We love it!
We recently returned from our second trip to the Ritz Beach Resort. Our first trip was the best vacation we've ever had and after reading some reviews we were concerned that maybe the place had gone downhill. Not the case! We love the quietness of the Ritz Beach Resort. They have an awesome pool, easy, private access to the beach, room service is better than most timeshares, the balconies overlooking the pool or ocean are also very nice. Sales people do try to sell you weeks at the resort or local entertainment packages, but you can always say no. All timeshare properties have salespeople trying to sell you if you're not already an owner. The rooms are not perfect as far as upkeep and cleanliness, but it is a timeshare property - not a hotel. And the benefits of the quietness and the privacy and the ocean far outweigh those things. If you're looking for a relaxing vacation, this is the place. We will be returning every year.
Glad I read the reviews ahead of time...
I am so glad I read reviews on the Ritz before I went on our honeymoon trip...I felt I was really prepared for our stay. We brought all the little "extras" for the kitchen...dish soap, garbage bags, paper towels, and even a few snacks. People are not exaggerating when they say everything is pricey there! The water ferry is a good deal, however, they only run once an hour, so I felt like we were losing precious time waiting for the boat to come everytime we went over to Port Lucaya. There are some perks to staying at the Ritz (i.e. right by the beach and they have tennis and basketball courts, and a great pool with a bar in the middle) but if you want to go anywhere you have to go into Port Lucaya. If my husband and I ever went back , Our Lucaya resort would be the place we would stay...everything you could possibly want to see and do is right within walking distance. And they have a better selection of restaurants; we hated the food and service at Taino Restaurant, which is the only on-site place to eat when you stay at the Ritz. The maids at the Ritz were nice, like others mentioned...if you do stay there, my best advice would be to not pay the money for the "Bohemian Night" - their "entertainment" consisted of a local who was strung out on who knows what, eating glass (literally) and it was a waste of our time (and $70). The bonfire night is even more expensive, but they bus in people from other hotels in the area, and have better entertainment and decent food (and free Bahama Mamas)...it was a better time, although not quite sure it was worth the $90 we spent! While you are there, also check out the restaurant Pier One...you will have to make reservations at least a day in advance (ask to reserve a table on the patio) so you can view the hourly shark feedings. We had a bad experience with a taxi driver forgetting to pick us up one night...the front desk called another (his name was Chico Hall) and he was awesome if you need a taxi to go anywhere! He was very friendly and informative and extremely helpful if you are not sure what else to do on the island. It doesn't hurt that he has a great TV and stereo system hooked up in his taxi either! Have fun no matter where you decide to stay...the island is definately worth checking out!
Tips for the Ritz Traveler>>>>
I would say overall we really enjoyed our time. there were a few things that weren't so great. I have found that nothing is ever perfect when you go away. If i had to do it again I would go only because the pool and the ocean. However I would be much more prepared the next time. Here are the things that i think will be most helpful for future travelers: Bring a teflon pan if you are having any plans of cooking. They only have stainless steel and it is a nightmare if you plan on flipping a grilled cheese for lunch. I CAN NOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH!! All rooms have these devices that look like microwaves. It took us 3 days to realize they were also convection ovens so it would have helped when we wanted to bake the chicken wings but instead we fried them. Bring a few baggies or storage bags in case you make or pack sandwiches. It is a ridiculous price to buy them at the winn dixie. Don't I REPEAT DON"T leave anything in your room of value. I am not sure how but my cell phone disappeared from the coffee table and was never seen again. IT was interesting because that day there was a knock from maintaince to change a bulb and he walked in and when i said "hello" he said he would return later. However, we had no burnt bulbs. I found the phone missing the following day. The camera not touched but in pracctical thinking i would have noticed much quicker if my camera was lifted instead of 2 days after. The keys to the rooms are very generic. I am sure they can be duplicated and you get the rest of the picture. Security was very nice when i reported it. Bring laundry detergent if you plan on going home with clean clothes. Also bring a supply of quarters. There are not change machines. Enjoy the pool and the ocean to the fullest. They are the best thing there. Happy hours at the pool from 3-5 and then at Taiono's from 6-8 is also a plus. The pirates of the caribeen barbeque and campfire is so so. I guess if its warm it would be more enjoyable. You can rent towels and return them at the end of the week for the pool or just use your room towels. The hotel sundrie items are very generic. Get miminmum groceries at the trip to the market. The mark up is about 35%. I found taking the 10 minute ferry ride into town and going to butlers delicitesan or the oasis pharmacy was much more practitical and gave you a nice flare for the whole island thing. You can also take a bus ride from the square for a dollar to another cheaper winn dixie. If you are going to possibly need any 'personal hygiene items' --even remotely...bring them with you. There is no handy 25 cent machine anywhere to be found. It takes about 2 hours to fully get out of the country. Leave yourself enough time for immigrations. LAST BUT NOT LEAST>>>>>check your bill when you go out to eat. We had 4 pizzas and 4 dirinks (85bucks total) and being stupid foreigners threw in another 15 percent. The next day we realized that the tip was included. Buyer beware. The added amount at the end of the ccheck is not sales tax...it is the gratuity. Food is expensive so try not to have a heart attack when you see that the average entree is double what you would see at home in most circumstances. No matter how bad it is it will still go by so fast and you'll be sad to leave. Have fun.
