The Ritz London
Piccadilly, adjacent to Green Park.
Style & personality
The individuals’ grande dame London hotel. Claridges, after so snobbish, needed to shift to appeal to all but The Ritz, a place where everybody has always gravitated to get a party (as seen by its exceptionally popular day teas, served from 11.30am until 7.30pm) was a resort for everybody. Integrity and heritage stay – jacket and tie at the restaurant; long-serving team and conventional uniforms – and – combine to provide a timelessly elegant yet always busy feel. The Long Gallery and Palm Court are ravishing; the dining area is among the loveliest in Europe. Historical William Kent House, only behind, is seamlessly connected to the Ritz to present lavish private function rooms along with a couple of the resort’s top suites.
Service & amenities
In the doormen using their white gloves tucked in to their epaulettes and also the set of bellhops that open the double doors into each arriving guest into the frock-coated flunkies, the white-coated barmen and the chambermaids within their pinnies and caps, employees are close faultless (although not ideal: anticipated help with bags wasn’t coming on coming at the revolving front door). There are figures also. The old-school showmen-cum-concierges guy their desk using bravado but consistently places the guest first. Head concierge Michael de Cozar has held the job for 35 years; his dad worked in The Ritz for 27 decades and his brother also works there.
Bedrooms and suites — salmon pink, rose pink, blue and yellow — have now been restored in their original Louis XVI style (no ‘guest designers’ indulging themselves here, as in rival resorts). There are lots of signature suites with magnificent views, such as the Green Park Suite, which shows a more modern feel, yet nevertheless traditionally furnished, with white walls and a gentle purple color pallette.
Food & beverage
Executive Chef John Williams joined The Ritz at 2004 and at October 2016 obtained a Michelin Star for the first time, even though the quality of his food has long attained that standard. “What makes me especially proud” he says “is that another grande dame London resorts that have celebrities to get their restaurants are due to termed, entrepreneurial chefs brought in to conduct them; they are not employees of the resort, but I’m, pure and easy, and pleased to become”. His distinctive ancient British dishes fit their lovely surrounding. Stand out dishes include langoustine with cauliflower and pickled onion, turbot with leeks, Oscietra caviar and champagne sauce and crêpes suzette, flambéed in the table. Head Sommelier Giovanni Ferlito’s wines — along with his knowledge — match the meals. And on Fridays and Saturdays there’s dancing and dinner; what additional London hotel provides that?
Value for cash
Doubles from #455, such as breakfast. Free Wi-Fi.
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