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Olivier Lau on Life at The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner

Here, general manager Olivier Lau speaks to Elite Traveler on life at the hotel.

By Olivier Lau

Providing a dose of contemporary luxury in an exceptional location is what The Ritz-Carlton does best, The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner is no exception, blending classic Virginia artists, traditions and cuisine to create a property that stands above the rest. Situated just outside Washington D.C. in McLean, this hotel can act as a gateway to the city or a base to explore the high-end shopping mall Tysons Galleria, which this hotel is attached to.

Here, general manager Olivier Lau speaks to Elite Traveler on life at the hotel.

What attracted you to your position at the hotel?

As general manager of The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner, I was initially attracted to the position by the opportunity to lead and inspire a team dedicated to delivering unparalleled luxury hospitality experiences. The Ritz-Carlton brand is renowned for its commitment to excellence, and I was drawn to the challenge of upholding and exceeding those standards in every aspect of hotel operations.

Additionally, the opportunity to work in such a prestigious and iconic property, nestled in a vibrant, dynamic and diverse location like Tysons Corner, presented an exciting opportunity for professional growth and development. I was eager to contribute my expertise in hospitality management to elevate the hotel’s reputation and provide guests with unforgettable moments of luxury and personalized service.

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

One defining moment that stands out in my role as general manager of The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner occurred shortly after I started in the position. It was a reminder that our hotel is more than just a workplace; it’s a place where people come to create lifelong memories and celebrate significant moments in their lives. I received a heartfelt letter from a couple who had been married at our hotel 30 years ago and had returned to celebrate their 30th anniversary with us. The letter detailed how much our staff, whom we refer to as Ladies and Gentlemen, meant to them during their special occasion. They expressed gratitude for the impeccable service, attention to detail, and genuine care they received from every member of our team.

This letter was incredibly moving and served as a powerful reminder of the profound impact we have on our guests’ lives. It underscored the importance of the work we do and the meaningful connections we forge with our guests. It wasn’t just about providing luxurious accommodations and impeccable service; it was about creating experiences that resonate with people long after they’ve left our hotel.

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

During my tenure at The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner, one of the biggest challenges we faced was managing the overwhelming demand for our afternoon tea experience. Despite our best efforts, we struggled to accommodate the enthusiastic interest in this beloved tradition, resulting in a waitlist that extended up to two months. Despite these challenges, our commitment to delivering exceptional hospitality remains unwavering, and we continuously are seeking innovative solutions to enhance the guest experience, exceed expectations and allow more of our guests to enjoy this unique tradition.

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

Our Presidential Suite, which was recently renovated, hosts a king-size four-poster bed fit for royalty. The expansive room also features a bespoke walk-in wardrobe, and an ensuite marble-splashed bathroom, with opulent his and hers sinks. In addition to the luxurious accommodation and personalized service, the suite grants access to our Club Level. Club Level guests enjoy exclusive privileges and amenities that set their experience apart from anything else on offer in the region.

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

We are working on exciting partnerships with local attractions, businesses, and cultural institutions to offer our guests unique and immersive experiences that showcase the best of Northern Virginia. From guided tours of historic sites to curated culinary experiences featuring local flavors and ingredients, these partnerships will provide our guests with insider access to the vibrant culture and heritage of the region.

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