When it comes to luxury resorts and hotels, Ritz-Carlton Hotels top the list. As Marriott Hotel's luxury division, Ritz-Carlton caters to the elite traveler seeing sophisticated amenities in elegant settings throughout the world. Ritz-Carlton currently operates 87 hotels and resorts in major cities in 29 countries and territories.
The hotel is named for Cesar Ritz, a Swiss hotelier who catered to kings. With Ritz' first hotels in Paris and the Carlton in London, came the advent of luxury hotels throughout the world. During the early 20th century, Ritz and his chef opened restaurants on cruise ships, and in 1911, expanded to North America where the Ritz-Carlton opened in New York City. Ritz died in 1918, but his brand continues to define luxury hotels.
Simon Cooper became president of Ritz-Carlton in 2001. His predecessor, Horst Schulze coined the Ritz motto: "Ladies and Gentlemen Serving Ladies and Gentlemen". Ritz-Carlton hotels has set the standard for luxury hotels. Ritz has won multiple service awards and continues its expansion, building hotels around the world.
Here are our picks for the top 20 Ritz-Carlton Hotels (in no particular order).
1. Ritz Carlton Montreal
One of the first Ritz-Carlton Hotels in North America, Montreal opened on December 31, 1912. Among its distinguished guests have been Queen Elizabeth II, Elizabeth Taylor, Winston Churchill and the Rolling Stones. The hotel recently underwent a $200 million restoration adding modern technology and comforts, yet it retains its original historic charm. The Ritz is Quebec's only AAA Five Diamond Hotel. Located in the heart of downtown Montreal, the Ritz is among high end boutiques, galleries and museums in Montreal's Golden Square Mile. Maison Boulud offers fine French dining. The rooftop offers a saltwater pool with panoramic views of Montreal. The Ritz Montreal is highlighted for its above standard guest services.
2. Ritz Carlton Toronto
The Ritz Toronto is located in the city's business district and is close to shopping and dining as well as other Toronto attractions. During the Toronto International Film Festival, the hotel overlooks the Red Carpet. Each of the 263 guest rooms have floor to ceiling windows overlooking Lake Ontario or the city's skyline. The marble guest baths feature heated floors, a television and a deep soaking tub. DEQ is the hotel's Mediterranean restaurant, and enjoy Italian cuisine at TOCA. My Blend by Clairns is the hotel's tranquil spa.
3. Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman
This Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman, located on 144 acres, is one of the top luxury resorts in the Grand Cayman Islands. The resort features 2 towers amid the tropical atmosphere along Seven Mile Beach. The resort includes the tranquil la prairie spa. Each luxurious guest room is decorated in British colonial architecture and features a private balcony and high end bath amenities. The resort includes a 9 hole Greg Norman designed golf coarse and water activities including kayaking, rafting and snorkeling. Five gourmet and Bar Jack, a beach- front grill are located on the property.
4. Ritz Carlton Dorado Beach
One of Puerto Rico's most exclusive resorts, Dorado Beach features private residences, a spa and beautiful beach. The resort is built for luxury extended stays. Suites and residences provide spacious comfort and gorgeous views. Each has a rooftop balcony or private plunge pool with outdoor showers. Located on an eco-friendly resort on the northern shores of Puerto Rico, the resort has a mile of sandy beaches and an 11 mile nature trail, a 72 hole golf course and a spa. Three restaurants on the property offer American, Asian, Spanish and Latin American cuisine. An infinity edged pool has cabanas and chaise lounges and a pool side grill. The family friendly resort has an aquatic playground, The Windmill, with a lazy river, water slide and a wave machine.
5. Ritz Carlton New York City, Central Park
The first North American Ritz-Carlton Hotel, the Ritz Central Park in New York City is an icon. Located at the corner of Central Park South and Sixth Avenue, the Ritz Central Park is the site of the former St. Moritz Hotel. Known for its excellent service and charming atmosphere, the Ritz has 259 guest rooms and suites, each with special amenities including 400 thread count linens and Asprey bath products. Standard rooms are a spacious 425 to 450 square feet and windows are sound proof to block the noise of the city. The Auden Bistro serves fine cuisine while delicious small plates are served during afternoon tea in the Star Lounge. La Prairie offers spa treatments in 6 rooms including facials and massages. The spa also offers in-room treatments for guests of the hotel.
