Having stayed at the Ritz Hotel in May 2012 where we celebrated our 21st Wedding Anniversary, I knew there wouldn’t be any question about where to celebrate our 27th which fell on a Saturday again as it did in 2012, 26th of May. The hotel stands right next to Green Park, number 150 Piccadilly, you can’t get a more iconic location than that and its feet away from my much-loved store, Fortnum & Mason. In fact, the hotel’s Garden Terrace which opens in May until mid-September is right next to Green Park station, you can just about see the underground sign from the opulent dining room which overlooks the terrace. The Garden Terrace is a gorgeous space to enjoy an al-fresco lunch or champagne in their Garden Bar Champagne Terrace which is open from 3:30pm to 8:30pm (weather permitting) where it serves all manner of cocktails and champagne.
The hotel has remained timeless and graceful and synonymous with style and elegance that’s immediately evident the moment you enter the iconic revolving doors. To be able to stay at this legendary hotel is simply the stuff of dreams where anticipation, fantasy and excitement are intertwined submerging the visitor in The Ritz Hotel Magic.
Immaculately dressed Doormen in the Ritz iconic regalia of morning suit attire greet you the moment your feet step near the hotels’ entrance where your luggage is whisked away to your room and you are guided to reception to check in. Nothing is too much for the hotel, organisation and top-class service is something the Ritz do very well, everyone has a key role to play in making the visitor feel as welcome as possible. The lobby of the Ritz is truly magnificent with check-in reception and the concierge and room service/key collection point opposite, men clad in the same uniform as the doormen. In the centre, a stunning flower arrangement with the grand sweep of the main staircase where many a photograph has been taken and at Christmas, the tallest Christmas tree stands proudly in place of where the flowers are today.
I arrived separately to my husband as he was extremely short staffed at his business, a pattern that is all too familiar for us lately while his business undergoes expansion. As disappointed as I was, I didn’t let that spoil my day, it was all forgotten as I was greeted with such warmth and friendliness by the reception staff, not just because I was a previous guest of the hotel, it’s hospitality that is afforded to everyone visiting the Ritz Hotel. Checking-in is always something I really look forward to when arriving at any hotel, it signals the start of my holiday or visit and I just love hearing all about the services a hotel has to offer and at the Ritz, everything is just so special.
The Ritz marketing department had very kindly approved the guided tour I had requested which was booked at 12 noon, our room wouldn’t be ready until at least 2:00pm so it was a lovely way to while away some of the time learning about the history of the hotel and to see parts of it I wouldn’t have been able to. There will be a separate post on the tour and a brief history of the hotel soon so stay tuned, I can’t wait to tell you all about it. The Ritz have a beautiful garden area as I mentioned at the beginning of the post, it’s open from mid-May until mid-September, weather permitting of course. I think it’s such a wonderful addition to any hotel simply because there’s nothing more relaxing than to enjoy a leisurely al-fresco lunch in gorgeous warm weather and nothing more romantic than outdoor drinks at dusk and the Ritz Champagne Garden Terrace is a calm and intimate space, it reminds me of the Ritz Madrid where we stayed in 2013.
After the tour I decided to meander around Piccadilly to have some lunch, it was a gloriously warm and sunny day, we’ve been so lucky with the weather in London our last 2-3 anniversary’s and since I was less than a 3-minute walk away from Fortnum & Mason, it’s where I decided to have some lunch and a cheeky glass of bubby, it was my anniversary after all even though I was alone. Following that, I did a bit of shopping in the bookshop Hatchards, I have a penchant for bookshops, so I spent longer than I anticipated but it was a good thing as our room was ready by then. Oh, what a lovely feeling it is to be shopping and knowing you’re heading back to the Ritz rather than getting the tube back home as I do every time I’m shopping in Piccadilly, it felt fabulous.
By the time I had returned at 2:30pm, our room was ready, and I couldn’t wait to have a look at our Superior King Room. Larger than the room we stayed in during our last visit, it was everything I had hoped it would be.
Generous in size with two gorgeous plush sofas in a delicate cream and floral design were at either side of the large King-size bed which was adorned in a rich cream and gold bedspread, royal navy pillow cases, giant pillows, lighter blue/grey bolsters and cushions giving the bed and room a very regal feel.
