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What better way to kick off the holiday weekend than by sampling a chilled s'mores concoction on the waterfront? That's what we did today at the Ritz-Carlton Marina del Rey in Los Angeles.
The hotel recently opened a brand new, farm-to-table restaurant concept called Cast & Plow. Previously, this space was home to the stuffy JER-NE restaurant. But the entire dining room, as well as the extended lobby space, was gutted to create a light, airy and breezy social setting, complete with flat-screen TVs and communal tables with outlets.
Cast & Plow prides itself on locally sourcing ingredients and the menu even shows you exactly where the food comes from in California. The shareable dishes like a cheese plate ($14), kale chips ($7) and avocado & chips ($12, the avocado is mixed with blue cheese and sriracha) make Cast & Plow a great place for a quick bites while larger entrees like the chicken sandwich ($17), a local cod with grilled corn ($24) and an all-natural prime beef hamburger ($19) give you an excuse to linger and admire the incredible view. Boats, boats, and more boats!
A plaintive email winged its way into our inbox this week. “When does the Ritz-Carlton in Cairo open?” it asked wearily.
As well it might. You may have forgotten about the property, it’s been so long in the making. Originally a Hilton, it switched brands in 2009, with the intention of carrying out a two-year renovation while hosting guests.
That didn’t happen. In 2011, when this photo of the hotel's shell was taken, as Travel Weekly reported, it was still shuttered, due to Egypt’s political unrest. The company moved the opening date to 2013, hoping that its location near Tahrir Square would, again, be a plus point.
And so we’re at stalemate.
Ritz-Carlton Hotels have nabbed a stellar design team for its second hotel in the region, The Ritz-Carlton Mumbai, opening in 2016. While most of the luxury brands have already laid bricks in the Asia Pacific, Mumbai, as a growing center for finance, entertainment, and design—yes, design—seems to be the “it” destination and so the race is on.
According to HotelManagment, the 238-room Ritz Carlton is being developed by Oasis Realty in a joint venture of Oberoi Realty and Sahana Group. The hotel will occupy one of two new towers which will include Ritz-Carlton managed residences. The hotel will have an ocean-view bar (Arabian Sea,) two restaurants, spa, and enough event space for the average over-the-top Indian wedding.
It's been scientifically proven that your sense of smell can trigger old memories which is why for us, the smell of Aussie Sprunch Spray will forever take us back to a sweltering New Jersey summer in the early 90s when we religiously relied on the spray to keep our 'do intact. Seriously, one spray will have practically have us turning up Wilson Phillips on the stereo while we search for our crispest Vuarnet t-shirt and our rolled up jean shorts.
But this powerful link between smell and memory is also why hotels love pumping their own special scents into their hotels and subsequently, packaging that smell for you to buy. After all, what better way to remember your hotel stay by taking home the smell of it?
Now, while most hotels offer a candle made with their special lobby scent, the Ritz-Carlton South Beach is taking a different tact by making a Mango Guava scented candle that specifically reminds you of the hotel spa's new Taste of the Tropics treatment. Of course, you have to book the treatment to get the candle.
The dream of every prestigious hotel is to create a unique environment, one that will bring locals in off the street as much as it will entice its guests to stay put. During a recent trip to Germany, we stumbled upon a brand-new bar (no pun intended) at the Ritz Carlton Berlin that might just be the most out of the box concept we've seen at a hotel in a long, long time.
Called Fragrances, the bar's premise combines perfume with cocktail creation, encouraging patrons to use their sense of smell to pick their drink. The visual menu is set up right inside the entrance to the lounge-like bar, a lineup of perfume bottles displayed alongside the ingredients used to make the drink. Above, a photo of the cocktail's presentation hangs.
When selecting a drink, you smell the perfume carefully because the drink will 1) also smell like that perfume and 2) reflect that smell in its taste. The concept was designed and implemented by mixologist slash perfume expert Henning Heissen, who through a number of trials, was able to find the combination of ingredients that replicated the smell of the perfumes. Each drink is served in a unique way, from glasses in buckets and birdhouses to those that resemble baby bottles.
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For 10 years running, Mother Ritzy Duck has been showing up at The Ritz-Carlton Georgetown in Washington, DC, to hatch her brood in style. We guess you could say she has a standing reservation at the hotel (yuck, yuck).
This year, the team at the hotel has taken the utmost care to ensure that Ritzy’s stay is a true Ritz-Carlton experience that exceeds her needs and expectations -- lucky duck! –- and has assigned a "Just Ducky Concierge" to ensure her stay is a good one. A set of SOP (standard operating procedures) on Distinguished Duck Care has been written by the concierge to assist staff in taking care of this VID guest.
First and foremost is that Ritzy only gets Ritz-Carlton bottled water and absolutely no people food. Once a day Ritzy has lunch and then goes for a dip in the pool, which cools her eggs and helps with her baby ducks’ development, but for the last few days before hatching time, mama duck is given gourmet organic duck pellets so that she can eat in comfort while waiting for the little guys to make an appearance.
