When hotels or hotel chains have similar names, it can easily confuse guests. This is the case, for example, with Ritz, Carlton and Ritz-Carlton. Properties which, however, have very little in common, at least today.
Talking to a lot of people, I realized that there was some confusion about certain hotel chains. Typical examples: ” If you’re a Marriott titanium, you get upgraded at the Ritz in Paris? “If you like the Ritz-Carlton, why haven’t you tried the Carlton in Cannes? “
Well, quite simply because it’s a completely different business
We explain everything.
It all started with the Ritz in Paris
It all began on the Place Vendôme in Paris in 1898. César Ritz, a Swiss hotelier nicknamed “the king of hoteliers, the hotelier of kings“, founds the Hotel Ritz with the famous chef Auguste Escoffier. This property will quickly become a world-renowned luxury property, and I don’t think it needs any further introduction.
Caesar Ritz and his wife also founded Ritz hotels in London and Madrid, but today they no longer have any connection with the original hotel, which is independent.
Opened in 1910, the Ritz Madrid is now a Mandarin Oriental, while the Ritz London, opened in 1906, is now in the hands of a Qatari investor. As for the Lisbon Ritz (Four Seasons), there’s absolutely no connection: Caesar Ritz’s son Charles, who succeeded his father, simply licensed him to use the name.
The original Ritz, in Paris, has been owned by Mohamed Al-Fayed since 1979.
Ritz-Carlton: a business story among friends
In 1912, thanks to a partnership with Charles Hosmer, a personal friend of César Ritz, the Ritz-Carlton Montreal opened without anyone knowing where the name Carlton came from.
An American, Albert Keller, buys the Ritz-Carlton name to operate it in the United States. The first Ritz-Carlton in the USA opened in Boston in 1927. Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Atlantic City and Boca Raton followed, but after the economic crisis of the 40s, only that of Boston survived.
In 1983, the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company is created, acquiring the Boston hotel and taking over the brand’s international development. The group was acquired by Marriott in part in 1995 and in full in 1998.
What about Carlton Hotels?
And if you’re wondering what the connection is with the many Carlton hotels you’ll see around the world…well, there isn’t one. And there’s little more between the Carlton hotels.
The most famous of them all, the Carlton de Cannes, takes its name from the word … carlton, which means “free man” in Scandinavian.
There is, however, a chain called Carlton Hotels and Suites, created in 1977 but operating only four hotels, all in Dubai, and the Carlton Hotel Collection, present in Belgium, the Netherlands and Scotland.
Otherwise, the Carlton Lille is independent, the Carlton Lyon an MGallery (Accor)…
Don’t try to find any logic or connection: almost anyone can name their hotel Carlton.
If the Ritz and Ritz-Carlton hotels share common origins, they have nothing in common today, and even the various Ritz hotels no longer have any connection with the Paris original. As for the Carlton hotels, well…it’s just a name.