Deluxe Suites have a separate living room, bedroom, bathroom, and oodles of storage space, including a walk-in closet connecting the two rooms, hidden behind the curved doors in the corner. The strongly traditional look would not usually be our go-to style, but in this setting, with many of the furniture pieces dating back to when the hotel opened in 1906, the intricate gold leaf detailing, and Debussy softly playing in the background when we walked in, it really worked. Outside the window was a lovely, if bleak due to the weather, view of Green Park.
Turn down service involves the breakfast menu, a red "do not disturb" sign for the door, and blue slippers provided. The bathroom had a full-length tub, a separate shower (unfortunately not of the rain variety) and double vanity. Toiletries are by Highgrove, exclusively put together for the Ritz, and come in larger than usual bottles.
A recent change, we’re thrilled the hotel has joined the wave of complimentary internet. It was easy, fast, and reliable, allowing us to finish some work before heading to bed. And honestly, if the Ritz can do it, what excuse do other luxury hotels have?
Eating & Drinking
We spent a fair bit of the evening in the Rivoli Bar (without diving into the vintage cocktails), ordering a club sandwich from room service once we got back upstairs. It arrived within the promised twenty minutes, but with the French fries we asked to skip, and without the green tea we ordered – a glitch that was swiftly corrected. Room service is available around the clock, with changing menus depending on the time of day.
One of our favorite moments actually happened early the next morning, when we made our way to breakfast in the Ritz restaurant. Unsurprisingly, afternoon tea at the Ritz’s Palm Court is so overwhelmingly popular the first seating starts at 11:30am, continuing all the way to early evening, and often booking out six weeks in advance. In contrast with the hubbub this usually brings in the Palm Court and the central Promenade, we had the place all to ourselves for a few quiet minutes as we strolled around, taking pictures and looking at the old-world barometer indicating the weather would be ‘fair’ that day.
Jackets are required for men in the Ritz restaurant in the evening, but smart casual goes for breakfast. There is a continental breakfast buffet, and a number of a la carte choices. We had the eggs Benedict, which were tasty, if undeniably expensive at £40 ($61). That price includes the continental breakfast of £29 ($44), but you can’t have the former without the latter.
The Ritz probably has little to worry about when it comes to the many newbies on the city's hotel market, occupying a fairly specific niche of its own as one of the more British of London’s classic hotels (the majority of guests are from the UK, as opposed to a loyal Middle Eastern following you’ll find on Park Lane for instance).
If you’re looking for the latest designer furniture, or want somewhere you can saunter in with ragged jeans, the Ritz will not be your thing. But for a luxurious sense of occasion and a little slice of Britishness, you can't go wrong here.
A Superior Queen room starts at £360 ($550), and a Deluxe Suite at £1,100 ($1,700).
Disclosure: we were a guest of The Ritz London, but trust all opinions are our own.
[Photos: JasonD for HotelChatter]