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Hôtel Ritz Paris

Hôtel Ritz Paris

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The Hôtel Ritz is a grand palatial hotel in the heart of Paris, the 1st arrondissement. It overlooks the octagonal border of the Place Vendôme
Place Vendôme
Place Vendôme is a square in the 1st arrondissement of Paris, France, located to the north of the Tuileries Gardens and east of the Église de la Madeleine. It is the starting point of the Rue de la Paix. Its regular architecture by Jules Hardouin-Mansart and pedimented screens canted across the...

 at number 15. The hotel is ranked highly among the most prestigious and luxurious hotels in the world and is a member of "The Leading Hotels of the World
The Leading Hotels of the World
The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd. is a hospitality consortium owned by Hotel Representative, A.G. It represents over 430 hotels and resorts worldwide. Headquartered in New York City, the consortium maintains offices in 24 cities world wide....

".

The hotel, which today has 159 rooms, was founded by the Swiss hotelier, César Ritz
César Ritz
César Ritz was a Swiss hotelier and founder of several hotels, most famously the Hôtel Ritz, in Paris and The Ritz Hotel in London...

, in collaboration with the chef Auguste Escoffier
Auguste Escoffier
Georges Auguste Escoffier was a French chef, restaurateur and culinary writer who popularized and updated traditional French cooking methods. He is a legendary figure among chefs and gourmands, and was one of the most important leaders in the development of modern French cuisine...

 in 1898. The new hotel was constructed behind the façade of an 18th century town house, overlooking one of Paris's central squares. It was reportedly the first hotel in Europe to provide a bathroom en suite, a telephone
Telephone
The telephone , colloquially referred to as a phone, is a telecommunications device that transmits and receives sounds, usually the human voice. Telephones are a point-to-point communication system whose most basic function is to allow two people separated by large distances to talk to each other...

 and electricity
Electricity
Electricity is a general term encompassing a variety of phenomena resulting from the presence and flow of electric charge. These include many easily recognizable phenomena, such as lightning, static electricity, and the flow of electrical current in an electrical wire...

 for each room. It quickly established a reputation for luxury, with clients including royalty, politicians, writers, film stars and singers. Several of its suites are named in honour of famous guests of the hotel, including Coco Chanel
Coco Chanel
Gabrielle Bonheur "Coco" Chanel was a pioneering French fashion designer whose modernist thought, menswear-inspired fashions, and pursuit of expensive simplicity made her an important figure in 20th-century fashion. She was the founder of one of the most famous fashion brands, Chanel...

 and Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Miller Hemingway was an American author and journalist. His economic and understated style had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his life of adventure and his public image influenced later generations. Hemingway produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the...

 who lived at the hotel for years. One of the bars of the hotel, Bar Hemingway, is devoted to Hemingway and the L'Espadon is a world-renowned restaurant, attracting aspiring chefs from all over the world who come to learn at the adjacent Ritz-Escoffier School. The grandest suite of the hotel, called the Imperial, has been listed by the French government as a national monument in its own right.

During the Second World War, the hotel was taken over by the occupying Germans as the local headquarters of the Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe is a generic German term for an air force. It is also the official name for two of the four historic German air forces, the Wehrmacht air arm founded in 1935 and disbanded in 1946; and the current Bundeswehr air arm founded in 1956....

. After the death of Ritz's son Charles
Charles Ritz
Charles C. Ritz was a French hotelier and fly fishing specialist.-Biography:Charles Ritz was the first of two sons born to French hotelier César Ritz and Marie-Louise Beck Ritz .He did not know his itinerant father well, and César died when Charles was sixteen.Charles Ritz...

, in 1976, the last members of the Ritz family to own the hotel sold it in 1979 to the Egyptian businessman Mohamed Al-Fayed
Mohamed Al-Fayed
Mohamed Abdel Moneim Al-Fayed is an Egyptian businessman and billionaire. Amongst his business interests are ownership of the English Premiership football team Fulham Football Club, Hôtel Ritz Paris and formerly Harrods Department Store, Knightsbridge...

. In August 1997, Diana, Princess of Wales
Diana, Princess of Wales
Diana, Princess of Wales was the first wife of Charles, Prince of Wales, whom she married on 29 July 1981, and an international charity and fundraising figure, as well as a preeminent celebrity of the late 20th century...

 and Al-Fayed's son, Dodi
Dodi Al-Fayed
Emad El-Din Mohamed Abdel Moneim Fayed , known as Dodi Fayed , was an Egyptian film producer. He was best known internationally as the boyfriend of Diana, Princess of Wales, with whom he died in a car crash in the Pont de l'Alma tunnel in Paris along with driver Henri Paul on 31 August...

