6 Unique Ritz-Carlton Hotels For Redeeming Your Complimentary Nights

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As most of you probably know by now, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card is offering an incredible sign-up bonus:

As part of that, Ben has put together a couple of posts recently with his thoughts on the best resorts in the U.S. and internationally:

I picked up the card a couple of weeks ago, and am working on completing the minimum spend. As I was going through and compiling the list of all Ritz-Carlton hotels by reward category, there were a handful of hotels that I wasn’t previously familiar with, or looked particularly interesting, so I figured I’d highlight a few of them.

In keeping with the previous posts, these are in no particular order. If you’ve stayed at any of these please let me know your thoughts in the comments!

1. The Ritz-Carlton Wolfsburg

Where? If you’re only familiar with the major German transit hubs, you might not have ever heard of Wolfsburg. It’s a modern city by European standards, founded in 1938, so the history and architecture is rather unique.

Wolfsburg is also the site of the main factory for Volkswagen, who also operates a massive complex with automotive and science museums. The Ritz-Carlton Wolfsburg is attached to the Autostadt, and while I’m not generally a fan of amusement-park-type hotels, this looks pretty fun, and the architecture seems quite different.

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Also, full marks for the miniature VW Beetles in the bathroom.

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2. Penha Longha Resort

The Penha Longha Resort is located in the coastal hills outside Lisbon, Portugal. The hotel is located within a National Park, and is built on the site of an old palace (which was in turn built on the site of an old monastery).

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While the rooms themselves don’t look particularly interesting (though they certainly seem crisp and modern), the property looks gorgeous.

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There’s a golf course on site, beaches within a few miles, and you’re only about 30 minutes away from Lisbon itself.

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3. Sharq Village & Spa

There are actually two Ritz-Carlton properties in Doha, Qatar. The Ritz-Carlton Doha is on the far end of the city, beyond even the St. Regis. It looks like a lovely property, and I certainly wouldn’t hesitate to stay there, but it’s the Sharq Village Ritz that intrigues me. Sharq Village is located between the airport and Doha city, so it would be comparatively more convenient for a one-night stay.

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The rooms and suites (and really, the entire property) seems borderline-overdone in a style somewhere between Moroccan and Arabian Nights-inspired.

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It might be a little Epcot-y in person, but it’s certainly not cookie-cutter. I just booked a stay here for later this year, so will be sure to report back!

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4. Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage

I love the Palm Springs area (I was married there, so am a bit biased), and there are tons of fantastic boutique hotels in the desert. Ben has had fantastic stays at The Parker, for instance, and there are many others. Many of the resorts, however, are a bit dated, at least in my experience.

The Ritz Carlton is more recently renovated, and is set on a hill above the city. The views are incredible.

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Rancho Mirage is an easy drive from Los Angeles or San Diego, and this looks like a great place to get away on a dreary weekend in the coastal cities.

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5. Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee

All the East Coast readers are probably about to make fun of me, but please remember that I have lived all but three years of my life either overseas or West of the Rocky Mountains. I had never heard of Lake Oconee prior to this. I don’t know if it’s actually a place that people go, but now I just want to row across the lake, play on a rope swing, or curl up in one of these chairs with a cup of tea and a Mark Twain novel.

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Though I am a little concerned that the local tourism board highlights “a beautiful gaol from 1807” as one of the fun things to do in the area, as that’s not generally how one describes incarceration facilities.

But sitting by this pool looks great.

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6. Ritz-Carlton Tenerife

Speaking of great pools, check out the Ritz-Carlton in Tenerife.

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Beyond that, the setting is exquisite, and the Canary Islands are stunning.

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Of course, they can also be crowded and touristy, so it’s worth doing a bit of research when planning your visit. But the property looks lovely, and not as sterile as a typical golf resort, and I think I’d enjoy the hotel.

