Change sets the course for the future—something that the venerable Ritz-Carlton clearly understands.
The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples first reinvented itself in 2021, when it debuted a 14,000-square-foot aquatic play area called The Reservoir. It features a 600-foot lazy river, kiddie splash zone, and three waterslides. Also poolside: private cabanas at the adults-only pool and the Ría outdoor restaurant focused on diverse Latin American flavors from Mexico, Peru, Argentina, and wherever else Executive Chef Aldo Novoa Rodriguez takes his inspiration for seasonal menus. Whether you order the tacos de camarón estilo Baja stuffed with beer-battered shrimp or the bife de chorizo 12-ounce New York steak, be sure to finish with the house-made flan with horchata ice cream and hot churros with abuelita chocolate sauce.
These new amenities are an inescapable draw for intergenerational families since there are likely to be nongolfers in the group. On a cloudless day, smiles are aplenty as grandparents emerge from the lazy river and children splash down a tandem slide while others stand excitedly at the free sunscreen stations in anticipation of afternoon fun.
But back to golf. The resort is home to the Tiburón Golf Club’s pair of 18-hole signature Greg Norman courses that host the PGA Tour QBE Shootout and LPGA CME Group Tour Championship each year.
Another change came last December, when the resort announced its name change to The Ritz-Carlton Naples, Tiburón to encompass a broader experience. In addition to tennis drills and fitness classes, these experiences include a virtual reality entertainment lounge; live music at the Bella Vista Lounge overlooking course greens on weekends; and complimentary, 45-minute “lifestyle” photo shoots. Morning people will appreciate the Early Bird Tour golf cart excursion along the certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary courses that kicks off at 7 a.m., before golfers tee up. An alternative is to drowse lazily before heading to the breakfast buffet at Lemonía—which evokes an Italian bistro at this Mediterranean-designed property—and then burning off the calories on the resort’s bicycles.
There will soon be more in store for visitors to the 20-year-old resort. At press time, the facade was getting a new paint job. And as part of the resort’s evolution, guest rooms and suites are being updated (to be unveiled in 2024), and another restaurant by Chef Rodriguez will open by year’s end.
The free shuttle to The Ritz-Carlton’s beach resort had to undergo a major renovation after it was badly damaged during Hurricane Ian in September 2022. With the shuttle scheduled to be back in operation this spring, those staying at The Ritz-Carlton Naples, Tiburón can revel and relax in cabanas along the Gulf of Mexico, yet another family attraction.