It can be hard to feel truly relaxed when you’re thousands of miles away from home. But familiarity can provide comfort at least, and for Arabs visiting The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner in Virginia, USA there is no shortage of personal touches.
From the welcoming “ahlan wasahlan” of concierge staff to the Arabic TV stations broadcast in rooms and suites the hotel makes every effort to greet foreign travellers warmly. The list of Arabised features goes on: Arabic chefs, multi-lingual concierge, the possibility of ladies-only floors, a sales manager dedicated to understanding the cultural needs of Arabic visitors.
“The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner has been the home to many visitors from the Gulf region for over 20 years,” said the property’s General Manager, Mark Sherwin. “Many of our ladies and gentlemen have established personal relationships with these repeat guests, and have literally watched their children grow into young adults”.
It is this dedication to realising the needs of foreign clientele, as well as the prime location, that makes the hotel so popular with diplomats.
It is, after all, just 13miles away from the White House, 14 miles away from the Washington monuments and 15miles away from The Library of Congress. In other words Tysons Corner is within a short drive of the political and historical centre of America.
For diplomats looking to remove themselves from the direct hustle of Washington DC, businessmen wanting to position themselves next to true power or holidaymakers in search of some of the most iconic sightseeing America has to offer it would be hard to imagine a better positioned hotel.
Nearby attractions extend beyond political photo opportunities, however. Top-ranking educational establishments such as the George Washington and Georgetown universities are close by as are a number of world class hospitals.
The hotel is reportedly frequented by members of the Saudi royal family as well as the highest ranking diplomats in the UAE. It is these facilities and an emergence of regular direct flights from the Middle East to Washington airports that are driving the growth in tourism and business between the regions.
“Due to this personal nature of our relationships with our repeat guests, we know many of their needs and requests – such as in room prayer rugs and Quorans; special Arabic menus; welcome sweets and fruit; personal shopping from the fabulous retail shops in the attached mall; as well as special security needs of different VIPs and families,” said Sherwin.
The world-famous concierge services from The Ritz-Carlton hotel team ensure guests are given individualised treatment. Each visitor is assigned staff to look after their needs making for a more memorable stay at the hotel.
The hotel has more to offer than diplomatic convenience, however. Tysons Corner – described as a city within a city – has more than 4 million square feet of retail space and is second only to New York on America’s East Coast for shopping opportunities. The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner has direct access to the upscale Tysons Galleria shopping mall. Here visitors can browse a vast selection of stores including Cartier, Chanel, Versace and Burberry and a Saks Fifth Avenue department store.
The hotel itself has recently undergone a $6m upgrade of its spa area. The metropolitan spa has a luxurious atmosphere and dozens of relaxing treatments for men and women. “As we renovate the different areas of the hotel, we always keep international visitors in our thoughts, so we can insure they feel welcome in their home away from home,” added Sherwin.
Throughout the hotel there is a recurrence of the signature Ritz-Carlton style crossed with Virginia traditions of hospitality. The décor is cosy and warm and artworks are provided by artists local to Virginia.
Almost 400 stylish appointed rooms in the hotel, including around 40 suites and 37 Club Level accommodations. Signature suites are currently being upgraded to offer an even more luxurious level of accommodation.