I’ve always loved the Ritz Carlton and have never had anything but a luxurious experience with top notch service every single time I’ve stayed in one. Earlier this summer, I began to explore Westchester in New York State for the first time, a stone’s throw from the Big Apple.
The great thing about Westchester is that within an hour or so from New York City, you can get access to nature and a slower pace, which means that Westchester County makes a great weekend getaway from the city, whether you live there or are visiting from overseas or another state. It’s also just minutes from Scarsdale, Tarrytown and Rye New York, charming towns to visit, as well as only 20 minutes from Greenwich CT.
Because my roots are tied to technology and have been for years, I’ve been to White Plains New York but never stayed at their Ritz Carlton until recently….what a surprise! At one point, Anthony looked at me in the hotel lobby as we were leisurely having lunch on our first day and said, “it feels as if we’re in another state, maybe even country….”
Like all Ritz Carlton properties I’ve experienced, the service was outstanding! We were surprised to find it on par with the kind of service you’d find in a 5 star tourism destination….you know, like Aruba or the Caribbean. Grant you, they knew I was coming and these scrumptious chocolate covered apple surprises were waiting for us. That said, we experienced the same level of service regardless of where we randomly wandered in the hotel.
They boast 146 rooms, including 38 Executive, one bedroom and specialty suites. Below is a standard room and below “it”, a suite, which we had for the night. Notice that it’s more corporate in it’s look and feel than perhaps other Ritz Carltons, however bear in mind it’s location and vicinity to New York City. I also felt that the hotel would be ideal for families visiting the greater New York City area and Westchester County, where there is more to explore than meets the eye.
The suites are spacious and come with a 42 inch LCD flat panel TV (as do the standard rooms), and there’s an iPod docking station and DVD player, both musts if you’re traveling with children. I loved the spacious bathrooms with dual sinks as well, which lately, I’m finding to be a rarity, even in 5 star properties. The same goes for the separate soaking tub and shower.
There’s also a fitness center which is open 24 hours (another rarity), a rooftop pool (enclosed, making it possible to swim during colder months) and a spa. I LOVED the spa, so much so that I’m doing a separate write-up so be sure to check out our review of the spa, which features 11 treatment rooms and a Spa Suite.
Below is the rootop swimming pool.
While we didn’t try the steakhouse despite being tempted by it, we did have lunch in the lobby, which has an elegant look to it — I thought it was perfect for business luncheons and noted that if I lived in the area, that might just be my go to spot for business meet-ups, speaking of which, they also offer a business center, separate meeting rooms, a boardroom, 3 breakout rooms, a 6,100 square foot ballroom and more. In other words, the hotel is completely decked out to handle larger business functions or personal events, such as anniversaries and weddings.
Eating in the lounge rather than one of the hotel’s restaurants doesn’t mean you have a shortage of fabulous dishes to choose from — for example, appetizers alone include shrimp cocktail with a lemon brûlée, a calamari with sweet chili, grilled lemon and marinara sauce, a scrumptious crab cake with mango relish and pepper coulis, a Chipotle shrimp quesadilla with corn, peppers and cheese to name a random few. We chose two polar dishes to get a sense of the chef’s diversity — the seared marinated sea bass which they serve with a delicious lobster orzo, sautéed bok choy, tequila vinaigrette and the veal spaghetti bolognese with shaved parmesan and a basil pesto on top. (both pictured below)
We also saw the penne alfredo come out of the kitchen, which looked fabulous and comes with a choice of shrimp or chicken and is served with sautéed onions and sundried tomatoes.
We also tried a few side dishes because they sounded so good and the portions were plentiful — choices include a steamed broccoli, onion rings, sautéed spinach, grilled asparagus, wild mushrooms, baked potato and jasmine rice.
The desserts were also scrumptious…..note we could NOT leave the hotel without sampling a couple after our heavenly experience with the chocolate covered apples earlier in the day. We tried the Ritz Carlton Cake, which is Dark Valrhona Chocolate, Grand Marnier, Candied Orange served with a shot of Bailey’s Irish Cream (large shot) and the New York cheesecake with a berry compote (both below).
We LOVED our experience and as I mentioned, were surprised by the level of service and quality of the food. Sure sure sure, it’s a Ritz Carlton, but it’s also in a location that many people may not expect there to be one. Consider staying here to get away from the insanity of Manhattan and even if you do have a business meeting in the city, you can take the train in (it’s not that long of a ride on a Metro North train) and when you return, you can lap up the luxury of Ritz Carlton from their warm and hospitable staff. Two thumbs up!
Ritz Carlton Westchester
3 Renaissance Square, White Plains, NY 10601