Whether you are on a family holiday or a business trip, the words “luxury hotel” evoke expectations of comfort, incomparable service and breathtaking elegance. And when it comes to the Ritz- Carlton, it is indeed all of the above and more.
The history of the Ritz-Carlton begins with Swiss hotelier and the legendary founder of the luxury hotel business César Ritz. Born in 1850 into a mountain farming family in Switzerland as the youngest of 13 children, Ritz went on to be known throughout his life as “king of hoteliers and hotelier to kings” when he redefined the concept of luxury accommodations all across Europe, and particularly as he became the manager of the lavishly elegant (and recently restored) Ritz Paris and Ritz-Carlton London.
In 1888 Ritz formed a partnership with Auguste Escoffier- the renowned chef from his hotels, and the two opened a chain of a-la carte restaurants knows as “Ritz-Carlton” on board the Humburg-Amerika oceans liners SS Amerika in 1905 and then onboard the SS Imperator in 1913. Although the Ritz-Carlton restaurants ceased operating on board those ship with the outbreak of World War I in 1914, the name became synonymous with fine dining and refined living.
Following Ritz’s death in 1918, his wife Marie continued her husband’s legacy by opening hotels in his name, thus establishing the name “Ritz-Carlton” as we know it today. But it wasn’t the 1920’s and the birth of Hollywood glamor that the London and Paris Ritz hotels became the ultimate symbols of luxury and wealth as Hollywood legends began frequenting those establishment. According to one famous story, Charlie Chaplin was once escorted by 40 policemen through the hotel in 1921, and American silent film legend Tallulah Bankhead famously sipped champagne from her high heel shoe at the Ritz London restaurant. It was no surprise therefore that the name “Ritz” finally entered pop culture in 1927 when song writer Irving Berlin captured the high-class living at the hotel chain in his timeless melody “Putting on the Ritz”, transforming the name Ritz into an actual adjective for glamor with the word “Ritzy” as a synonym for “rich” and “fancy”. What else can be expected from a legacy of a man who in his lifetime was so obsessed with opulence and esthetic that he designed the electric lighting at the Paris Ritz so that it would properly accentuate ladies’ complexions, jewels and wardrobes.
Now, Israeli visitors can also enjoy a taste of the glamor that has been dazzling European royalty and Hollywood stars for over a century, as the Ritz Carlton Herzeliya opened its doors in 2017. The Ritz Cartlon Herzeliya contains a hotel and spa complex located at the Herzeliya Marina, thus offering its guests stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea; as well water sports activities in cooperation with the Surf Academy, and the culinary delights of the renowned Herbert Samuel kosher gourmet restaurant located on the premises. All of the hotel’s 115 guest rooms and 82 holiday apartments, spread over 12 floors, contain balconies to provide the magnificent panoramic view of the marina and the yacht club; and all are all extremely elegant and spacious.
The offering comprises of 66 spacious deluxe rooms (60 sqm); 36 superior rooms; 10 standard rooms; 2 junior suites; as well as a stunning 220 sqm presidential suite – the largest in the country – that boasts a private kitchen, an adjacent room with a separate entrance for staff and more; the top floor houses 6 penthouses built in a standard never before seen in Israel.
The hotel features luxurious facilities designed to provide its guests with an exceptional experience: a beautiful, carefully designed spa extending over the top three floors of the hotel. The spa will provide complete relaxation and offer high end facilities. At night time, the elegant pool and deck area on the rooftop, overlooking the spectacular Herzeliya beach, transforms into a cozy inviting bar. For the more health conscious types- next door are a spacious modern gym, a Turkish bath and luxurious treatment rooms.
During the summer months, guests are welcome to enjoy all the advantages of the exclusive beach area adjacent to the hotel, where special package are available, including: a wide shaded gazebo, beach table and chairs, seasonal fruit baskets, snacks and cold drinks. It is there that you could also enjoy a variety of water sports such surfing, wind boarding and SUP; all accompanied by personal instructors. And finally, for those of you who only desire a quiet and leisurely holiday, the Ritz Carlton chain boasts a service staff whose decades-old tradition of uncompromising service awareness is based upon the motto: “We are ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen”. Such dedicated service is no surprise considering Ritz himself started his career in hospitality as a waiter’s apprentice and went on to establish a tradition of
service which has since awarded his hotels with numerous Best Service Awards worldwide. Indeed, stories of Ritz employees going above and beyond to ensure the satisfaction of their hotel guests have been widely published, with the most famous one being that of the Ritz employee in Florida finding a child’s lost stuffed giraffe toy and mailing it to the family along with a photo of the giraffe “enjoying” a spa treatment, to convince the child that his favorite toy was simply “enjoying the resort”.
The tradition of glamour, elegance and fine living that has become associated with the Ritz hotels is one spanning over a hundred years and several continents; and now, this historic recent opening in Herzeliya, Israel, will undoubtedly introduce the Israeli public to a new level of service and leisure as well as attract waves of tourists eager to combine the beauty and heritage of Israel with the finer things in life.