6. Ritz Carlton Cancun
The Ritz-Carlton in Cancun Mexico is admired by guests for its sophistication and elegance. The neutral toned decor extends from the spacious lobby to the 365 guest rooms. The guest rooms feature modern conveniences like iPod docking stations, luxurious baths and furnished balconies and terraces overlooking the Caribbean. The Cobalt Suite offers a private beach area and pool while the Ritz-Carlton Suite has a Jacuzzi on its private terrace. The hotel has 2 pools and an oceanfront whirlpool as well as a cocktail bar. There are 5 restaurants on site. There is also a Culinary Center where cooking lessons and a chef's table are held.
7. Ritz Carlton Georgetown, Washington DC
Georgetown's Ritz-Carlton Hotel features red brick exterior and interior. he lobby has a contemporary lounge with a wood-burning fireplace. A calming color scheme extends to the spacious guest rooms. The Boutique Spa offers rejuvenating massages and facials. The atmosphere is both elegant and relaxing. Degrees Bar and Lounge offers American and French cuisine. The hotel is located on M Street in the heart of Georgetown's shopping district. Family friendly, children are greeted with a red wagon filled with stuffed animals which each child can choose from.
8. Ritz Carlton Lake Tahoe
Nestled in the mountainside on the shores of Lake Tahoe, the spectacular views from the Ritz-Carlton are only part of the resort's appeal. Guests enjoy hiking, golfing and skiing. The service at this Ritz hotel is extraordinary. The guest rooms and suites are luxuriously appointed with European lodge decor including wood trim, stone fireplaces and amazing views. Each room has a private balcony. Dining options on-site include Manzanita, Cafe Blue, The Living Room and Highlands Bar, and the Backyard Bar & BBQ which offers poolside service during summer months and ski-in/ski-out service during the winter months.
9. Ritz Carlton Amelia Island
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel on Amelia Island in northern Florida offers southern charm and casual elegance. The coastal views this barrier island offers create the perfect setting for a luxury vacation. Spacious guest rooms and suites offer the finest amenities. On-site restaurants include Salt, Coast, Eight Burger Bar & Sports Lounge, The Lobby Lounge and the Ocean Bar & Grill. A spa and fitness center offer top of the line workout equipment and replenishing therapeutic treatments. Amelia Island offers many activities including museums, eco-tours, golf, swimming and beach activities.
10. Ritz Carlton Fort Lauderdale
The Ritz-Carlton in Fort Lauderdale, Florida is decorated in glamorous 1940s style. Located just off Las Olas Blvd., the Ritz is close to boutiques and fine dining. The guest rooms and suites feature the finest amenities. Elite guests have access to The Club Level. The spa offers a variety of treatments including an ocean sea salt glow, sapphire and intuitive ocean treatments as well as a cleansing and detoxifying treatment. Burlock Coast serves fine seafood, and there is also a poolside cafe.
11. Ritz Carlton Kapalua
The luxurious Ritz-Carlton Kapalua is located in quite northern Maui. The resort offers beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean and Molokai Island. Hawaiian style decor tastefully spreads through the spacious guest rooms and suites. The staff provide excellent service. There are 6 restaurants and bars on-site offering everything from fine dining at The Banyan Tree to sushi at Kai Sushu to casual fare at Beach House. Guests can enjoy lounging by the pool with views of the coast while served complimentary fresh pineapple twice a day. There is a men's and a women's spa with saunas, eucalyptus steam rooms, a couples' cabana and whirlpools. The resort has 2 18 hole golf courses designed by Arnold Palmer and Francis Dane.
12. Ritz Carlton San Francisco
Located on Nob Hill at the edge of Chinatown, the Ritz-Carlton San Francisco is housed in a 1909 building. High end amenities and sophisticated decor create an elegant space to stay for business or travel. A formal afternoon tea is served in The Lounge, and Parallel 37 local ingredients and international cuisine. The Chef's Table offers a tasting menu and beverage pairings for guest groups. The Spa De Vie offers a variety of treatments that include ingredients of fruits, seaweed and green coffee. Guests have access to a fitness center and business accommodations.
13. Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel
Located in southern California northwest of Dana Point Marina, the Ritz-Carlton in Laguna Niguel offers beautiful ocean views and excellent guest services. The guest rooms and suites have decadent marble baths, luxurious linens, Asprey toiletries and patios or balconies. The spa is renowned for its full-service salon, water therapy room with a Vichy waterfall shower, and spa treatments. There are 2 outdoor swimming pools and 2 whirlpools. Dining options range from the casual poolside Dana Cafe to enoSteak. bar Raya offers small plates, and 180blu offers handcrafted cocktails on the oceanfront lounge balcony.
