The Complete Guide to Ritz-Carlton

Take advantage of Ritz-Carlton's extensive global presence and loyalty program for luxurious hotel stays.
Ramsey Qubein
By Ramsey Qubein 
Edited by Meghan Coyle

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Synonymous with luxury, The Ritz-Carlton brand offers reliability, top-quality service and the benefits of the Marriott Bonvoy hotel rewards program.

Initially started by César Ritz, who opened the Hôtel Ritz in Paris in 1898, today there are nearly 100 Ritz-Carlton locations and 50 residential properties in more than 30 countries and territories.

Under The Ritz-Carlton brand, there are also Ritz-Carlton Reserve properties and the new Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection. All Ritz-Carlton resorts and hotels follow high standards, with a focus on being elegant without pretension.

About The Ritz-Carlton

Beyond Michelin-starred dining venues and elaborate spas, the brand is known for its Club Lounge product. Guests can pay to book a Club-level room directly or ask at check-in if there is a fee for an upgrade.

More than 80 hotels and resorts offer a Ritz-Carlton Club Lounge stay. The level comes with a dedicated Concierge, access to a private Club Lounge, unique in-room amenities and five food and beverage presentations (breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, hors d’oeuvres and cordials) featuring local cuisine, plus all-day refreshments.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Access to the Club Lounges is not available for free upgrades to Marriott elite status members.

Other interesting features at Ritz-Carlton hotels and resorts include its Ritz Kids program, which offers supervised activities for young guests, and its Ambassadors of the Environment program.

The latter partners with Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society and local organizations to give guests the chance to learn about the environment of their destination through nature-based and cultural experiences.

What is The Ritz-Carlton credo card?

As a reminder of the brand standards for The Ritz-Carlton, all team members carry a small card in their pocket with the credo and brand standards. Technically, the card is a key part of the employee uniform. It includes reminders about brand tenets like using guest names and being creative when solving problems.

This call to be creative is actually one of the aspects of The Ritz-Carlton service promise that sets it apart from other luxury brands: To solve guest problems and improve their overall stay, each employee is empowered to "rescue" guest experiences with permission to spend up to $2,000 per incident. This could be used, say, for helping guests acquire a clothing item they forgot or for having a special birthday or anniversary gift delivered to the room.

Is The Ritz-Carlton part of Marriott?

The company is currently a subsidiary of Marriott International. When Marriott International added The Ritz-Carlton brand, which had been previously independent, to its portfolio, it significantly elevated the overall value of the program for travelers who earn and redeem Marriott points.

Even so, the suite of which Marriott Bonvoy elite status benefits are available to guests might disappoint.

While the brand recognizes hotel elite status, the list of perks per Marriott Bonvoy's Elite Guarantee is not as extensive as at other Marriott family hotels. Don’t expect guaranteed room types or complimentary Club Lounge access.

Here is what Marriott elites can expect during a stay at The Ritz-Carlton:

  • Ultimate reservation guarantee.

  • Guaranteed welcome gift (1,000 points per stay).

  • Enhanced room upgrade.

  • Bonus points.

  • Late checkout. 

The Ritz-Carlton Credit Card

The Ritz-Carlton Credit Card is no longer publicly available, but for some Marriott Bonvoy co-branded credit cardholders, there may be a workaround.

If you have the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card or the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card, it is possible to switch to The Ritz-Carlton Credit Card from Chase after at least one year of card membership.

How the cards compare
Chase Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card
Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card
Apply now

on Chase's website

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card
Apply now

on Chase's website

Annual fee



Annual fee

Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after spending $1,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening with the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card.

Earn 3 Free Night Awards (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card!

Still not sure?

The Ritz-Carlton Credit Card's $450 annual fee includes three upgrade certificates to a Club Level accommodation, but you must reserve a special rate directly through Marriott to use it.

Best Ritz-Carltons in the world and U.S.A.

If you’re curious to try out the Ritz-Carlton experience yourself, these are some of the top Ritz-Carlton locations out there.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Marriott charges dynamic prices for award stays, which means the number of points you need for a redemption night will depend on the date of travel.

The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands

(Photo courtesy of Ritz-Carlton)

The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands uses modern architecture to wow its guests. There are no thatch-roofed overwater bungalows, as traditionally found in the Maldives.

The overwater villas have steps that lead directly into the Indian Ocean, and guests can expect excellent dining options, an overwater spa and access to several water sports activities.

The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes

(Photo courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton)

Adjacent to the JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes and not far from the Walt Disney World Resort parks, The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes benefits from great restaurants and lovely swimming pools. Guests also have access to the lazy river pool at the neighboring JW Marriott. Guests can bike, walk, jog or relax in hammock swings along the lakes fronting the property.

This location provides several kid- and family-friend activities that double as an alternative to visiting the nearby amusement parks.

