1.19.2011

Pack Your Bags: The Ritz-Carlton, Atlanta

Georgia is on my mind! My son is learning about Dr. Martin Luther King, junior at pre-school this week. While prepping dinner, I told him that Dr. King was born in Atlanta. JH has a keen interest in travel so we talk about different places a lot, and we usually end the conversation with something like this.

“Maybe we can go there!” says JH.
“We sure can, and I know exactly what hotel we can stay in on that trip," I respond.

It is only fitting in light of my recent conversation with my son that we go to the Ritz-Carlton,Atlanta for our second, “Pack Your Bags” feature.

The luxury brand hotel has two hotels in the Atlanta area, but I chose this particular Ritz-Carlton, located in downtown Atlanta on Peachtree, N.E, because it is special to me.

My husband and I stayed here a few years ago while attending a dear friend’s wedding in Decatur. Georgia.  I think JH was two, and he stayed with my mother-in-law so not only was I happy for my friend, but also for myself because I was getting away for a long weekend—kid free. We all were so excited for my college friend’s wedding because she always told us that she would never get married. Well, I guess one should never say “never” because cupid proved her wrong. We would not have missed this wedding for anything. The UNC gang selected another hotel closer to the wedding site, but I had other thoughts in my mind and broke away from the pack.  I e-mailed them all and said, “You can join me or not, but I’m staying at the Ritz-Carlton!”

My choice was quite simple. We all have checklists in life!  Some of you may want to run your first marathon or perhaps backpack across the country or if you are really brave, skydiving could be on your checklist. . For my husband, it was to hike the Appalachian Trail and climb Mount McKinley in Alaska. He put a check mark by those items in 1996.  But for me, I wanted mark off on my paper: Stayed at a Ritz-Carlton Hotel!
Borrowed from the Ritz-Carlton website

Since childhood, I have had a love affair with this luxury hotel brand. As a feline lover, I loved its logo with the regal lion, and the luxury that it embodied as soon as you walked in its doors.  I was a television product of the 80’s, and watched shows like “Dynasty” and “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” and in my mind, this luxury hotel was the best of the best. I even have childhood memories of my late father attending a convention at probably this same hotel in Atlanta, and not being allowed to go. I vividly remember saying, “How dare you go to the Ritz-Carlton and not take me. That’s not fair! That’s not fair!” and then I probably slammed my bedroom door. I was a teenager, after all!

This May wedding was my opportunity to spend three nights in a hotel that I had only dreamed about, and the Ritz-Carlton Atlanta did not disappoint with its turndown service, robes, slippers, and Italian Frette Linens. My stay was everything I imagined and then more. We felt as if we were the only guests they had to serve. The customer service was wonderful, and I loved it when the valet gave me water every time I got in the car and returned home for the evening, and he even knew my name!  For those three days in Atlanta, I felt like a princess who left her child with a nanny, and I ate like a Queen each meal I had there. Our breakfast buffet in the hotel’s signature restaurant, Atlanta Grill, ranks as one of our all-time favorite breakfast buffets. In between our scheduled wedding events, the concierge guided us to the nearby Georgia Aquarium, which was a great experience and very close to the hotel.  Upon returning, she had a table waiting for us at the hotel’s afternoon tea service. I have had tea in Paris, London, Canada and in many hotels in the U.S, and I have to say I was quite impressed with Ritz-Carlton-Atlanta’s scones and tea sandwiches. 

Whenever my son was old enough to engage in conversations, I have told him that when he is five, I’m going to take him to a Ritz-Carlton for tea, but he has to have really good manners, and act like a gentleman. Today, it dawned on me that JH is now five.  I told him with excitement at dinner that Ritz-Carlton opened a hotel in our home state of North Carolina so it will be much easier for us to take a weekend trip to Charlotte to have our tea, but he’s got to do better with his manners and listening skills.  Today he did not excel in those areas.

He listens, takes a bite of his food then says without hesitation, “Mom, what is a Ritz-Carlton?”

The child has so much to learn!  And I can't wait to teach him.

Until next time……I’m off for a cup of tea!

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