, dined in the hotel's Imperial Suite before their fatal car crash.

Because of its status as a symbol of high society and luxury, the hotel has featured in many notable works of fiction including the novels: F. Scott Fitzgerald
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was an American author of novels and short stories, whose works are the paradigm writings of the Jazz Age, a term he coined himself. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century. Fitzgerald is considered a member of the "Lost...

's Tender Is The Night
Tender is the Night
Tender Is the Night is a novel by American writer F. Scott Fitzgerald. It was his fourth and final completed novel, and was first published in Scribner's Magazine between January-April, 1934 in four issues...

and Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises
The Sun Also Rises
The Sun Also Rises is a 1926 novel written by American author Ernest Hemingway about a group of American and British expatriates who travel from Paris to the Festival of San Fermín in Pamplona to watch the running of the bulls and the bullfights. An early and enduring modernist novel, it received...

,
Noël Coward
Noël Coward
Sir Noël Peirce Coward was an English playwright, composer, director, actor and singer, known for his wit, flamboyance, and what Time magazine called "a sense of personal style, a combination of cheek and chic, pose and poise".Born in Teddington, a suburb of London, Coward attended a dance academy...

's play Semi-Monde
Semi-Monde
Semi-Monde is a play written by Noel Coward in 1926, but not produced until 1977. Set in the lobby, restaurants, and bar of an up-scale Paris hotel , the play follows the lives of a variety of socialites over a three year period from 1924 to 1926. It is remarkable among its contemporaries due to...

and films such as Billy Wilder
Billy Wilder
Billy Wilder was an Austro-Hungarian born American filmmaker, screenwriter, producer, artist, and journalist, whose career spanned more than 50 years and 60 films. He is regarded as one of the most brilliant and versatile filmmakers of Hollywood's golden age...

's 1957 comedy Love in the Afternoon
Love in the Afternoon (1957 film)
Love in the Afternoon is a 1957 American romantic comedy film produced and directed by Billy Wilder. The screenplay by Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond is based on the Claude Anet novel Ariane, jeune fille russe , which previously was filmed as Scampolo in 1928 and Scampolo, ein Kind der Strasse in...

, and the 1966 movie How to Steal a Million
How to Steal a Million
How to Steal a Million is a 1966 heist comedy film, directed by William Wyler and starring Peter O'Toole, Audrey Hepburn, and Hugh Griffith. It is set and filmed in France, though the characters speak entirely in English...

.

Background and history


The site was purchased in 1705 by Antoine Bitaut de Vaillé, and a private residence was constructed, which was occupied by several noble families and later became the Hôtel de Gramont. The façade was designed by the royal architect Jules Hardouin Mansart
Jules Hardouin Mansart
Jules Hardouin-Mansart was a French architect whose work is generally considered to be the apex of French Baroque architecture, representing the power and grandeur of Louis XIV...

. In 1854 it was acquired by the Péreire brothers
Péreire brothers
The Péreire brothers were prominent 19th century financiers in Paris, France who were rivals of the Rothschilds. Like the Rothschilds, they were Jews, but unlike them the Péreire brothers were Sephardi Jews of Portuguese origin....

, who made it the head office of their Crédit Mobilier financial institution. Later it became the Hôtel de Lazun.
In 1888, the Swiss hotelier César Ritz
César Ritz
César Ritz was a Swiss hotelier and founder of several hotels, most famously the Hôtel Ritz, in Paris and The Ritz Hotel in London...

 and the French chef Auguste Escoffier
Auguste Escoffier
Georges Auguste Escoffier was a French chef, restaurateur and culinary writer who popularized and updated traditional French cooking methods. He is a legendary figure among chefs and gourmands, and was one of the most important leaders in the development of modern French cuisine...

 opened a restaurant in Baden-Baden
Baden-Baden
Baden-Baden is a spa town in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It is located on the western foothills of the Black Forest, on the banks of the Oos River, in the region of Karlsruhe...

, and the two were then invited to London by Richard D'Oyly Carte
Richard D'Oyly Carte
Richard D'Oyly Carte was an English talent agent, theatrical impresario, composer and hotelier during the latter half of the Victorian era...

 to become the first manager and chef of the Savoy Hotel
Savoy Hotel
The Savoy Hotel is a hotel located on the Strand, in the City of Westminster in central London. Built by impresario Richard D'Oyly Carte with profits from his Gilbert and Sullivan operas, the hotel opened on 6 August 1889. It was the first in the Savoy group of hotels and restaurants owned by...

