Ritz night time

The sterling Ritz-Carlton brand is certainly no stranger to praise. Still, when one hospitality company earns kudos for 40 of its properties, that’s cause for major celebration.

Ritz-Carlton hotels and resorts in such locales as Amelia Island, Boston, Cancun, Chicago, Charlotte, Dallas, Kapalua, Lake Tahoe, New Orleans, New York, Montreal, San Francisco, and St. Thomas made the grade as the Best Hotels in the USA, the Caribbean, Mexico, and Canada when U.S. News & World Report recently unveiled its list for 2016.

In the category of Best Hotels Within Their Markets, some of the Ritz-Carlton hotels and resorts earning a spot were those in Aruba, Atlanta, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Juan, South Beach, and Washington, D.C. “We are honored to have so many properties awarded among this elite group,” said Ritz-Carlton President and Chief Operations Officer Herve Humler in a statement. “Our focus and commitment continues to be on service excellence and creating lasting memories for our guests, and we are truly proud of our ladies and gentlemen for achieving these accolades.”

It should come as a surprise to no aficionado of world-class accommodations that our very own Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage placed high in both disciplines. Not only was the property voted number 26 of the Best Hotels in California, it took the top slot as number one resort in the Palm Springs Valley. No mean feat, especially since 2500 hotels and resorts were in the running sum total. I like to think that our Ritz-Carlton’s stunning physical location overlooking the entire valley below had something to do with it, as did the professional men and women who staff the property’s 260 luxurious rooms and suites, 25,000-square-foot spa, and duo of restaurants, State Fare Bar + Kitchen and The Edge Steakhouse.

Longtime Rancho Mirage visitors and residents may remember that the company first planted its stake in the desert on the city’s Frank Sinatra Drive in 1988, accruing a very loyal following. The property was then shuttered in 2008 for a major reimagining. Sadly, those plans were scuttled in the fall of that year, a victim of our country’s mass fiscal failure.

While Doug Watson, the Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage general manager who oversaw its 2014 reopening after months of renovation, is no longer with the hotel, Director of Sales & Marketing Anne Marie Doyle told me, “We are thrilled to be recognized by U.S. News & World Report, as this is such a wonderful honor for our ladies and gentlemen at The Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage to receive.” Bravo, team!