What are five things to know about The Ritz London?

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Before you book a room at The Ritz London, there are several things to know about the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel:

1. Leave your jeans and sneakers at home. The Ritz maintains a strict dress code in its restaurants and lounges. Men must wear jackets and ties and women should choose tasteful dresses or slacks for afternoon tea in The Palm Court and meals in The Ritz Restaurant (though guys can ditch the coat and tie during breakfast in the opulent restaurant, when rules are a little relaxed). Denim is only permitted at The Rivoli Bar, where everyone still dresses to the nines. But sneakers aren’t permitted anywhere.

2. You can bring the kids. While the formal atmosphere and rigid dress code don’t translate to family friendly, the luxury hotel tries to make up for it with its Kidz@TheRitz program. All children who check in become members and receive perks like a “Very Important Kid Card,” a welcome gift, free ice cream, kiddie-sized bathrobes and slippers, and milk and cookies at turndown.

3. The hotel is all about excess. If you like understated elegance, this isn’t your hotel. This is the spot for those who enjoy over-the-top experiences. It isn’t just tourists, either. English folks from outside of the city come here just to say they’ve been to The Ritz. They plan a day around afternoon tea at The Palm Court, followed by drinks at The Rivoli Bar.  

4. The Ritz Restaurant is a must. While the Piccadilly hotel puts you in a convenient spot to check out some of the city’s best dining, reserve a meal for The Ritz Restaurant — even if it’s breakfast. The dining room stuns with its ornate décor — a painted-sky ceiling with puffy clouds is surrounded by gold chandeliers and gilded bronze garland; one wall is covered in square mirrored panels; floor-to-ceiling windows look out over Green Park. It’s a lavish dining room.

5. There’s a secret casino. The London hotel doesn’t advertise The Ritz Club, an underground casino just for hotel guests and members (ask the concierge for access). Gamble among the high rollers at the blackjack, roulette and poker tables, and then relax in The Ritz Club’s own lounge and restaurant. You’ll be dazzled by the gilded ceilings, ornate frescoed walls, the sumptuous maroon-toned sofas and chairs, and the exclusive feel.

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