At the end of the bed, a navy upholstered blanket box which I’d love to own if my bedroom was large enough and furnishings of an antique nature. Opposite the bed, an ultra-modern flat screen TV which was extremely easy to navigate was probably the only modern accessory to a room with a very 18th century feel.
Whereas the Savoy Hotel where we stayed last year had a very pleasing combination of Edwardian and art-deco sophistication, the Café Royal was contemporary with an understated glamour, the Ritz doesn’t pretend to be anything it isn’t. Everything about the hotel is majestic, royal and very dignified with an old-world charm that flows throughout the hotel, rooms and suites, it’s the ultimate in luxury.
The large full-marble bathroom is the epitome of pure lux and style with burnished gold accessories blending seamlessly with the contrasting colours of the cool marble, a deep bath with the most powerful detachable shower as I discovered later that evening. Also present is a separate shower which I always appreciate in a hotel room however, I found it quite difficult to use so I made do with the powerful hand-held shower in the bath which sprayed all over my perfectly blow-dried hair much to my dismay but I didn’t mind, I appreciated the luxury of a powerful shower and the perfect temperature of the water.
The large sink and vanity area accommodated my extensive beauty and make-up products and supplied by the hotel were indulgent Asprey toiletries, oh and how can I miss this… underfloor heating! I was most surprised by this extravagant but nonetheless essential addition and can imagine it to be so welcome in the winter.
Missing from the room was tea/coffee making facilities, in some hotels, we’ve been fortunate to have the use of a Nespresso machine, but I didn’t mind too much as I ordered a pot of coffee once I got comfortable in the room. The Ritz don’t do things by half, coffee was very formal affair, beautiful china, a full pot of coffee in a sterling silver coffee pot, cold milk – just how I like it and the most delectable buttery soft cinnamon shortbread.
I forgot to mention the very large wardrobe with ample supplies of hangers, a safety deposit box and the beautiful ornate fireplace. Rooms come with complimentary 3G/4G data and wifi, 24-hour room service, state-of the-art TV with Sky channels (including Sky Sport) and a daily free newspaper, the size of our room was 260sq ft.
As soon as I had unpacked and enjoyed my coffee, my husband had arrived around 5:00pm and we were soon welcomed with a half bottle of champagne to toast our anniversary. Sadly, for me as I adore champagne, we were not able to enjoy the Champagne Garden Terrace because of Mr LmP’s late arrival and that’s something that I had really been looking forward to.
After two glasses of champagne, I was feeling a bit tipsy but there was no time for that, a glass of water soon put me right, it was time to get ready for an evening extravaganza that is the Ritz Hotel’s Live at the Ritz Dinner & Dancing. I was so excited for this, it’s a special package that you can choose with your room accommodation and having already enjoyed Afternoon Tea which comes with the “Puttin’ on the Ritz” package in 2012, I really wanted to see what all the fuss was about as I’d heard so much about Dinner & Dancing at the Ritz. We were booked to have drinks at the Rivoli Bar at 7:45pm, yes more drinks, how would I cope with the rest of the evening!!
The Rivoli Bar is another art-deco gem, stylishly decorated to give the impression you’re walking into a “beautiful jewellery box” is how the Ritz describe their bar and it really is. Giving off an air of class and sophistication with bronze, golds, velvet leopard upholstered chairs and glossy marbled mahogany walls adorned with some unusual prints that enhance this dazzling lounge which really feels like you’re in an Ancient Egyptian palace, it’s a calm oasis to enjoy pre-dinner drinks.
With cocktails starting at £22 and an extensive range of spirits, champagne and even light bites including caviar, it was going to be hard choosing a cocktail. Mr LmP ordered a whisky while I chose the Rivoli Passion – a seductive blend of tropical flavours including tequila, kiwi, kaffir lime and passion fruit. Bar snacks are always provided, nuts and other savouries, it’s hard to avoid munching on them knowing we had a four-course dinner to look forward to, it was a very special hour at the Rivoli Bar toasting our 27th wedding anniversary.
Walking down to the Ritz formal dining room was one filled with excitement and anticipation, I’ll be sharing that with you in a later post so watch this space! It was a memorable evening of dining, dancing and fabulous music where the service was impeccable and “puttin’ on the Ritz” took on a completely new meaning. It was an evening of fabulous food, a special set 4 course menu devised by Executive Chef, John Williams MBE, drinking crisp award-winning wine and just soaking up the ambience of the Ritz formal dining room dimmed to provide a warm romantic atmosphere, we eventually dined by candlelight, it was very special, an unforgettable evening.
