A lot of people tend to argue that the best luxury hotel in the United States is the Ritz-Carlton.
Celebrities, executives, and other people of influence have a reputation for staying there.
It’s also the only hotel in the United States that has managed to win the coveted Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award twice in its history.
Considering it’s often referenced in movies and seen as a hotel icon, you may wonder why it’s so expensive.
Why Is The Ritz-Carlton So Expensive? (10 Reasons)
Depending on the type of room you’re staying in and the hotel’s location, the price for a room at a Ritz-Carlton can start at around $300 a night.
The bigger and grander you go, the prices can quickly climb to several thousand dollars.
Some even climb as high as over $20,000 a night.
The Ritz-Carlton name, luxury amenities, and incredible locations are some of the reasons the Ritz-Carlton is so expensive.
Let’s examine these and other reasons in more detail.
1. Brand Name
One of the main reasons the Ritz-Carlton is expensive is its brand name and brand image.
The hotel chain got its start in the early 1900s, but it wasn’t until the 1980s that it started to truly branch out.
That said, the Ritz-Carlton had a reputation for providing luxury services and amenities for its guests.
They were among the first hotels to provide private baths for their guests, for example.
From the start, the hotel company wanted to provide a different experience to its guests.
It built incredible rooms, trained up its staff, and started to build a reputation for providing high-quality service and excellent rooms.
That’s a reputation that the company has continued to hold over the decades.
Since the Ritz-Carlton is synonymous with luxury hotels, whenever someone stays there, they expect to pay an expensive price tag.
It isn’t just that Ritz-Carlton built a reputation for having great rooms.
They built a reputation as a luxury hotel.
Luxury brands are always expensive compared to national chains or generic brands.
If you stick a luxury brand name on anything, it immediately becomes a bit more expensive simply due to its association.
The Ritz-Carlton is expensive because of the hard work it put into building its reputation as a luxury hotel.
Another reason the Ritz-Carlton is expensive is because of the locations of its hotels.
You can find a Ritz-Carlton in some of the most expensive cities in the world.
Some of its most prestigious locations include:
- Los Angeles, California
- Orlando, Florida
- New York City, New York
- Waikiki Beach, Hawaii
- Vienna, Austria
- Barcelona, Spain
- Berlin, Germany
- Beijing, China
- Perth, Australia
- Tokyo, Japan
- Fari Islands, Maldives
These are cities where tons of hotels and resorts want property.
They’re vacation destinations.
People flood to those cities all the time looking to have a great vacation or even to get married.
They’re also places of commerce.
A lot of business owners and executives fly into the cities to perform business and make important deals.
Even those who live in the city might want to take a local vacation and enjoy time at a fine hotel.
Because those areas are in high demand for hospitality, it’s very expensive to build a hotel in those areas.
The land prices or taxes can be substantial since the demand is so high.
Whenever supply is slow and demand is high, you can expect the particular purchase to be quite expensive.
This then influences the businesses’ prices because they have a lot of costs to cover.
Rental prices, taxes, or even a mortgage may be eating into their profits.
The Ritz-Carlton is always in an area where there’s a lot of traffic and demand for hotels.
Since it has some of the best venues, it has a lot of costs that it needs to pay.
To cover them, they have expensive prices on their rooms.
Some of their rooms are also more expensive than others because they offer a gorgeous view.
Views are important to some guests who plan on spending time in the hotel room to perform business.
Having an incredible view adds to the overall experience.
Since not every room can afford such a great view, the Ritz charges more for the rooms with the best views.
3. World-Class Spas
The Ritz-Carlton is expensive because it has world-class spas.
One of the reasons people love going to the Ritz is that they provide incredible places to relax and indulge.
One of the things that set the Ritz apart is that they use the local culture to determine the kind of spa that they want to make.
For example, their spas are often inspired by the meditative or relaxing methods used by the local culture.
They’ll build a spa that reflects those styles and even have a few instructors or workers who can help teach those methods to you.
They also always have people on hand ready to serve you.
