September 8, 2015

Labor Day Weekend at the Ritz

While most Chicagoans escaped to lakehouses or the beach, I spent the holiday weekend at my own personal paradise: The Ritz-Carlton Residences.

The opportunity came from Karen Strohl and Jane Shawkey, my Coldwell Banker colleagues and sales agents for the Ritz. They had plans to leave the city for a wedding, and when Karen graciously asked if I could cover for them, I accepted without hesitation. I’d experienced the building before, so I was elated.

It all began on Friday. I pulled up to the entrance on Erie Street, equipped with coffee and keys to the palace.

“Welcome, Miss Melanie! How are you, Miss Melanie? Can I take your car for you?”

The doorman, concierge and butler immediately welcomed me into the Ritz family. I was treated like royalty: “Miss Melanie, can I get you an ice water with a slice of lemon? Perhaps a cup of blueberry acai tea?” (According to Bill, the butler, that blueberry acai tea is a favorite among the residents.)

My job was to show the property to anyone that called for an appointment during the weekend. Karen and Jane had prepared me well: I awaited my guests in the Grand Salon, a sun-filled room that certainly commands respect. The sound of the elevator doors opening served as my cue — it was showtime.

From there, I led potential buyers through the rest of the Landmark Club — the private dining room, screening room, wine and billiard lounge, fitness center and relaxation room.

After touring the club, we’d ride the elevator up to the residences. From the dreamy archways to the pristine¬†Margaritelli floors, each home is flawlessly crafted — a slice of heaven in the midst of a bustling city. A handful of the units are decorated by top designers, like Kristina Curtis and Michael Richman. There are delicate chandeliers, carefully selected artwork and those plush white Ritz-Carlton towels that take me right back to family vacations in warmer climates.

I could only imagine what it would be like to buy such a stunning space and call that lion towel my own.

The Ritz is the epitome of elegance, and it’s impossible not to feel that. There’s something about this place that makes me want to walk softly and savor quietly. One day, maybe I’ll be able to purchase one of these homes — but until then, I will cherish each visit.