14. Ritz Carlton Chicago
The Ritz-Carlton in Chicago is considered the most luxurious hotel in the city for families. Like Georgetown's Ritz-Carlton Hotel, children are invited to choose a stuffed animal from a red wagon. The hotel also offers cupcake decorating to children. Families can enjoy the indoor pool. There are plenty of adult amenities as well including a luxurious spa. Located on Chicago's Magnificent Mile, there are plenty of shopping, dining and entertainment activities nearby. Guest rooms and suites are decorated with sophisticated cream, pewter and blue topaz colors and traditional furniture with large windows that offer views of Lake Michigan or the city. Brasserie-inspired cuisine is on the menu at deca, and there is a rooftop bar and lounge open during summer months.
15. Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain
Located just 25 miles south of Tucson, Arizona, the Dove Mountain Ritz is nestled in the Tortolita Mountains in Marana, Arizona. Rather than the traditional decor of most Ritz-Carlton Hotels, the Dove Mountain hotel has artsy contemporary decor. The landscape provides hiking opportunities and golf at the adjoining Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course. Guest rooms and suites feature spacious interiors, luxurious amenities and beautiful mountain views. The Ritz-Carlton Spa offers unique healing therapies honoring the Sonoran Desert's eco-holistic elements. Dining choices on site include Core Kitchen & Wine Bar, Ignite, Sushi Bar & Sake, Turquesa Latin Grill, Cayton's Burger Bistro and To|Go.
16. Ritz Carlton Grande Lakes
The Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes in Orlando, Florida lays on 500 acres by Shingle Creek near Disney World. On-site amenities include a spa, fine dining, an 18 hole golf course, and an Audubon bird sanctuary. Guest service at the hotel is outstanding. Guest rooms and suites are spacious and elegantly decorated. As with all Ritz-Carlton hotels, the amenities are top of the line. The pool features outdoor cabanas. There is a spa and fitness center available to guests. There are several dining and cocktail options at the hotel. These include the Lobby Lounge, Vitale Spa Cafe, Fairways Pub, Cafe Bodego, Whisper Creek Farm, Sushi Bar, Bleu, Highball and Harvest, Primo, and Citron.
17. Ritz Carlton Naples
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Naples, Florida is located on the beach of the Gulf of Mexico. The resort covers 3 miles of beaches and features 36 holes of golf. The pool and spa provide places to relax with special spa services for guests of the resort. There are several restaurants and bars located at the Ritz Naples. From casual poolside dining to gourmet meals, there are several dining choices. These include Bites, Dusk, Gumbo Limbo, Terrazza, The Grill, and =H2O+. There is also the Gourmet Shop.
18. Ritz Carlton Rancho Mirage
Perhaps the most luxurious resort in Palm Springs, California, the Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage is nestled in the scenic Santa Rosa Mountains. The decor reflects the desert surroundings with elements of wood, stone and fire. Guest rooms and suites feature private balconies or patios and all of the luxurious amenities one expects from a Ritz-Carlton hotel. Guests have access to the pool, fitness center and spa. The hillside spa provides a peaceful spot to enjoy relaxing and rejuvenating treatments. The Edge Steakhouse is perched on a bluff with beautiful views while the State Fare Bar & Kitchen uses local farm and orchard ingredients. The Air Pool Bar offers Sushi in a casual setting.
19. Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne
Located on Miami, Florida's beautiful Key Biscayne, the Ritz-Carlton is perhaps the most iconic resort in the area. The tropical atmosphere surrounds 2 pools, an adult tranquility pool and a family friendly pool with a waterfall. A full fitness center and a 20,000 square foot spa are available to guests of the resort. The resort includes the largest of Ritz's tennis facilities with 11 Cliff Drysdale-designed tennis courts. Beachfront access provides opportunities for kayaking, windsurfing and sailing. Beachfront guestrooms have private full or half-balconies. The guest rooms and suites have sumptuous linens and marble baths. Restaurants on site include the Fountain Cafe, Cantina Beach, Rumbar Lounge, Dune Burgehavrs On The Beach, and Scoop.
20. Ritz Carlton Boston Common
Located in the popular Boston Common, the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Boston overlooks the famous Freedom Trail. It is easy to enjoy Boston's history, theater, dining and shopping while enjoying a luxurious stay at the Ritz. There are 193 well-appointed guest rooms at the hotel including 43 guest suites. Most rooms have scenic views of the Boston Common park or the Boston skyline. The Equinox Sports Club is 100,000 square feet of fitness and sports facilities. The spa is located in the Club and offers a variety of treatments and packages. The Club Level Lounge is open to members. Artisan Bistro serves fresh seasonal cuisine. The hotel contains a $1 million art collection.
Written by Garrett Parker
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