Along with investigating local culture, they build each spa to match it.
The Ritz-Carlton doesn’t necessarily want to Americanize everything.
Rather, they prefer to build each spa to encompass the natural beauty in the area.
In some places, like the Maldives, they may not even need to build too much.
The beautiful scenery, alone, can heal the spirit.
This emphasis on relaxation, indulgence, and healing makes the Ritz expensive because it costs them a good amount of money.
For one, they need to spend time researching local methods and cultures.
Then they need to bring in a master architect who can take those ideas and customs and turn them into a spa.
Finally, the actual act of running the spa may be quite costly.
They have to pay for water, high-quality oils, shampoos, and other products used in spas.
Since the cost of running their spas can be quite high, they need to charge their guests extra money to pay for it all.
The spas at the Ritz are luxurious which also makes staying at the hotel expensive.
4. Excellent In-Hotel Restaurants
Another feature of the Ritz-Carlton that makes it expensive is its in-hotel restaurants.
A lot of hotels have restaurants in them.
They allow guests to grab a meal without even having to leave the building.
Some even allow them to order from the restaurant and have the food delivered to their rooms.
The quality of the food tends to depend on the hotel in question.
When it comes to the Ritz, however, the food is practically unparalleled in the hotel space.
The Ritz puts a lot of effort into its culinary experiences.
They hire top chefs to man each kitchen and provide several different dining experiences.
No two kitchens are the same at each Ritz location either.
Each one focuses on local ingredients and cuisine.
You can get a taste of the country that you’re exploring without having to leave the resort.
Some of the restaurants in the Ritz even have Michelin stars.
This indicates quality service and top-tier meals.
Besides having its own in-hotel restaurants, the Ritz also puts a lot of effort into providing a great culinary itinerary for those who want to explore outside of the resort.
The hotel concierge tracks down local food experts and gets the details on local, hole-in-the-wall, restaurants that provide great food but are under the radar.
This makes the hotel expensive because you’re getting an incredible culinary experience out of it.
It’s like eating at the best restaurant in the area on top of staying in the best hotel in the area.
The sheer amount of cost that the Ritz undertakes to ensure it provides high-quality meals means it has to set higher prices.
When you pay for an expensive room at the Ritz, you’re also helping them to fund their incredible restaurants.
5. Business Facilities
A lot of executives and business owners choose to stay at the Ritz-Carlton because they have high-quality business facilities.
Executives, in particular, often have to fly to different cities to present things to partners or to form new partnerships.
When they fly to a new city, they need a hotel that has great internet service that’s also secure.
The Ritz puts a lot of effort into providing high-quality business services to anticipate the needs of executives.
One of the ways that they do this is by having secure work areas.
Whether it’s a large meeting area or a small, private area, executives can focus on the work that they need to get done.
The Ritz spends a good amount of money to ensure they have the best internet in the area possible.
Nothing is more frustrating to an executive than slow or undependable internet access.
If they’re in the middle of a video call and the internet goes out, it could cost them a partnership.
The Ritz ensures that its guests have reliable and safe internet service.
They also have gorgeous rooms that can help inspire executives or make them feel comfortable.
Everything from the furniture to the ambiance is carefully thought about and constructed.
Executives can even enjoy conducting business in their rooms.
Many of the suites in the Ritz have excellent internet and other technology that can help them get their work done faster.
There are actual executive suites with great views, too, that they can use to help relax between bouts of work.
Doing work at the Ritz is a different experience.
Since the Ritz takes on more costs to offer the best possible experience for working individuals, they have to sell their rooms at higher prices.
6. Spacious Rooms
The Ritz is also expensive due to its spacious rooms.
No matter what room you end up renting at the Ritz, you’re going to find that they’re usually bigger than the average hotel room.
The Ritz wants to make its guests feel as comfortable as possible.
Being cramped inside a small hotel room, especially if you’re not alone, isn’t going to make you feel comfortable.
