitnessOnDemand courses for those who want to work out to the latest and greatest from their favorite fitness companies at their own convenience.

Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne Fitness on demand
While I had never heard of FitnessOnDemand, I thought it was a really cool concept for guests that favor a specialty workout.

Beyond complimentary towels and water bottles, guests can also partake in fitness classes every day at no extra cost when booking a spa treatment or at a charge of $15 per class.

Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne Fitness classes
Fitness classes are complimentary for hotel guests.

The fitness center was open daily from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Spa

Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne spa entrance

All hotel guests have access to use the spa facilities. I didn’t use the spa during my stay but if your flight out of Miami departs late in the day or in the evening hours, you may use the spa’s bathrooms, changing rooms, sauna, and whirlpool while leaving your things safely secured in the locker room. This convenience is included in the cost of your resort fee.

Guests interested in booking a spa treatment or service can do so online or by calling the spa front desk at 305-365-4197.

Tennis Center

The Cliff Drysdale Tennis Center at The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami is noteworthy for a number of reasons, including the fact that it’s the largest Ritz-Carlton tennis facility and was named one of the country’s 50 best by Tennis magazine.

Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne Tennis Center
The Cliff Drysdale Tennis Center at The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami is the largest of its kind at any Ritz-Carlton resort.

In addition to 11 courts, the center offers clinics and lessons for players of all ages.

Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne Tennis Center courts
The tennis facility has 1 hard and 10 soft-clay courts.

We planned to play tennis while we were there but ended up going to the gym instead. The kind employee at the tennis facility pro shop answered my question concerning court availability: both hotel guests and non-guests may rent a court for $15 per person, per day, and that price includes unlimited play, a can of balls, refreshments, and towels.

Kids Club

The Ritz Kids program, a supervised kids club with enjoyable physical and creative activities geared for children aged 4 to 12, is available to young guests staying with their parents at Ritz-Carlton hotels. Although our girls were not with us during our trip, I was interested to learn more about the Ritz Kids program at this hotel.

Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne Ritz Kids building
The Ritz Kids activities are located at the hotel itself and not in the dedicated Ritz Kids building.

Right next to the tennis facility was a yellow building with a “Ritz Kids” sign, but it was vacant, so I walked inside the tennis pro shop and asked the employee where the kids’ club was.

She informed me that the front desk of the hotel has a list of daily kid-friendly activities, such as mini golf, arts and crafts projects, and hula hoop and jump rope fun.

Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne Ritz Kids activities
While not a robust list of kid-focused scheduled activities, the hotel is very family-friendly.

Young (and older) visitors can practice their golf game on the putting green positioned between the 2 pools …

Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne Ritz Kids minigolf
Kids (and adults) can work on their putting game!

… or enjoy a game of ping-pong steps from the sand!

Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne Ping Pong Table
A ping pong table is available for guests to play.

Valet Parking

The sole parking option available at The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami is valet parking. A day fee of $50 entitles visitors to in and out privileges.

Wi-Fi

I didn’t formally test the Wi-Fi speeds, but I had no problems connecting at any time throughout my stay. Even at the beach and around the pool, the connection was strong.

Buddy, The Golden Retriever

While not officially an amenity, it’s worth noting that if you stay at The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami, you may stumble upon Buddy, a friendly Golden Retriever belonging to one of the hotel’s managers.

Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne dog
Buddy is there to put a smile on the face of children and adult hotel guests, alike.

This sweet pooch doesn’t reside at the hotel, but he accompanies his owner to work daily and is there to put a smile on guests’ faces. While this is not a pet-friendly property, trained service animals with proper documentation are permitted but must be kept on a leash and with the owner at all times.

The Room

Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne hallway
I didn’t mind the blue carpet with its flowery design in the hallways but it does set the tone for the relatively dated rooms.

Bedroom

The guestrooms were renovated in 2016, and while you can expect refined interiors in the room if you’ve stayed at other Ritz-Carlton properties, I found the room style to be a touch bland and uninspired.

Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne King Bed room
The king-sized bed was extremely comfortable, but the room left a lot to be desired from a style perspective.

I was assigned a 420-square-foot Resort View King room on the 12th floor.

Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne entrance foyer
Room entrance.

