American Marketer


Ritz-Carlton Washington offers charity programs to educate about local communities

July 31, 2014

Ritz-Carlton, Washington D.C. Ritz-Carlton, Washington


The Ritz-Carlton, Washington, is inviting guests to participate in its "Do Good, Feel Good" package this fall to give back to the communities surrounding the hotel.

The package acquaints guests with the DC Central Kitchen, a community kitchen that helps feed low-income and at-risk neighborhoods of Washington. Luxury hotels have been responding to the growing interest in philanthropy travel with packages that include charity aspects.

“We believe that this package will be a wonderful option for families or couples who are looking for a unique end-of-summer or early fall getaway,” said Elizabeth Mullins, vice president and area general manager at Ritz-Carlton, Washington.

“It is also a great ‘staycation’ option for residents in the Washington, D.C. metro area,” she said.

“[Also,] it gives guests an exclusive opportunity to get involved in the community by helping others in need – an act that is always extremely rewarding in itself – while also pampering guests with luxurious amenities, such as chauffeured transportation and decadent breakfasts in bed.”

The Do Good, Feel Good package brings guests to the DC Central Kitchen for a VIP tour and a volunteer opportunity in the kitchen, which is optional. Transportation is included to and from the kitchen.

Guests also receive overnight accommodations in a guest room or suite, complimentary breakfast for two in the hotel’s restaurant or in-room dining, free parking, access to Sports Club/LA and "Better For You Brownies" prepared by the DC Central Kitchen’s Healthy Corners program.

ritz carlton dc

Ritz-Carlton, Washington

The Ritz-Carlton, Washington will make a donation in the guest’s name for every package purchased.

The DC Central Kitchen is not a soup kitchen, but rather the hub for meal preparation for 100 nearby homeless shelters, transitional homes and nonprofit organizations. The kitchen has prepared 25 million meals since its founding 25 years ago.

Ritz-Carlton do good feel good

DC Central Kitchen

DC Central Kitchen also supports several programs including Healthy Corners, which makes the brownies placed in the guests’ rooms upon arrival. This program delivers fresh produce to "food deserts" in the nation's capital.

Ritz-Carlton's program runs through Oct. 6.

Giving back
Hotels and other luxury brands often participate in charitable activities to be part of their neighborhoods and to better relate to guests.

For example, Peninsula Hotels added to the Enrich Your Life guest experience program with its Trees of Hope campaign in which guests could buy holiday ornaments with profits going toward the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Guests in the hotel chain’s New York, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Beijing, Tokyo, Chicago, Beverly Hills, Bangkok and Manila locations were able to buy the fundraising ornaments. In addition, the brand had special in-house events that also benefit the charity (see story).

Some travelers want to base their entire vacations around charitable interactions.

Getaway 2 Give is looking to tap into the growing “Conscious Capitalist” movement to provide affluent consumers with ways to give back while traveling.

Travel experts at the company help clients map out trips to a growing list of destinations and coordinate charitable actions. Through G2G’s customizable structure, more than 100 different charities including The Nature Conservancy and Unicef have benefited so far (see story).

Creating a program that focuses on specific charities will likely leave a more enduring impression.

“The Ritz-Carlton has built a legacy of extraordinary service, a tradition which extends into our Community Footprints program and inspires us to impact the lives of others,” Ms. Mullins said.

“We are proud to offer our ladies and gentlemen whom work at our hotels, as well as guests, the opportunity to give back to our local communities,” she said. “Programs such as the Do Good, Feel Good package allow us to localize our global strategy to make a difference in the lives of others.”

Final Take

Nancy Buckley, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York