The Ritz London
A byword for style and luxury for over a century
The Ritz London is a rare example of a hotel whose name has become a part of everyday vocabulary. "Ritzy" is a familiar expression and shows just how important brand recognition is – and how crucial it is to maintain it. The Ritz London was completely and lavishly restored from 1995 to 2005 after it returned to private British ownership.
César Ritz, born in Switzerland, founded several hotels, above all the Hôtel Ritz in Paris and the Ritz Hotel in London. Construction of the Ritz in London began in 1905, with an innovative steel-frame structure, and a design in the style of a French chateau, with many functional details such as light wells that provided natural lighting for rooms not facing one of the main façades.
The Lobby leads to the Long Gallery, a vaulted space that runs almost the whole length of the building, to The Restaurant, with views over the Italian-style gardens and across Green Park. The Long Gallery provides access to some of the hotel's most important rooms, such as The Restaurant, perhaps one of the most beautiful dining rooms in Europe. There are so many chandeliers that the ceiling had to be specially reinforced. The Palm Court is home to a classic English instution, tea at The Ritz. The Rivoli bar is a wonderful Art Deco masterpiece. The hotel's illustrious guests include King Edward VII, King Alfonso of Spain, the Aga Khan, Charlie Chaplin, and American actress Tallulah Bankhead, who won immortal fame for sipping champagne from her slipper during a press conference in the 1950s.
The hotel is ideally located in Piccadilly, within walking distance of Buckingham Palace, the Royal Opera House, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the London Eye and the Tate Modern – along with all that London has to offer!
Rooms and suites
Accommodation at the Ritz London ranges from the Superior Queen rooms, with a generous 20 square metres of space and superb comfort and privacy, right through to the Prince of Wales suite, a beautiful apartment-style 185-square metre penthouse, with hallway, cloakroom, two bedrooms, dining room, drawing room, butler's kitchen and two marble bathrooms. Bedrooms have fine period wookwork, and bathrooms have a bath-controlled TV. The Junior Suites also feature period decoration and original fireplaces, and they include a dedicated seating area for relaxation at the end of the day.
The Ritz Restaurant
The Ritz Restaurant has long been a classic London venue, with its superb interiors looking over the hotel's gardens and Green Park. It is open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner. On Friday and Saturday nights, The Ritz Restaurant presents "Live at the Ritz" with a four-course dinner and dancing with music by Peter O'Donnell and his band. In the Ritz Restaurant, dress code requires gentlemen to wear jacket and tie; no jeans or sports shoes! Executive chef John Williams MBE draws inspiration from classical and traditional 20th century cuisine, developing his own light and fresh "Palace style cooking." Menus feature Best of British produce. Bookings at +44 (0)20 7300 2370.
LUXOS recommends: Warm native lobster with carrot and ginger as a first course; Barbary duck (for 2 persons) with spiced quince, sprouts and walnuts; and Crepes Suzette (for 2 persons), prepared by the maitre d'hotel at your table.
The Rivoli Bar
The Rivoli Bar is a truly spectacular pageant of Art Deco, with beautiful timber panelling, gold leaf, alabaster, and Lalique glass. It is open every day from 11.30 a.m. to midnight (on Sunday, midday to 10 p.m.), offering light lunches and suppers, with a menu that includes a fine selection of caviars. There is a superb drinks menu which includes the signature martini and champagne cocktails for which the venue is renowned, and champagnes, many of which available by the glass as well as by the bottle.
The dress code of the Rivoli Bar has recently been relaxed from its previous formal standard. You can now access the bar without a tie, and smart denim is welcomed. Gentlemen are still required to wear jackets, and sports shoes are not allowed.
The Rivoli Bar continued:
LUXOS recommends: King Prawns in their jackets with sweet chilli mayonnaise; oak smoked salmon with lemon blinis and creme fraiche; plain and raisin scones with clotted cream and strawberry preserve. Amongst the cocktails we can recommend the Ritz Mojito (made with champagne) and the Rivoli 10, with Chivas Regal, root ginger, sugar syrup, Antica Formula and orange bitters, created for the 10th anniversary of the Rivoli Bar in 2011.
There is a selection of cocktails by Harry MacElhone, who worked at The Ritz from 1940 to 1945 and invented many drinks including the Sidecar and the French 75.
The whisky menu includes single malts such as Lagavulin and Laphroaig from Islay.
Afternoon Tea in the Palm Court
Afternoon tea at the Ritz London is a time-honoured ritual, with a selection of 17 loose-leaf teas and a delicious menu, which includes freshly cut sandwiches with smoked salmon, cucumber, egg mayonnaise, roast ham and Cheddar cheese, freshly-baked appled pie, and raisin scones with strawberry preserve and clotted Devonshire cream. In addition, there is a wonderful range of afternoon tea cakes and pastries. All in all, if you are visiting London, the tea experience at the Ritz should not be missed!
Dress code: jacket and tie for gentlemen, no jeans or sports shoes. Advance booking recommended, particularly at weekends. Tables may need to be booked at least 12 weeks in advance. Phone +44 (0)20 7300 2345.
The Garden Pavillion
The Garden Pavillion is an interior designed to provide a place in which to enjoy a fine cigar when weather does not permit guests to sit in the garden. It comprises the new Cigar Shop and Tasting Room, with a superb floor-to-ceiling humidor with vintage Cuban and New World cigars. It is perhaps the most exclusive Cigar Shop in the UK. The cigar sommelier is on hand for advice, and all waiters are expert in cutting, lighting and serving fine cigars. The Cigar Shop and Tasting Room are open from 2.00 p.m. to 6.00 a.m. every day. Dress code: smart casual. For information and reservations, phone +44 (0)20 7300 2370.
The William Kent House Garden
The William Kent House Garden is a hidden gem in London, adjoining the historic building William Kent House. In summer, this flower-filled garden is a romantic venue for wedding parties and cocktail receptions. For further information and to view the Garden, speak to a Ritz Event Planner at +44 (0)20 7300 2507.
Guests can use the services of their own private butler, for immaculate personalized attention 24 hours a day. They can personalize suites, pack and unpack, press garments, organize bookings, and deal with any other requests. For further information, write to email@example.com
The Ritz Salon
The Ritz Salon, on the seventh floor, offers a range of beauty, relaxation and wellness treatments, including hair styling, relaxing massages, facials, manicures, pedicures and reflexology. The products used, by Aromatherapy Associates, are made from 100% natural plant oils. The Salon is open every day, Monday.Friday 8.00 a.m.-7.00 p.m., Saturday 8.00 a.m.-4.30 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-4.00 p.m. For further information and bookings, phone +44 (0)20 7300 2435 or write to firstname.lastname@example.org
Kidz @ The Ritz
Children are welcome at The Ritz, and they automatically become members of Kidz @ The Ritz. They receive a "Very Important Kid" membership card which gives them a welcome gift, a complimentary ice cream, milk and cookies on turndown, and more treats
The Ritz Rolls Royce
This exclusive and beautiful car, a Rolls Royce Phantom with satnav, flat screen plasma DVD screens, crested door handles, bespoke Ritz Blue bodywork, burr walnut trim and personalized registration number, is available for hire as an exclusive service to guests and non-residents, with the Rolls Royce-trained chauffeur Winston Lee. For further information, write to email@example.com