, positions they held from 1889 until 1897. The Savoy under Ritz was an immediate success, attracting a distinguished and moneyed clientele, headed by the Prince of Wales
Edward VII of the United Kingdom
Edward VII was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions and Emperor of India from 22 January 1901 until his death in 1910...

. In 1897, Ritz and Escoffier were both dismissed from the Savoy, when Ritz was implicated in the disappearance of over £3400 worth of wine and spirits. Before their dismissal, customers at the Savoy had reportedly urged them to open a hotel in Paris. Aided by Alexandre Marnier-Lapostolle
Alexandre Marnier-Lapostolle
Alexandre Marnier-Lapostolle created Grand Marnier, an orange flavored cognac liqueur, in 1880. He learned how to distill from his father who was a wine and spirit merchant.-References:*...

, Ritz purchased the palace and transformed the former Hôtel de Lazun building into a 210-room hotel. He stated that his purpose for the hotel was to provide his rich clientele with "all the refinement that a prince could desire in his own home." He engaged the architect Charles Mewès
Charles Mewès
Charles Frédéric Mewès was a French architect and designer.-Biography:Charles Frédéric Mewès was born at Strasbourg. He came from a Jewish family of Baltic origin. The whole family left Alsace in 1870 during the Prussian invasion. At 20, he joined the office of Jean-Louis Pascal, a then famous...

 to update the original 1705 structure.

The hotel opened its doors on 1 June 1898 to a "glittering reception". Together with the culinary talents of his junior partner Escoffier, Ritz made the hotel synonymous with opulence, service, and fine dining, as embodied in the term "ritzy." It immediately became fashionable with Parisian socialites, hosting many prestigious personalities over the years, such as Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Miller Hemingway was an American author and journalist. His economic and understated style had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his life of adventure and his public image influenced later generations. Hemingway produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the...

, for whom a bar in the hotel was named, F. Scott Fitzgerald
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was an American author of novels and short stories, whose works are the paradigm writings of the Jazz Age, a term he coined himself. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century. Fitzgerald is considered a member of the "Lost...

, Marcel Proust
Marcel Proust
Valentin Louis Georges Eugène Marcel Proust was a French novelist, critic, and essayist best known for his monumental À la recherche du temps perdu...

, King Edward VII
Edward VII of the United Kingdom
Edward VII was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions and Emperor of India from 22 January 1901 until his death in 1910...

, the Shah of Iran
Reza Shah
Rezā Shāh, also known as Rezā Shāh Pahlavi and Rezā Shāh Kabir , , was the Shah of the Imperial State of Iran from December 15, 1925, until he was forced to abdicate by the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran on September 16, 1941.In 1925, Reza Shah overthrew Ahmad Shah Qajar, the last Shah of the Qajar...

, Rudolph Valentino
Rudolph Valentino
Rudolph Valentino was an Italian actor, and early pop icon. A sex symbol of the 1920s, Valentino was known as the "Latin Lover". He starred in several well-known silent films including The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, The Sheik, Blood and Sand, The Eagle and Son of the Sheik...

, Charlie Chaplin
Charlie Chaplin
Sir Charles Spencer "Charlie" Chaplin, KBE was an English comic actor, film director and composer best known for his work during the silent film era. He became the most famous film star in the world before the end of World War I...

, Greta Garbo
Greta Garbo
Greta Garbo , born Greta Lovisa Gustafsson, was a Swedish film actress. Garbo was an international star and icon during Hollywood's silent and classic periods. Many of Garbo's films were sensational hits, and all but three were profitable...

, Marlene Dietrich
Marlene Dietrich
Marlene Dietrich was a German-American actress and singer.Dietrich remained popular throughout her long career by continually re-inventing herself, professionally and characteristically. In the Berlin of the 1920s, she acted on the stage and in silent films...

, Orson Welles
Orson Welles
George Orson Welles , best known as Orson Welles, was an American film director, actor, theatre director, screenwriter, and producer, who worked extensively in film, theatre, television and radio...

, Maurice Chevalier
Maurice Chevalier
Maurice Auguste Chevalier was a French actor, singer, entertainer and a noted Sprechgesang performer. He is perhaps best known for his signature songs, including Louise, Mimi, Valentine, and Thank Heaven for Little Girls and for his films including The Love Parade and The Big Pond...

, Jean-Paul Sartre
Jean-Paul Sartre
Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre was a French existentialist philosopher, playwright, novelist, screenwriter, political activist, biographer, and literary critic. He was one of the leading figures in 20th century French philosophy, particularly Marxism, and was one of the key figures in literary...

