Putting on The Ritz at The Ritz Hotel London

Staying at The Ritz London is a wonderful way to experience old fashioned elegance at its best.

A visit to The Ritz London, one of London's most iconic hotels

Elegant yet unpretentious, The Ritz London is a pleasure to visit on any occasion. Perhaps London’s most iconic hotel, The Ritz is one of the only London hotels that is still independently owned. (Opened by César Ritz in the early part of the twentieth century, it is not affiliated with the Ritz-Carlton brand.)

Want to learn more about visiting London? Find out more about visiting Britain’s capital.

A Visit to The Ritz

From the moment my husband pulled the car up to the blue awning bedecked hotel entrance, our every need was met. The car doors were opened for us as if by magic. I was greeted me with a cheerful ‘Good afternoon, Mam’, as the doorman radioed the front desk to announce our arrival. While our bags were unloaded, we were ushered inside to the lobby area.

The interior of The Ritz is elegant but welcoming at the same time. Marble floors are softened with richly patterned Persian rugs, and gold-trimmed antique furniture is artfully arranged. You feel invited you to sit down and linger a while. Heavy silk curtains with rich valances and gold fringed edges make the floor to ceiling mirrored-glass doors off the lobby look utterly opulent. Breath-taking flower arrangements, cleverly placed lamps and comfortable chairs make the atmosphere luxurious, but somehow cozy at the same time.

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Rooms at The Ritz

After we checked in – our son and his girlfriend were accompanying us – each couple was escorted to their room by a member of staff. They checked the rooms were to our liking and showed us all the amenities available both in our rooms and in the hotel. Our luggage followed, and as soon as we were settled, tea was sent up.

A Visit to The Ritz London, an elegant and historic London hotel

The refreshing cuppa and gorgeous shortbread biscuits tasted even better in such wonderfully luxurious surroundings. My husband and I felt the cares of the day and any stress from the journey to London slip away, and we relaxed into our short break almost immediately.

We booked Queen Rooms and were very pleased with the space and comfort they offered. Richly decorated in soft pastels and richly patterned gold fabrics, there is plenty of room to relax and also to work if you want to. Our room was decorated in golds and pinks, and had everything I could wish for in a hotel room. There was an old-fashioned dressing table, a large clothes cupboard, a fireplace and a large screened television. The generously sized-marble bathroom had lots of lovely complementary toiletries and plenty of towels.

A Visit to The Ritz London, an elegant and historic London hotel

The room allocated to our son and his girlfriend was decorated in shades of blue and gold, also with a marble bathroom.

A Visit to The Ritz London, an elegant and historic London hotel

The layout and amenities were similar, but different enough to make the rooms individual and unique.

Later, before we got dressed for dinner, I decided to explore a little.

Step Back into A Gentler Era at The Ritz London

Opulent corridors with inviting sofas, chairs and cozy nooks beckoned me as I walked in the footsteps of Charlie Chaplin, Noel Coward and Winston Churchill.

A Visit to The Ritz London, an elegant and historic London hotel

A favourite of the British Royal Family past and present, it was here at The Ritz London that 1930’s actress Tallulah Bankhead infamously sipped champagne from her slipper, and Churchill, Eisenhower and de Gaulle met to discuss strategy during World War 2.

The atmosphere is relaxed and there’s a real sense that time slows down just a bit in these hallowed halls, allowing you to pause for a moment, away from the buzz of modern life. Find a chair and read a book, peruse a newspaper as you drink a cup of tea, or pop into the art-deco style Rivoli Bar for something a little stronger. There’s somewhere for everyone to unwind and restore here.

A Visit to The Ritz London, an elegant and historic London hotel

Dining at The Ritz London

Afternoon Tea at The Palm Court Restaurant (pictured above) is not to be missed. Finger sandwiches, tender scones with jam and clotted cream, and gorgeous patisserie adorn tiered tea plates. Plus, you’ll be spoiled for choice with over 18 different kinds of loose leaf tea to choose from, all served from a traditional silver tea service. We often come to tea here on special occasions and I highly recommend it, whether or not you are staying in the hotel.

The Ritz Restaurant is even more beautiful than The Palm Court. Floor to ceiling windows overlook Green Park, sparkling chandeliers dangle overhead and marble columns break up the space in this most beautiful of dining rooms. Whether you eat breakfast, lunch or dinner here, you are in for a treat.

In the spring and summer, you can also enjoy the Terrace and Garden Bar Champagne Terrace.

One of My Favourite London Hotels

Definitely one of my favourite London hotels, The Ritz London is ideally located in Piccadilly, a stone’s throw from St James’s palace, Fortnum and Mason and The Royal Academy. It’s just a short walk across Green Park to The Mall and Buckingham Palace. The shops of Regent Street and Oxford Circus are a few blocks away.

While it is definitely not the budget option, it is perfect for a weekend break or celebrating a special occasion. I can’t wait for our next visit. As luck would have it, my very generous husband has ensured I don’t have to wait too long. We are already planning a return visit for my birthday in June.

More London Hotels and Things to Do in The Capital

Visiting The Savoy

Visiting The Dorchester

Best Places to Have Afternoon Tea in London

Five Great Things to Do in London

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Article by April Harris

April has written 1268 great articles for us.
April is a food, lifestyle and travel writer who lives in Berkshire, England. She shares inspiration, tips and trends for anyone who loves food, cooking, entertaining, fashion, travel and the finer things in life at her blog, AprilJHarris.com.
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Comments

  1. Lovely to have a glimpse of your short stay in London – I know it was much enjoyed by all parties!

  2. April, it looks like my kind of hotel. I like that “time slows down,” elegant but unpretentious vibe. And sending tea up to my room as I’m settling in would make me an instant lifelong fan!

  3. Everything looks so beautiful April! I love how vintage and elegant everything looks. I hope you had a great time!

  4. Oh. my. goodness. The Ritz in London is sooo on my bucket list….Love to have afternoon tea and contemplate Talulah champagne sipping methods and Noel Coward tickling the ivory keys on the piano =)

  5. Wow, what a lovely spot and stay! I’ve stayed at a Ritz-Carlton here in the U.S., but it didn’t come close to this Ritz. 😉 I’m not sure what relationship the Ritz and the Ritz-Carlton have. Decades ago, I know that each Ritz-Carlton employee in the U.S. had $2K of the company’s money at their discretion to use to immediately solve any issue that any guest had. There was no going up the chain of the command and a guest waiting and potentially becoming so unhappy that they’d never return. Ritz-Carlton’s research had shown that the average satisfied Ritz-Carlton guest would spend $250K staying at Ritz-Carlton’s in their lifetime, so up to $2K per issue was nothing to ensure guest were immediately satisfied and felt completely catered to.

    Thanks so much for sharing, April! I always love your travel reports!
    Shirley

    • Thank you so much, Shirley! I was interested to read about how Ritz-Carlton empowered their employees. That’s a fantastic way to do business. I’ve stayed at the Ritz-Carlton in Herzliya in Israel and it is lovely too. Ritz-Carlton is a separate brand though. The Ritz in London, and the one in Paris, are still independently owned 🙂

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