Luxury Check In

The Ultimate Ritz-Carlton Club Level Guide: Amenities, Upgrades, and More

Ritz Carlton Club Level Lounge
Ritz Carlton Club Level Lounge

A stay at a Ritz-Carlton feels luxurious enough on its own, but there’s an even more exclusive experience inside many properties: the Ritz Carlton Club Level. The Ritz-Carlton Club Level offers an elevated luxury experience within select Ritz-Carlton hotels. This exclusive “hotel within a hotel” concept provides guests with access to a private Club Lounge and personalized services from a dedicated concierge team.

Key features of the Club Level experience include:

1. Private check-in and a dedicated concierge for personalized assistance

2. Access to the exclusive Club Lounge, serving as a retreat for relaxation and socializing

3. Five daily complimentary culinary presentations featuring local flavors and traditions

4. Enhanced in-room amenities, such as complimentary pressing and shoeshine services

5. Additional perks like reserved pool seating, secret menus, or preferred golf tee times

I’ve enjoyed Ritz-Carlton Club Level access at a number of resorts worldwide, and think that it can be worth the money in certain scenarios. Here’s everything you need to know about Club Level. 

Ritz-Carlton Club Level Cost

Ritz Carlton Club Lounge Hours and Cost
Ritz Carlton Club Lounge Hours and Cost

The cost of a Club Level room varies by property but is usually between $100-$300 per person per night higher than a similar room without Club Level access. Bringing a guest to the Club Lounge costs around $150 per person per day for guests over the age of 12, and $75 per person per day for guests two years of age and older. Children under the age of two are complimentary. 

You can usually save a bit of money on Club Level rooms by joining Marriott Bonvoy, Marriott’s free loyalty program. (The Ritz-Carlton brand is owned by Marriott.)


Ritz-Carlton Club Level Amenities

Ritz Carlton Club Level food
Ritz Carlton Club Level Food

Booking the Ritz-Carlton Club Level will grant you access to the Club Lounge, as well as give you a variety of extra services and amenities. 

Exclusive Lounge Access: The Club Lounge is generally located on a higher floor and offers a nice space for relaxing, working, and dining. In my experience, the Club Lounge feels like a nice airport lounge—there are comfortable chairs and couches, fireplaces, large windows, and tables along with a spread of self-serve food and beverages. 

Although cell phone use is discouraged in the Club Lounge, I frequently find other guests using it as a coworking space and taking meetings. 

Complimentary Food & Beverage: The Club Lounge serves light meals and snacks five times a day. Breakfast and lunch are when you’ll find the most offerings. Typically, breakfast includes standard buffet fare such as scrambled eggs, meat, pancakes, pastries, and potatoes, along with individually plated small offerings like yogurt cups, sliced fruit, and hard-boiled eggs. Coffee is disappointing and comes from a machine (so you can get espressos, lattes, etc. at the push of a button.) A wide selection of tea and fresh juices are also available.

At lunch, a buffet with salads and finger sandwiches is laid out, along with individually plated small bites such as cakes or grain salads. 

Light snacks are served from 2:30 pm-4:30 pm, hors d’oeuvres from 5:00 pm-7:30 pm, and desserts from 8:00 pm-10:00 pm. (Times of meals will vary by property, but this is a fairly standard guideline.)

Packaged snacks and bottled drinks are available any time the lounge is open.

The Club Lounge stocks a variety of complimentary alcoholic beverages, which are served depending on the laws of the destination. (For example, in some cities, you may not be able to get an alcoholic drink before noon.) You can expect to find a variety of whiskey, scotch, beer, wine, and mixed drinks available. However, I’ve found the drinks to be fairly mid-range, with the nicest option being Glenlivet 18. It’s also hit-or-miss as to whether the Club Lounge will stock local offerings so you can try local craft brews or wines if you’re in an area known for it. 

