The Ritz-Carlton’s Roberto van Geenen

 This man radiates refinement.

photography by Dan Sellers

Though some of us are better versed in ESPN than etiquette, you have until August to get enlightened. That’s when Ritz-Carlton—a company that prides itself on the motto “We are ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen”—opens its doors in Dallas. It’s the first domestic opening in almost four years. Expect the finest food, service, amenities (including special Prada spa treatments), and the most refined man you’ll ever meet: general manager ROBERTO VAN GEENEN. Dapper and charming, van Geenen has been with the Ritz for nearly 20 years and has worked at, among others, the Naples, Palm Beach, and Bahamas properties. Aside from his charm, fabulous accent (he’s from the Netherlands), and perfectly knotted tie, the man has a crest that was presented to his family in 1549 by Emperor Karl V of the Holy Roman Empire. But don’t let that intimidate you. Like all good hosts, van Geenen is the welcoming sort. “We want to become the living room of Dallas,” he says. “Whether that means people come in for a glass of champagne on a special occasion or an evening meal three times a week.” Judging from van Geenen’s patience with us, being a lady isn’t necessarily a prerequisite.

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