1.09.2013

Pack Your Bags: A Traveler's Look at the Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte, N.C.

I’m just going to cut to the chase here and declare on record that the Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte, has the coolest, hippest, most luxurious bathroom that I’ve personally experienced so far in my travels.

As soon as our bellman left our room, my son pushed us out of the way and headed to the bathroom uttering, “Make way, I’m going to watch some TV in the bathroom!”

Marble and granite bathroom in deluxe room at Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte, NC

How often does a 7-year-old get to say that?

This eco-friendly boutique hotel, located in the heart of uptown Charlotte, has bathrooms so large that it rivals the size of a small bedroom.  The TV screen, located in the bathroom mirror, makes it urban cool.

Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte

In fact, the entire hotel carries a cool, city vibe.  Not only is it in one of the best locations in the city, but it’s Mother Earth’s best friend, too. The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte, is the first LEED® Gold-certified hotel for greater Charlotte and the Ritz-Carlton brand. The hotel offers environmentally mindful features and practices, including a green, vegetated roof and rooftop beehives to make its own honey that is used in ice cream and organic spa treatments.

We didn’t visit the bees, but we saw lots of chocolate. 

Delicious goodies from the chocolate afternoon tea


The hotel is known for its sinfully delicious Bar Cocoa, the hotel’s decadent chocolate bar featuring hot chocolate, cookies, pastries, cupcakes, and confections.

Look at what greeted us when we entered our room on the 12th floor.

She could not keep her hands off the cupcakes

 I’m pretty sure my kids thought they stepped into a dream world: a room filled with chocolate goodies, and a TV in the bathroom. That’s living life to the fullest.  And truthfully, that is what we were there to do.  As I shared in my article on Skimbaco Lifestyle, I wanted a pre-holiday getaway to experience the excitement of the holidays in another town, indulge in the hotel’s chocolate tea, and to make December birthdays a little more special.

And there is just something special about a Ritz-Carlton that makes a destination even more special.  Charlotte is no exception.  This is a boutique hotel with just 146 rooms and 18 floors.  The rooms are sleek, plush, and contemporary.  So modern, in fact, that we were like “country mice” visiting the city. We had to ask how to turn on the lamps beside our beds. 

Two people could sit at the desk and work.

We settled into our spacious room for four quite comfortably, and one of the design elements that I truly loved about the room was the work desk.  It was designed so that two people could easily work at the desk, which our children adored.  I think I’m going to frame this little beauty made by my son.  I love that it is on hotel stationery to record this special, family time.



The entire weekend we were in Charlotte was kid-focused. The hotel is within walking distance to the NASCAR Hall of Fame and Discovery Place, in addition to other uptown attractions and restaurants.  

The hotel has complimentary trek bikes for guests to use while in the city as well as weekday complimentary transportation around the city using a hybrid vehicle, all part of its award-winning eco-friendly initiatives.

When we first arrived at the hotel around 4:30 p.m., lights in the lobby were very dim, and I later learned that this happens every Saturday as the hotel salutes candle power and a simpler, more energy-efficient way of illumination. 

This table in the Lobby Lounge by the fire screen is so cozy. 

With the sleek, sophisticated, modern design of the lobby, along with the dim lighting, I did wonder for a few brief seconds if I had made a mistake bringing the kids.  But let me assure you that no matter how fancy the building is, Ritz-Carlton is still one of the most kid-friendly hotel brands I’ve stayed in on a vacation.

When we returned to our room after swimming in the coolest indoor pool ever, we found out that Mother Nature left my kids new eco-friendly friends.  They really know how to go the extra mile to make a young guest feel welcomed, and a seasoned guest feel pampered.

The hotel's "Mother Nature" left my kids new friends. They continue to sleep with them at home in Raleigh.  The
indoor pool at the Ritz-Carlton,  Charlotte is fabulous. It also doubles as a lounge and one can sip on drinks overlooking the city skyline. 


In addition to Bar Cocoa, we dined in the Lobby Lounge for breakfast.  One of the things that you can pretty much guarantee when you check into a Ritz-Carlton is delicious cuisine.  They had a fantastic children’s breakfast menu.  Apparently, the chocolate chip pancakes will rock your world.  My son, who ordered French toast, took a bite of his sister’s pancake and declared, “That is PARADISE!”

Breakfast in the Lobby Lounge was delightful.

He wanted to order those the next day, but our beds were so comfy that we slept in and were too late for breakfast.

Instead, we grabbed a pastry in Bar Cocoa and told Madame Cocoa, who is dressed entirely in chocolate, that we will visit again one day.

Her chocolate hat, dress, and shoes are quite impressive

When the valet said goodbye to us as we were on our way back home, he stocked our car with complimentary bottled water. I have to honestly say that I love the complimentary bottled water perk in Ritz-Carlton hotels because when I travel, I can't seem to drink enough. 

And after staying in an award-winning green hotel, you can bet that I recycled the bottles when I got home. 

WANT TO GO:
Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte
201 East Trade Street
Charlotte, NC 
Visit http://www.charlottesgotalot.com/





Disclosure: I was a media guest of The Ritz-Carlton so I could feature the resort as part of my “Pack Your Bags” segments as well as on assignment for Skimbaco Lifestyle Magazine.  My family did have out-of-pocket expenses while at the hotel.  As with all of my hotel reviews, these are my honest opinions and are not influenced by the hotel.

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