Friday, February 6, 2015

In The Lap Of Luxury: The Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbour Miami Delivers

We just returned home after a 10 day vacation in Florida. We escape every winter and come back with lasting, beautiful memories. This trip was even more amazing than other trips, because I had the opportunity to stay and review the stunning Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbour.

What can I say about my luxurious stay? It was perfection, from start to finish—and I was very, very spoiled. I arrived to the Ritz-Cartlon Bal Harbour for a site inspection, and I instantly fell in love with the clean, spacious resort lobby—and not just because of the complimentary champagne upon arrival.

The grounds were beautiful and clean, and the pool was large, with Atlantic Ocean views all around. The beach, although not private, is quiet and peaceful—the perfect place to relax, swim, and unwind. I noticed right away the attention to detail at this resort, including the stainless steel bottles of sunscreen for guests to use. The staff at the Ritz-Carlton were helpful, friendly, and always smiling.

We checked into our ocean view room, and afterwards, my mom and I were taken by personal driver to the Bal Harbour Shops for a complimentary lunch at Makoto, where we were treated to the yummiest Asian food. It was delicious, and I felt like a celebrity. Personal driver to my favourite place of all, the Bal Harbour Shops, to lunch? Sigh. Pure bliss.

We relaxed the rest of the day, and I swam with my boys, enjoying the warm weather and Florida sunshine, and then we got ready for dinner—at J&G Grill in the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort, right across the street from the Bal Harbour Shops.

I had the chance to review the Remede Spa at the St. Regis last year during my visit, and the St. Regis is also pure luxury; a posh and extravagant resort that'll take your breath away as soon as you walk in. You will feel like royalty the entire time you're here.

This was by far my favourite dining experience. Our boys were well behaved, and we were treated to so much delicious food from the dinner menu. My children give this restaurant two very enthusiastic thumbs up. While this is a perfect restaurant for romance, it's also suitable for families. I love places that make children feel welcome, too, and the J&G Grill treated my boys very well.

From appetizers to the main course to dessert, everything was perfectly prepared. The J&G Grill in the St. Regis Bal Harbour is considered a four star dining experience, and I completely agree—four stars for exceptional service and food. Beyond, beyond.

We dined on caviar, black truffle pizza, (to die for!) tuna tartare, black truffle cheese fritters, and the juiciest 1855 prime filet mignon. As if that wasn't enough, we had an array of dessert, including a warm chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream and a salted caramel ice cream sundae with peanuts, popcorn, and chocolate sauce. Yes, seriously. And believe me, it all tasted even better than it sounds.

Our personal sommelier (who was so nice!) kept the wine flowing with each course. I have a list of all the wine we had, because I now have new favourites, including a 2013 Patz & Hall Chardonnay.

Later that night, my husband and I retreated back to our room at the Ritz-Carlton. The bathroom, complete with a TV built into the mirror, was gorgeous and large, and the shower and bathtub had full ocean views.  Heavenly.

 The next morning, breakfast was delicious—as expected! I even had fresh coconut milk to start my day. With a mimosa, naturally.

My day and night in Bal Harbour, and my stay at the Ritz-Carlton was one of my most enjoyable, relaxing, and perfect experiences ever. I loved every single moment, and I am so very thankful I was given the chance to experience this.

I'll be talking about the Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbour on my upcoming CTV Ottawa Morning Live Valentine's Day segment, too, because I can't think of a more perfect way to spend Valentine's Day.

Thank you, Bal Harbour, thank you Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbour, and thank you to the wonderful J&G Grill for all you did to make my vacation so wonderful.

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