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Concours d'Elegance: A Celebration of Excellence

Article by Regan Stephens 04.18.2018

For one weekend in March, automobile aficionados flock to The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island to revel in a few of life’s finer things. Discover the legendary Amelia Concours Week.

Situated on a barrier island along the northeast coast of Florida, The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island is known for its secluded luxury, championship golf course and pristine coastal views. But on the second full weekend of March each year, the resort is synonymous with something else, too. The Concours d'Elegance showcases a superb collection of rare and classic automobiles from across the globe. From March 8-11, over 21,000 attendees — including collectible car owners, professional drivers and enthusiasts — gathered to take part in the spectacular event.

 

In its 23rd year, the Concours included the annual Cars and Coffee, which kicked off early on Saturday morning, highlighting over 300 classic cars on the first, 10th and 18th fairways of the resort’s picturesque golf course. Later, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards credit card holders and other top guests were invited by The Ritz-Carlton to brunch among lush greenery and floral designs in the Chairman’s Suite — a resplendent, ivy-covered pavilion set against a backdrop of beautiful cars. In addition to the bloody mary and mimosa bar, Bob Peters, head mixologist at The Punch Room at The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte, created a specialty cocktail to commemorate the day. The Chairman’s Punch refreshed with a blend of green tea, gin, prosecco, and fresh lemon and lavender.

“Spending a day outside on stunning Amelia Island is always a treat in and of itself. When you pair the location with these beautiful cars and great food and drinks, it becomes a truly memorable weekend,” says Lisa Holladay, global brand leader for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company.

In addition to a vintage fashion show, silent auction and parade of significant cars, the awards presentation recognized a host of entrants, including this year’s Best in Show. The title went to both a vibrant red 1963 Ferrari 250/275P from Redwood City, California, and a stately 1929 Duesenberg J/SJ Convertible from Cincinnati, Ohio. Meanwhile, the RM Sotheby’s auction was led by a 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB, one of approximately 58 long-nose, torque-tube, triple-carburetor, steel-bodied examples. After the festivity-filled day, guests capped off the evening with the Mercedes-Benz Cocktail Reception and Gala Dinner.

While the main event entailed basking in the beauty of these exotic and classic cars, guests also had the opportunity to get behind the wheel. Throughout the day, a variety of vehicles from makers such as Rolls-Royce and Porsche were available for complimentary test drives. Particularly thrilling was the Rolls-Royce Driving Experience, which invited participants to feel the adrenaline rush of piloting a world-class vehicle, or ride co-pilot with a professional driver. “We have a great partnership with Rolls-Royce; they bring these beautiful cars to our properties all over the world,” says Lisa Holladay, global brand leader for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company.

It was another smashingly successful year for the always lively and memorable event. Up next: Mark your calendar for the Concours d’Elegance at Pebble Beach in August, as well as next year’s 24th annual Concours d'Elegance at
The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island.

Plan your visit to Amelia Island


  • Amelia Island

    Location Amelia Island, Florida

    Experience A barrier island retreat with true Southern charm.

    • Set on 13 miles of dune-lined beaches
    • Island adventures and family activities
    • AAA Five Diamond restaurant, Salt