This post was sponsored by Marriott as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
This summer, my husband and I decided to pair a sightseeing tour with a luxury hotel stay—enter the Ritz Carlton Pentagon City.
We are a Marriott family, meaning we prefer to stay at Marriott properties over any other hotel brand. The Ritz Carlton Pentagon City is in the Marriott Bonvoy family and offers a premiere stay only a few minutes from downtown DC. There are over 20 Marriott Bonvoy hotels across 12 brands in the DC area. We chose the Ritz based on its luxury amenities, close proximity to downtown DC, and various things to do within walking distance. The Metro, DC’s rail program, is only steps from the hotel doors, making this another attractive reason for choosing this location.
The Ritz Property
The Ritz Carlton’s motto, “We are ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen,” exemplifies the Ritz’s experience. Upon first entering the Ritz Carlton Pentagon City Hotel, you are in a beautiful marble lobby with ladies and gentlemen ready and happy to assist you. The Fyve Restaurant Lounge is adjacent to the hotel entrance, where you can enjoy all-day dining, hand-crafted cocktails, and Afternoon Tea.
The lavishly decorated lobby and check-in area are the first doses of high-end fixtures and exceeding customer expectations. “My pleasure, Mrs. Pittman” is the standard type of Ritz Carlton greeting spoken by the experienced staff that automatically brings a smile to my face.
Though we chose to stay at one of the upscale Marriott Bonvoy properties, there are choices for every type of traveler, from budget-conscious to high-end, and everything in the middle. You can still expect the high-level customer service and quality property no matter which one you choose. Suppose you are not already a Marriott Bonvoy member. In that case, perks include free Wifi, mobile check-in, and the lowest Marriott rates anywhere (including an additional 2% on weekdays and 5% on weekends)…reasons enough for me.
The Ritz Carlton Hotel Rooms
Our room was an average-sized hotel room, not too big, not too small, with classic luxury furnishings. It had a fully-stocked minibar and snacks, a large work desk, comfortable chair and ottoman, gourmet Nespresso and tea station, a 60″ TV with Netflix and movie services. The king-sized feather bed was decorated with Egyptian cotton linens and plenty of plush pillows. Our marble bath had an awesome tub and Asprey toiletries, one of our favorite brands. Twice a day housekeeping service kept our room refreshed and tidy.
I loved the scenic view from the enormous windows. I could see the Pentagon, Washington Monument, and a big part of downtown DC.
Amazing Concierge Level Privileges
The Ritz Carlton Concierge Level is considered a hotel within a hotel, with five culinary and beverage presentations available throughout the day. When traveling with our children, the club level was a must. It saved us money on appetizers, drinks, sodas, and snacks.
The breakfast spread is stocked with scrambled eggs, quiche, granola, yogurt, breakfast meats, fresh fruit, and a large assortment of breads including chocolate croissants. Lunch is served with salads, sandwiches, and sweets. My favorite time is the 5 PM presentation with a light dinner fare. Grilled veggies, fancy cheese and meats, Edamame Dumplings, and Shrimp Tempura were some of our favorites. An Instagram-worthy selection of bite-size or mini desserts made up the late-night serving. Readily available are beer, wine, cocktails, coffee, cookies, sodas, and bottled water.
We loved the lounge’s relaxing feel with comfortable couches and chairs, large flat-screen TVs, and great views high above the Pentagon and Washington, DC skyline. Treat yourself to an upgrade to enjoy the concierge privileges for $150 per person. You can also select a club level room or suite when booking. I felt it was well worth the money.
Staying in Pentagon City
The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City is connected to the Ritz Carlton Pentagon City. Stores include Nordstrom, Macy’s, Apple, Kate Spade, and Tumi, to name a few. Shake Shack, Matchbox American Kitchen + Spirit, and Sugar Factory make up some of the mall’s dining options. There were dozens of other stores (Nordstrom Rack, Best Buy) across the street and many restaurants (Chevys, Panera) to choose from.
