The Ritz-Carlton Tysons Corner Hotel Review: Stellar Use Of Amex FHR Credit

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Location
Room
Amenities
Service

Quick Take

While the location may not be optimal for everyone, my stay at the Ritz-Carlton Tysons Corner turned out to be the perfect combination of luxury and value. Service shines most brightly at this property, and the updated rooms and delightful dining options rounded out an exceptional visit.
This post may contain affiliate links; please read our advertiser disclosure for more information.
Disclosure: Miles to Memories has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Miles to Memories and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. Links in this post may provide us with a commission.

The Ritz-Carlton Tysons Corner Hotel Review – Luxury and Value Coexist

Like many of you, I’m dealing with piles of expiring hotel free night certificates and hotel credits during this period of the pandemic.  That’s a good problem to have, of course.  I have no interest in flying simply to use these credits in distant locales, and I don’t want them to create substantial, unnecessary spending, either.  Enter the Ritz-Carlton Tysons Corner.  I found room availability via Amex’s Fine Hotels and Resorts program, and I live within a reasonable driving distance to the Northern Virginia area.  Why not visit the property over a long weekend?  Here are my thoughts on my recent stay at the Ritz Carlton Tysons Corner.

Booking

I’ve largely given up on Marriott properties since the SPG merger,  but the recent updates to the Platinum Card from American Express gave me reason to reconsider.  Why?  Amex recently unveiled a new $200 credit for hotel bookings using their Fine Hotels and Resorts service.  I currently hold three personal Amex Platinum cards, and I saw a potential opportunity to maximize all of these credits over a long weekend visit.  With Fine Hotels and Resorts, the challenge was finding availability of a property at a reasonable rate which I wanted to visit.  Otherwise, this credit would become a $200 coupon on an overpriced hotel stay.

Amex and the Ritz-Carlton Tysons Corner delivered here.  I found nightly rates of $199 for two nights, and $209 for the other.  I booked each night separately with a different Platinum card to take advantage of an individual $200 credit for each night.  Taking into account room taxes and the $200 nightly credits, I spent $85.89 out of pocket for the three night stay.  I earned 11,471 Marriott Bonvoy points over the visit after taking into account current points promos and my Gold elite status (from the Platinum card).  Not bad.

Location

The Ritz-Carlton Tysons Corner connects to Tysons Galleria, the higher-end shopping experience across from the Tysons Corner Center shopping mall.  The property is within convenient walking distance to the Tysons Corner stop of the Metro, the DC area’s subway system.  Visitors also enjoy pedestrian access to a variety of restaurants within the Galleria and immediate area, including Lebanese Taverna, Maggiano’s, and steakhouses like Wildfire and the Palm.  Of course, big shoppers will get the most out of the Ritz’s location.  I’m not one of them, but I was reminded that many are.  Upon exiting the Ritz-Carlton into the mall, I was greeted by about a 50 foot line of shoppers waiting to enter Louis Vuitton.  Gucci and a few others were similar.

Beyond shopping and dining, Tysons Corner isn’t really around much interesting for pleasure travelers.  Walkable access to the Metro is huge, though.  Like DC in general, traffic is infamously heavy in the immediate area.  During a relatively quiet holiday weekend, though, I wasn’t snarled by Tysons traffic at all.  I chose self parking in the adjacent garage for the modest $12 daily rate, covered by my property credit (more on that below).

Ritz Carlton Tysons Corner
Ritz-Carlton Tysons Corner lobby.

Check-In

One of the highlights of my visit was the check-in process.  I had the most exceptional domestic hotel check-in experience in recent memory, thanks to James at the front desk.  He easily connected my three separate reservations for the same room without me asking.  The hotel was fully booked for portions of my stay, so I wasn’t able to receive an upgraded room beyond a high floor.  I wasn’t overly concerned, as I was traveling alone, had other weekend plans, and wasn’t expecting an upgrade, anyway.

Fine Hotels and Resorts Benefits

More importantly, James excelled at laying out my various on-property benefits, due to my Fine Hotels and Resorts booking.  During booking, each reservation noted a $100 property credit as part of the stay.  However, I was only expecting a $100 property credit for the three nights, since I booked three nights consecutively.  Nonetheless, I had remained hopeful for more.  Before I could ask about the property credit, James offered that I would get the $100 property benefit for each of my three reservations.  Making it sweeter, I could use the $300 credit any time throughout my visit; I wouldn’t lose out if I didn’t spend exactly $100 each day.

