Aim Your Compass At The Ritz London: Personal Hotel Review
Calling all my intrepid London-bound explorers: If you’re seeking a central London retreat for your next adventure, the legendary Ritz should be first on your list.
Money can’t buy you happiness, but it sure can buy you a ticket to London and a long weekend at the Ritz. Trust me, I speak from experience.
Once I pinned my destination and slid on my fedora, I began to channel my inner Indiana Jones and prepare for my first adventure across the pond. I’ll be the first to admit I’m not a famed explorer. And with this location in mind, I had no idea what I was about to experience. The Tube? Chinwag? The Queen’s Guard? I didn’t know this language! And surely, my heavy southern accent was going to make me stick out like a hog on a spit. But what is life without a little adventure?
So what did I do? I picked the only place in town where I’d feel pampered and taken care of, and where I could rub elbows with literal royalty. Listen, it’s not every day a small town girl solo-travels to a far off land. So while I had to break open a few (aka many) piggy banks to make it happen, the Ritz became my real destination.
Longitude, Latitude, and Luxury
First up–where is the Ritz located?
Prime real estate, that’s where!
The Ritz London sits directly on Piccadilly avenue, a vibrant street running through the heart of the Mayfair District, a treasure chest of fine dining, history, and all things fancy. An effortless stroll would take you past historic landmarks to the theaters in the West End, or to the lawn of Green Park.
And if you’re hoping to marry into royalty, well, Buckingham Palace is right next door. Prince Harry may be married, but I hear Viscount Althorp is still a bachelor. A girl can dream, okay?
The Time Traveler’s Quarters
Staying at the Ritz isn’t just about reserving an accommodation. It’s a voyage back in time. Built in 1906, the hotel boasts antique furniture, marble bathrooms and crystal chandeliers. My suite was so reminiscent of 18th century England, I began to wonder if the Duke of Hastings and his Bridgerton Brethren were hiding around the corner, waiting to sweep me off your feet.
Yes, it’s possible to be a hopeless romantic and an explorer, thank you very much.
If imaginary characters aren’t enough of an inspiration for you, then previous famous guests may tickle your fancy. Charlie Chaplin, Jackie Onassis, and Queen Elizabeth are just a few of the Ritz London’s previous adoring fans.
Extra perks you can’t ignore? Every suite has a two-to-one guest to staff ratio. And if you have extra cash to burn? You’ll get a free casino membership to boot.
Browsing a Breakfast Bounty
You can’t call yourself London’s most iconic luxury hotel unless you make sure your guests are well fed. Enter the Ritz Restaurant. Because let’s be real, when you have the reputation you do, why name your Michelin-starred dining establishment anything else? With a menu inspired from the best seasonal British ingredients, you're definitely in for a treat.
Of course, meals in England aren’t complete unless you add in a cup of good old-fashioned British tea. So wander over to the elegant Palm Court, where gilded walls of gold bathe you in a morning glow as a live pianist sings your praises.
Let me be mawkish from a moment. It’s the hopeless romantic in me.
Choose from 18 different tea options and remember – pinkies up! If you’re traveling with little ones, you can even pick from a specific tea menu for children. This is a family affair you won’t want to miss out on.
Fun facts: The Ritz London is the only hotel in the UK to staff a certified tea master. It’s also the only one that requires jackets and ties for men. Sneakers and jeans are a big no-no.
Pamper and Prep
I rarely work out on vacation, but this wasn’t an ordinary trip. This was an adventure, one that demanded countless steps during my daily explorations.
To my surprise, The Ritz prides itself on an updated gym, a pleasant feat for a hotel built in 1906. The spa and salon also offer an array of services, ensuring I would look my best when I undoubtedly crossed paths with my future partner who’d crown me Duchess of Warbleton! (Yes, I made that up.)
A Culinary Quest
Evenings at the Ritz bring us to the core of the adventure. Start your night with drinks at the Rivoli Bar. If you’re anything like me, dressing up may feel a little odd, but it’s definitely recommended. Then order the Marie Antoinette so you can rewind back to a bygone era. The original neoclassical design would surely get you in the right mood.
Once you’re flushed and full of warmth, make your way back to the Ritz Restaurant for a whole new menu of delicacies curated by top chef John Williams. Try not to feel fancy as you sit beneath the glistening chandeliers and marble columns. And with a view of Green Park, how could you possibly ask for more?
Just remember to bring your dancing shoes as weekends include live entertainment. Talk about puttin’ on the Ritz.
A Traveler’s Tip
As my expedition reached its last day, I couldn’t help but make some final notes to round out the last weathered pages of my travel journal.
A few gems to note: The manager of the concierge, Michael de Cozar, has held the position for a whopping forty-six years. Oh, and did you know you can hire a private chauffeur who will also supply you with insider secrets of everything London. And your ride? A one of a kind Rolls Royce Phantom.
Pro-tip: If you stay in one of the signature suites, you’ll receive a complimentary one-way airport transfer in this fancy Phantom.
Live. Love. London.
My expedition proved that some destinations are truly worth the money. Not only did I feel welcomed, but I absorbed history and returned home with a newfound sense of grace and elegance… and maybe a slight British accent. Dare I say, Mr. Jones himself would tip his hat. So get your compass out and aim it at The Ritz London. Mark my words, you won’t regret it!
— By Megan MacGregor
Megan a travel writer and hotel reviewer whose work has been published by numerous outlets, including: 'Be My Travel Muse' and 'Extreme Nomads'. She's also the author of 13 novels.