Which is best, Ritz-Carlton or Four Seasons? While the choice between these two hotel brands varies between individual hotels, Four Seasons hotels are generally more service-oriented and more individual. Ritz-Carlton has generally adopted a more generic mentality to service and decor to fit with the Marriott brand. That said, there are exceptional properties in both portfolios, so let’s break the comparison down into the different parts of the hotel to compare the two brands.
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Four Seasons offers a variety of styles across their hotels according to the destination and the property itself. For example Four Seasons Grand Hotel Du Cap Ferrat is a historic property, so takes it’s style accents from its classic and historic french architecture.
Check-in takes place on one of the plush white sofas in this magnificent foyer, which overlooks the sea across a cloud of soft treetops. Following check-in, it is worth taking a tour of the hotel to ensure you don’t miss out on the wine cellar packed full of almost priceless bottles of vintage wines; the route to the beach club; or the tunnels that lead to the spa, adorned with photos of past visitors like Roger Moore and Liza Minelli. Winston Churchill caught my eye (well-known for his penchant for champagne). It tickled me that he, too, had enjoyed a tipple on the terrace of this fabulous hotel.
Rooms are either in the main historic building with views out to sea or back inland towards the pine woods or in a newer building that must have been modeled on the Thunderbirds house. The latter, more modern rooms, offer marvelous large balconies but lack the history.
Another example of a Four Seasons hotel that embraces traditional architecture and mixes this with classic modern furnishings is The Ocean Club, A Four Seasons Resort, Bahamas. Others such as the Four Seasons resorts in Hawaii offer a more modern architecture and feel.
On the other hand, Ritz-Carlton offers a more consistent classic American style, and while I love Ritz-Carlton hotels, overall, I think that Four Seasons hotels tend to offer more stylish surroundings.
Goodness, this is so dependent on the individual hotel and will usually dictate which brand to choose. If you want to stay in Waikiki, there are no Four Seasons in Waikiki, so the best choice must be the Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach. There are some brilliant Ritz-Carltons in Florida, and they are in different locations from the Four Seasons hotels, so you choose the hotel according to where you want to spend your time location-wise.
An interesting location with both a Ritz-Carlton and a Four Seasons is Maui. The Four Seasons is in the sunnier location and is a brilliant property. The location of the Ritz-Carlton in Maui can be windy. In Dubai, the Four Seasons on the beach is better in location and quality than the Ritz-Carlton on the beach.
Although this is not always the case, generally, Ritz-Carlton hotels tend to be larger and more impersonal than Four Seasons hotels.
Both Ritz-Carlton and Four Seasons resorts offer glorious grounds. To choose between them would be too property-specific, so neither brand wins on this point.
Again, beaches are more property-specific than brand-specific.
Both hotels offer equally luxurious rooms. As a general rule, I find the rooms at the Four Seasons to be more consistent in size and decor, but again, this is very property-specific.
Both brands offer excellent and not so excellent restaurants. You will need to review the specific property to determine whether a particular property has an award-winning restaurant.
8. Family Facilities
Both brands are family-friendly, but Four Seasons has a particularly amazing kids program with gifts and special touches in the rooms. I would say Four Seasons is the best child-friendly hotel brand in the world.
8. Nickel And Diming
There is no nickel and diming for extras at Four Seasons hotels, and there are never any resort fees. Some Ritz-Carlton hotels charge $50 USD per room, per night resort fee, so watch out for this.
Both of these hotel brands offer magnificent hotels, and the merit of the hotel is very dependent on a specific property and varies hugely. Four Seasons has the edge as a general rule, but please do your research regarding where you specifically want to travel to, as Ritz-Carlton may well offer a better overall package.
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