Written by Dan Tapia
There are a ton of ways that companies thank military members for their service. 10% off, or a free meal on Veterans/Memorial days are some of the most common. Without a doubt one company stands above the rest: The Ritz Carlton.
Yes, these five star hotels frequented by movie stars and wealthy vacationers are incredibly friendly for military. Let’s walk through my recent experience with the Ritz and then look at some tangible ways to benefit from their discount.
I had heard time and again that the Ritz offers good military discounts but I always thought that even with a discount it would be a lot. My anniversary was a great reason to check it out and see if it was really worthwhile. It was a three day weekend and I wanted to find a nice place to stay Saturday and Sunday overnight.
I called the resort at Amelia Island, FL and asked about their military rates. I wasn’t expecting much, their regular rates for that weekend were $550/ night. My jaw dropped when she said with the military discount it was only $260/ night. Without any additional benefits they were offering me a $580 discount to the standard rate for those two nights. Also, the rate was less than other typical chain hotels on Amelia Island .All they asked was that I show my ID at check in.
I booked two nights using my newly opened Chase Sapphire Reserve (which I literally opened because of this article I wrote). The Chase Sapphire Reserve has a $300 travel credit so the total out of pocket cost was $220 for a weekend at the Ritz.
Being the off season, we had the whole place to ourselves. Because I booked with the Chase Sapphire Reserve which has Marriot Bonvoy status, our room was upgraded to a sixth floor ocean view room. It was sick. When we got their we found champagne and chocolate waiting for us (on the house). That’s what happens when you tell the Ritz it’s your anniversary.
Needless to say the rest of the weekend was awesome. With the money we had saved booking, we didn’t feel guilty ordering a few drinks like this:
We enjoyed the awesome bars, restaurants and bonfires on the beach. And we did all of that while spending less than the cost of a regular room for one night.
How to Do This
The discount is not hard to get but here are a few pointers:
- You need to call the location you are interested in. It’s not mentioned anywhere online.
- Technically, what they’re giving you is the government rate. At most hotels the government rate is about the same as the standard which is why this discount is so impressive.
- Your best bet is going in the offseason. Though this rate is always available, Ritz’s are usually booked during peak travel season.
- They have tons of locations, and the rate does vary.
- If you are planning on opening a Chase Sapphire Reserve or Amex Platinum consider the benefits they offer when booking your weekend at the Ritz. By combining benefits you will begin to save some serious money.
As crazy as it sounds, I would consider the Ritz if you are travelling on TAD. Per diem and lodging rates are going to be dependent on the area you are travelling to. The Ritz at the government rate could be very close to that rate. Obviously, you need to do your homework here. This might work in some places but will definitely not work in all.
The Ritz Carlton offers you the chance to have an awesome weekend getaway without paying much money. If you combine their rates with other travel card perks than you are well on your way to an almost free weekend. Most importantly, Ritz Carltons are amazing and knowing that you paid half as much as everyone around you is an added bonus that allows you to relax and enjoy your time there.