The Ritz-Carlton, Denver
What We Love
- Every room has a rainforest shower head and oversized tub
- Lots of business-friendly freebies, including shoe shines, coffee and newspapers
- The spa's whimsical treatment menu, including Colorado river stone massages and beer-infused malt body scrubs
What To Know
- There's a $12.95 per day fee for WiFi
- The Fitness Club, Forza, is adjacent to the hotel, not onsite
- Thanks to 13,000 square feet of meeting space, this is a magnet for business travelers and groups
- Handicap Accessible
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
This luxury hotel in the Mile High City offers the best of both worlds: a cosmopolitan setting in the buzzy downtown district and views of the majestic Rocky Mountains. Sports are something of a fixation here, with steak and seafood restaurant Elway’s named for Denver Bronco quarterback and NFL Hall of Fame Inductee John Elway – the venue even puts on special brunches before any home Broncos game. The spa, meanwhile, offers everything from bespoke body treatments to manicures, and there’s a café for healthy snacks post-pampering.
In the Area
Did we mention Denver is passionate about its sports? Get into the team spirit at one of several arenas within ten minutes walk of the hotel. Coors Field, a 76 acre ball park, is home to the Colorado Rockies; The Pepsi Center hosts professional teams including The Denver Nuggets (NBA Basketball), The Colorado Avalanche (NHL Hockey) and The Colorado Crush (Arena Football), while state-of-the-art INVESCO Field at Mile High is the place to see the Denver Broncos play. Prefer retail therapy? Hit up Larimer Square, where you can shop for everything from antique costume jewelry to artisanal chocolates, and do outdoor public yoga, if that’s your thing.
How to Get There
This property lacks the sophistication, elegance, and service associated with the Ritz-Carlton brand. It's going to be hard to keep this brief, but I will try.
The positive: yes, there is only one
1. We booked a king suite which was large enough to allow our toddler to nap while we watched, tv, read, etc.
The long list of negatives:
1. Before arrival, no one at Marriott could figure out how to merge 2 reservations I had made based on best available pricing. The Bonvoy representatives reportedly left messages on the general manager, "Joy's" voicemail at least twice and transferred me to do the same twice. She never called back and the rates posted were not honored.
2. Upon arrival, there were 3 women at the front desk going over a complaint with 2 front desk employees. I stood there for 15 minutes while no one offered to check me in. I listened to one of them argue back and forth over a charge that she admitted was not given to the customer in their reservation but was "sure was on the website because she runs the website" yet it took her 15+ minutes to prove her point to them. Disgraceful.
3. I called for extra towels on day 1, never received. Called again 3 hours later and finally got them.
4. Day 2 I called and asked if they could clean the room before 1 when our toddler naps. They said sure. No one ever came. So I called at 1 and asked them not to come and disturb him. They proceeded to call the room once and knock on the door twice during the nap...🙄
5. After nap, I asked for clean towels and extra pillows. They brought two sets of towels and no pillows.
6. Every beer we ordered in the bar was warm. The bartenders apologized, but come on...no cold beer?! They gave us one free beer as a consolation. We ordered 8 total amongst the group.
7. At checkout, I advised the front desk of the above issues. I completely understand that this poor girl had nothing to do with any of these issues. But, she basically said, "I'll let someone know."
8. I told them at checkout, we would be leaving in an hour when our toddler woke up again. And then they knocked on the door 15 mins later to ask when we were leaving....
