American Marketer

Events / Causes

DC-area Ritz-Carltons explore National Cherry Blossom Festival

March 25, 2014


The Ritz-Carlton Washington and The Ritz-Carlton Georgetown are inviting guests to revel in the National Cherry Blossom Festival March 20 through April 13 with thematic offers.

Both properties offer various culinary options that try to harness the flavor of cherry blossom trees and encourage guests to explore the nation's capital during the bloom. Properties in cultural hot spots should devise packages that complement rather than go against local events.

"Each offer was custom created to provide our guests with a luxurious and unique experience over the National Cherry Blossom Festival," said Michele Klarman, public relations coordinator for The Ritz-Carlton Washington and The Ritz-Carlton Georgetown, Washington.

"For instance, the Sakura tea at The Ritz-Carlton, Washington, was thoughtfully created with a unique blend of fine teas by the hotel’s barista," she said. "It cannot be purchased online or in a store.

"The Sakura Cocktail took over a month to create/perfect, and features a unique blend of the hotel’s signature Sakura tea, infused with G’Vine Gin, fresh lime juice, club soda and house-made Sakura simple syrup. At Georgetown, the hotel’s pastry team found inspiration from the hotel’s famous, signature s’mores to create its gourmet Cherry S’mores."


The Ritz-Carlton Washington's signature scent, sakura, is derived from the cherry blossom trees and will be sprayed throughout the property. Guests can enjoy cherry desserts, sakura tea and a cherry-inspired menu during a weekend bistro.

Festive cocktails and cherry s'mores are available at The Ritz-Carlton Georgetown.

The Ritz-Carlton Georgetown

The centerpiece of both properties is the cherry blossom give-a-tree package that incorporates culinary elements and lets guests sponsor a tree.

Cherry Blossoms are expected to occur April 8-12 this year. Some prime photography locations include the areas around the Jefferson Memorial, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial.

Courtesy of National Cherry Blossom Festival

The opening ceremony for the Cherry Blossom Festival took place March 22 at The Warner Theatre.

On March 29, guests can participate in the Blossom Kite Festival at the Washington Monument.

Courtesy of National Cherry Blossom Festival

Fireworks will be on display along the southwest waterfront April 5.

The festival parade runs along Constitution Avenue from 7th to 17th Streets NW on April 12. Guests can also visit the Japanese Street Festival the same day.

Other events throughout the festival include art fairs, exercise classes, film screenings, children's workshops, dance parties and sporting events.

Doubling up

The Ritz-Carlton has celebrated The National Cherry Blossom Festival before (see story).

Its Washington and Georgetown properties regularly offer twin packages.

For instance, the brand's Washington properties targeted global travelers curious to learn about other countries with its “Live like a World Leader” package that starts at $10,000 (see story).

The many activities and the ebullient atmosphere make it easy for properties to structure offers during the festival.

"The Cherry Blossom Festival is hugely important to Washington, both from a cultural perspective and for what it brings to the city in tourism," said Taylor Rains, account executive at Rawle Murdy Associates, Charleston, SC.

"What’s interesting about the festival is that it holds a near-equal draw for both locals and out of town visitors," he said. "What that means for hotels is they have an opportunity to capture two distinct segments if they structure their offerings appropriately.

"For the local audience, it would make sense to open up day offers – such as special events – that this segment can capitalize on without having to stay on property. For out of town visitors the strategy would be more standard.

"Hotels would do well to structure several different offers for out of town guests in order to accommodate the different types of visitors drawn to the city for the festival – families, couples, etc."

Final Take
Joe McCarthy, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York