, Elton John
Elton John
Sir Elton Hercules John, CBE, Hon DMus is an English rock singer-songwriter, composer, pianist and occasional actor...

, and the couturier Coco Chanel
Coco Chanel
Gabrielle Bonheur "Coco" Chanel was a pioneering French fashion designer whose modernist thought, menswear-inspired fashions, and pursuit of expensive simplicity made her an important figure in 20th-century fashion. She was the founder of one of the most famous fashion brands, Chanel...

, who made the Ritz her home for more than thirty years. Many of the suites in the hotel are named after their famous patrons. Hemingway once famously said, "When in Paris the only reason not to stay at the Ritz is if you can't afford it".
In 1904 and 1908, the Ritz garden café was painted by the Swiss artist, Pierre-Georges Jeanniot
Pierre-Georges Jeanniot
Pierre-Georges Jeanniot was a French painter, designer, watercolorist, and engraver who was born in Geneva, Switzerland, and died in France.-Biography:...

. Proust wrote parts of Remembrance of Things Past here from around 1909. The building was extended in 1910, and César Ritz died in 1918, succeeded by his son, Charles Ritz
Charles Ritz
Charles C. Ritz was a French hotelier and fly fishing specialist.-Biography:Charles Ritz was the first of two sons born to French hotelier César Ritz and Marie-Louise Beck Ritz .He did not know his itinerant father well, and César died when Charles was sixteen.Charles Ritz...

. Queen Marie of Romania stayed at the Ritz Hotel with her two eldest daughters, Elisabeth (of Greece) and Maria (of Yugoslavia) in 1919 while campaigning for Greater Romania
Greater Romania
The Greater Romania generally refers to the territory of Romania in the years between the First World War and the Second World War, the largest geographical extent of Romania up to that time and its largest peacetime extent ever ; more precisely, it refers to the territory of the Kingdom of...

 at the Paris Peace Conference
Paris Peace Conference, 1919
The Paris Peace Conference was the meeting of the Allied victors following the end of World War I to set the peace terms for the defeated Central Powers following the armistices of 1918. It took place in Paris in 1919 and involved diplomats from more than 32 countries and nationalities...

. Many other prominent royal figures and heads of state slept and dined at the hotel over the years. Edward VII reportedly once got stuck in a too-narrow bathtub with his lover at the hotel. August Escoffier died in 1935. In summer 1940, the Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe is a generic German term for an air force. It is also the official name for two of the four historic German air forces, the Wehrmacht air arm founded in 1935 and disbanded in 1946; and the current Bundeswehr air arm founded in 1956....

, the air forces of Nazi Germany during the Second World War, set up their headquarters at the Ritz, with their chief Hermann Goering.

In 1979, members of the Ritz family sold the hotel to the Egyptian businessman Mohamed Al-Fayed
Mohamed Al-Fayed
Mohamed Abdel Moneim Al-Fayed is an Egyptian businessman and billionaire. Amongst his business interests are ownership of the English Premiership football team Fulham Football Club, Hôtel Ritz Paris and formerly Harrods Department Store, Knightsbridge...

 for $20 million. Al-Fayed renovated it completely over several years without stopping its operation; this was achieved by annexing two town houses, joined by an arcade with many of Paris's leading boutiques. The renovation of the hotel was headed by the architect Bernard Gaucherel from 1980 to 1987. In 1988 the Ritz-Escoffier School of French Gastronomy was established in honour of Auguste Escoffier.
On 31 August 1997, Diana, Princess of Wales
Diana, Princess of Wales
Diana, Princess of Wales was the first wife of Charles, Prince of Wales, whom she married on 29 July 1981, and an international charity and fundraising figure, as well as a preeminent celebrity of the late 20th century...

 and Al-Fayed's son Dodi Al-Fayed
Dodi Al-Fayed
Emad El-Din Mohamed Abdel Moneim Fayed , known as Dodi Fayed , was an Egyptian film producer. He was best known internationally as the boyfriend of Diana, Princess of Wales, with whom he died in a car crash in the Pont de l'Alma tunnel in Paris along with driver Henri Paul on 31 August...

, and their chauffeur Henri Paul
Henri Paul
Henri Paul was the Deputy Head of Security at the Hôtel Ritz Paris. He was the driver at the time of the car accident at the Pont de l'Alma tunnel in Paris that killed him along with Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Fayed on 31 August 1997. Bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones was the sole survivor of...

