Monday, May 31, 2010
The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead: The Glamorous Life
Sex and the City 2 Movie may have thrust Abu Dhabi into being the girlfriends' destination du jour, but I just experienced paradise without the need of a passport.
The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead knows all too well the importance of girlfriends. So when they granted me with the opportunity to review their Glamour Girls Getaway Package*, I knew there was only one thing to do-
Click my heels!
The package, which began on the 28th, is fashionably timed with the opening of the SATC 2 Movie. It's perfect for ATL fashionistas to break away on a weekend staycation with girlfriends. And seeing that it runs through June 20, it's also perfect for those who would like to travel and experience the lush charm of Atlanta in the company of BFFs.
Due to my sole sisters' prior commitments and travel plans for the holiday, I was going to have to experience Saturday overnight solo. But with one call, my original reservation for a Deluxe Double room was upgraded to a Deluxe King room (I know; the sacrifices one must make!).
I began my girlfriend experience on Thursday, first getting an oil-free silk press by Hair Extraordinaire Mandrill:
I then met up with fellow NY transplant Tanya at Atlantic Station for lunch, followed by a matinee of SATC 2 Movie.
Now for those like me who have never experienced The Ritz-Carlton experience, allow me to walk you through it...
On Saturday I arrived promptly at the 3PM check-in time, and was quite pleased at the warm greeting amongst the staff. After receiving my key, I was literally carried away by my room accomodations the minute I walked onto the mahogany hardwood floor in the foyer. Upgrade is an understatement; I walked into a suite!
Now you all know my motto regarding my blog is a single gal's view from her stilettos, right? Well, this is a single gal's view from The Ritz:
The foyer held the convenience of a refreshment center with coffee maker, honor bar and barware, and the 37” high-definition flat panel TV was PDA-compatible.
And although I chose not to bring my laptop (which could have been stored in a digital safe), I had 24-hour access to the business center's flat panel monitored computers. But had I brought my laptop, I would have enjoyed the convenience of the built-in power and data connections of the desk.
Speaking of desks, it is a writer's favorite piece of furniture, so I immmediately sat at it as I took in my view from the 11th floor. Ladies, you will appreciate Ritz-Carlton Buckhead's location. Consider it a fashionista's runway, seeing it is flanked by high-end Phipps Plaza to the left (with Saks wooing me) and Lenox Square Mall to the right. And seeing Lenox is a stone's throw and walking distance from the hotel, after placing my bags down, I made a beeline to Lenox.
Aldo, bebe and Coach - OH MY!!!! After a quick bite, a crash course in French at a Rosetta Stone kiosk and some heavy duty lèche-vitrine, I headed back to my room.
I couldn't help but feel like I was having a Midnight in The Garden of Good and Evil moment as I passed through the hotel lobby, vibrant with simultaneous wedding receptions-
And the woman with a set of privileged bulldogs.
But back in my room was no mirage, thanks to the phantom housekeeper who had turned my bed down, left chocolates on my pillow, water with glass bedside and the gift of luxe footwear:
Being the bubble bath girl that I am, I couldn't wait to sink into the deep bathtub encased with Italian marble, whose faucet was shaped like Aladdin's lamp:
Abu Dhabi who?
After a bubble-filled escape, I nestled into the middle of the king-size bed with my YogaToes® and slice of lemon pound cake. Clicking on the high-definition TV, I also watched as the bay window framed the sunset.
The next morning, I was refreshed from sleeping on a white cloud of pristine bedding and ready to start the day. I took full advantage of the walk-in shower with rain shower head. My reservations for brunch was at 11:30, and my sole sister Amanda of Hello Stiletto Club was flying back from Boston to join me. The complimentary NY Times at my hotel door gave me a twinge of homesickness, but I quickly got over it.
After checking out, I waited for Amanda in the lobby, and we walked into the most opulent brunch I have ever experienced! From the tablescapes of fresh fruit, lobster bisque, shrimp, breakfast staples and an omelet station, we were overjoyed and overwhelmed:
I actually passed on the complimentary Buckhead Cosmo. But I would be remissed, while in the Georgia Peach state, I did not experience the Ritz-Carlton's Savory Peach Soup Shooter (made from champagne, peaches and rose water!):
Amanda chose a Mimosa to quench her thirst. I truly have never seen such amazing culinary delights laid out for the taking! The pampering was evident every time we came back to our seats (which were pulled out for us on every occasion). According to Amanda, Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead is known to serve the best brunch in Atlanta. The dessert station alone brought tears to my eyes (and glee to my tapeworm):
One hearty brunch later, we inquired about the second portion of the day, which was a Neiman Marcus champagne cocktail event that included an artist sketch of our shoes. The manager advised me that Neiman Marcus' event was in process, and we were then gifted with Ritz-Cartlon gift bags filled with a stiletto cookie from the Ritz's pastry chef, Manolo Blahnik note cards, samples from Kerstin Florian’s signature line of Caviar spa products and a 10% voucher for a spa treament at the hotel's spa:
Upon arriving at Neiman Marcus' shoe salon within Lenox Square Mall, the pomp and circumstance quickly fizzled. There was no evidence of an event, so I had to ask the gentleman carrying the champagne exactly where the event was set up. "I don't know; I'm just serving champagne," was his response.
Finding a sales associate, I asked again. And once again received the answer of I don't know...
Amanda and I decided to absorb ourselves in the shoetopia surrounding us. Neiman Marcus is currently having a wicked shoe sale, so Christian Louboutins, Fendis and René Caovillas were grouped on tables and stands in every direction.
Finally, the sales assocociate came up to me to say she "thinks" the woman sitting at the table is the sketch artist, so I went over to introduce myself. Clark, the sketch artist, was a great spirit who advised me she thought the sketches were only being done with the purchase of shoes, but would contact associate Tessa to confirm. A fish bowl with blank cards for entries was also placed by Clark, but no one knew exactly what the prize was. Okay....
After much confusion, Tessa introduced herself and advised us that the stiletto sketch was indeed for women participating in the Glamour Girls Getaway, and a purchase was not necessary. She also announced that the giveaway was a $100 gift card from Neiman Marcus, but the winner would be chosen next week. How that will work for the future weekend participants is confusing to me.
I was first in line to have my stiletto sketched by Clark, who is a new college graduate. Once I saw her skills, I told her she may have just stumbled into her career:
Overall, the Glamour Girls Getaway Package is a must-have for you and your girlfriends. Just like the SATC 2 Movie, The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead knows how to step up the girlfriend celebration. If your wish is to spend quality time in a fashionable environment (and to be waited on hand and foot), The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead will grant it.
*Glamour Girls' one-night package available on Saturday evenings only. Two-night package includes all features of the one-night package, plus deluxe accommodations and overnight valet parking for a second evening; valid Friday and Saturday, or Saturday and Sunday, starting at $449. Advance reservations are required; rates do not apply to groups. Rates listed are per room, per night, single or double occupancy, and exclusive of taxes, gratuities and other charges unless otherwise noted. Movie tickets are not included.