The Already Upscale Arts and Garden District of Clayton is Gaining Class
by Astrid Zeppenfeld
Question: How do you make one of the classiest, most beautiful hotels in St. Louis even greater? Answer: Major construction.
After completely remodeling The Club Lounge, in addition to revamping all Club Level rooms in the first quarter of 2019, The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis is currently in the process of upgrading all its remaining rooms to integrate TVs into the bathroom mirrors, as well as changing both the décor and furniture on floors 16-11, to match the furniture of the Club Level rooms.
So, staying at the hotel for the night has just become even more luxurious. But, even if your company is not located far from the property and you do not need overnight accommodations, you are getting two new event venues this year to hold meetings, with a newly designed restaurant concept and a great new outdoor space, which will be open year-round. The Ritz-Carlton is already booking up for events to take place on its new second floor terrace, which will be usable starting in the summer. The total area of the space will be 3,410 sq. ft., which can be divided into three smaller sections:
The Terrace Banquet and the Lounge, with their 1,407 sq. ft. and 1,260 sq. ft., respectively, can seat attendees at 7 rounds each, while the Arbor in the center can place 5 rounds for a more intimate atmosphere on 743 sq. ft.
This outdoor space can be used as a stand-alone event area, or it can be combined with indoor rooms and even the hallway, thus transforming the entire second floor into your company’s space. This new outdoor space is yet another enhancement to the property that makes The Ritz-Carlton St. Louis unique, combining air and natural light with class for your meetings and events. You could use it for a break-out session in the winter, serving some hot cider and allowing your attendees to take in the view. Or, in any other season, consider the terrace for a cocktail reception to kick off your business function under the stars. Depending on the nature of your event, you could even book a string quartet for added pizzazz.
Christie Pink, Director of Sales and Marketing at The Ritz-Carlton, explains, “There are groups and events that have never even considered us before as a venue because they wanted to do a reception or something along those lines outside. This is a really unique opportunity to open up our hotel to new clients and offer something new and fresh for our existing clients as well. It’s a new way for us to better meet the needs of our guests and what they are trying to accomplish for their meeting objectives and their attendees.”
Sarah Dvorak, Sr Meetings Coordinator at the American Association of Orthodontists, is one of those existing clients who is looking forward to having even more options for planning the organization’s frequent events there. Dvorak summarizes, “The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis is a wonderful place to host a meeting. The service is top-notch, the meeting space is beautiful and functional and their Club Lounge is among the best of the best. The hotel has excellent food and is in walking distance of many great restaurants. I know that my attendees will be well cared for when they stay at The Ritz-Carlton St. Louis.”
Another new and exciting project underway at The Ritz-Carlton is the remodeling of the main entrance and the opening of a new restaurant. As meeting planners who have utilized the old restaurant space for an event in the past, we cannot begin to imagine what this new concept will entail, as it is much more than just an overhaul of the old restaurant. It is not just the carpet that is being replaced, or the walls that are being repainted.
Christie Pink decribes the project, “The restaurant is completely gutted down to the studs, and when it comes back online at the height of the summer, we will have a brand-new restaurant concept and a brand-new cigar club. The restaurant will have a bar/lounge area associated with it also.”
The menu at the restaurant will be slightly different, too. In other words, this will not be merely an improvement of the old restaurant with its food and beverage offering and quality of the food – that is already rated in the top five among all Ritz-Carlton properties in the Americas – but a brand-new concept of restaurant coming to the area. One with its own name and entrance, so you do not necessarily have to set foot in the hotel on your way to dinner. Although we maintain that the lobby of The Ritz-Carlton is always worth a visit. And don’t worry; the famous sushi bar in the lobby lounge is always going to be available, 7 days a week.
Pink jokes, “In St. Louis, we don’t have a beach or mountains, so when people come here, you really have to deliver a service execution that supplies the entertainment and all this new space can help do just that.”
In line with what we are used to at the Ritz-Carlton St. Louis, the Ladies and Gentlemen of the hotel are, once again, delivering exceptional service and entertainment on all levels.
Astrid Zeppenfeld is a writer and MM&E’s editor/business development manager from St. Louis.