, dined in the Imperial Suite of the hotel before their fatal car accident in the Pont de l'Alma
Pont de l'Alma
Pont de l'Alma is an arch bridge in Paris, crossing the Seine. It was named to commemorate the Battle of Alma during the Crimean War, in which the Franco-British alliance achieved victory over the Russian army on September 20, 1854....

 underpass.

In the 21st century, the Ritz remains possibly the most prestigious and luxurious hotel in the world and the finest and most expensive in Paris. It is referred to by some as the best hotel in Europe and one of the world's most famous hotels. It is one of "The Leading Hotels of the World
The Leading Hotels of the World
The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd. is a hospitality consortium owned by Hotel Representative, A.G. It represents over 430 hotels and resorts worldwide. Headquartered in New York City, the consortium maintains offices in 24 cities world wide....

". One of the seven recognised Parisian palace hotels, it is the oldest Ritz Hotel.

Architecture



The palace and the square are masterpieces of classical architecture from the end of the reign of Louis XIV. The façade was designed by the royal architect Mansart
Jules Hardouin Mansart
Jules Hardouin-Mansart was a French architect whose work is generally considered to be the apex of French Baroque architecture, representing the power and grandeur of Louis XIV...

 in the late 17th century before the plot was bought and construction began in 1705. The Hôtel Ritz comprises the Vendôme and the Cambon buildings with rooms overlooking the Place Vendôme
Place Vendôme
Place Vendôme is a square in the 1st arrondissement of Paris, France, located to the north of the Tuileries Gardens and east of the Église de la Madeleine. It is the starting point of the Rue de la Paix. Its regular architecture by Jules Hardouin-Mansart and pedimented screens canted across the...

, and, on the opposite side, the hotel's famous garden.

The Ritz was reportedly the first hotel in Europe to provide a bathroom en suite, a telephone and electricity for each room. The Hôtel Ritz Paris is 4 floors high, including the mansard roof
Mansard roof
A mansard or mansard roof is a four-sided gambrel-style hip roof characterized by two slopes on each of its sides with the lower slope at a steeper angle than the upper that is punctured by dormer windows. The roof creates an additional floor of habitable space, such as a garret...

, and as of 2011 offers 159 rooms, a two-Michelin-starred restaurant, two bars and a casual dining restaurant.

Rooms and suites


In the 1970s a travel publication Holiday wrote, "practically every royal head of state has snoozed under down quilts on the finest linen sheets, beneath fifteen-foot-high (15 feet (4.6 m)) ceilings in rooms looking out, through huge double windows, on the elegant Place Vendôme." Frommer's
Frommer's
Frommer's is a travel guidebook series and one of the bestselling travel guides in America. The series began in 1957 with the publication of Arthur Frommer's book, Europe on $5 a Day. Frommer's has expanded to include over 350 guidebooks across 14 series, as well as other media including the award...

, which calls the Ritz "Europe's greatest hotel", describes the furnishings as follows, "the public salons are furnished with museum-calibre antiques. Each guest room is uniquely decorated, most with Louis XIV or Louis XV reproductions; all have fine rugs, marble fireplaces, tapestries, brass beds, and more. Ever since Edward VII got stuck in a too-narrow bathtub with his lover, the tubs at the Ritz have been deep and big." The bathrooms contain unique golden swan taps, and peach-coloured towels and robes, believed to be more flattering than white to a woman's complexion.
The Ritz is reputedly the most expensive hotel in Paris, employing a staff of over 600, the rooms as of May 2011 started at
Euro
The euro is the official currency of the eurozone: 17 of the 27 member states of the European Union. It is also the currency used by the Institutions of the European Union. The eurozone consists of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg,...

850 a night. Suites start at €3,600 and up to €13,900 a night for the most lavish ones (Suite Impériale being the most expensive). These finest suites are known as the "Prestige suites", ten in total, which according to the Ritz are "a world for aesthetes where 18th century panelling echoes allegorical ceilings, old masters and priceless antique furniture. Each suite is unique and each seems to still breathe the spirit of the illustrious guests who once stayed there." The Vendôme Suite is one of the most spacious of the hotel, containing Louis XIV furnishings, with a red and ivory theme and grand windows overlooking the square. The César Ritz Suite overlooks the square and contains Louis XV furniture and a portrait of Ritz himself. The room is decorated in shades of green and light yellow with a canopied bed in one room and silk floral pattern in the second. The doors of the sitting room of the suite are edged in gold leaf. The Elton John
Elton John
Sir Elton Hercules John, CBE, Hon DMus is an English rock singer-songwriter, composer, pianist and occasional actor...

