- The Ritz Carlton Central Park
- LAN Business Class
- Exploring Central Chile
- The Grand Hyatt Santiago
- Exploring Easter Island
- Exploring Machu Picchu
If you read any guide book on New York, if you read Travel & Leisure’s list of Top 500 Hotels, if you hear about about Ritz Carlton’s flagship hotel – you’ll hear about the Ritz Carlton Central Park. It’s known as a luxury of luxuries. Why? The simple answer is service.
Ben, my friend who was joining us, was amused by the way I was treated at check-in. I’m not sure if it’s standard procedure or if it’s Marriott elite status, but I was treated like royalty. The front desk agent came from behind the desk to hand me (with both hands) his business card and assure me that I could contact him personally if I needed anything. Every time I saw him, coming in or out of the hotel, he welcomed me by name. When it rained we were given umbrellas, in the lounge they quickly offered me use of the lounge iPad, it was everything a luxury hotel should be in terms of service.
Now let me say this, the building is not breath taking. You don’t walk in and drop your jaw, you don’t gawk at your room and you don’t get lost in the lounge. The lobby is small, the rooms are antiquey and the lounge is tiny. It makes me realize how much I prefer uber modern hotels over old ones – in fact, my room AC squeeked. The bathroom was incredible but everything else was average for me. The incredible thing was being right on Central Park. If you like that area, I can’t imagine a better location.
I guess the thing for me, is that 70,000 Marriott points is absurd. I’ve realized that Ritz Carlton might be one of the nicest hotels owned by Marriott but they aren’t the best use of Marriott points. The cost is usually double that of a JW Marriott in points but often they are similar value and the biggie for me- no lounge access for Platinum members.
But to be honest, maybe it’s unheard of to knock the Ritz, but I can’t imagine how they could possible charge $1,200 a night! All the service suck-up in the world doesn’t cost that much for a standard room!
In closing, I was talking to someone the other day who has stayed at some nice hotels in NYC and I named a few I’ve stayed in and she said, “wait, the Ritz on Central Park or Battery Park?”.
“Central Park” I replied knowing that she understood there was a price difference.
She grinned and said “That’s funny! I have some very wealthy friends that stay there.” It’s funny because I stay in the same hotel as some of the wealthiest people she knows. The irony is that I’m poor and at the Ritz.