I entered the front door to see a foyer with the bathroom and closet on my left. There were a few hangers, a robe, a safe, an iron and ironing board, and other items in the closet.

Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne Closet
The closet space was sufficient for 2 guests. Any more guests and you may have to store things in the room.

My comfortable-looking king-sized bed was located beyond the foyer entrance, with plenty of natural light entering the room thanks to its location on a high floor and facing west toward the town of Key Biscayne.

Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne king bed
Normally a very bad sleeper, I slept like a baby in this cozy bed.

Beside our king bed were 2 nightstands, each with a bottle of water and a Tivoli Audio table radio on one side of the bed.

Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne Tivoli Audio
The Tivoli Audio device connects to your Bluetooth-enabled device and works as an alarm and radio as well.

On the other nightstand table was a notepad and pen along with the telephone and TV remote.

Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne night stand
 The side table housed the room’s telephone, a lamp, and various other items.

Power outlets and a USB outlet were embedded in the wood of both nightstand tables.

Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne power outlets
Each side of the bed had its own convenient electrical plugs for charging your electronic devices.

A big cream-and-brown credenza with a flat-screen TV and snacks like M&Ms, salted nuts, wine, and chocolate available for purchase sat across from the bed. My wife had a craving for M&M’s so we bit the bullet and opened up the costly $8 bag of chocolate goodness.

Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne TV console
The credenza featured a mounted TV, along with snacks and refreshments for purchase on top and beneath it in the cabinets.

I was pleasantly surprised to see an amenity gift of fresh fruit and 2 sparkling water bottles with a kind note from the manager thanking me for my patronage.

Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne welcome amenity
Fresh fruit and sparkling water as a “thank you” gift was an unexpected kind gesture.

There were cabinets under the credenza, which is where the minifridge with various beverages for purchase was located.

Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne minifridge
Sodas, sports drinks, and alcoholic items were available for purchase from the room’s minifridge.

The Nespresso machine and all the other accessories, including water bottles, coffee creamer, and sugar packets, were kept in another cabinet.

Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne Nespresso machine
Each morning I made myself an espresso shot with a bit of creamer from the in-room Nespresso machine.

A compact cream-colored fabric couch was awkwardly positioned between the bed and the balcony for additional sitting. Unfortunately, this couch does not convert to a sofabed, making it unsuitable for additional beds if you have visitors.

Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne sofa
I was hoping this sofa turned into a sofabed, but it’s designed for extra seating only.

If you’re in town for business, the compact but functional circular desk and leather chair will suffice.

Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne desk
A single person could work just fine from the desk.

The balcony had 2 wicker armchairs and a table and provided lovely views of South Florida.

Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne Views
The sunset views of downtown Miami from our balcony were a thing of beauty.

While we weren’t upgraded to a room with ocean views, our room faced west and had nice views of downtown Miami and the resort grounds.

Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne resort ground view
Rooms with “resort views” will face the town of Key Biscayne and downtown Miami to the northwest.

Bathroom

Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne bathroom tub
If I said this was a bathroom at a Hyatt Place, you’d probably believe me.

The bathroom was functional, albeit a little small, with no distinguishing features to make it a standout hotel bathroom.

Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne bathroom
The bathroom’s tub was tiny. While sufficient for a child, an adult would likely not soak in this tub.

There was a single vanity sink and a little tub, ideal for bathing children but barely large enough for an adult to relax in.

Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne bathroom vanity
The vanity really could have been renovated to include a double sink.

In keeping with the rest of the bathroom, the shower was small in size, which I am willing to overlook so long as the water pressure is strong. Unfortunately, it was quite feeble, and for a hotel of this caliber, quite disappointing. 

Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne shower
Not only was the shower space tight, but the water pressure was average.

The shower and bathroom toiletries were from the upscale French brand Diptyque and came in multi-use bottles, much like at The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach, a few miles away.

Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne shower toiletries
These shower products smelled wonderful and stole the show in the bathroom.

The fragrant scent of this brand was inspired by the fig tree in the heat of summer in Greece, with notes of fig leaves, wood, and white cedar.

Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne bathroom sink toiletries
I loved the Diptyque Philoskyos hand and body lotion.

To be completely honest, I had never heard of the brand before my stay, but the scent was so irresistibly alluring that I thought about purchasing the body wash downstairs at the hotel’s boutique.