 Suite, decorated in strawberry pink and cream, contains two bedrooms, a thick pink carpet and attic windows. John reportedly hired the entire floor for his 42nd birthday. The Windsor Suite contains tapestries and gilded mouldings and portraits of the Duke (Edward VIII
Edward VIII of the United Kingdom
Edward VIII was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth, and Emperor of India, from 20 January to 11 December 1936.Before his accession to the throne, Edward was Prince of Wales and Duke of Cornwall and Rothesay...

) and Duchess of Windsor. They are decorated with Louis XVI furniture and colours such as almond green, salmon and pearl grey. The master bedroom is decorated in pearl grey in a shade which the Ritz calls "Wallis blue", a favourite of Wallis, Duchess of Windsor. The 1670 square feet (155.1 m²) Coco Chanel Suite where Coco Chanel lived for some 35 years consists of two bedrooms and a living room and features Coromandel
Coromandel Coast
The Coromandel Coast is the name given to the southeastern coast of the Indian Subcontinent between Cape Comorin and False Divi Point...

 lacquer
Lacquer
In a general sense, lacquer is a somewhat imprecise term for a clear or coloured varnish that dries by solvent evaporation and often a curing process as well that produces a hard, durable finish, in any sheen level from ultra matte to high gloss and that can be further polished as required...

s, Chinese furniture, baroque
Baroque
The Baroque is a period and the style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music...

 mirrors and over-sized sofas with quilting created by Grande Mademoiselle. The suite is said to be "equipped with the most sophisticated technology including fax, Jacuzzi
Jacuzzi
Jacuzzi is a company that produces whirlpool bathtubs and spas. Its first product was a bath with massaging jets. The term "jacuzzi" is now often used generically to refer to any bathtub with massaging jets.-History:...

, steam-bath shower, and ultra-modern walk-in closets."

Imperial Suite



The Imperial Suite (Suite Impériale) is the finest suite of the hotel, and is listed as a National Monument of France in its own right. The Imperial Suite is located on the first floor and consists of two bedrooms, a grand salon, and a dining room. The suite features 6 metres (19.7 ft) ceilings, great chandeliers and windows overlooking the Place Vendôme, a massive long gold framed Baroque mirror between the windows, red and gold upholstery and a four-poster bed said to be identical to that in Marie Antoinette
Marie Antoinette
Marie Antoinette ; 2 November 1755 – 16 October 1793) was an Archduchess of Austria and the Queen of France and of Navarre. She was the fifteenth and penultimate child of Holy Roman Empress Maria Theresa and Holy Roman Emperor Francis I....

's bedroom in the Palace of Versailles
Palace of Versailles
The Palace of Versailles , or simply Versailles, is a royal château in Versailles in the Île-de-France region of France. In French it is the Château de Versailles....

. The other bedroom is in the style of Louis XVI, with a baldachin
Baldachin
A baldachin, or baldaquin , is a canopy of state over an altar or throne. It had its beginnings as a cloth canopy, but in other cases it is a sturdy, permanent architectural feature, particularly over high altars in cathedrals, where such a structure is more correctly called a ciborium when it is...

 bed and columns. The suite is lavishly decorated in French art, bas-reliefs and 18th century panelling which is protected under the suite's historic monument status. The bathroom is a former boudoir overlooking the Vendôme garden, with 18th century panelling and a Jacuzzi bath and steam-bath shower and has its own plasma television and cosmetics fridge, juxtaposing old French tradition with the modernity of the 21st century. As well as facilities such as a DVD player, high-speed internet, and fax, the suite features a kitchenette near the salon and has its own small personal wine cellar filled with a variety of French wines. Over the years the suite has hosted some of the world's most prestigious guests from the Shah of Iran to George H. W. Bush
George H. W. Bush
George Herbert Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 41st President of the United States . He had previously served as the 43rd Vice President of the United States , a congressman, an ambassador, and Director of Central Intelligence.Bush was born in Milton, Massachusetts, to...

. The suite was Hermann Goering's choice of residence during the Second World War and was where Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al-Fayed ate their last meal. The World Travel Awards of 2007 selected the Imperial Suite as "Europe's Leading Suite".

L'Espadon


Although there was necessarily a hotel restaurant from the inception of the Ritz, the current hotel restaurant, L'Espadon (The Swordfish) was established in 1956 by Charles Ritz
Charles Ritz
Charles C. Ritz was a French hotelier and fly fishing specialist.-Biography:Charles Ritz was the first of two sons born to French hotelier César Ritz and Marie-Louise Beck Ritz .He did not know his itinerant father well, and César died when Charles was sixteen.Charles Ritz...

