Charm on tap at the South Beach Ritz-Carlton

Postcards from Florida

Often, these postcards are snapshots of unassuming gems.

There was the best roadside barbecue ever at B.C.'s General Store in Yalaha. Or the free view of surfers, waves and whales at the Flagler Pier.

You get the idea. Luxury isn't usually part of the equation.

That changes this week, at least temporarily, thanks to a visit by the folks at the Ritz-Carlton South Beach and the Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne. In a short pitch, they offered a glimpse of how the other half lives — or how they vacation, at least.

There's a tanning butler at the Ritz-Carlton South Beach, a dude in an official T-shirt who patrols the pool deck cleaning sunglasses and making sure that guests are tanning properly. There's an astro balance massage, customized according to your birthday and astrological sign.

At the Key Biscayne Ritz, there's the summer BMW Driving Tour, in which guests have complimentary use of eight BMWs.

I wouldn't know how to act in the lap of such luxury. Fortunately, the Ritz is ready to educate some of the next generation in the finer points of etiquette.

On Saturday, the Ritz South Beach offers the first of three Charm Camps, a 5-hour etiquette program for girls ages 13-18. It covers the basics of manners, make-up and poise with a few flashy extras. Open to both hotel guests and the public, Saturday's program will be repeated in November and December.

It's $175 per teen, with room rates starting at $279 per night, if you want to stay.

The curriculum? Here's a sample:

The Art of Conversation focuses on making positive first impressions, telephone etiquette, vocabulary and the importance of saying "thank you." Let's open this class to boys, too.

Healthy Cooking/Eating offers a tour of the hotel's kitchen with South Beach chefs who emphasize good nutrition. Again, good for everyone.

Dance and Dazzle is an hour-long clinic with the Miami Heat dancers.

For reservations, contact the hotel at 786-276-4008 or

Copyright © 2018, The Virginia Gazette