As such, the Ritz-Carlton designed each of its rooms to have a sprawling interior.
You have a bedroom, a clear living room, a bathroom, and a kitchen, all with their own space.
It doesn’t have everything cramped into a single room.
This is the Ritz’s attempt to make its guests feel even more comfortable and relaxed during their stay.
However, it also costs them money.
Hotels tend to have smaller rooms because it allows them to have more.
The more rooms that a hotel has, the more guests it can book at a time.
That means they’re able to earn more money each night.
It also means they’re usually able to sell at cheaper prices since their focus is on quantity rather than quality.
The Ritz has the opposite approach.
They want to provide their guests with high-quality rooms and services.
In exchange for having large rooms, they must charge their guests higher prices.
It allows them to earn a profit despite having fewer rooms available.
The Ritz-Carlton is expensive because of its spacious rooms.
7. High-Quality Staff
Another reason Ritz-Carlton is expensive is the need to pay its staff.
The hotel staff at the Ritz isn’t your usual hotel staff.
The Ritz spends a lot of time training them.
The company has a certain standard that it holds its staff to.
Since it’s a luxury hotel, it expects its staff to provide luxury-level service to its guests.
That usually means going above and beyond to make a guest happy.
The staff needs to learn how to anticipate a guest’s needs to provide them before the guest even needs to ask about them.
They also need to ensure that everything gets done quickly and effectively.
For example, the cleaning staff is always sure to leave every room impeccably clean.
You likely won’t find any bed bugs in a Ritz hotel.
That sort of training takes time.
It also means that the Ritz doesn’t hire just anyone.
Since they’re a bit pickier about who they hire, those who get paid tend to have slightly higher wagers than other hotel staffers.
Otherwise, the Ritz runs the risk of having workers who slack around.
It isn’t just bellboys, maids, and other typical hotel staff that the Ritz employs either.
They also have master chefs, masseuses, and other special workers in their hotels.
They want to ensure that they have an expert for practically anything that a guest could need.
Since the Ritz has to spend more on labor costs, they cover those costs with higher prices.
8. Incredible Experience
Perhaps one of the simplest reasons why the Ritz-Carlton is expensive is because of the experience that you have there.
A lot of people are willing to pay more money to get the Ritz experience.
It might even ruin your perception of other hotels.
The Ritz doesn’t just want to give you a place to rest and work.
It wants to give you an experience.
Since you can’t get that experience anywhere else, you have to pay the expensive price tag at the Ritz.
It ends up feeding into itself because the Ritz is the only place you can go to get the Ritz experience.
If you want the best hotel experience, then you need to pay the expensive prices at the Ritz.
9. Club Lounges
Like some other luxury hotels, the Ritz-Carlton provides exclusive access to guests willing to pay more to be part of their club lounge.
If you pay enough, then you will be able to get access to the private lounges in some of the Ritz’s locations.
These lounges allow you to have a private check-in area, a personal concierge, and daily culinary experiences.
There’s a regular mixologist who can put on a bit of a show or simply serve you your favorite drink.
The lounges also have a beautiful work area where you can take in the surrounding beauty while you work.
Each lounge area is carefully designed to reflect the natural beauty around it.
It takes references from the local culture and architecture as well.
Because you’re able to enjoy a lot of amenities privately, access to the lounge comes with a higher price tag.
10. Luxury Furniture
A final reason the Ritz-Carlton is expensive is that it uses luxury furniture.
You won’t find cheap furniture in your room.
The Ritz uses custom furnishings, king-size beds, and marble tubs to let you indulge at your finest.
Furniture like that doesn’t come cheap.
To ensure its furniture remains elegant and top-tier, the Ritz also has to switch it out from time to time.
That means they take on a lot of costs.
Covering those costs and experiencing a room filled with luxury furniture makes the hotel more expensive.
The Ritz-Carlton is one of the most famous hotel chains in the world.
It’s known for its luxury services and incredible rooms.
However, the cost of providing those luxury services and rooms tends to make staying at the hotel expensive.