If you think South Beach and kids go together like fish and sand, let me just say: I was right there with you.
When we had our twins, my husband and I thought our South Beach days were over—for a few years, anyway. But when they were very young, we took them to the Ritz-Carlton South Beach on a whim, and were so impressed we have been going there since. This property is actually terrific for families—especially in the summer, when it offers seasonal packages and activities at an attractive price.
The kid friendliness is evident right away. On a recent weekend jaunt, a sunny staffer greeted us at the check-in desk; then he nodded conspiratorially toward a red toy car full of toys. This was not lost on my 3-year-olds, who eyed the little car as a puppy would regard slippers.
The toys kept coming all weekend long: beach pails and teddy bears in our room (next to the chocolate turtle filled with gummy worms), on the beach, and even at brunch, when a server brought over parting gifts with the check. The children were occupied the entire time, and couldn’t be happier.
For the grown-ups, summer in South Beach has its own privileges. We thoroughly enjoyed Far East Summer Nights at the beachfront DiLido Beach Club, offered Monday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The summer promotion features $12 Asian-inspired cocktails and yummy Japanese-style nibbles hot off the Robata grill (from $6). There is a children’s menu, too, but that’s incidental to the alfresco vibe, complete with wave-crashing sounds and sand between the toes. Our kids looked at DiLido as one big sandbox.
We went for the poolside Sunday brunch (kids have their own mini-buffet!), but another great Sunday afternoon option is the Down-home Beachfront Crab boil, also at DiLido. There you’ll find an unlimited display of Southern-style blue crab, shrimp, sausage and potatoes ($39), as well as live music. Definitely more of an adult thing.
If the kids are old enough (5-12) to participate in the Ritz Kids program, I recommend dropping them off for a few hours and indulging in Beauty & the Beach, a spa package that includes one massage or facial, plus beach chairs for two ($99). Through September, there is also the Hot & Cool Summer Spa Menu—a choice of SoBe Tropical massage, Firming & Cooling leg treatment or Divine Derrière posterior treatment ($99-$119)—to get you beach-ready.
Through December, the Ritz-Carlton South Beach offers a Comfort You package with overnight accommodations, breakfast buffet for two and a $50 hotel credit, starting at $259 per night. If you are traveling with kids, upgrade to Club level, as the Club lounge, with its never-ending buffets and beverages, is an invaluable asset for families.
One Lincoln Road
Miami, FL 33139
* Photos courtesy of Ritz-Carlton South Beach