THE RITZ-CARLTON, NANJING
NO. 18 ZHONGSHAN ROAD
XUANWU DISTRICT, NANJING,
With a remarkable bird's eye view of the city, The Ritz-Carlton, Nanjing is a tasteful retreat that fuses the city's ancient past with refined comfort. Here, General Manager Charlie Zha reveals the hotel's must-try cocktail, how to experience Nanjing like a local and where visitors should go for design inspiration.
"The five fundamental elements of Chinese culture – wood, fire, earth, metal, and water – are represented throughout the hotel, creating a remarkable fusion of the city's ancient past and contemporary luxury and comfort."
The Ritz-Carlton, Nanjing towers 62 stories above the city's central business district, on the uppermost floors of the upscale Deji Plaza. The hotel features 295 tastefully appointed rooms, including 32 spacious suites. Design Studio SPIN, a well-known architectural firm, designed the hotel's sumptuous interiors. The five fundamental elements of Chinese culture – wood, fire, earth, metal and water – are represented throughout the hotel, creating a remarkable fusion of the city's ancient past and contemporary luxury and comfort.
1. The Location: Straddling the Yangtze delta, Nanjing enjoys equal status as an ancient city and a metropolis. As one of the four great ancient capitals of China, Nanjing served as the capital of 10 dynasties encompassing more than 2,500 years’ history, profound culture and world-renowned heritage sites. During the Six Dynasties period, Nanjing was renowned as the cradle of civilization in the East on par with Rome in the West. Centrally located in the Xinjiekou CBD, The Ritz-Carlton, Nanjing complements its cosmopolitan surroundings. Deji Plaza, featuring a luxury shopping mall, office tower and direct metro access, lies at the hotel’s doorstep and is just a few minutes on foot, or by car or metro from popular city attractions, entertainment and dining destinations. 2. The View: The Ritz-Carlton, Nanjing towers 62 stories above the city, offering guests stunning views of the famous Xuanwu Lake and Purple Mountain. Stay in a spacious and cosy room overlooking the skyline. Or dine in the five signature restaurants and bars across level 38 to level 62, embracing the dazzling day and night views over Nanjing. 3. The People: The last but the most important thing. At The Ritz-Carlton, our Ladies and Gentlemen are the most important resource in our service commitment to our guests. By applying the principles of trust, honesty, respect, integrity and commitment, we nurture and maximise talent for the benefit of each individual and the company. At The Ritz-Carlton, Nanjing, we fully interpret a localised journey of Jinling’s essence by delivering The Ritz-Carlton legendary service.
A stay at The Ritz-Carlton, Nanjing is a tasteful retreat with refined comforts. The hotel’s guestrooms and suites feature a contemporary Oriental fusion design and indulgent bathrooms with a windowfront tub overlooking the stunning skyline. Some detailed design touches are the most welcomed by our guests. Nanjing was listed as a UNESCO "City of Literature" in 2019. In each hotel room, we have a wide selection of books about literature, art, history and stories about Nanjing. Guests can enjoy a totally relaxing “Me Time” in the room by reading the books and appreciating the scenic views outside. Another touchpoint is the Frette bed linen as well as Frette pyjamas. These items ensure our guests sleep like a baby.
The Ritz-Carlton has a strong company philosophy we call “Gold Standard.” It encourages and empowers our Ladies and Gentlemen to build strong relationships and create Ritz-Carlton guests for life. I have encountered many memorable stories during my 23 years with Ritz-Carlton hotels across the world. One day at The Ritz-Carlton, Nanjing, a young gentleman, Mr. Y, checked in and told our concierge, Ted, that he lost his white Panama hat in a coffee shop at the train station. Ted helped contact the coffee shop to see if they could find the hat. During his conversation with Mr. Y, Ted noted that Mr. Y came to Nanjing especially to visit the university where his grandfather studied in the 1920s. Ted received bad news that the coffee shop did not find the hat. But Ted did not want to disappoint our guest, so after discussing with his supervisor, he decided to buy the same type of hat and create an even more special experience for Mr. Y. Using the magic of the concierge network, Ted managed to get a school badge and notebook from the university where Mr. Y’s grandfather studied. When Mr. Y returned to his room in the evening, he saw his Panama hat as well as the special gifts. He was so surprised and touched by what our Ladies and Gentlemen had done for him. Of course, Ted was able to create a Ritz-Carlton lifelong loyal customer.
