Hotel Group: Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company (subsidiary of Marriott International)
Hotel Category: Tier 2 now a Category 6
Hotel Status: Gold
Booking Type: Points booking 40,000 (50,000 now)
Room Type: Arch view
Date of Stay: 2018
The Ritz-Carlton is arguably the best hotel in St. Louis. Located within the Arts and Garden District in Clayton, Missouri, it’s surrounded by great restaurants, shopping, beautiful parks, and the St Louis Zoo. The famous Gateway Arch is 11 miles away but choosing a room on a higher floor will give you a view of this national treasure.
The amenities are top-notch here including two restaurants, the city’s largest dine-in wine cellar, a sushi bar, a private cigar club, one of the best fitness centers in town, and a business center. Overnight valet parking is a respectable $25.
During my stay, this hotel was a tier 2 property requiring only 40,000 Marriott Reward Points. Considering the cash rate was just over $700 for a base room, it was an easy choice to book my stay on points.
Upon arrival, the valet guys were quick to greet me, assist with luggage and escort me to the front desk. I usually carry my own luggage but whenever I’m staying at a nicer hotel, I always let bellhops assist. Another nice touch is when they escort you to the front desk. It’s little things like this that elevate service. I had emailed the property before my arrival inquiring about a room with a view of the Arch, and they were happy to accommodate. The front-desk associate was polite and professional. We chatted about the hotel and St. Louis while she finished formalities. After about 30 minutes of checking-in Front Desk Manager Vira called and asked if I would like a room higher up, so I could see the Arch better. I would have accepted if I hadn’t already unpacked. Nonetheless, I was happy with my view.
My room was considered a Premium guest room because of the Arch view. Most guest rooms (not suites) are 530 sq ft, which is large compared to other hotels in the area. The room featured a Juliet balcony.
The feather bed featured Frette 400 thread count linens with extra padding on the mattress making it extremely soft. The pillows were even softer, almost too soft. Unfortunately, only one of the nightstands had access to outlets. I was traveling alone so it wasn’t an issue, but if I hadn’t been, it would have been a problem.
The mini-bar was fully stocked with somewhat reasonable prices. $5 for a can of coke is high, but you have to consider you’re at the Ritz-Carlton. Things are a bit more expensive here.
The coffee maker was a complete let down. This generic CV2 has no place here. This is what you will see at a $50 a night hotel, not $700. After a call to the front desk, they did deliver me a De’longhi coffee maker with pods, similar to a Nespresso machine.
I never had any issue with the Wi-Fi. I tested it several times, and it stayed around 14 Mbps the whole time.
I was happy with the view. Yeah, a higher floor would have provided a better view of the Arch but all I wanted was to see it. This was good enough for me.
The bathroom is done in Carrera marble, and I liked the glass instead of a shower curtain on the tub. The bathrobe and Andis 1875 hairdryer were nothing special but like always at Ritz-Carltons, the Asprey toiletries were excellent.
The new fitness area is superb. It doesn’t feel like a hotel gym but more like a real fitness center. There is an extensive selection of weight and cardio machines, and a separate room dedicated for yoga and stretching.
The locker rooms come with a sauna and steam room that was the perfect temperature. Overall, I was extremely pleased with what was offered in the fitness area and locker rooms.
I’m going off memory here since I didn’t take note of this, but I believe the business center is located where all the meeting/conference rooms are. The artwork around the hallways was original pieces making it feel more like an art gallery than a hotel meeting space.
One of my favorite parts of the hotel was the cigar club. It’s open to guest of the hotel staying overnight and to paying members of the club. The ventilation was great, and the cigar selection was as good as any around. To make it even better, they offered a wide range of scotch and whiskey.
There are two main restaurants inside the hotel “The Restaurant” and “The Grill.” The Restaurant serves breakfast and lunch Mon-Sat and Sunday Brunch.
The Grill serves dinner Wed-Sat.
The Lobby lounge/Sushi was where I had dinner. They offered your typical bar menu with sandwiches, salads, quesadillas, and steak. I ordered a Caesar salad with salmon. It’s the first time I’ve had a Caesar with olives, and it was delicious. Then I had sashimi salmon and a seaweed salad from the sushi bar.
Service was top-notch from start to finish. Jennifer waited on me in the lounge. She was friendly and always had a smile. I appreciated Vira calling, asking me if I wanted a better view of the arch as well as leaving a note and a piece of butter cake in the room for me. The bellhops escorting me to the front desk on my arrival just set the tone on how good service was going to be. The only thing I didn’t get was turndown service which I’m not sure if they do, but I wasn’t a big deal. I’ll give service 9/10.
I love the rich, deep wood ambience of the lobby area. I’m really surprised this isn’t a AAA Five Diamond Award winner. I thoroughly enjoyed my stay here and thought they lived up to the Ritz-Carlton standard. I have no doubt this hotel is in the top two in the city. I can’t say enough about it, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a luxury stay in St. Louis.
Have you stayed here, What are your thoughts?