. He was a keen fishing enthusiast so named the restaurant after a fish. The restaurant is inspired by the legendary first chef of the hotel, Auguste Escoffier, serving "traditional French culinary style with contemporary overtones". The cuisine is by the award-winning chef Michael Roth
Michael Roth
Michael Roth is a former West German handball player who competed in the 1984 Summer Olympics.He was a member of the West German handball team which won the silver medal...

, the ninth head chef of the hotel; the restaurant was awarded a second star by the 2009 edition of the influential Michelin Red Guide
Michelin Guide
The Michelin Guide is a series of annual guide books published by Michelin for over a dozen countries. The term normally refers to the Michelin Red Guide, the oldest and best-known European hotel and restaurant guide, which awards the Michelin stars...

. The head chef was formerly Guy Legay, cited as one of Paris's greatest chefs, who had served from at least 1986 to beyond 1999. In 1999, Esquire
Esquire (magazine)
Esquire is a men's magazine, published in the U.S. by the Hearst Corporation. Founded in 1932, it flourished during the Great Depression under the guidance of founder and editor Arnold Gingrich.-History:...

magazine wrote, "the dining room, L'Espadon, down the long corridor of mirrors and display cases, has a glittering Regency formality that seems to swirl around you, and it's easy enough to imagine Hemingway sitting down with Dietrich to a dish of chef Guy Legay's buttery scrambled eggs..." The restaurant decor is described as "opulent with trompe l’oeil ceilings, swagged drapes, and views into the garden." The courtyard garden is rich in greenery and contains several statues and a fountain. The hotel hires five or so florists to provide fresh flowers.

Bars



The hotel has several bars, namely the Ritz Bar, Bar Vendôme, Bar Hemingway and the Pool Bar. The Ritz Bar, just inside the Rue Cambon entrance on the left, gained a reputation over the years for its glamorous cocktail parties and the extravagant concoctions of Frank Meier, head barman from 1921 until his death in 1947. One of his best-known cocktails was the potent "Rainbow", consisting of anisette, mint, yellow chartreuse, cherry brandy, kümmel, green chartreuse and cognac. The Ritz Bar is designed in the Victorian style with red-velvet armchairs and bar furnishings, a marble fire place and historic portraits. Bar Hemingway was the favourite bar of Ernest Hemingway and is said by some to be the birthplace of the Bloody Mary
Bloody Mary (cocktail)
A Bloody Mary is a popular cocktail containing vodka, tomato juice, and usually other spices or flavorings such as Worcestershire sauce, Peri-Peri Sauce, Tabasco sauce, beef consomme or bouillon, horseradish, celery, olive, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, lemon juice, and celery salt...

 cocktail which was invented for him. However, the fact that it is the actual birthplace is contested, given that Fernand Petiot
Fernand Petiot
Fernand Petiot was a bartender who claimed to have created the Bloody Mary, a popular cocktail drink.-Biography:...

 claimed to have invented the drink in 1921 while working at Harry's New York Bar
Harry's New York Bar
Harry's New York Bar is a well-known bar in Paris, France.-History:Located at 5, Rue Daunou, between the Avenue de l'Opéra and the Rue de la Paix in Paris, France, the bar was acquired by former American star jockey Tod Sloan in 1911, who converted it from a bistro and renamed it the "New York...

, a frequent Paris hangout for Hemingway and other American expatriates, rather than in the bar in the Ritz itself. The bar has been restored to its original appearance, with rich wood panelling and leather upholstery and has 25 original photographs on the walls taken by the author of places and people that inspired him. Today the bar is run by Colin Field, recently voted the world's best barman. Bar Vendôme is very popular with high class Parisians for afternoon tea and contains rich wood furnishings and a grand piano. During the summer months the doors are opened out onto the garden and terrace.

Ritz-Escoffier School



The Ritz-Escoffier School of French Gastronomy, established in 1988 in honour of Georges-Auguste Escoffier has acquired an international reputation and attracts aspiring chefs from across the world to train at the Ritz adjacent to the kitchen of the hotel. The ethos of the school is based on Escoffier's words, "Good cuisine is the foundation of true happiness."
This school is accessed through an entrance in the back of the hotel and offers a four-hour themes workshop which includes petit fours, carving fruit and vegetables, truffles and pairing food and wine. As of 2009 it costs
Euro
The euro is the official currency of the eurozone: 17 of the 27 member states of the European Union. It is also the currency used by the Institutions of the European Union. The eurozone consists of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg,...

135 for a four-hour course or €920 for a two-day introductory course.