The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans

(Photo courtesy of Ritz-Carlton)

The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans, located on Canal Street — which is famous for its Mardi Gras parades and proximity to the French Quarter — is one of the best Ritz-Carltons in the U.S.A. From live jazz in the lounge to an in-house Voodoo ritual in the spa, this hotel leans heavily into local experiences.

Ritz Kids is in full swing here, too, and when families check in, kids receive a special welcome packet. An in-house scavenger hunt rewards budding sleuths with a prize at the end.

The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami

(Photo courtesy of Ritz-Carlton)

The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami is on a 5-mile-long barrier island off the coast of Miami. Guests have access to a beautiful beach, swimming pools, a Caribbean-inspired spa and a tennis center. With direct access to the ocean, guests have numerous water sports activities they can enjoy, too.

The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco  

The outdoor patio at The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco. (Photo by Sally French)

The 336-room Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco stands out for its prime location within a 1909 Neoclassical landmark building in the city's prestigious Nob Hill neighborhood. Though it's a glute burner to walk up the hill from the flatter areas of the city, the hotel sits right outside the historic cable car line. From there, it's a delightful ride in one direction to Union Square, home of top-tier shopping. Or, it's an easy journey the other way to Pier 39 or Fisherman's Wharf, which has most of the city's tourist attractions including sea lions and Alcatraz tours.

As far as the hotel itself is popular with San Francisco tourists and locals alike thanks to its signature restaurant, The Lounge. In summer, it becomes especially lively. That's due to the annual Solaire Terrasse pop-up, held in collaboration with Veuve Clicquot. Upon entry, diners sink into plush chairs. Assuming San Francisco's iconic fog isn't in the picture, then yellow and white umbrellas provide critical shade. Refreshments include champagne, nosh lobster, caviar and a Veuve Clicquot-inspired zero proof sorbet which was created exclusively for The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco.

(Photo by Sally French)

And on certain Sundays throughout the year, it goes all out with a boozy tea party. Dubbed Madame Clicquot Afternoon Tea at The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco, guests nosh classic sandwiches and homemade sweets. And while tea is served, the real star is the Veuve Clicquot Champagne.

The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo

(Photo courtesy of Ritz-Carlton)

The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo towers above the city with views of the both the city skyline and Mount Fuji on clear days. Its lobby is located on the 45th-floor in one of the city's tallest buildings.

Its Club Lounge experience includes daily food and beverage presentations in one of four spaces, including a library and a garden terrace.

The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto

(Photo courtesy of Ritz-Carlton)

Around this unassuming property, guests of The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto will find more than 400 works of original artwork in a hotel that showcases Japanese art, textiles and design principles. The accommodations have traditional Japanese-style bathrooms with wooden wash areas with showers and separate soaking tubs.

The hotel was built on a site popular with Japanese nobility centuries ago for its riverside gardens. After dining on local Michelin-starred menus, guests can hop on one of the hotel’s bikes to explore the area.

The Ritz-Carlton, Koh Samui

(Photo courtesy of Ritz-Carlton)

The Ritz-Carlton, Koh Samui in Thailand was built on the site of a former coconut plantation. Today’s guests have 58 acres of island space to enjoy the Gulf of Thailand. The suites and private pool villa accommodations are spread along the hillside, giving unending views of the water.

There is also a private beach, pool area and spa. As is common at The Ritz-Carlton properties, there is a long list of local experiences that guests can undertake, such as Muay Thai boxing, cooking classes and kayaking through the many coves of the bay.

The Ritz-Carlton, Amman

(Photo courtesy of Ritz-Carlton)

The Jordanian capital has no shortage of Marriott brands, from a W and Marriott to a new St. Regis. But The Ritz-Carlton, Amman is one of the most prestigious addresses in town with the largest accommodations in the country.

The concierge team can organize visits to landmarks like the Dead Sea, the Roman Amphitheater, the Citadel and even Petra. Back on property, its outdoor swimming pool provides relief from the heat. Up on the rooftop, the hotel's Italian restaurant offers excellent views of the city.

Recently opened or coming soon properties

The brand is not slowing down. It is planning several new properties that have already opened or are on the horizon, including:

  • Nujuma, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Saudi Arabia (coming soon).

  • The Ritz-Carlton Dallas, Las Colinas (open).

  • The Ritz-Carlton, Portland (open).

  • The Ritz-Carlton, Fukuoka (open).

  • The Ritz-Carlton, Baku (open).

  • Rissai Valley, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve (open).

  • The Ritz-Carlton Rabat, Dar Es Salam (coming soon).

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are some of the best travel credit cards of 2024:

Marriott Cards from our Partners
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card

on Chase's website

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NerdWallet Rating
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Earn up to 17X total points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy® with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Card. 2X points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.


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Earn 3 Free Night Awards (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card!

Chase Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card

on Chase's website

Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate


Earn up to 14X total points for every $1 spent at thousands of hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy® and 2X points on other travel purchases (from airfare to taxis and trains). 1X point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.


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Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after spending $1,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening with the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card.

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