The Ritz-Carlton and the Value of Luxury Travel
However, before you cock your arm to throw a rotten tomato at me, might I have just a few minutes of your time to plead my case?
I grew up in a very small, rural farming community in central Michigan where the notion of a luxury hotel the likes of The Ritz-Carlton didn’t even exist in my understanding. Sure, we had a few motels that passerby’s might avail themselves to, but no one was coming to our small village seeking a luxury hotel experience.
My only notion of a luxury hotel experience was formed from watching movie stars on our black and white television. And, their world seemed so completely apart from mine that the idea of my own luxury hotel experience never even entered my mind. In fact, there seemed to exist this unspoken disdain for the wealthy that I suspect was ultimately produced from the seeds of jealousy.
As a member of the baby boomer generation, I found myself privileged to be the first in our extended family to graduate from college, had the opportunity to do some extended college travel in Europe, and began to see and experience the fruits of a good many kings, queens, dreamers, entrepreneurs, musicians, artists, and business folks who had tasted a measure of success and had began to create and explore this thing called luxury.
Sure, many of them might think themselves somehow superior because of their good providence. But, there also existed a great many who with wide-eyed wonder learned to love the experience of luxury, and reveled not in their ability to afford such a thing, but in the great enjoyment of it for itself.
I’ve recently been reading the journal of King Solomon, reputed as the wisest man to ever live, and he says “Here is what I have seen to be good and fitting: to eat, to drink, and enjoy oneself in all one’s labor in which he toils under the sun during the few years of his life which God has given him; for this is his reward” (Eccl. 5:18)
Ever the dreamer myself, my wife and I started a small business in 1991. We worked our butts off for over 15 years, enjoyed a measure of success, and in the process learned that our success was built almost entirely on the experience we created for our clients. And, we began to learn that having wonderful experiences was not limited to any one industry, but might be found in every industry.
Disney comes to mind. Apple Computers, Mercedes Benz, Rolls-Royce, and yes, luxury travel found at The Ritz-Carlton.
So, my point to you is that experience, to the wise luxury hotel purveyor, is the paramount deliverable.
A luxury hotel that can consistently deliver an experience that will have folks standing in ovation is a luxury hotel that is likely worthy of your very, very hard earned dollars. For you see, it is these very experiences that will remain with you the rest of your life. Work hard to gather as many of life’s great experiences as you can.
This might be a wonderful stay at a luxury hotel, a fine cigar, a great bottle of wine, a wonderful meal, a fabulous mountain hike, a great book, or even a deep, honest conversation with a friend.
I’ve babbled the preceding 500+ words to tell you that we recently stayed at The Ritz-Carlton Battery Park in New York City. And, as is the custom of The Ritz-Carlton brand, they were simply hell-bent on delivering a luxury hotel experience unparalleled in the industry.
Did you know that The Ritz-Carlton brand is the first and only hotel company twice honored with the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award from the United States Department of Commerce? In fact, they have far more awards than I could possibly list here.
We enjoyed a “wow” experience from the moment The Ritz-Carlton bellmen open the door to our cab, to the registration clerk greeting us by name, to the remarkably comfortable bed, to the telescope in our room to peer at the State of Liberty. We enjoyed the greatest soaps, the most wonderful shower, exquisite dining, a stunning breakfast selection provided on our club floor, to the staff running to us as we left to make certain to say goodbye and welcome us back again soon.
It was much, more more than a hotel room. It was an experience!
This then is where if find value in luxury travel. This was an experience that we will carry for the rest of our lives. We both find great value in that.
In conclusion, I can hear some of you saying, “yeah, but I can’t afford it”.
Please hear me, you likely can! It just takes a little planning and smart travel. Take a peek at some of the ideas we have shared in our article: How to Enjoy 5-Star Resorts on a 3-Star Budget.
Now, get out there and find yourselves a remarkable experience!
Disclosure: our remarkable experience was provided by the kind folks at The Ritz-Carlton Battery Park. Thanks a bunch!