Ritz Carlton Club Level Dessert
Ritz Carlton Club Level Dessert

Dedicated Concierge Services: Prior to my arrival in a Club Lounge room, a dedicated concierge always reaches out to me over email to discuss my needs for my stay. I’ve used the service to request amenities in my room, such as a second computer monitor or in-room fitness kit. I would say about 50 percent of the time, my concierge promises to have something in my room upon arrival and it’s actually there when I check in. If it’s not, as soon as I email again upon arrival, the missing items are generally brought to my door quite quickly. 

In general, the service is fairly good at the Club Level. As an example, I had the do not disturb sign on my room door, so the staff didn’t want to drop off my dry cleaning items. The Club Level attendants alerted the dry cleaning staff that I was in the lounge, and they came by to ask if they could put my items in my room.

There are frequently slight missteps, however, like when I requested a coffee wakeup service for two and only one cup was delivered to my door.

Late Check Outs: Club Level members have access to dedicated liaisons at the Ritz-Carlton, who have more flexibility to grant late checkouts (even past the time that standard rooms can get.) I’ve had no problem getting a checkout as late as 2:00 pm or even 3:00 pm with Club Level access, whereas the Ritz-Carlton is usually more strict with a 1:00 pm checkout when I stay in a standard room.

Extra Perks: Although Club Level benefits vary by property, these are pretty standard at the Ritz-Carltons that I’ve visited:

  • 2 free complimentary pressing of items per day
  • Wake-up call with coffee or tea room service
  • Free WiFi
  • Complimentary Ritz Kids programming
  • Free shoeshine service
  • Reserved poolside seating
  • Welcome amenities customized to the destination
  • Dedicated check-in desk

Do Marriott Bonvoy Elite Members Get Free Access to the Club Level Lounge?

Ritz Carlton Club Level Food
Ritz Carlton Club Level Breakfast

No, unfortunately, Marriott Bonvoy Elite Members do not get complimentary access to the Ritz-Carlton Club Level. While Ritz-Carlton is part of the Marriott Bonvoy family, the brand maintains exclusivity in its Club Level Lounge. Unlike most Marriott brands, Ritz-Carlton doesn’t extend certain perks to Bonvoy Platinum Elite members, notably complimentary breakfast and access to club lounges.

The club lounges at the Ritz are a much higher quality than the ones you’ll find at other Marriott properties (like a Sheraton or Westin), and offer better amenities. By limiting access, Ritz-Carlton preserves the exclusivity and avoids the overcrowding you sometimes find at other hotel lounges. 

How to Get a Ritz-Carlton Club Level Upgrade

Ritz-Carlton Club Level upgrades are hard to get without paying outright for the room. However, there are a few options:

  1. Use Bonvoy points to book a Club Level room
  2. Sign up for a Ritz Carlton Chase credit card, which includes three Club Level upgrades per year
  3. Let the front desk know if you’re celebrating a special occasion—on rare occasions, guests checking in on their birthday, anniversary, etc. will be surprised with a Club Level upgrade

Is the Ritz-Carlton Club Level Worth the Money?

Ritz Carlton Club Level Lounge
Ritz Carlton Club Level Lounge

Whether or not the Ritz-Carlton Club Level upgrade is worth the money really depends on your destination. If you’re in a remote Ritz-Carlton and don’t plan on leaving the resort often, it can pay off to have unlimited complimentary food and drink. However, if you’re in a city destination and want to try the local restaurants and bars, it really doesn’t make sense to pay the extra fee as you probably won’t be taking advantage of the dining and drinking options. 

Overall Recommendation

If you’re planning on staying in a Ritz-Carlton and working remotely from your room (or attending a conference all day), or are at a remote property and don’t plan to go off-resort much, the Ritz-Carlton Club Level Lounge is definitely worth the money. The food, drinks, and extra perks (like late checkout) all add value of well over $100 per day. However, if you’re not planning on spending much time in your room, and already have a list of restaurants and bars to visit in a new city, you likely won’t utilize enough of the Club Level Lounge to make it worth the money, and would be better off spending that money to upgrade to a suite or nicer room.

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