While I did not inquire about the pricing of the bathroom amenities at the store, a notice near the bathroom sink warned that visitors would be charged $50 if any item was removed from the room.

Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne toiletries sign
Best to check downstairs at the hotel’s Coastal boutique store if you want to take home one of the bath amenities.

Even though it included a shower, tub, separate toilet area, and sink, the bathroom gave off the impression that it had been an afterthought during the 2016 renovations. In my view, the hotel could have done a better job renovating the bathrooms.

Food and Beverage

The culinary offerings at The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami resort demonstrate an unmistakable Miami flair, truly embodying the essence of this vibrant locale.

Here is a preview of what to anticipate.

Lightkeepers

Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne Lightkeepers Entrance
Lightkeepers is where guests can enjoy breakfast.

Every morning, we had breakfast at Lightkeepers.

Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne Lightkeepers restaurant seating
The restaurant has indoor and outdoor seating, perfect if you fancy alfresco dining.

At lunch and dinner, the restaurant serves modern beach cuisine, but for breakfast, we picked the buffet option, which cost $45 per person and offers an extensive menu of items.

Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne Lightkeepers buffet baked goods
Pastries and baked goods adorn the buffet.

Since I booked my stay through FHR, our $92 breakfast credit covered our breakfast, minus the tip.

Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne Lightkeepers buffet avocado toast
These mini avocado toasts were divine.

The breakfast buffet included a variety of baked goods, hot breakfast meats, fresh juices, and made-to-order omelets.

Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne Lightkeepers buffet cold items
Cold cuts, cheeses, and other condiments.

Our server recommended the shrimp scampi omelet, which the chef enthusiastically prepared for me.

Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne Lightkeepers buffet omelet station
The chef working the omelet station took pride in his work.

It was one of the most creative and delicious omelets I’ve ever had, even if it was a little heavy for breakfast.

Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne Lightkeepers shrimp scampi omelet
No caption is necessary. My divine shrimp scampi omelet.

Lightkeepers was open from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and from 7:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Cantina Beach

This casual beachfront restaurant in a lovely alfresco palapa setting delivers the best of regional Coastal Mexican cuisine and has South Florida’s largest tequila collection.

Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne Cantina Beach
This space felt like I was transported to a local beachfront restaurant in Tulum.

The menu included classic Mexican dishes like tacos al pastor and flautas de pollo, as well as popular options like fajitas and enchiladas.

Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne Cantina Beach menu
Cantina Beach menu.

We ate mahi mahi fish tacos only a few feet away from our beach chair, where we had spent the whole morning, and they did not disappoint.

Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne Cantina Beach mahi mahi tacos
The fish tacos were delicious.

Cantina Beach was open for lunch and dinner on Monday and Tuesday, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Hot Tip:

If you’re hungry but don’t want to leave your beach chair or pool chaise to get food, you can ask your pool server for a menu from Cantina Beach or any of the other hotel restaurants and have the food brought to you.

RUMBAR

When you come into the hotel lobby, you can’t help but notice RUMBAR, a bar that seems like it’s been frozen in 1940s-era Havana.

Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne RUMBAR entrance
The RUMBAR is located just across from the check-in desk. You can’t miss it!

Guests may savor light bites from the bar menu like yucca fries or ropa vieja sliders while savoring from the large spirits menu, which included over 52 rums, piscos, and cachaças from 18 different nations.

Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne RUMBAR interior
Plush leather couches and TVs all over.

Cigars were available for purchase, and live music is played in the lobby bar from Thursday through Saturday. RUMBAR was open Monday through Thursday and Sunday from 3 p.m. to 12 a.m. and Friday and Saturday from 3 p.m. until 1 a.m.

Dune

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love a good burger. The zenith of my happiness is when I’m eating a juicy burger with beautiful vistas and sand between my toes. That’s why, after settling in and dropping off our belongings, we made a beeline for Dune, the hotel’s outdoor burger spot.

Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne Dune entrance sign
Dune is The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami’s craft burger restaurant.

Comfortable couches and cabanas can be found at Dune, along with a variety of international appetizers and, of course, gourmet burgers for those with a penchant for meat.

Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne Dune seating
This felt more like a chic beach lounge in Miami than a burger joint.

