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Gael Cruchet on What Sets The Ritz-Carlton, Washington D.C. Apart

Step inside and that trademark Ritz-Carlton grandeur is everywhere.

By Gael Cruchet

The Ritz-Carlton, Washington, D.C. puts you in the heart of the action, situated in the vibrant neighborhood of Foggy Bottom – the capital’s government and cultural hub just a few blocks west of The White House. The hotel’s modern exterior gives little away, but step inside and that trademark Ritz-Carlton grandeur is everywhere; the interiors offer the brand’s signature classic sophistication with a contemporary edge. 

To celebrate its partnership with Elite Traveler, we spoke to the hotel’s director of operations, Gael Cruchet.

What attracted you to your position at the hotel?

I am a luxury hotelier at heart and love to create unforgettable moments for our guests. I enjoy leading and mentoring my team to be the best versions of themselves. I am proud of seeing our ladies and gentlemen excel to deliver a luxurious memorable experience for our guests.

Tell us about a defining moment in your role that sticks out.

In 2023 we had a Japanese couple staying with us while visiting Washington D.C. with their children, to celebrate their tenth wedding anniversary. We found out they got married at The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo, and our team decided to replicate the memorable moments of their wedding, so we reached out to our sister property in Tokyo. We were able to create an indelible moment for them, replicating their wedding cake, flower arrangement, pictures of their wedding, and favorite beverages. They were amazed by the experience and so proud to share these memories of a lifetime with their children. Our ladies and gentlemen showed that creating guests for life is an inspiring journey for our guests and the team.

And what has been the hotel’s biggest challenge during your time there?

During the pandemic, our hotel was closed for 14 months, which was a very emotional period for our entire team. When the hotel reopened, our relationship with each other was stronger since we went through that difficult time supporting each other. Our ladies and gentlemen are ‘the heart and soul’ of our hotel and our guest experience, and together we strived to create memorable stays for our returning guests during those challenging times.

What is it about this suite that separates it from anything else on offer in the region?

Inspired by the residences of Washington, D.C., The Ritz-Carlton Suite evokes a ‘home away from home’ experience while marrying accents of traditional American design and contemporary elegance. The suite features a primary bedroom, spacious living room with a cozy fireplace, formal eight-seat dining room with an adjacent pantry, one-and-a-half marble bathrooms with a jacuzzi bathtub and rain forest shower, and an expansive outdoor terrace offering stunning panoramic city views of downtown Washington, D.C.

What exciting plans do you have for the hotel that you can share with our readers?

In anticipation of the Inauguration Celebration in January 2025, we are currently working on a very exclusive package that we will launch this Fall. The Ritz-Carlton Suite will be included in this package along with other hand-picked curated, memorable experiences. Stay tuned!

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