I received an additional $60 breakfast credit, also.  James mentioned that the breakfast credit was good for weekend brunch, too.  Due to other commitments, I was unable to enjoy brunch, but having that credit flexibility was nice.  During the interaction, James was tremendously thoughtful and detail-oriented.  Noting that consuming $300 of property credit is no small task for one individual on a relatively short visit, he voluntary listed all possible options.  James provided chilled, bottled water at check-in, as well.

After checking in and a quick visit to my room, I indulged in complimentary sparkling wine and sushi being served in the lobby.

Ritz Carlton Tysons Corner
Ritz-Carlton Tysons Corner king guest room.

Room

Upon arriving, I found my bright room on the 18th floor a far departure from Ritz-Carlton designs of years past.  Gone were all the dark, woodsy tones and finishes everywhere.  Indeed, the rooms were renovated in 2017.  Grays and blues complemented lighter walls and furniture.  The white marble in the bathroom is probably a holdover from the previous decor, but it blends in nicely, nonetheless.  My view westward wasn’t anything special, but I didn’t expect it to be.  Office buildings, a few trees, and a large, ugly roof below.  The property is connected to a mall, after all.

I enjoyed the entry area of my room, holding the Nespresso machine, minibar, counter space and closet on the left and bathroom on the right.  This layout made the basic, 330-square-foot-room feel bigger than it actually was.

I can’t understate how much white was everywhere in the hallways (other than the flooring).  Still, the room decor segued nicely into the similar tones of the hallways and elevator areas.

Entyse Bistro.

Amenities

The hotel holds two distinct restaurants, both confusingly called Entyse.  The Entyse Bistro serves breakfast, brunch (weekends only), and lunch.  The Entyse Wine Bar and Lounge serves afternoon tea and dinner.  The bar was buzzing on weekend nights, with a Flamenco music group on Friday and a Top 40 cover band on Saturday.  I enjoyed the quality and variety of food options at each restaurant, the bar, and in-room dining.

Ritz Carlton Tysons Corner
Ritz Carlton Tysons Corner Spa.

The Ritz-Carlton has its own spa, cleverly named “The Spa”, offering a variety of treatments throughout the week.  The onsite, indoor pool is accessible through the spa.  The pool has separate hours for adults and families.  The property also has a dedicated video game room for those interested in console gaming.

Ritz Carlton Tysons Corner
Entyse Lounge.

The property clearly serves the business crowd, with dedicated space and floors for conferences and other functions.  The property will be trending even more that way in the immediate future.  Rolly, a bartender who’s been at the property for about 20 years, shared that, unfortunately, the Entyse Bistro will close next year and be replaced with more conference rooms.  The Entyse Wine Bar and Lounge will be redesigned to serve all three meals daily, leaving the property with only one unique restaurant experience.

Service

While I found the room and amenities of the Ritz-Carlton Tysons Corner pleasing enough, the quality of service from all employees was excellent.  James, Beverly, and their other front desk colleagues were tremendously attentive throughout my stay.  I enjoyed the service of the same waiter, Roberto, at breakfast each morning.  Similar to my front desk experiences, Roberto consistently anticipated my needs.  I don’t think I ever needed to ask for anything, because he was always a step ahead of me.  Toward the end of each breakfast, he thoughtfully provided a to-go coffee that was significantly hotter than the version at the meal.  My coffee lasted much longer into my morning activities.

A perfect breakfast and excellent service at Entyse Bistro.

Housekeeping

I like that twice-daily housekeeping continues at this property during the pandemic.  The only housekeeping blip was when I returned back to my room at about 2 pm on my second afternoon and it had not been serviced yet.  I called housekeeping, and they voluntarily prioritized my room as the next one cleaned.  Indeed, they did – a housekeeper showed up about 10 minutes after my call.  I don’t fault the property for this “late” cleaning, as I hadn’t specifically requested cleaning by a certain time.  The nightly turndown service made me realize how much I’ve missed that minor touch in recent years.

