A stay at the Ritz

It was quite an intense few weeks for assistant director Caitlin Tobias and I in the run-up to the release of WAARHEID. Some down-time in SL was definitely required! We were surprised and delighted, then, when our friend Vlad Moon-Korobase offered us the use of the penthouse apartment suite at his sumptuous hotel, The Ritz, over Christmas. “You’ve both worked so hard for so long,” he told me. “You both deserve something back from SL for all you’ve put in.” Wow. Thank you so much, Vlad!

The Ritz Hotel – Second Life is a whole other level of luxury in SL. With suites starting at L$500 per night, this is not a cheap stay. Without doubt, however, you get what you pay for. Attention to detail at the Ritz is incredible. Additionally – unlike many other exclusive SL hotels and resorts, where you only get to look around once you’ve paid up and checked in – anyone can touch down outside the hotel entrance and take a look around parts of the hotel (though not the bedroom suites – though these can be cammed). So you don’t have to take my word for it.

The penthouse suit (L$1,200 per night) contains three bedrooms, a lounge, a dining room, a bathroom and a small bar/gaming room, and is styled as a Parisian apartment. Fittings and furnishings are all extremely high quality, and if animations are your thing you won’t find yourself wanting. Furthermore, the whole suite had been decorated for Christmas.

Vlad went even further than that to make us feel welcome: imagine our surprise when we discovered that the bar had been decorated with a complete set of the STÖMOL life-size character cutouts and our two movie posters on the wall (by the way, there are still some cutouts to be bought at my marketplace store). It’s this sort of care that made us feel like this really was an exclusive hotel experience. In real life, my standard hotel experience numbers a small handful of Travel Lodges; I’ll most likely never get to stay in anything even approaching this level of luxury there, so once again SL steps up to bridge that gap.

(Probably it’s not an especially good thing that this sort of luxury even exists in RL – at least, not whilst 700 million people on the planet are living in extreme poverty – so this way you get to experience a little of what life is like ‘for the other half’ without the guilt. But I digress.)

Of course, there’s more to experience in the hotel than just the bedroom suites, including a large spa area (complimentary gowns, towels and slippers are provided as a gift on arrival), the beautiful ‘Hitchcock Bar’ (which, by the way, was used in WAARHEID as a filming location, at 54:50), a ballroom and extensive hotel grounds. There is also a set of underground caves which can be explored by boat, including an underground bar/restaurant.

I’ve long felt that virtual vacations are a special thing in SL to be relished – an extra layer of make believe on top of all the other make believe. Of course, having someone to share it with makes it all the more immersive. If you fancy treating yourself to a few days away from away, there are an ever growing number of destinations to choose from inworld. And the Ritz hotel, for sure, ranks amongst the very best of these that I’ve so far personally experienced.

Thank you again for this very special treat, Vlad!

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