Undisputed symbol of the French savoir vivre, the Ritz Paris reopened its majestic iron doors in 2016 after three years of remodelling and restoration. The reopening is scheduled for December with a discreet and stylish party for a selected group. Every little detail – from the decoration to the wall textures, through the spa and to the installation of cutting- edge technology – was conceived by the designer and architect Thierry W Despont. Some say its remodelling cost approximately 200 million euros, but Christian Boyen Fortress, the current manager, does not confirm the figure. Located in Place Vendome, in the heart of the French capital, the palace served as the residence for Mademoiselle Coco Chanel, filmmaker and actor Charlie Chaplin, writers Marcel Poust and Ernest Hemingway, and other celebrities. It was also the favorite place for actress Audrey Hepburn and the opera singer Maria Callas.
Under Despont’s orders, it was restored and delicate furniture and works of art were reinstalled. The remodelling also brought in cutting-edge technology, but it did not take away its classic aura. A tunnel that connects the garage to the front desk was built to protect the privacy of its guests. The Louis XV-style decor remains. In its interior, 71 rooms and 71 suites kept their imperial touch, boasting the best of classicism in a harmonious blend with fine wooden paneling and soft pastel colours. There are also 15 special suites, each named after a celebrity – Duke of Windsor, Chanel, Proust and many others. The largest of them, a 136 sq. ft. room is divided into living room, two bedrooms, and a bathroom with a sauna and a jacuzzi. The harmony of colours, the details in gold, crystal chandeliers and the renaissance frames comprise a unique and cozy atmosphere.
Another difference is the view from the Ritz Suite overlooking the Eiffel Tower and the Sacré Coeur. A retractable roof turned the winter garden into a green patio that can be enjoyed all year long. The Hemingway Bar is the perfect place to enjoy classic drinks and legendary Colin Peter Field cocktails. The haute cuisine at L’Espadon will be reinvented by Nicolas Sale, a young talent who awarded four Michelin Stars. Meantime, the Ecole Ritz Escoffer, one of the most respected schools in the world, offers a third kitchen to accommodate a growing number of enthusiasts of the local cuisine.
When it was created, The Ritz revolutionised the concept of hospitality, exactly because it met the requirements of its guests. Thus, gaining, throughout its history, a loyal upscale clientele. Fancy indulgences such as assembling a private gym within a room, or decorating a suite with the guests’ art objects and paintings at their request, are some examples of luxury practiced by the hotel professionals in order to attract the loyal clientele. One can see that its efforts were not wasted. Long Life to The Ritz!