Great trip but dont use credit cards
My wife and I spent our 10 year anniversary at the Ritz. We had a great time. There was a problem some where along the way. Our credit card was compromised somewhere at the Ritz. It had to be an employee because the items purchased were shiped to the Bahamas. How was it a great trip then? Well we were not responsible for the charges and the vacation was nice. You cant blame one bad apple for the rest of the staff. Words of advice would be to take as much dry goods as possible as well as dishwasher detergent. You dont want to do dishes by hand on vacation and the stores are very high in price. We will be going back to the rits just because it was so relaxing. Also I have seen a lot of post about being haggled for timeshares. I found out that if you are just honest and polite they will leave you alone. I would also recommend that you not sighn up for everything at the resort. Take your time and relax on your trip. Go to Port Lacya and sign up there.
The location was magnificent
The location of the resort is magnificent. It is on a beautiful, quiet beach. The pool is clean and has a lazy river, water slide and swim up bar. There aren't too many choices for going out to eat, you need to go to Lucaya for variety. We chose to have quite a few meals in the room.
Hope you enjoy!
Reply to Previous Credit Card Fraud
I read the comments concerning the credit card fraud. My husband and I, along with a couple of friends also visited the Ritz last fall and had a great time other than a few schedule problems. After returning home, however, I also had charges showing up on my credit card account. To say that they originated at the Ritz would be assuming to much. I used my credit card in Bangor at a hotel and also in the Bahamas at the Ritz and in Port Lucaya at several restaurants and shops. It was certainly a great finish to the vacation however when I got home and received my credit card billing including an additional $10,000 plus purchases on my account. Like the previous reviewer the credit card company deducted the purchases (internet and 1-800 charges) from my account. I considered this an unwelcome invasion to my privacy and an outright theft. Thanks to the persons responsible, you should be proud of yourselves.
I, too, had my credit card info stolen at the Ritz
Some friends and I stayed at the Ritz for a week in early January. I paid for the taxes and fees with a credit card I rarely use. By the time I got home, I had messages on my answering machine from the fraud department of a major store and also from my credit card company. I was told that the merchandise ordered with my credit card was to be sent to a place in Fort Lauderdale that would forward the items to the Bahamas.
The person using my credit card was able to provide my home address and phone number. The only place that had that information was the Ritz from the paperwork filled out on checkin. I feel pretty confident that the commonality between all of us is the Ritz. Like the other two postings, the credit card company removed the fraudulent charges, and the items were never shipped.
Other than that, we all enjoyed our vacation. The staff was friendly, the pool was clean. Enjoying your time in the Bahamas is all about expectations. The suggestions posted in this forum go a long way toward setting those expectations. Bring food for in the room, because food is expensive. Take dish soap. There is a dishwasher in the larger room.
Don't expect to be waited on at the resort. Don't expect prompt service. Enjoy the beach, the pool, Port Lucaya, and the International Bizarre.
We have spent a week in the Ritz Resort with my husband in early january. Overall, we had a nice time, thanks to all the useful reviews i have read before we left. I like to plan my trips well, so i packed a whole bunch of stuff in our luggage. Was i happy when we got there. The restaurants were expensive, and winn dixie had about a 30-40% markup compared to US prices. I brought snacks, cereal, coldcuts (in a cooler) for sandviches, chips, soda, lots of beer for my husband, bread, ziploc bags, paper towels, even some meat to make a decent dinner. You get the picture, the more you bring, the more you can enjoy once you are there.
We ate almost all meals in our room, or on the beach like a picnic.
Even though our luggages were heavy, it was worth the carrying. We signed up for the first night fire ball thing, it was not worth it. It cost us about $90 together, I was not impressed with the food nor the entertainment. The people who are to sign you up for all the activities are pushy!!! So don't be afraid to say no or think about it beforehand.
