Rewards Program: Marriott Bonvoy
Personality: Elegant, Clubby, Regal
What is it like to stay at a Ritz-Carlton?
In a nutshell: Ritz-Carlton’s storied history goes back to 1929, when European hotelier Cesar Ritz opened the first Ritz-Carlton in Boston. It was a groundbreaker, pioneering a private bathroom for each room and a la carte dining. Today the brand comprises 97 hotels and resorts in 30 countries. More than a dozen Ritz-Carltons have attached golf courses, some of which have hosted PGA events.
What to expect: A stately ambience, with a high level of service. The original Ritz-Carlton lobbies were designed purposefully small to feel intimate and exclusive, like a country club. Modern-day Ritz-Carlton still embraces that elegant ambience, but also extend a welcome to pets and families. Indeed, its Ritz Kids program is considered one of the best “kids clubs” in the hotel business.
Design: The Ritz-Carlton exudes a timeless style with dark woods, elegant furnishings, marble bathrooms and pale earth tones. Many properties still nod discreetly at their locales, whether that’s Spanish architecture in Southern California or tasteful cacti accents in Arizona.
Room categories: Standard rooms are quite roomy—often starting at 450 or 500 square feet—with one king or two queen beds. Suites with separate living rooms often measure 1,000 square feet or more. Beds typically come with feather toppers and 400-thread-count cotton linens.
Club Floor Upgrade: Club Level rooms are an option at Ritz-Carltons, providing access to a Club Lounge, where guests get complimentary breakfast, lunch, snacks, hors d’oeuvres, desserts and more.
Fun Facts: Look for blue goblets atop Ritz-Carlton dining tables. They’re a throwback to the original Boston location, whose drinking glasses matched the hotel’s original blue Czechoslovakian crystal chandeliers. Cesar Ritz designed the hotel logo—a combination of a British crown and a lion to symbolize financial backers.
Breakfast: Paid breakfast is available at onsite restaurants. If you are staying in a Club Level room, you get access to the Club Lounge’s complimentary breakfast.
On-Site Dining: Ritz-Carltons typically have one or two on-site restaurants and a lounge-style bar, as well as a sundries-style shop in the lobby. Guests staying in a Club Level room can access complimentary meals and snacks all day in the Club Lounge.
Room Service: Yes
Wi-Fi: Paid Wi-Fi in guestrooms. Free Wi-Fi in public areas. Bonvoy members get free Wi-Fi in guestrooms if they book directly.
Fitness Room: Ritz-Carltons typically have fitness centers with a good selection of cardio and weight training equipment.
Spa: Ritz-Carltons typically have a spa, always affiliated with an esteemed brand such as Six Senses, La Prairie or ESPA.
Pet Friendly: Ritz-Carltons tend to be pet-friendly, but each hotel has its own fee or regulations about number of pets, breed or size. Some properties even offers “yappy hours” for dogs and their owners by a fire pit.