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Bottom line

I know everyone is excited about the Chase Sapphire Reserve these days, and it’s certainly a great card, but I’m pretty thrilled with my new Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card. I feel like I’ve been in a bit of a rut lately with the usual SPG and Hyatt hotels, so it’s been fun to “shop” some different destinations.

While many chain hotels can be a bit bland, there are always exceptions, and some of these hotels look really fun!

Do you see any Ritz-Carlton properties that seem especially intriguing?

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Comments

  1. The Ritz Carlton Reynolds plantation is actually supposed to be pretty nice. I’ve never been, but it was a favorite of several coworkers for weekend getaways from Atlanta as its about a 1-2 hour drive out of the city. There is not much around it and the development around it at one point went bankrupt (it was supposed to be a master planned community), but that is part of its alure I think!

  2. Greetings, Tiffany! I hope you are well.

    As I mentioned in a previous post, I find Ritz Carltons to merely be tarted-up Marriotts. Nonetheless, the R-C in Kyoto does look really lovely.

  3. @ Imperator — Hi! I agree, but I also tend to feel the same way about St. Regis. I’m not sure if it’s that big chains struggle to also do luxury well (much less in big hotels like SR and RC properties tend to be), of if it’s just the hotels I’ve stayed at. But I’m also not going to turn away a sign-up bonus that’s equivalent to 180,000 points, so I struggle too.

  4. Have never been myself, but have also heard great things about the Lake Oconee Ritz. The golf courses in the Reynolds plantation are top notch.

  5. Actually, thanks for sharing about some of these less known properties/destinations. It’s always nice to hit up a spot that’s less commonly frequented by (at least) fellow N American tourists for the most part.

  6. I’ve stayed at the Oconee (Reynolds Plantation) several times with our young daughters and it is fantastic. Staff is awesome and it’s a beautiful setting. Approx. 90 min from ATL.

  7. Used some Marriott points for a one night stay over Valentine’s last year at Rancho Mirage. It was FANTASTIC. It’s conveniently located to tons of top golf courses, great restaurants, and isn’t that far of a drive to Joshua Tree National Park (less than 1 hour). I highly recommend a winter visit for anyone. Easy drive from LAX (2 hours, 14 mins) or you can fly into PSP (15 mins).

  8. The Ritz at Reynolds Lake Oconee is amazing! We actually own a house on the lake but go to the Ritz for dinner/drinks every time we come up. Great pool, lots of water sports, fantastic golf courses, dog-friendly hotel. Definitely a warm weather destination though. This Ritz is also where Carrie Underwood got married! 🙂

  9. Can you guys please, please, please, stop plugging-in this card? Yes, we all got the benefits and the list of properties mentioned multiple times so please stop already.

  10. I stayed at the Rancho Mirage property when it first opened, and wasn’t super impressed. The Club Lounge and Steakhouse weren’t even open at that time, so I didn’t get a real feel for the entire property.

  11. I’ve stayed at the RC Kyoto and it’s a truely incredible hotel. The levels of service, Japanese touches and location are top notch. And the sushi bar is a dream! Also the RC Hong Kong is great. Tallest hotel in Asia, highest hotel pool in the world. Extravgent and wonderful!

  12. Hi
    I have stayed at both the Abama (Tenerife) and Penha Longa (Lisbon) Ritz Carlton properties. I would definately reccomend both of them although would also suggest that the Abama resort as indicated can get a bit ‘touristy’. However Penga Longa blew me away from the location, views, staffing, service, amenities and dining – purely outstanding.
    Any plans to visit them Tiffany?

  13. We spent a weekend at Reynolds Plantation for a wedding in June. It’s an easy 90 minute drive from Atlanta (w/o traffic). Lots of families so not the spot for a quiet couples weekend, at least by the pool and lake. Good service, typical Ritz rooms. But it’s extremely humid in the summer – I would only go again in the fall or spring.

  14. How many posts about this card do we need?

    I get the commission on referrals is high but, my god. Have some respect for your readers

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