Discover the world of The Ritz
In the heart of Paris, on the prestigious Place Vendôme is the Ritz, a legendary hotel and the icon of the French art of living. With its dreamy decor, attentive service and luxurious comfort, the hotel has an incomparable prestige that makes it one of the most famous hotels in the world. Even if the cost of one night puts it out of reach for some budgets, a visit to marvel is a must ...
A brief history
Founded in the historic hotel of Gramont by César Ritz, the establishment first opened its doors in 1898. The architect Charles Mewès was entrusted with the renovation of the old buildings and the layout of the spaces. Designed by Mansart in the 17th century, the beautiful facades of pure classicism blend harmoniously with the ensemble formed by the other buildings along the Place Vendôme. Its comfort (each room is equipped with a bathroom), its luxurious fixtures and fittings (telephone, electricity, lifts ...), and the beauty of its furniture immediately made it the favourite place of the high society of the time. The building has been classified as a historic monument since 1930. In 1979, the Ritz was bought by Mohamed al-Fayed, an Egyptian businessman, and underwent a major renovation between 1980 and 1987. The creation of a spa and swimming pool, as well as the renovation of rooms, was undertaken without any interruption of service. It was after dinner at the Ritz that Dodi al-Fayed, the son of the owner, died in the car accident that also cost the life of Princess Diana. In 2012, large-scale works began to obtain the official label of 'Palace'. They ended in June 2016, when the prestigious hotel once again re-opened its doors in a new setting that brings it into the 21st century.
An exceptional place for an unforgettable time
The reputation of the Ritz has never been usurped. To stay, 71 rooms from 35m2 and 71 suites, including the prestigious Prince of Wales, Marcel Proust or Coco Chanel, are available to guests. The rooms are all air-conditioned and equipped with ultra-flat screens, Wifi, radio and mini bar. The atmosphere of the place is both grand and intimate. Woodwork, draperies and furnishings create a decor of subtle refinement and breathtaking beauty. The smallest detail has been subject to an inordinate amount of attention, thus preserving the authenticity of the rooms while facilitating the stay of the customers. The softness of the lighting and the delicate hues give a cosy atmosphere where everything seems to bathe in a delicious harmony.
The staff of 600 employees is renowned for its efficiency, discretion and courtesy. After a night spent in one of the luxurious rooms or suites, you can enjoy a special moment in the relaxing areas of the hotel; sauna, jacuzzi, swimming pool, spa, fitness club. For lunch, the restaurant L'Espadon, under the leadership of chef Nicolas Sale, offers gourmet meals where creativity blends with elegance. One could also opt for the Bar Vendôme which, under its magnificent removable glass, presents dishes in the spirit of the Parisian brasseries. After an afternoon spent in the shops of the new Galerie, it's time to have a French-style tea in the Salon Proust. In the evening, the Ritz Bar and the Hemingway welcome night owls with fabulous cocktails until 2 am.
Stars in the heaven of the Ritz
The hotel bears the imprint of many personalities who have assiduously attended it since its opening. Among the first, it is obviously necessary to include Marcel Proust who found plenty of material there to inspire his work. The Rothschild family, the Aga Khan, and the Duchess of Uzès were also among the hotel's regulars. Coco Chanel lived at the Ritz until her death in 1971. The writer Ernest Hemingway was another regular who said that "The Ritz hotel was the penultimate walk before Paradise".
There are even forgotten notes that were published after his death and which form the heart of the book "A moveable feast"**. Charlie Chaplin, Francis Scott Fitzgerald, Jean Cocteau and many other literary and artistic icons have all contributed to the legend of the Ritz. Anecdotes, true or fantasised stories are still whispered in the privacy of the lounges ... True to its tradition of hospitality and luxury, the hotel continues to shine with all its lustre by welcoming most of today's jet-set, as well as political personalities from around the world and the biggest names in international finance, sports, film and literature.
Paris, the centre of luxury hotels
The French capital boasts a crown of luxury hotels as mythical as the Ritz and whose fame crosses history and borders. The Hotel de Crillon, located on the Place de la Concorde, continues to dazzle its customers, tourists and businessmen by the magic of its decor and the quality of its service.
In the Champs-Elysees area, the Four Seasons Hotel George V has been officially acknowledged as a Palace since 2012. Regularly recognised as the best hotel in the world and renowned for the quality of its service, George V has a kind of cult of perfection that appeals to the most demanding clientele. The Royal Monceau, completely renovated in 2010 by Philippe Starck, is a place frequented by artists and intellectuals. A cinema, a restaurant that combines exotic flavours, and dedicated creative spaces with an artistic atmosphere, give the hotel its remarkable identity.
On the Avenue Montaigne, the Palace Plaza Athénée has a singular aura. Decorated with period furniture, each room offers a particular style. A beauty centre, a skating rink set up in the courtyard in winter, superb views of the Eiffel Tower, the great chef Alain Ducasse in the kitchen ... all the ingredients are there for an unforgettable stay.
**"Paris est une fête" was published in English as 'A Moveable feast