The Ritz-Carlton, Nanjing
Well, we do have dining venues offering local food, but I would recommend FLAIR, our rooftop restaurant and bar. A destination among Nanjing’s culturally connected, FLAIR invites guests to take in the city skyline. The impressive view is complemented by inventive cocktails crafted with boutique gins, fine Champagnes and a menu of Southeast Asian tapas. Live DJs provide a soundtrack for mingling. Definitely, laksa is a must-try dish at our FLAIR.
For a memorable taste of authentic Nanjing traditions, our talented bartender designed a signature cocktail named “Yuhua Garden,” which is deeply rooted in the local culture, heritage and destination. It invites our guests to explore the historic city of Nanjing through this perfect balance of Yuhua tea and gin, releasing a fresh aroma that brings a touch of richness and elegance to the drink.
1. First, visit Xuanwu Lake and the city wall nearby. The lake definitely has been the landmark of this city for a thousand years, while the city wall is its spiritual symbol. 2. Second, visit Purple Mountain. Praised as the “First Mountain of Chinese Humanism,” the Purple Mountain is the final resting place for emperors and outstanding heroes from over ten dynasties, bringing together the cultures of Six Dynasties – the Ming Dynasty culture, Republic of China culture, the mountain and water culture, the ecological and recreational culture, and Buddhist culture. These are the places where local people enjoy a walk after dinner and attractions travelers must visit. 3. Third, try the famous local food – duck blood and vermicelli soup. Every local person likes it, and every traveller should try it.
Well, I recommend Niushoushan Cultural Park. The Park was established in late 2015, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in the mystical landscapes and sacred relics of Niushou Mountain – a breathtaking ancient Buddhist site in the south of Nanjing. The centrepiece of the park is an ornate and intricate Buddhist palace, spanning six floors underground, built into the side of the mountain. Visitors can also explore the Pagoda of Hongjue Temple and the nine-story Usnisa Pagoda, as well as Usnisa Temple, a monastery complex featuring monks’ living quarters and a large meditation hall.
Our location is just next door to one of the most luxurious shopping malls in China – Deji Plaza – where many of the city’s top restaurants have opened outlets. One I think travellers should try is “Nanjing Impressions,” which offers an authentic experience of the local culture in terms of dishes as well as decor. Of course, for drinks, I recommend our rooftop restaurant and bar, FLAIR, for one of the best places to enjoy a drink while overlooking Nanjing’s skyline.
Yuhua Stone and Yuhua Tea are definitely the two signature souvenirs you should bring home from Nanjing. The rain flower pebble is called "Yuhua" stone in Mandarin. It is a special kind of agate found near Nanjing City, Jiangsu Province of China. At a site of ancient gravel stratum formed millions of years ago, various types of stones, including agates, crystals and opals, are found. Among them are rain flower pebbles, famous for their distinctive patterns. Millions of years ago, elements of the pebble were first melted by the high heat of lava, mixing with other chemical elements, then filled in the space of lava and finally deposited to form a stone. During this long forming process, colourful elements were randomly mixed and produced beautiful coloured patterns. Yu Hua Tea originated from Nanjing City in Jiangsu Province. The name Yu Hua means "Rain Flower," and it is so called because the tea leaves are harvested from within the Rain Flower Terrace area. As one of the Ten Famous Teas in China, Yuhua Tea features a green colour and its tea leaf covered with white hair, which is as tight and straight as the pine needle.
I have always loved travelling and I am lucky to have started from a young age. I spent my childhood in Africa, studied in Switzerland, and started my career with The Ritz-Carlton in the US. Now that I’m back in my home country of China, my family travels two or three times a year to different destinations. We travel to enjoy family time, create unique memories, and explore authentic local flavours. For me, travel is not only an escape from the realities of life and work. It is a lifestyle. It is a way for me to get inspiration for new ideas. It is a way to develop my kids to have a deeper understanding of the different cultures of this world. Travel means a lot to me.
Wrapping yourself in Frette is a luxurious, comfortable experience. The sleep experience is one of soft and silky-smooth textures.
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