Everything about the recently renovated Ritz is welcoming and beautiful, down to the complimentary coffee and tea (hot chocolate and hot apple cider in winter) in the lobby. A soothing gray and blue palette with pops of red, Chihuly glass, architectural details that plays off historic D.C., a super friendly and boot-camp-trained staff, and a quiet location in the West End near Georgetown make this hotel an outstanding experience. Westend Bistro serves elevated American-French cuisine, and Quadrant, the bar, creates cocktails with stories behind them (ask to see the menu). No doubt about it, the Ritz is hands down one of the city’s most luxurious hotels.
YOU SHOULD KNOW As upscale as the Ritz is, it welcomes kids and dogs with open arms and has special kid and doggie programs to ensure a special stay.
The rooms--some of the largest in DC--are decorated in the same soothing grays and blues as the lobby, with accents of red. Hints of DC include silhouettes of presidents and art photos depicting local landmarks. But it’s all about comfortable living here, including 400-thread-count Egyptian linens, the signature feathertop beds, down duvets, and a cozy sitting area and desk. Standard rooms are 550 square feet, while suites range from 900 to 2,200 square feet. Rooms look out over the courtyard or city.
The Club Lounge is available for a daily fee, which includes a concierge, pressed garments, and prepared food and drink throughout the day (including an enomatic wine pourer).
The gleaming bathrooms are big and luxurious, with a deep-set bathtub and stand-alone shower, gilded mirror over the sink, a lighted makeup mirror, Asprey bath products, plush terry robes and slippers, and plenty of marble.
The main lobby is stately with a gleaming marble floor, gray and blue wood-paneled walls and parlor chairs. But there’s whimsy here, too, including a green-glass chandelier and, around the corner, a painting of a green vase and red apples, with a real-life green vase and red apples arranged in front. The best part? There are plenty of nooks and crannies off the main lobby--with homey touches such as fireplaces and bookcases and plenty of tech pods--to grab a quick meeting with a client or steal away with a good book. This is definitely a place to linger and stay awhile.
There is no spa, but spa services can be arranged at the adjacent Equinox Sports Club.
Guests can pay a fee to work out in the adjacent Equinox Sports Club, a multistory, work-out temple with the latest cardio and weight equipment, a lap pool, basketball court, squash courts, and plenty of yoga and aerobics classes.
Westend Bistro prides itself on its market-fresh, seasonal American-French cuisine. The dining room is warm and cozy, with a selection of tables, banquettes, alcoves, and seats at the elliptical marble bar.
Quadrant, on the other hand, is a mixology experience, where classic and original culinary cocktails derive from the kitchen--meaning, everything is made from scratch. Try the smoky old fashioned, for example, or one of the sous-vides. Small bites are available as well. And for those with truly deep pockets, there’s always the vault (an actual safe, standing against the wall) where the Reserve List is kept and only opened to great fanfare with white gloves.
The Ritz-Carlton is located in the West End neighborhood of DC, near Georgetown. The White House and major monuments and museums are a long (but nice) walk away, or it’s easy enough to grab a cab. The nearest Metro stop is Foggy Bottom–GWU, about 3 blocks away.
Blue Duck Tavern (4-minute walk) is a highly acclaimed, Michelin-starred restaurant in the Park Hyatt hotel serving fresh, seasonal American fare (and the best apple pie around). Rasika (3-minute walk)is a Modern and traditional Indian food that people are talking about. Café Deluxe (across the street) serves up American fare and cocktails in a buzzy, bistro setting.
Rye Bar (17-minute walk) is a Colonial-style whiskey (and more) in an intimate, sophisticated space within Georgetown’s Rosewood hotel. A curving marble bar, banquettes, and plenty of light set the scene for an elegant cocktail at Tredici Enoteca (4-minute walk) just down the street at the St. Gregory. In finer weather, you can take it outside to the sidewalk patio.
WHY WE LIKE IT
You know everything about the Ritz has been thought through to perfection, to ensure a worry-free stay. It’s elegantly appointed, but comfortable and convivial--not stiff in any way. The second we walk in the door the doormen greets us with a “welcome back,” and everyone’s smiling. The living-room-like lobby beckons with crackling fires, cozy niches, and complimentary coffee or tea, beckoning to stay awhile (which we do). And the beds! A good night's sleep is guaranteed.