We stayed here on the Saturday after New Years coming back from a family reunion in North Carolina. Since we were in town to see the Houston Rockets play the Atlanta Hawks, we chose to stay here because of its proximity to the arena and because we knew the players were staying here. Having stayed at many Ritz Carltons in my lifetime, I would say that after the recent renovation, the Ritz Carlton Atlanta certainly rivals any other high end hotel, despite the minor drawbacks which show the hotel’s age.
LOCATION: If you’re looking to stay downtown, with the Four Seasons in uptown and the other Ritz in Buckhead, this is definitely your best option. It’s a short walking distance from all the attractions: World of Coca Cola, Georgia Aquarium, Philips Arena, Centennial Park, CNN center, ext. We didn’t hear any loud street noises at night as some others did. This was a problem at the Ritz in New Orleans but the area surrounding this hotel seemed to be just fine.
ROOMS: The hotel was fully refurbished from the bathrooms and rooms to the hallways. I favor this transformation from the traditional Victorian décor to a more modern design that is taking shape at many Ritz Carltons across the nation. All in all, the newly renovated rooms were probably the highlight of our stay: the mixture of gold and dark wood gives the room an inviting feel. The beds are lavishly done in typical Ritz Carlton style with feather duvets, Frette linens, ext. Other highlights of the renovations include a marble floored foyer, iPod docking stations, large flat screened TVs, and two queen beds instead of the typical two double beds. However, the only aspect of the room that was somewhat disappointing was the bathroom: it wasn’t just small, it was TINY. No separate shower, no deep soaking tub. To give you an idea, two people couldn’t physically fit in the room (not counting shower). Even though it was newly renovated with a lovely granite vanity and rain shower head, it was probably one of the smallest bathrooms I had ever seen in a hotel, much less a Ritz Carlton. However, despite this, I would still give the room 5 dots, which is a testament to just how nice it was.
SERVICE: The service at the Ritz Carlton Atlanta certainly met my expected standards and maybe even exceeded them. From the second I got out of the car, everybody knew our name. For a hotel with more than 400 rooms, you can’t underestimate how impressive that is. The woman at the front desk was especially cheery and greeted us by name every time we passed by and made every effort to please us. Without exception, every staff member extended every possible courtesy toward us. But at the Ritz Carlton, it’s the details that make the difference. Turn down service was absolutely fantastic, in addition to the typical stuff, it included slippers. The valet service hangs a list of local radio stations from the mirror in your car. Nice touch! It’s always difficult to find the right stations in cities your not familiar with. Also, in our room, there were multiple letters and cards personally addressed to us wishing us a nice stay. Thoughts like this separate the 5 star properties from the 4 star properties (like the Ritz Carlton in New Orleans we stayed at the week before).
DINING: Didn’t eat dinner or breakfast at the property, but we did have afternoon tea at the lobby lounge which was an interesting experience. The classic décor of the lobby lounge helps balance out the more modern feel of the hotel. The tea included sandwiches, miniature pastries, and petit fours. While it was delicious, I must warn you that they give you way too much food. In addition to the tea, you are given four miniature sandwiches and ten pastries per person. I assume its “proper” to just take a small bight of each item, but that would be so wasteful. Nevertheless, it was delicious and I would whole heartedly recommend it. Just know your going to have more food on your plate than you would expect.
MISCELLANEOUS: Also, it should be noted that this Ritz Carlton doesn’t really have a Spa which is shocking. They technically have a couple of “massage rooms” inside the Fitness room, which is also on the small side. In addition to the small bathrooms, these facts really show the hotel’s age. Also, like way too many Ritz Carlton’s I’ve stayed at there’s no pool. Get this: the last three Ritz Carlton’s I’ve been to have no pool while the last three Hampton Inn’s I’ve been to have a pool. The fact that the hotels are in the city is no excuse. Every single Four Seasons has a pool and a spa so the Ritz needs to catch up.
OVERALL: All in all, staying at the Ritz Carlton Atlanta was a nearly flawless experience, especially considering the great holiday value. However, despite the new renovation, the hotel still shows its age in some aspects. Nevertheless, the accommodations (minus the bathrooms) and the service at this hotel are some of the best I have ever experienced at a Ritz Carlton. Just note that many of the negative reviews for this hotel were in the past before the renovations.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Ritz-Carlton, Atlanta is downtown's premier business address and a luxurious oasis in the heart of the city. Awe-inspiring interiors create an unequaled environment for work and play. Surrounded by the state's centers of finance and government, and just minutes from the Georgia Aquarium and sports events, The Ritz-Carlton, Atlanta is ideally situated. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Ritz-Carlton Atlanta Hotel Atlanta
- Ritz Carlton Atlanta
- Atlanta Ritz Carlton
- Ritz Atlanta