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As a Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel, The Ritz London is full of amenities, but here are the best it has to offer:
1. The underground casino. The luxury doesn’t make it known, but The Ritz Club is an underground casino. And the only people who are invited are hotel guests (ask the concierge for access) and members. You’ll feel like you stepped into your own personal Monte Carlo, with blackjack, roulette, poker and more, as well as a separate lounge and a restaurant. With gilded ceilings, ornately frescoed walls, plush maroon sofas and chairs, and glitzy gold everywhere, it exudes exclusivity.
2. The restaurant. The Ritz Restaurant is one of the most beautiful dining rooms in the city. Sit at a white-clothed table underneath a painted-sky ceiling surrounded by chandeliers and gilded bronze garland. One wall is covered in square mirrored panels. If you can pull your eyes from the sumptuous décor, you’ll see Green Park right outside of the floor-to-ceiling windows. Head there on Saturdays for Live at The Ritz, a four-course dinner accompanied by live American Songbook music and dancing.
3. The location. If you want to be in the thick of the city, The Ritz puts you there. The hotel sits on Piccadilly, next to Green Park (walk across the park and you’ll land at Buckingham Palace) and a straight shot to Piccadilly Circus. The bustling touristy attraction is just a two-minute walk from the hotel, and along the way you can shop for tea at the massive Fortnum and Mason. It’s also two minutes from the great shopping on Bond Street, including Gucci, Prada, Cartier and upscale U.K. brands like Daks, which does casual clothing for men and women as well as accessories.
4. Afternoon tea. While afternoon tea is a British custom, the luxury hotel elevates it to the equivalent of special-occasion dining. Families plan trips around a formal tea service in the ornate Palm Court, with its gilded ceiling and gold statues and chandeliers. They dress up (no denim or sneakers) to nosh on finger sandwiches like cheddar cheese with chutney on onion bread or chicken breast with horseradish cream on white.
5. The bar. The Rivoli Bar is one of the few places in the London hotel that isn’t all Louis XVI-influenced décor. The chic spot still has glitz — gilded ceiling domes, Murano glass chandeliers — but you’ll see more art-deco influences that recall 1920s Paris, like framed metallic art, flower-like sconces and dark wood walls with thin gold horizontal stripes. Embrace the vibe and order the truffle-flavored Gatsby (Bacardi 8 Rum, truffle honey, Matusalem Oloroso, sherry, Barolo Chinato).