AMELIA ISLAND, FL--(Marketwired - Oct 7, 2013) - There is a sense of magic as you enter the long drive lined with palm trees gleaming with holiday lights. Moments later, the front door opens with those magical words, "Welcome to The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island," and immediately, your senses are overwhelmed with the sweet aromas, sights and sounds from your childhood memories.
Standing before you is a 17 foot Gingerbread Pirate Ship with pirate characters sculpted from chocolate. Festive garland hangs from the elegant molding as if to encase the ship and the sounds of holiday songs play gently through the lobby. Your eyes are drawn into the Courtyard where hundreds of gleaming lights twinkle on a 40 foot Christmas tree. Spellbound, you are captivated by the essence of tradition.
"Holiday tradition," says, General Manager, James E. McManemon, "is what grandparents and parents want a child to experience and every child remembers their first Ritz-Carlton Santa's Storybook Tea or the desserts at Santa's Holiday Dinner and taking family pictures in front of the pirate ship."
The festivities start on Wednesday, November 27 at 8:00 a.m. when the Gingerbread Pirate Ship is unveiled. The ship is a tribute to the famed privateer Louis Aury who held the island captive for three days in 1817.
Later in the evening, guests of the Amelia Island hotel and the public will line the Courtyard sipping hot chocolate and eating cookies from the pastry kitchen to attend the 17th Annual Tree Lighting to benefit the YMCA Scholarship Program for families in need. The Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival Brass Quintet plays holiday music accompanied by local students who sprinkle fairy dust on the tree moments before Santa and Mrs. Claus light the tree to start the holidays on Amelia Island.
You can find all of the resorts events at www.ritzcarlton.com/AmeliaIsland or call 904-277-1100.
Popular events to reserve early include:
The S.S. Amelia Gingerbread Pirate Ship Arrives
On Wednesday, November 27, the S.S. Amelia, a spectacular Gingerbread Pirate Ship, docks in the Lobby for the holiday season. Made from more than 1,200 pounds of sugar, 3,000 eggs, the S.S. Amelia serves as a festive backdrop for countless holiday memories. Ship departs December 28.
Christmas Tree Lighting
Thousands of sparkling lights will beautifully decorate the Fernandina Beach resort for the 17th annual Christmas Tree Lighting. This event is a YMCA fundraiser and includes refreshments and music by local community groups and Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival Brass Quintet. Festivities conclude with Santa's arrival and spectacular fireworks. The complimentary event takes place on Wednesday, November 27 at 5:30 p.m. at the Courtyard.
Santa's Holiday Dinner
Join Santa on Wednesday, November 27 at 6:30 p.m. (after the tree lighting) along with his Elves, Reindeer and Christmas Characters in our Winter Wonderland to share a dinner that ignites the joyful spirit in children, young and old. Admission includes a photo souvenir with Santa and Mrs. Claus. The price is $51 per adult and $25 for children, includes service charge.
Thanksgiving Grand Feast
Celebrate with us on November 28 in The Ritz-Carlton Ballroom Atrium, a premier event space in Amelia Island, and enjoy an elaborate culinary presentation of traditional Thanksgiving favorites accompanied by live jazz music. Children enjoy cookie decorating and holiday inspired games. Two seatings -- 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. Price $99 per adult and $45 for children, includes service charge. Reservations recommended.
Santa's Storybook Tea
A Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island tradition; a fireside holiday storybook read by Santa plus an afternoon tea, with finger sandwiches, pastries, candy, cakes and a picture with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Join us in the Lobby Lounge on Saturdays, November 30, December 7, 14 and 21 at 12 Noon. Price is $49 per adult and children ages 6 and up. $10 for children 5 and under, includes service charge.
Santa Tuck In
Children will enjoy a visit from Santa as he brings cookies and milk, reads a holiday story and presents a gift for the child every Saturday, November 30, December 7, 14, and 21 for $25 per child. Reservations recommended.
New Year's Eve Black & White Masquerade Ball
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Ring in the New Year with lavish food, live music, dancing, open bar and fireworks. A fun masquerade gala where an evening of excitement and style awaits. Black and White attire is encouraged. Masks provided or bring your own. This will be a night to remember. Event begins at 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Price is $195 per adult, includes service charge.
About The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island: The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island is Northeast Florida's premier oceanfront resort. Known for its unique natural beauty and warm Southern charm, this luxury resort is home to the award-winning restaurant, Salt, and The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Amelia Island, named one of the top spas in the world by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler. Featured amenities include three pools, on-site golf, fitness center, tennis, children's recreation programs, and 446 guest rooms with private balcony and a view of the Atlantic coastline. For reservations, please call The Ritz-Carlton toll-free at (800) 241-3333 or visit www.ritzcarlton.com/AmeliaIsland. For information on The Ritz-Carlton Company visit www.ritzcarlton.com.
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. of Chevy Chase, MD, currently operates 80 hotels in the Americas, Europe, Asia, Middle East, Africa, and the Caribbean. More than 30 hotel and residential projects are under development around the globe. The Ritz-Carlton is the only service company to have twice earned the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award which recognizes outstanding customer service. For more information or reservations, contact a travel professional, call toll free in the U.S. (800) 241-3333, or visit the company website at www.ritzcarlton.com. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Marriott International, Inc. (