By Kathy M. Newbern and J.S. Fletcher © 2014
(Part of a Series)
Heidi Nowak, the petite, all-smiles, everything’s-possible director of sales and marketing for The Ritz-Carlton Charlotte, is nothing short of bubbly. Obviously, she’s in the right job. So when vivacious Heidi offered us a tour of the upscale, Uptown Charlotte property’s chi-chi Design Studio, it was two thumbs up from us.
If weddings and spring/summer special events have you in the mood to plan something fabulous, this is the spot. Fantasyland for Brides, they call it, but as we look around, we quickly realize, this would be perfect for a small renewal of vows event, a special birthday, a chic family event if the family loves style and sophistication.
Of course it’s all about the brides, as it should be. Occupying a full wing of the hotel, The Design Studio features an impressive Cake Room showcasing 10 spectacular wedding cakes (see the video), a private Tasting Room for reception menu testing, and The Design Studio, filled with eye candy for creating personalized event décor. The idea of The Design Studio is to offer brides and special event planners a dazzling planning experience that turns event creation into an inspiring, imaginative, hassle-free experience. Planners of galas in The Queen City also have taken advantage of the offering.
The Design Studio transformed much of The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte’s sixth floor and offers private views into the popular Urban Garden. It features seven rooms filled with art, stunning lighting and graphics, touch-and-feel finishes and detailed event inspirations, and each of these settings touches the senses as every stage of a wedding or very special event is pre-selected to suit a bride’s or a planner’s bliss.
Building on the reputation of the The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte’s Bar Cocoa dessert experience, which can be enjoyed daily in the hotel lobby (read our story), The Design Studio’s Cake Room shows off intricate and colorful detailing on creations as delicious as they are artful.
After your Cake Room visit, be sure to pop by the Bar Cocoa and check out the tempting confections including the beautiful bites by Norman Love.
Next to The Cake Room, special guests like us step into the wine cellar-themed Tasting Room, which seats up to eight guests. Here, brides, grooms and event planners sample their selected menu options in a charming, private environment. The Tasting Room can also be fully customized for each event’s culinary experience.
There are several more planning areas featuring state-of-the-art, on-screen highlights of event layouts and visuals. Heidi shows us a separate space where elegant linens, china settings, chair selections and table décor elements are presented as starting points for bringing a bride’s vision to life. Options for wedding and event colors, styles, shapes, sizes, themes and textures are all presented, with special tools and guidance available to make the process relaxed and turnkey.
Access to this design Fantasyland is available at no cost to brides and planners creating their events at The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte. It is also offered to area residents wishing to order customized Ritz-Carlton wedding cakes for delivery to off-premise locations. The hotel’s wedding clients can use this space to plan the Charlotte ceremony and reception along with a honeymoon at a choice of Ritz-Carlton hotels and resorts around the world, all tied together in a specially-priced package complete with guaranteed upgrades.
Displays of Ritz-Carlton destinations around the world had us salivating. It’s never too late for another honeymoon, right? Ooh-la-la.
IF YOU’RE GOING: The Design Studio is located inside The Ritz-Carlton, 201 E Trade St, Charlotte. For further details, contact Kimberly Werner at 704.972.4452 or at Kimberly.firstname.lastname@example.org. Hotel reservations and more information about this luxury property with 146 rooms can be found at www.ritzcarlton.com or by calling 704.547-2244.
Coming Up: Other stories coming up in this series include a visit to the ever-fabulous spa, plus highlights of our romantic dinner at BLK Steak — all in the heart of Uptown Charlotte because CharlottesGotALot.
If you enjoyed this story, you might also enjoy these:
• Other Stories by JS Fletcher
• Stories by Kathy M. Newbern, Luxury Travel Examiner
International Travel Examiner J.S. Fletcher and spouse, Kathy M. Newbern, report on luxury destinations, spas and cruising around the globe. They are award-winning members of the Society of American Travel Writers and created YourSpaReport.com and YourNovel.com, their personalized romance novel business.