That was the only thing we signed up for, because after the first dissapointment, I new that I can make better plans for ourselves. The snorkeling is absolutely fabolous, and fishing is great as well. One day we were able to catch enough for dinner!!! Also, if you want to discover the island I suggest renting a scooter. That is what we did, and we had an amazing time. It cost $60 for 24 hours, so you could pick it up like 10 am, and bring it back the next day and 10 am. WE used our maps, and went to Paradise Cove, where the snorkeling is amazing. The day we went the weather was not as great, but still, we seen a lot of fish and corals. Rented wet suits, which was the best $5 ever spent.
With the scooter, you can go to the international marketplace, and do everything in your own pace. It was great. I also needed medical attention (tooth got infected) while we were down there, and i was able to take care of it with the scooter. To see a doctor, it cost me $60 + $10 for medication. Well worth it, if you are in pain. The hotel staff is pretty nice, they gave us unlimited towels and they cleaned the room ok. Be aware of all the sand you will bring into the room through your shoes. And the floor is marble, or some kind of a stone, so it is very cold. Unpleasant. While there, the stovetop cracked twice, but I let them know as soon as possible, and it was no problem. Also be aware of the taxi guy who works a lot with the hotel. He has a burgundy van. He is extremely pushy, so annoying. The whole time we were there, he kept coming up to us, if we needed a ride to back to the airport. Could not get rid of him. We ended up riding with somebody else, just to get our way. By the way the trip to or from the hotel to the airport will cost you about 15-20$, depending who is your driver. Kind of pricey. Expect a lot of layed back people, lot of music, and fun. The boatride to lucaya is fun. We got the weekly pass, which was well worth it, if you plan to go into town a lot. Play some tennis, while you there, one of the only thing that does not cost you a thing, only you have to put down a $20 deposit, which you will get back. They give the rackets and balls. The beach is just great, sit and enjoy the sun!!! Enjoy your vacation.
Rave for the Ritz from me (and link to pictures)
Spent March 13 - 19th at the the Ritz Beach in Port Lucaya, and must say that we had a truly fabulous time. Read a lot of these reviews before hand, and found them fairly accurate and very handy. We took a few things from home (dish soap, Crystal Light) but found that for the most part things were not nearly as expensive as I was expecting. Okay: the bad. (And it's not much.) Not being an RCI member, we were "treated" to a complimentary breakfast while the nice gentleman tried to sell us on the idea of buying a timeshare. Said no, was sent to his supervisor. Said no, was sent to the "let me give you a deal" lady. Said no, and went along our way. It was slightly annoying to have to put up with all that, but worth it. Oh, and when they say check-in is a 4:00, believe them. Saturday's are a madhouse there... so be patient and start your tan by the pool.The good: Stupendous pool, clean facilities, friendly people. The restaurant there was adequate for a quick pick up meal. The ferry was helpful and easy to find yourself in Port Lucaya where choices are endless. The island itself is wonderful (do not miss Gold Rock Beach..!) The beach in front of the Ritz was quiet and peaceful. Enough to do if you want... nothing to do if you want to sleep. For those considering this resort, I've uploaded about seven images of the resort itself on Webshots. Simply copy and paste the link below. Once opened it'll ask you if you want to sign up... just click no and go see the pics to check things out for yourselves.Enjoy! --- Also, feel free to contact me if you have any questions! Tom, from Dallas
The hotel was much better than what I've expected from the reviews
My boyfriend and I just came back from a spring break vacation at the Ritz. I must say that the hotel was much better than the impression I got from the reviews. Our room was in the old section of the hotel however it was very clean and neat. Since we heard the new rooms are much better there was nothing we could do to switch. You can maybe try and ask upfront from your booking agency to reserve you the new room.
Our T.V was snowy they came to fix it only couple days before we left, and didn't do much. Changing rooms at that point they said "was too late". The service there is not very fast nor good. The pool is absolutely heavenly together with the beach they set an amazing and relaxing environment. We went out a lot to restaurants and took advantage of the happy-hour which is a good deal (2 for 6.90$). We expected a lot of clubs and parties but we could not find what we wanted here. So most of the time we enjoyed our time together at the resort day and night (attention, the hotel's Jacuzzi is hot even at night, when nobody's around!!) I did'nt like the taxi drivers they were very greedy (for example, Mickey drove away without giving us 5$ change, "thinking it was his tip") the waiters include the tip in the check so they give you a bad service and are rude to you. Overall we did not like the service, however, the place is amazing! We were very pleased that we picked the Ritz.