Newest Review: ... to charm, and the doormen are always friendly and have offered coats to ladies if they are waiting outside. The main double doors are opene... more
An old-time English experience
The Ritz Hotel London (London)
Member Name: bkecky
The Ritz Hotel London (London)
Advantages: Beautiful decor, efficient service, high standards of dress maintained
Disadvantages: Afternoon tea like shifts
I have been staying at the Ritz for a number of years now, since I was a child and although I never get tired of it, it has gradually lost some of its shine, particularly in the restaurant.
Although we must have been going for at least 15 years, they still manage to make a mess of our booking every time. Somehow there is always some confusion at reception and when we have ordered things as presents they have often been snotty and not too helpful.
However the actual experience has not failed to impress yet. The hotel is situated on Piccadilly but the actual guest entrance is at the side of the hotel. When you enter it never fails to charm, and the doormen are always friendly and have offered coats to ladies if they are waiting outside. The main double doors are opened for you as you walk through the lounge area towards the restaurant. The Palm Court on the right is particularly beautiful when it is lit up and this is where afternoon tea is served.
Afternoon tea seems to have turned into a cattle market, which I think is a shame. With five seatings, it is no longer personal and you often see people queueing whilst the waiters hustle the previous sitting along.
The restaurant is always a culinary delight though. You cannot ask for the wrong thing and everything is prepared and presented beautifully. There is always a seasonal selection aswell as the standard set menu and grill, which is available year round. The dinner dances on the weekends involve a band and pianist and it is like going back in time.
The dress code still applies at the Ritz and unless a resident walking through, you cannot wear jeans, and men are required to wear shoes, jacket and tie in afternoon tea, lunch and dinner. It is good that they still maintain these standards where other establishments of the same league have relaxed them, but now and then you see a slip being ignored.
We usually take a suite as there are three of us and it is split into two bedrooms, one of which is turned into a sitting room during the day and we often get a view over Green Park, which is beautiful to wake up to and to see lit up in the evening. The service is always prompt and efficient although that is what you pay for so it is what you expect!
The hotel also has its own club casino, the bar (only open to residents later in the evening), and a spa, which are all quite expensive although the spa is the prices you would expect in this type of hotel.
If you want to go to the Ritz I recommend doing it properly, for the price of afternoon tea you can have a set lunch for just a little more and have a much more relaxed and value for money experience. Or even have a brunch or breakfast, which is always delicious and leisurely and there is no rush to finish as its not a slot like afternoon tea.
Summary: Worth a visit but worth spending a bit more and your experience will be much better.
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