The Ritz-Carlton New Orleans renovated its guest rooms and club level rooms last year, giving the spaces a modern luxury look that's still very New Orleans. Hello, silk purple armchair! But for the exterior, the hotel is going back in time.
The historic terra cotta facades of the Maison Blanche and S.H. Kress Co. buildings which make-up the Ritz-Carlton are going under an extensive restoration project this summer, worth $2 million, that will restore them back to their early 20th century look.
Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage in Palm Springs is reason alone to get excited. But this opening is doubly important because it actually took SEVEN YEARS for this hotel to happen. (It's a long story, which you catch up on here.)
But opening woes aside, the Ritz is a welcome addition to the desert luxury scene which has been lacking as of late. Here's are some highlights of the new Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage:
· Private balcony or patio with your guest room
· Asprey bath toiletries
· State Fare Bar + Kitchen serving local sourced dishes, classic American cocktails and a serious collection of American Wines.
· The Edge Steakhouse, opening in the fall, with its own dry-aging room, "remarkable" prime steak and seafood and a dramatic cliffside setting
· The Air Pool, a necessity here, will also have a poolside bar. Pina coladas for everyone!
· A 15-room Ritz-Carlton spa with a hair and nail salon too.
Rooms start at $369 a night for a king room this weekend. (The club level rooms at the Ritz will open later this fall.) There is also a $30 resort fee which includes complimentary exercise classes in the fitness center, internet, morning coffee, bottled water, newspaper delivery and interestingly, the use of mountain bikes.
At last, Ritz-Carlton Hotels is returning to Australia. But instead of setting up shop in Sydney where it once had the Ritz-Carlton Double Bay (now in progress to become an InterContinental Hotel) and the Ritz-Carlton Sydney, Ritz is going to the opposite coast to Perth, which could desperately use a new luxury hotel.
“We are delighted to bring the legendary Ritz-Carlton facilities and services to Perth, offering our guests a new destination and a new luxury experience in Western Australia. We have great partners in Far East Consortium and look forward to opening this incredible hotel in 2018," Herve Humler, President and Chief Operations Officer, The Ritz-Carlton, said in a statement.
The Far East Consortium is the developing partner on the project who will construct the 204-room Ritz-Carlton Hotel along with residential apartments. The hotel and residences, along with retail spaces and restaurants, will be located in the Elizabeth Quay development on Perth's waterfront.
Ground-breaking will happen next year and hopefully, we'll get to enjoy the new Ritz by 2018. And since most new-build Ritz-Carltons have been making WiFi free for guests, we hope the Perth hotel will do the same.
Cherry Blossom Hotels / Hotel Amenities / Ritz-Carlton Hotels / Luxury Hotels / DC Hotels / → All Tags
The Ritz-Carlton Georgetown is serving Cherry S’mores, made with cherry marshmallows, gooey chocolate sauce and homemade pistachio crumble and, if that weren’t enough, the s’mores will be complimentary in The Living Room between 6:30 to 7 p.m., passed around by whom, you may ask? S’morelliers, of course.
The hotel is also serving up Festive Cherry Blossom Cocktails to go with the s'mores. And you betcha, cherry is a prominent flavor in all of them.
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About a year ago we asked the question whether the Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage, hovering in hotel-limbo since the ’08 financial crisis, would ever recover to the point of having an opening date and welcoming paying guests.
Our answer is here today: the hotel will actually, finally, truly open on May 15, just over a week after fellow chronic delay case the Shangri-La at the Shard. 2014 is proving to be quite the good luck charm for these hotels.
If you're reading this today from inside a Ritz-Carlton Hotel, then scurry on down to the front desk and immediately request one of the new signature Ritz-Carlton chocolate cakes.
Available at all Ritz-Carlton hotels around the world, the chocolate cake was created as an edible way to celebrate the heritage of Ritz-Carlton. They also wanted a cake that could travel well as they anticipated guests would take them home as gifts.
So, 20 of the Ritz's pastry chefs from around the world were asked to submit their own recipe for the best cake, all to be executed by Frederic Barasse, the head pastry chef at The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner, and judged by Ritz-Carlton's top execs.
However, Ritz's corporate chef Rainer Zinngrebe had some stipulations--the cake had to contain Grand Marnier since the liqueur was named by Cesar Ritz for his friend Louis-Alexandre Marnier La Postelle, who had invented the liqueur (and who later gave Ritz the money to start up his very first hotel in Paris.) The cake also had to contain fine chocolate because, well, of course it has to have chocolate. And lastly, the cake needed to stay fresh for up to eight days.
After an extensive taste-test (which was written about for the latest issue of the Ritz-Carlton magazine), the chef with the winning cake was….
Keep reading to find out who won the Ritz-Carlton cake-off!