Consistently Exceptional Service 

The front desk staff, housekeeping, and waiters routinely greeted me by name throughout my stay.  Some may roll their eyes at this aspect, but I appreciate that attention to detail.  These small, consistent touches add up for me.  Indeed, such nuanced care should be expected of a luxury property, but I’ve been disappointed many times before.  And with seemingly ever-devaluing hotel experiences, it’s nice to see a property take the importance of service seriously.

Conclusion

I had gone into this stay with moderate expectations, and the Ritz-Carlton Tysons Corner consistently delivered.  The superior service shined most significantly, followed closely by the satisfying dining experiences.  From the outside, the Ritz-Carlton Tysons Corner may appear as a pedestrian property in comparison to other luxury brand locations.  But the experience is comparable or better to other more sought-after hotels I’ve experienced.  I attribute this to the hard work and expertise of the Ritz-Carlton Tysons Corner’s staff.  I recommend this hotel for anyone wanting a luxurious experience at a reasonable price in the Northern Virginia area, particularly if one holds an Amex Platinum Card.  Your Fine Hotels and Resorts credit will go to excellent use here!

Popular Articles

Benjy Harmon
Benjy is a fan of points, miles, and financial independence (FI). An experienced world traveler, husband, and father, he currently focuses on roaming throughout the USA expense-free (or close to it). He enjoys helping others achieve their FI and travel goals.

28 COMMENTS

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

28 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks for sharing! I recently used my Amex Platinum card’s $200 FHR credit for a weekend staycation at this property (I actually did go shopping, too, and used an Amex Offer for dinner at Eddie V’s). Your review sounds just like my experience. Fabulous service!

  2. I should also add that at the current time one cannot pay for a club level upgrade and only two guests per room are allowed. The club level has never been crowded in my few times there so far.

  3. Coincidentally, I am currently staying at this excellent property and also had James at check-in (who is great). I am currently staying using a Ritz-Carton card club level certificate and will spend our last night here in a club room through FHR. The FHR club rate is approximately $390, but is much more reasonable given the $200 Amex credit.

    Apparently, the hotel is highly booked this weekend so I did not get a Titanium upgrade. Just a room with a nicer view. Although the room is smaller than I would like, it is still very well appointed and we are very comfortable here, but I would have preferred a larger room or, preferably, a suite. We are luckily traveling very light. If we had two large suitcases, it would be a bit crowded in here given the layout.

    The club level is very nice, but far from extraordinary. The only exceptional portion is the staff. Shima in the lounge is a real star. She seems to have a following of return guests, which is well-deserved. I briefly met Wanda, who was very nice.

    The breakfast is nice and they have some of my most important breakfast items, including salmon (unfortunately with capers, which I do not like), good oatmeal, and berries and other fruit. They also have an egg chef. Unfortunately, no Greek yogurt or potatoes. Definitely good, but does not come close to matching a breakfast at a basic Marriott in the Middle East or Asia, much less a Ritz-Carlton.

    Also, there appear to be only four (as opposed to the standard five) food presentations per day. Tea seems to be missing, which may be a consequence of the current situation, but is still very disappointing. In particular, I would have liked to see a selection of cakes and pastries (especially chocolate ones) and macarons, but they are not (or at least have not been) available even for the evening dessert presentation. A few desserts are on offer, which are good, but only one chocolate one. At least they still offer chocolate with evening turn-down service. The chocolate chip cookies are excellent. Do not pass them by.

    Also, the hours of the presentations (other than breakfast) are relatively short and the lounge is not open past 9, which is really early. At least the lounge is now open 7 days per week, which is a recent development, as it was only open weekends until very recently. I could have stayed here using my Bonvoy credit card free night certificates, but without the lounge, I would generally rather stay elsewhere.

    The self-parking is very reasonable at about $12 per day with validation at the front desk, which gets in and out privileges (but you must revalidate each time you re-enter).

    There is also a $30 per day food and beverage credit (which expires each night) for Titanium (and I would assume Platinum) members. I have not even had a chance to use it yet, but will probably get a chance to use it tomorrow and the next night when I take some friends and family to dinner at the wine bar/restaurant and hope to have a nice meal.

    All in all, a great place to stay in the mid-Atlantic area and as Benjy said a superb way to use your Amex credit.

    • Nevsky,
      I appreciate you sharing, especially on your club level experience. I’m cynically thinking that the club may not offer afternoon tea since they want visitors to pay for that service in the Entyse lounge.

