Which is best, Ritz-Carlton or St. Regis? Ritz-Carlton and St. Regis are both high-end brands under the Marriott umbrella. They share this elite spot with BVLGARI, EDITION, and The Luxury Collection. These brands occupy a 5-star luxury category, with room quality and size, service, restaurants, and the hotel as a whole offering an ultra-luxurious setting.
There are currently 61 St. Regis hotels. There are 11 in North America, 2 in Africa, 24 in Asia, 6 in Central America and the Caribbean, 6 in Europe, and 10 in the Middle East. This compares to 108 luxury Ritz-Carlton hotels and resorts across 30 countries.
Both brands are geared towards the luxury leisure traveler as well as high-end business travelers. Often, you don’t need to choose between Ritz-Carlton vs. St. Registhere is only one hotel of either brand in a destination.
For example, we visited and reviewed the St. Regis in Florence, but there was no Ritz-Carlton to compare it to in Florence, so the St. Regis was the obvious choice. The same goes for Maui, where the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua is your only option as there is no St. Regis on Maui. The luxury Wailea Beach Resort, Marriott as another Marriott option in Maui, but if you’re choosing between Ritz-Carlton vs. St. Regis, there’s only one option.
The difficulty comes when there’s both a Ritz-Carlton and a St. Regis in a destination. In this case, it’s worth knowing the differentiators between these two hotels.
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Neither the Ritz-Carlton nor the St. Regis offer a specific style. The style varies by property and destination. The St Regis in Florence is one of the best St. Regis hotels in the world. It is hugely ornate, with enormous formal staircases, stained glass ceilings, and chandeliers. It offers a historic, airy double-height lobby with archways and pillars and lots of ornate detailing. By contrast, the St. Regis in Venice offers a plainer, more modern design with much less detailing. Here, it’s all about the garden and the waterfront views.
One of the best Ritz-Carlton hotels is the Ritz-Carlton in Maui, which has been recently refurbished with glorious wood flooring and a modern, luxury design.
Ritz-Carlton New York Nomad also embraces a bold, modern design, as well as legendary restaurants and bars, enlivening the essence of the new Madison Square Park.
Many rooms here have stand-alone bathtubs next to the window, so you can relax while looking out over the New York skyline. Watch the setting sun cast a warm glow over the skyline as the city transitions from day to night. The views from the bed, the bath, and the room are just fabulous.
Which is best for style: Ritz-Carlton or St. Regis? To be honest, this is an impossible question as each hotel is so different. However, for cities with both properties, I can share a few personal pointers.
In New York, I would pick the Ritz-Carlton New York Nomad over The St. Regis New York as I love the views from the Ritz-Carlton New York Nomad and also the luxurious modernity of the design. Much like many St. Regis hotels, the decor in this St. Regist New York property is fussy, ornate, and less to my taste.
There’s a Ritz-Carlton and a St. Regis in Langkawi. The Ritz-Carlton beach is better than the beach at St. Regis when it comes to general maintenance and cleanliness. For families, the Ritz-Carlton also has a superb kids club. Pick St. Regis for their brilliant Sunset Villas, which are outstanding. Also worth noting is that the St Regis breakfast can be taken near the Eagle and the jetty, which is a lovely setting. However, the Ritz-Carlton Langkawi was recently refurbished, which may sway your final decision.
Both Ritz-Carlton and St. Regis tend to be positioned in tourist destinations. As both brands are ultra-luxury, they tend to be housed in very centrally located properties in each city, and the location of the hotel is not usually a deal breaker. In Venice, St. Regis is right on the waterfront. In Florence, St. Regis is right in the center of the historic streets, too. The best choice depends on the individual property.
When comparing the number of hotels in various locations, there are currently 11 Ritz-Carlton hotels in Europe compared to 6 St. Regis. There are currently 43 Ritz-Carlton hotels in the United States compared to 11 St. Regis, so Ritz-Carlton offers a much wider choice of hotels.
London is an interesting destination as there is currently no Ritz-Carlton or St. Regis in London. There’s a “Ritz” hotel, but this is not related in any way to the Ritz-Carlton brand. The good news is that the St Regis London will soon open after a £90 million redevelopment of the Westbury Mayfair Hotel. The Westbury Mayfair Hotel is a former Luxury Collection hotel located on the corner of Bond Street and Conduit Street. Louis Vuitton, Vivienne Westwood, Burberry, and Hermes are all a stone’s throw away. The St. Regis London is expected to open in 2023 with 196 rooms and suites. Designs are by Richmond International, which also worked on The Langham London and Four Seasons Trinity Square which are both stunning properties.
Although this is not always the case, generally, Ritz-Carlton hotels tend to be larger than St. Regis hotels.
Usually, Ritz-Carlton hotels and resorts offer glorious grounds. A typical example is the Ritz-Carlton in Maui, with glorious lawns that span right down to the beach. St. Regis hotels tend to have smaller grounds.
Ritz-Carlton hotels tend to be more resort-biased, so quite a few have beaches. There is the Ritz-Carlton Maui, which stretches down to its own private beach. Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay is located on a wonderful Pacific clifftop next to a sandy bay. Some of the best Ritz-Carlton hotels are in Florida and many have beaches including Amelia Island, Fort Lauderdale, South Beach, and Naples.
The best Ritz-Carlton beach resorts in America also include Ritz-Carlton, Saint Thomas on the US Virgin Islands and Waikiki Beach although the latter isn’t directly on the beach and is instead located a few blocks from Waikiki beach.
The Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe, Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch and Ritz-Carlton Vail are all excellent ski resorts. These are slopeside resorts and often stand-alone, as opposed to the St. Regis properties like St. Regis Aspen, which tend to be located by or within a town. There are more Ritz-Carlton ski hotels, so Ritz-Carlton wins as the best overall choice for skiing.
Both hotel brands offer equally luxurious and large rooms. As a general rule, the rooms at the St. Regis tend to embrace the local setting and be more ornate than the rooms at Ritz-Carlton hotels.
8. Club Lounge
Club lounges are a major differentiator between these two hotel brands. Ritz-Carlton has some of the best club lounges in the world. Most Rit-Carlton hotels have a club lounge, whereas few St. Regis hotels have a club lounge. If a club lounge is a dealbreaker, pick the Ritz-Carlton.
9. Family Facilities
Ritz-Carlton has a particularly amazing kid’s program with gifts and special touches in the rooms. We feel Ritz-Carlton hotels usually have more to offer families than St. Regis hotels.
Both of these hotel brands offer magnificent hotels, and the best hotel choice very much depends on the specific hotel, as each individual property will vary hugely. Ritz-Carlton tends to win for size, facilities, modernity, grounds, and overall caters better to leisure travelers. However, if you aim to immerse yourself in local history and culture in a more boutique setting, St. Regis should not be missed either.
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