By: Sarah Tucker, Visit her blog here.
Our family recently visited the Ritz Carlton Amelia Island. Amelia Island is located just off the coast of northeast Florida. It’s easy to reach and a wonderful spot for family travel. JB and I have only stayed at Ritz Carlton’s just the two of us, and have always been blown away by the service and attention to detail. I was equally impressed by how kind they were to kids and how family friendly the resort was. The director of public relations said something along the lines of how they want their hotel to have that comfortable and warm feeling for your kids like grandmas house does. I loved that – and it was certainly true. We have definitely traveled to a few hotels where kids feel more like nuisances to the staff, and that always is such a bummer. So not true here! Every employee went above and beyond to make my boys feel welcomed.
While I was busy exploring Amelia Island, the boys were having the time of their lives. I kept telling them – this or that would be fun to do with them off property- but JB and my sons were enjoying their time too much on property. So for this post I thought I’d share with with y’all what we loved about Ritz Carlton Amelia Island in regards to it being family friendly. But at the end, I’ll share with you what I discovered would be family friendly if you adventure off. I think this says a lot about the island – there’s so much to do on property (both at the Ritz and the Omni) but there’s also a ton to do on the island. You could easily make it a week long family vacation destination!
Pools! There are three different options for your kids! You can go in the main pool, the kiddie pool (with water features my three year old loved), or the indoor pool. They loved going from pool to ocean to different pool, annnnnd repeat it all over again. They both napped for a couple hours, with no fight going down, both Saturday and Sunday. They got in their exercise and had a blast!
Even though they didn’t do the Ritz Kids program, the program looks awesome and I love how it is centered around educating about the ocean through play. It’s for ages 5-12. Every day is different, and they have half day programs and full day programs. The staff is so great – I would feel totally comfortable having my kids in there knowing that they would be having a great time (and learning something too!).
They have a kids night out program too; where kids have a fun night together and parents get to enjoy a nice night out. Or you could do a “pirate tuck-in” where a pirate and a princess comes with Amelia the macaw (pictured above), to drop off some milk and cookies and read a bedtime story. There’s also an indoor pirate campout which looks so cute – they set up a tent with cozy bedding, lantern, stuffed animals and books for the child to have a campout right next to mom and dad. Such special ways to make the trip even more memorable for a child.
For kids that aren’t old enough to go to the kids program – they have feeding the fish at 9:30, story time at 10:30, and a craft class at 3 daily.
The beach is so expansive and wide here. The boys loved making sand castles, searching for sharks teeth, and collecting shells to bring me. They have plenty of shade available.
During cooler months they have bonfires on the beach. Such a fun memory for a kid! And who doesn’t love S’mores?
“Our Space” at the Ritz Carlton Amelia Island is a whole area devoted for kids. They have several arcade games, which my kids think is THE BEST THING EVER. And they all don’t cost a penny! They have air hockey my kids loved, and foosball too. They even have their own movie theatre with seats just their size! I love that there is a space they can just be kids.
While my kids love to color, nothing keeps them busy like wiki sticks at a table. I love that they gave these to my kids at every restaurant. They even had pirate themed wiki stick activities to go along. They ate on property the whole weekend, mostly at Coast, and the staff was so good to them. At lunch one day the one of the chefs invited them to fix their own sundae, and they got to pick out their toppings.
Shortly after we arrived there was a treasure hunt through the property. The boys LOVED this. They had a pirate take them all over, ending with a treasure chest and grog.
Both boys cracked me up over how torn up they were about leaving. Tuck started tearing up on Saturday morning that they had to leave sunday afternoon. Wes said “I want to live here now”. Tuck asked if our next vacation can be to go back to amelia island. All without even leaving the property! We love how elegant, approachable, and welcoming the Ritz Carlton Amelia Island is!
Some other family friendly ideas on Amelia Island:
- Renting bikes from Amelia Wheels at the Omni property, and exploring the marsh lands and the beautiful tree canopies.
- The nature center at the Omni –which has a touch tank
- Timoti’s for lunch or dinner – Here you can have a delicious meal and the kids can play on a pirate ship playground. the whole fam is happy!
- Fort Clinch State Park – it’s so beautiful back there. Explore with your bicycles, camp out, explore the fort – lots to do at this state park!
- Big Talbot Island / Boneyard Beach – a beautiful beach with driftwood everywhere.
- Amelia River Cruise – this looks like so much fun and perfect for the family!
- Ride horses along the beach
- Walk the adorable downtown – grab a treat at Fantastic Fudge or Nana Teresa’s Bakeshop.
Have you been with family? any other must visits with a fam? I can’t wait to take the boys back one day!