      • Reasonable thought but, as I understand tea at Entyse is only available on weekends, that would not explain the rest of the week. (Response written while enjoying the club lounge)

  4. Benjy,

    Would love to hear more about the options for using the $100 per reservation property credit. In particular, could that be used toward food purchased at the hotel’s restaurants for lunch/dinner or room service for those meals?

    We are planning to use our FHR credits at this very same hotel next month, so your post was most helpful!

    • HB,
      It’s good to know the review was helpful. Indeed, I used the majority of my property credit for onsite dining – meals and drinks at the lounge and room service. The credit can be used for spa services, valet or self parking charges, even the minibar. While I could find no onsite store, you could buy a robe (sorry, don’t know the price there). The property credit is seemingly an option for anything at the hotel other than room rate. Have a great stay! Comment again with your opinions.

      • Benjy,

        My wife and I are staying at the Ritz Tysons Corner this weekend to each use our Amex Plat FHR $200 credit before it expires for 2021. In addition to the $100 property credit and the $60 breakfast credit from the FHR program, since we added our Marriott Bonvoy numbers when making the reservation with Amex, Ritz Tysons is currently giving an additional $30 food/beverage credit to Marriott Platinum members that we both qualified for. This means, overall, we have a $190 food credit for a one night stay. And, as you said, the credit applies to room service, which here is the same cost as the menu at the hotel’s restaurant, before the 20% gratuity charge and $5 delivery charge. Despite sounding to this point that we came here just to eat, there are some amazing outdoor activities in this area that can be done even in the colder weather, such as a visit to nearby Great Falls National Park, which is a sight to see. And there is a very nice but small mall attached to the hotel and another amazing, much larger mall just a block or two away. The hotel is not the fanciest Ritz Carlton in the portfolio, but it is still quite nice and the staff are wonderful, as your review noted. Also, you can self-park for just $12 per day, which is a pretty good deal. Thanks again for all the info in your review!

    • Al C,
      I believe the fine print during booking states that FHR benefits cannot be combined with elite status benefits like club upgrades. I wouldn’t expect Amex FHR and Chase’s Ritz card benefits to work together smoothly, at least in advance. But from my perspective, the best angle to take would be bringing up the Ritz card/club upgrade matter at check-in. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were able to accommodate your request. Good luck!

      • Thanks for the reply. Sadly no upcoming books with which to try this. But that would be awesome credit card synergy if it worked.

        • Al C,
          Gotcha. I’m jealous of your Ritz card, regardless. One I never got around to, and no chance I’ll be able to PC into it in my situation.

  5. I am excited to see such a glowing review of this property as my husband and I have a stay planned for this weekend. I wasn’t certain what to expect with the breakfast and credit because I haven’t ever used the FHR program before. Thanks so much for the information!

    • Amy,
      I’m glad you found the review useful! I hope I didn’t set you up for disappointment. Enjoy your stay this weekend, and send in another comment after your stay! I’m intrigued to hear how it goes.

    • Sam,
      I’ll reply on behalf of Benny. 😉
      Thanks for reading! Especially as a local, this property is a no-brainer if you have no other good use for your FHR credit.

  6. Thanks to jerks who pull the crap you pulled… the $200 credit may be short lived… This is why we cannot enjoy ncie things.

    • How dare he utilize three offers as permitted by his premium credit cards that he pays ~$1500 combined for!! /s

      Appreciate you sharing your trip report, Benjy! Glad to see the great value you received by using your offers

    • Ryan this comment makes no sense, as many of yours do. He paid the annual fee for 3 cards and used 3 perks. How is it different than you using your one for your one card? Should he not use the perks they give him? How will him using the perk exactly the way they want you to on a card he paid for going to kill anything?

      • I stayed on New Year’s Eve a few years ago. Great use of 35k certs as well, and was able to upgrade to
        Club level for $100. It was a nice lounge, not very large, but never got crowded. Had a welcome champagne and another after our massages. Had some snacks and took some cookies for late night munchies. Had breakfast the next day before checking out. Great place for a quick staycation.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

BoardingArea

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join thousands of MtM readers who are subscribed to receive a once daily email with all of our posts. Never miss out!

You have Successfully Subscribed!