Walking back to our room, we were euphoric and exhilarated humming the tunes to the songs as we both said we wished we had got up to dance! Ok, so we’re not the worlds’ best dancers possessing hardly any rhythm at all, the meaning of “swiveling your hips to the beat of the music” means nothing to us however we could have swayed to the softer jazz playing, still, there’d be another chance in September as Mr LmP announced that we should book another overnight stay to celebrate my birthday in September. I was far too excited at this prospect, perhaps, fingers crossed, we could enjoy champagne in the Garden Terrace if we have one of those late summer balmy days that we’ve been enjoying in recent years. This is something very special to look forward to after the summer but would I awake in the morning to find it was all a dream blaming his generous and thoughtful offer on too much wine? Let’s wait until September to see!
We woke refreshed from a night sleeping on the comfiest bed and got ready for the day. Having had breakfast at the Ritz in 2012, I knew it was going to be a sumptuous affair and I was really looking forward to it. Do you ever feel famished the following morning after dining out? We both do and feeling particularly hungry, we were guided to our table which was right by the doors leading to the Garden Terrace, it looked so inviting, I really do hope it would be open in September. As soon as we were presented with the breakfast menu, Mr LmP had already made his way to the indulgent buffet breakfast area, on display, a vast selection of cheese, salmon and other charcuterie, yoghurts, cereal, pastries and French-style mini baguettes. I chose to have English Breakfast tea, a glass of refreshing pink grapefruit juice to remedy my sore head and a proper Full English Breakfast.
Mr LmP chose coffee and a plate of lightly smoked butter-soft salmon, fruit, a variety of charcuterie and baguette, his plate was wholesome compared to mine, I was quite embarrassed by that, it should have been the other way around. Still, the embarrassment didn’t last long as I tucked into my mound of rich creamy yellow scrambled eggs, earthy field mushrooms and two meaty sausages, it was just what I needed, to be honest, I gave my husband one of the sausages as I was quite full. To accompany our breakfast, crispy toast and more of that delicious creamy Ritz butter and a choice of honey and three preserves. We took our time to enjoy our breakfast at a leisurely pace trying to soak in the last of the Ritz Hotel Magic.
On our way back to our room, photo opportunities beckoned as the hotel was calm and quiet, the Palm Court was getting ready to welcome it’s first visitors for the 11:30am sitting of Afternoon Tea. Our next task was to pack our belongings, leave our luggage at reception and enjoy a bit of time window shopping, having a drink somewhere and soaking up the warm spring London weather. A couple of hours later, we were back at the hotel to settle and depart. I can’t convey how much we enjoyed our 27th wedding anniversary at the Ritz Hotel, we were so grateful for the hospitality and outstanding service bestowed to us by everyone at the hotel and for making our anniversary so special. In true Ritz style, our luggage was back outside with the elegantly styled Ritz Doorman and sadly, we were saying goodbye once again. It was a memorable stay and we can’t wait to be here again in just over three months’ time. The hotel is one of London’s gems and even if you don’t manage to stay the night, do make sure you book Afternoon Tea which starts at £57 per person or £76 with a glass of champagne, the Ritz offer a 15% discount on Afternoon Tea Monday to Thursday for the 11:30am and 7:30pm sitting. Allow yourself to be immersed in the Ritz Magic, everyone is waiting to make your stay or dining experience a truly memorable one.
The “Puttin’ on the Ritz” package starts at £570 and includes a bottle of Champagne Barons de Rothschild – Ritz Reserve on arrival
One night’s accommodation
Legendary Afternoon Tea in the Palm Court
English breakfast the following morning, click here for more information.
The “Dining & Dancing” Package starts at £625 and includes
One night’s accommodation
A four course “Live at the Ritz” dinner dance in the Michelin-starred Ritz Restaurant (every Friday & Saturday)
English Breakfast the following morning, click here for more information.
For Afternoon Tea offers, click here for more information or contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Restaurant Terrace and the Garden Bar Champagne Terrace is open from May to September (weather permitting) click here for more information.
The Ritz offer other packages too, look on their website
The Ritz Hotel
London W1J 9BR
Email at: email@example.com
020 7300 2222