I went for Dune’s signature burger ($25), which was a 35-day dry-aged patty with a shallot wine sauce and whipped camembert cheese. My wife had a classic handmade burger ($22) with cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onion, and smoky bacon.

We both ordered our burgers at medium temperature and even asked the waiter if she could double-check with the chef that they wouldn’t be overcooked. She reassured me she spoke to him and that was that.

Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne Dune signature burger
My signature burger was good, but not great.

Of course, I probably jinxed myself since both burgers arrived well done, and although we were disappointed, we were hungry and most likely did jinx ourselves, so we scarfed them down.

Note to self, order my burger medium-rare at Dune and the patty will be pink in the middle … just how I like it.

Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne Dune menu
Dune menu.

We were able to satisfy our hunger at Dune, which served burgers (and other delectable items) every day from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Stefano’s

Behind a hut and a few tables, Stefano’s looks to be a working food truck offering wood-fired pizzas, but the location was vacant during our stay. The pizzas were prepared at one of the other hotel restaurants and delivered to customers at the beach or by the pool.

Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne Stefanos pizza
You can order coal-fired pizza from Stefano’s and a server will bring it wherever you are seated.

I can vouch for the fact that the pizzas are excellent, and for $25 you can even choose to build your own pizza. The pies were slightly bigger than a personal-sized pizza and cost between $21 and $24. Pizzas could be delivered to your lounger from dawn to dusk.

Scoop

At the hotel’s poolside ice cream shop, guests could indulge in a sweet treat from the colorful selection of gelatos, shaved ice, milkshakes, and fresh fruit smoothies.

Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne Scoop ice cream
As its name implies, you can get scoops of gelato or other sweet treats.

While I didn’t see any signs for hours of operation at Scoop, during the day the shop was open in the morning hours until the early evening hours.

Key Pantry

The Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne provides Key Pantry for visitors on the move who need some grab-and-go food selections or a freshly-made cup of coffee.

Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne Key Pantry coffee counter
In addition to offering grab-and-go meals, the market also sold merchandise.

If you’re hungry, the market offered handmade ice cream, pastries, cupcakes, and sandwiches.

Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne Key Pantry snacks and drinks
Snacks and beverages were available for purchase.

Key Pantry was open daily from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Service

I am always impressed by the consistent level of quality service at Ritz-Carlton properties. From check-in to the valet attendants and wait staff, we encountered excellent hospitality throughout our stay.

Final Thoughts

Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne Courtyard Hotel view
My wife and I enjoyed our local getaway at The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami and will return soon.

Our stay at The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami was lovely. The hotel met our needs for pampering in luxury and serenity while also being accessible to all the action-packed excitement that Miami has to offer. Its location is ideal for a much-needed quiet vacation, but it may not be the best option if you like nightlife and being in the heart of everything.

Overall, I think the hotel rooms are a little boring, but the seaside resort has a good selection of food and drinks. With its beach, pools, activities, and famous Ritz-Carlton level of service, the hotel does a great job of serving all kinds of guests, especially families with children and couples without children.

The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami should be near the top of your list if you’re looking for a refined hotel that’s far enough from the action of Miami’s urban core but close enough to South Beach and downtown Miami that you can get there easily by car.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What's the distance between Miami International Airport and The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami?

The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami, is located approximately 17 miles from Miami International Airport and takes an average of 30 minutes by car to arrive at the hotel from the airport.

Does The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami charge a resort fee?

Yes, hotel guests are required to pay a $48 resort fee that includes beach access, beach loungers, phone calls, pool access, spa access, and spa tub access.

Does The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami offer self-parking?

No, the hotel does not have a self-parking option. Hotel guests must valet their vehicle at a cost of $50 per day.

Is The Ritz-Cartlon Key Biscayne, Miami dog-friendly?

While the hotel does allow service animals with proof of documentation, the hotel is not pet-friendly and does not allow guests to bring their pets.

How many rooms does The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami have?

The hotel has 402 total rooms, including 38 suites, across 12 floors.

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About Juan Ruiz

Juan has extensive experience in writing and editing content related to credit cards, loyalty programs, and travel. He has been honing his expertise in this field for over a decade. His work has been featured in various prestigious publications, such as USA Today, CNN Underscored, Forbes and The Points Guy. Juan is the visionary behind JetBetter, a premier award booking concierge service.

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