The convenience of the Metro running across the street from our hotel in Pentagon City was another excellent offering. This rapid transit system serves 60,000 customers a day six easy to read color-coded rail lines. It costs $3.60 to ride from the hotel to Lincoln Memorial to give you an example of how affordable it is.
Exploring the Nation’s Capital
The proximity to the White House, Vietnam Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, and such was a deciding factor on choosing the Ritz Carlton Pentagon City. Every attraction was only a short ride away.
Eddie and I have been to Washington, DC several times, but not within the last ten years. Nothing has changed, but everything has changed. The monuments are still beautiful, museums are always free, and folks worldwide everywhere you look. There are many walking paths around the National Mall, which makes walking very pleasant and comfortable.
The downtown area is clean and well lit, making it great for late-night visits. You will probably want to see the monuments on the National Mall of the day, but it is well worth it to come back at night when the lights accent the monuments. DC’s signage is exceptional, plus there are kiosks with maps and assistants to help with directions or any questions you may have. Clean public restrooms are also available.
The Big Bus Sightseeing Option
Eddie and I chose to see DC by bus on the Big Bus Hop-On, Hop-Off Tour. Pickup is at the mall beside the Ritz Carlton Pentagon City, and buses run every 20 to 30 minutes. You can Uber for about $12 to $15 to most of the National Mall points of interest. It takes, which will take around 10 to 12 minutes.
The Big Bus goes by all of Washington DC’s monuments, memorials, and museums. You have several options as to which loop you would like to ride: red, yellow, or blue. They go to different DC areas such as the local hotels, Arlington National Cemetery, and Madame Tussauds. Some routes travel across the Potomac River into Georgetown, an excellent spot for shopping, dining, and National Park System Sites. If you wish to just enjoy the sites from the bus, you don’t even have to get off. If you choose to spend time at any drop-off spots, another bus will be by within a few minutes.
For $5 per person and the purchase of a Big Bus ticket, you can extend your ticket for another 24 hours, but it must be done before the business’s close on the day of your ticket. We found Big Bus to be a great way to see the sights travel from place to place, plus you get to listen to a live tour guide explaining what is being seen along the way. Seating is available in the enclosed lower level or on top in the great outdoors, offering the best views.
Dining at a Marriott Property
After a long day of sightseeing, if you don’t feel like leaving the property, you don’t have to. Head down to Fyve for a delicious meal or order room service, which is always great at The Ritz.
Eddie and I chose to explore the Marriott property’s food scene, the Marriott Renaissance Hotel in Crystal City, for dinner at SOCCi, offering authentic Italian cuisine. The sophisticated dining room had a welcome vibe and huge light fixtures that changed colors every few seconds. Big windows gave us views of the bustling street scene outside.
Our waiter at SOCCi was exceptional, providing amazing service and suggestions from the menu. Eddie and I started with fresh bread and olive oil, followed by a perfect Caesar Salad. The Rustico Pizza came topped with roasted peppers, tomatoes, goat cheese, and basil. Eddie thoroughly enjoyed it. A gluten-free crust was also available.
I chose Spaghetti with Meatballs, as recommended by our waiter. I loved that the kitchen sent both freshly grated and shredded parmesan cheeses for my pasta. The meatballs are one of SOCCI’s signature items, made with a mix of meat, San Marzano tomatoes, and mozzarella. This was definitely a good choice.
Ritz and Marriott Stays: Confirming Our Love
Eddie and I will probably always be proud Marriott member toting travelers. Our lovely stay at the Ritz Carlton Pentagon City reminded us how much we love staying at these luxury properties and especially having access to the concierge level.
With the easy to get to Washington DC attractions proximity, walking distance to shops and restaurants, and level of customer service satisfaction at the Ritz Carlton, this was a perfect choice of hotel for our new memories.
How will you explore Washington, DC?