With four kids ranging from ages 6 to 15, finding interesting activities that please everyone is both fun and challenging. Lying in the sun day after day is not our speed, so picking the right family vacation destination is very important. For this reason, Naples in Florida is one of our favorite family getaways as we can do a bit of everything. This time, all-family golf, biking, fishing, and marine biology education entertained us, thanks to our luxurious stay at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples.
A leader in family travel, Ritz-Carlton has embraced the demand of sophisticated young travelers who are not content sitting in a “day-care” room and parents who are looking for meaningful educational experiences while traveling. The Ritz exceeds these expectations with their high caliber Ritz Kids and teen programing.
In Naples, the combination of the social “teen” centers outfitted with the latest in video gaming, iMacs and video technology, expert sports training, and the professionally taught marine biology lessons makes an excellent family vacation.
The Ritz-Carlton operates two resorts in Naples, the iconic beach-front classic, The Ritz-Carlton, Naples, and two miles inland, The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples. We were staying at the golf resort, which easy access to family golf lessons. It feels sportier than the beach property.
At check in, there are all kinds of golf-oriented kids’ treats — like chocolate golf balls — that made my kids feel like VIPs from the get go.
All my kids were booked for the PGA Tour juniors lesson. My 15-year-old had no interest, but came along to help me take pictures. When we met the pros, the first thing they did was outfit my crew with top-of-the-line, Taylor Made clubs. These are not your typical rental clubs, but the latest clubs available, making lugging golf clubs to Florida unnecessary — a key convenience factor! This service extends to adults as well and includes shoes and gloves.
Next, they were off to the huge practice area, complete with it’s own video viewing room. Tom and William, our instructors, had the kids engaged and competing (playfully) against each other in minutes; even my 15 year-old put down the camera and played golf for the first time.
All four kids were excited to come back the next day, which speaks to the instructors’ skill in working with kids of all ages. It was such a positive experience that my kids sign up for local lessons back at home. There’s nothing like a vacation experience to cultivate a new talent.
The Ritz Kids Nature’s Wonders Program, targeted for kids ages 3-10, offers programing similar to what you would find at a national aquarium. Taught by professional marine biologists, the hands-on, interactive program teaches the kids about water, land, culture and environmental responsibilities of the local area. We were wowed by the multitude of aquariums and tanks offering an up-close look at many different animal species.
Both the recently updated beach property and golf property are large with multiple room options. At the golf property, the rooms are exactly what you expect from a Ritz room: upscale and comfortable. With wonderful linens and great mattresses, we happily collapsed into the beds at the end of our active days.
The restaurant and service are memorable and property highlights. Somehow I had forgotten how good the baked goods are at Ritz hotels. From the piping hot, straight-from-the-oven brioche served with dinner, to the endless display of breakfast pastries, our Ritz-Carlton meals in Naples rank up there as among our favorites.
The service is consistent and excellent; the restaurant staff knew us by name and greeted us personally each morning. The servers even snuck my kids their favorite “holiday-only” treats, like hot chocolate for breakfast and extra croissants.
The beach property happens to sit on Vanderbilt Beach, consistently ranked of the most beautiful beaches in Florida. With white sand stretching for miles and a constant breeze, this beach is perfect for all types of activities and creates a beautiful backdrop for evening sunsets.
To get even closer to the fish, we looked forward to another great outing with our favorite captain in Naples, Captain Mike. We knew from experience that they craft a personalized trip based on the groups skill level and desires. Rather than hunting for the one big fish, our kids like being busy and pulling up lots of fish, not to mention, taking advantage of the opportunity to bring home dinner.
Forget all the fancy cars, my kids had the coolest wheels in town thanks to Big Momma’s Bicycles who delivered bikes right to the hotel. We live in a beautiful New England town with narrow, windy roads that are not conducive to biking. One of the best things about Naples is the wide, quiet neighborhood bike-friendly streets!
On her own accord, “big momma” showed up with the coolest bikes — Crushers. All week we biked everywhere, working in bits of exercise and giving me a much-needed break from the car. For my teens, the bike provided that little dash of independence that they need at this age. We were lucky enough to have classmates nearby, so the kids could bike and meet up with them in the adorable downtown Naples area.
Between the golf, aquarium instruction, fishing, biking, and swimming, we struck a perfect balance between a relaxing and an active vacation. Naples is a family vacation jackpot — easy to access, plenty of activities, fantastic restaurants, and gorgeous beaches. We can’t wait to return again next year.
Want More Information and Help Booking a Holiday at Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples?
Our Family Vacation Consultants can reach out for Best Available Rates and advise about any additional questions you may have regarding a stay here. If you’d like comprehensive help planning a Florida beach vacation, we can do that as well! Request assistance on our Connect with a Travel Advisor page.
Editor’s Note: The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples offered Ciao Bambino a media package to review the hotel. As always, our opinions are our own. Photos by Nancy Solomon except where noted.
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