In short, if asked, I would say this is a lovely property with mixed reviews. And if one reads the reviews, I think that is how one would sum it up because the other reviews reflect the same sentiments. They've got some things nailed down to Ritz standards, and other things absolutely not. Let's start with the good: great location, beautiful building, terrific doorman (Thomas) and concierge (Patricia), Club staff (Julie, Gregory, Spencer), bell person (Michelle), the food is great (though pricey), and rooms well appointed and comfortable. The staff named delivered exceptional service, and went out of their way to make sure that an already-very-stressful weekend went smoothly. Michelle brought us a free refrigerator, and she suggested it when she saw there were four of us. Patricia tracked down a one-of-a-kind Ritz lion stuffy as a graduation gift for my daughter. Julie brought us cookies, unsolicited, and the entire club level staff waited on us hand and foot. What's not working is odd because it comes down to Ritz (and hospitality) basics. First, the keys. The Ritz invested a ton of money to upgrade the keying system to one that absolutely does not work well. The fussy system requires a secret handshake to make it work, and if you read all the reviews, you will see it's not a one-off situation. Of four in our party occupying a suite, only one in 12 keys, rekeyed twice, actually worked consistently - no matter what we did. It got to the point where we had to have the bell captain, Michelle, help us use the one key that worked, and the others wound up being completely useless. As a result, we spent most of our weekend coordinating with each other to make sure we could in fact get back in our suite and into the club lounge for which we had paid extra. I stay in hotels 75 - 100 nights per year. It was not us. It's their key system. I've never had these issues in any other hotel, and I stay in dozens and dozens all over the world every year. Deny as they may, their selection of key system wound up being a very poor choice. Second, no one answers the phone. I don't mean they don't pick up once; I mean they barely picked up at all, really no matter when we called. Call housekeeping, no answer. Call valet, no answer. Call concierge, no answer. Call the main number, no answer. We were only there two days, but seldom got anyone on the phone when we called. We had to call two, three, or four times, and try different numbers to get any human on the phone. Third, failure to follow basic directions. We were there for my daughter's graduation. We called (after three attempts, we got guest services) and specifically arranged to have our suite cleaned while we were all at graduation services for five hours in the morning to mid-day. We knew we'd be back, and have a group of family members descend on us post-graduation, so we wanted everything clean. Did it get done? No, of course not because it would have been both convenient and helpful if housekeeping had done as we asked. We got back to a messy room, called three times again, only to get an irritated woman on that phone because my sister had already called them to ask for housekeeping to come. There would be no reason to be irritated with me, if they had simply followed our request in the first place. Following directions the first time means no follow up calls to numbers that do not answer the phone anyway. Fast forward, after an hour, a completely English-free maid showed up who could not understand one word we spoke. Evidently she thought we were coming back to the room and her services were not needed, and left without actually cleaning, which resulted in more phone calls to the irritated lady. If we were at a Hampton Inn, I would not care. It's a Ritz. These kinds of shortfalls are just not acceptable in a $750 per night, 5-star property. The people who were helpful were exceptional; the back of the house - failed on many fronts. I knew we were going to have about ten adults come over; I did not know that my daughter was going to invite half of her graduating class to our suite (eegads, teenagers). Thomas the doorman (I gave him a huge tip and thanked him profusely!) handled the influx of cars, and the front desk (whom I also tipped generously after the deluge) was very helpful in letting the teens up. Fortunately, the teens did not stay very long, and the lovely Julie hand-delivered some cookies to us for the impromptu gathering of graduates. In all, in the end, we had a lovely time. The shortfalls just wound up causing stress in areas where we should not have experienced any difficulties, because again, it all came down to the basics, a class in which this property needs to take a refresher course.
There really is nothing bad to say about the hotel. The location is a bit off the beaten path, but easy to get in and out of so that makes up for that, The suite was large and the bathroom was a good size. The only negative is that the hotel is a rather "sterile" environment, like any other hotel, so nothing special.
The room decor was lovely, the staff gracious and welcoming, bed wonderful, food excellent.
What I didn't like was the feeling of being nickeled and dimed - $3 extra for chocolate chips on pancakes, etc. - and the total lack of Platinum Elite benefits (the front desk wouldn't even waive the $6 Oreos my son ate without asking if it cost money). Valet parking was exorbitant and yet the guy actually seemed to expect a tip - when paying $50 for parking, I'm assuming you're paying your people well enough that tipping isn't necessary.
Also, the phone in the suite's living room didn't work - I kept having to go into the bedroom to use the one there, there was no laundry bag in the closet, the clock was confusing and analog so my son couldn't tell the time anywhere, without a mat the shower marble tile was excessively slippery, and the TV volume was weird in that we had to have it super high to hear dialog but then got blasted during adventure scenes.
Overall, I doubt I'll bother to stay at a Ritz again. So many other lovely hotels within Marriott's portfolio and by other companies where I wouldn't have the bitter aftertaste.
We stayed one night to try out a Ritz Carlton. The hotel is in a great location close to the Coors sports field and 16th St mall with free bus service.Valet parking is fast and professional. Excellent Staff, they care about assisting with everything. Our room was very quiet and the bed gave us a great nights sleep.