As I walk up the steps of Green Park Station, the iconic The Ritz London hotel comes into view. There are few hotels in the world that have the capability of stopping you in your tracks. The Ritz London is one. People walk around me quickly, some even huff as they go past the woman who has decided that stopping in the middle of a busy London street is a good idea. I arch my head, looking up toward the pavilion roof and the large green copper lions that adorn it.
Finally, my feet start working. I walk between the archways and the exterior of the Ritz Club and Bar, before turning the corner to the hotel entrance. In a momentary lapse of complete cliché, I start humming ‘Puttin’ on the Ritz’. The doorman smiles warmly at me as I step through the revolving doors, forgetting the song and the world outside The Ritz London.
I feel like Alice stepping through the looking glass. Only, instead of stepping into a world of madness, I’ve stepped into a world of unparalleled luxury. I’m surrounded by lavish interior design in the Louis XVI style. The lobby is circular, with a plush carpet adding colour to the soft cream-coloured setting. The concierge desk sits to one side, and the reception to the other. And every person, guest and staff members alike, are smiling.
To the Deluxe King Room, please
We take the elevator. I marvel over the paintings, each enhanced with gold, that adorn the elevator walls. Apparently, there are so many paintings and so much gold throughout the hotel, that The Ritz London employs their own personal guilder.
I’m shown to my room – the Deluxe King Room. The woman from reception shows me some important elements of the suite before leaving me to relax. I fight the urge to fall on to the bed with joy. A room as beautiful as this needs to be taken in slowly.
I start in the bathroom. There is a tub, of course, and a rainfall shower; the walls and flooring are a combination of white Italian marble and pink Norwegian marble. In an antique silver vase on the vanity top, is a Ritz rose. I lean in to smell it. It’s intoxicating.
The suite is vast and inviting. There is a lounge to one side showcasing stripes in an array of blues. On the coffee table, I’m treated to a bottle of bubbles (which I open with a bang), a sweet treat, and a variety of fruit sitting atop an antique serving dish. The suite houses a fireplace, with a portrait of Arthur Davis (one of the architects of The Ritz) on it. On the far side of the room is a vanity; I place my make-up bag here. Again, my eyes fall on the bed. Decorated with a French style blue and white cover and the plushest pillows, I can no longer fight it. Placing my glass of bubbles safely on the bedside table, I throw myself on to what is possibly the largest bed I’ve ever seen. I’m in heaven.
Can Pyjamas pass as trousers?
Realising I’ve probably spent too much time in France recently, I notice my suitcase holds three pairs of jeans… which is not appropriate attire for dining at The Ritz Restaurant. I contemplate borrowing a skirt from The Ritz cloakroom (they are very prepared for anyone in need of nice shoes, skirts or trousers). Then, I spot my pyjama trousers in my suitcase. They are brand new, with a chic bohemian pattern. I put them on and twirl in front of the mirror. The ‘pyjamas or trousers’ look is very on trend at the moment…
In the end, I decide to stay in my bohemian pyjamas and order room service. Considering it was almost 9.30pm, this was my best decision of the night. My night couldn’t get any better than enjoying a glass of bubbles in hand, vegetable and basil soup, pyjamas and movies in the Deluxe King Room of The Ritz London.
Breakfast of Champions
Although breakfast is still a formal affair, the attire is a little more casual for guests. The ‘no jeans’ rule applied to lunch, afternoon tea and dinner is thrown out the window. Which is great for me, given my jean-heavy wardrobe.
Everything at The Ritz London tastes better, sweeter, richer. My orange juice tastes like it was hand squeezed from the sweetest oranges, and the fruits and pastries on display are to die for. I make my way around the buffet breakfast. When I spot the Coco Pops, my inner child comes out. I try to be conspicuous, while serving myself Coco Pops. Then I realise, there are at least three other adults who have done the same.
This room is probably my favourite in the hotel. Garlands of gold flowers gently scoop between the many chandeliers. There are frescos and statue all around. I watch the waiters weave expertly between the table. Some are dressed in black and some in white (waiters and back waiters). Having worked in the service industry when I was younger, I watch them with fascination. It’s almost like a dance.
‘Afternoon Tea at The Ritz’ is famous for a reason
Wonderland and The Ritz London do have one thing in common – exceptional afternoon tea. People come from all over the world to indulge in ‘Afternoon Tea at The Ritz’ at the Palm Court. Families, couples, friends, colleagues; everyone who comes to The Ritz London is dressed to impress. I notice one young girl in a stunning red taffeta princess dress with jewels and sparkly shoes. She has a scone in one hand a cup of tea in the other, and she is beaming.
Although The Ritz London doesn’t have a dedicated vegan afternoon tea, they are more than happy to customise this incredible experience. Just be sure to advise them the day before.
History of The Ritz London:
The Ritz London first opened in May 1906, by Swiss hotelier Cesar Ritz. Toward the end of World War I, The Ritz London had risen to a prestigious status and was a favourite meeting place for socialites, writers, actors and politicians. In the mid 1990’s, the hotel under-went a £40 million restoration. And in 2002, it became the first hotel a Royal warrant from the Price of Wales for its exceptional banquet and catering services. For more than 100 years, The Ritz London has been recognised for its grandeur and excellence, and is a symbol of high society and luxury in London.
Mahala Wallace stayed as a guest of The Ritz London.
150 Piccadilly, St. James’s, London W1J 9BR, United Kingdom
+44 20 7493 8181
For more personalised information tips and advice, or to book this incredible holiday contact your local TravelManagers’ personal travel manager here.