Ritz Health Club


The Ritz Health Club contains a grand swimming pool, the largest in all of the Parisian hotel palaces at 1700 square metres (2,033.2 sq yd) and billed by the Ritz as "the finest indoor pool in Paris". The pool is inspired by the baths of Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

 and Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 and features reliefs on the ceilings and jet streams and underwater sounds in the pool. The health club offers a range of health treatments, from reflexology
Reflexology
Reflexology, or zone therapy, is an alternative medicine involving the physical act of applying pressure to the feet, hands, or ears with specific thumb, finger, and hand techniques without the use of oil or lotion...

 to Swedish massage and shiatsu
Shiatsu
Shiatsu is Japanese for "finger pressure;" it is a type of alternative medicine consisting of finger and palm pressure, stretches, and other massage techniques. There is no scientific evidence proving that shiatsu can treat any disease, but shiatsu practitioners promote it as a way to help people...

.

In fiction


Because of its status as a symbol of high society and luxury, the hotel has featured in many notable works of fiction.

Novels and plays


Many novels of the Lost Generation
Lost Generation
The "Lost Generation" is a term used to refer to the generation, actually a cohort, that came of age during World War I. The term was popularized by Ernest Hemingway who used it as one of two contrasting epigraphs for his novel, The Sun Also Rises. In that volume Hemingway credits the phrase to...

 feature scenes in the Ritz, such as F. Scott Fitzgerald
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was an American author of novels and short stories, whose works are the paradigm writings of the Jazz Age, a term he coined himself. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century. Fitzgerald is considered a member of the "Lost...

's Tender Is The Night
Tender is the Night
Tender Is the Night is a novel by American writer F. Scott Fitzgerald. It was his fourth and final completed novel, and was first published in Scribner's Magazine between January-April, 1934 in four issues...

and Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Miller Hemingway was an American author and journalist. His economic and understated style had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his life of adventure and his public image influenced later generations. Hemingway produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the...

's The Sun Also Rises
The Sun Also Rises
The Sun Also Rises is a 1926 novel written by American author Ernest Hemingway about a group of American and British expatriates who travel from Paris to the Festival of San Fermín in Pamplona to watch the running of the bulls and the bullfights. An early and enduring modernist novel, it received...

.
Noël Coward
Noël Coward
Sir Noël Peirce Coward was an English playwright, composer, director, actor and singer, known for his wit, flamboyance, and what Time magazine called "a sense of personal style, a combination of cheek and chic, pose and poise".Born in Teddington, a suburb of London, Coward attended a dance academy...

's play Semi-Monde
Semi-Monde
Semi-Monde is a play written by Noel Coward in 1926, but not produced until 1977. Set in the lobby, restaurants, and bar of an up-scale Paris hotel , the play follows the lives of a variety of socialites over a three year period from 1924 to 1926. It is remarkable among its contemporaries due to...

is perhaps the most notable work covering the hotel in detail, following the escapades of an extravagant, promiscuous fictional Paris elite between 1924 and 1926. In the Bret Easton Ellis
Bret Easton Ellis
Bret Easton Ellis is an American novelist and short story writer. His works have been translated into 27 different languages. He was regarded as one of the so-called literary Brat Pack, which also included Tama Janowitz and Jay McInerney...

 novel Glamorama
Glamorama
Glamorama is a novel by American writer Bret Easton Ellis. It was published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1998. Unlike Ellis' previous novels, Glamorama is set in and satirizes the 1990s, specifically celebrity culture and consumerism...

, a group of supermodels turned terrorists plant a home-made bomb in the Ritz, resulting in its destruction. In The Da Vinci Code
The Da Vinci Code
The Da Vinci Code is a 2003 mystery-detective novel written by Dan Brown. It follows symbologist Robert Langdon and Sophie Neveu as they investigate a murder in Paris's Louvre Museum and discover a battle between the Priory of Sion and Opus Dei over the possibility of Jesus having been married to...

, the protagonist, Robert Langdon
Robert Langdon
Robert Langdon is a fictional Harvard University professor of religious iconology and symbology The character was created by author Dan Brown for...

, stays at the hotel while in Paris, as do Andrea Sachs and Miranda Priestly in Lauren Weisberger
Lauren Weisberger
Lauren Weisberger is an American novelist and author of the 2003 bestseller The Devil Wears Prada, a speculated roman à clef of her real life experience as a put-upon assistant to Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour....

's The Devil Wears Prada. The final chapter of Ian Fleming
Ian Fleming
Ian Lancaster Fleming was a British author, journalist and Naval Intelligence Officer.Fleming is best known for creating the fictional British spy James Bond and for a series of twelve novels and nine short stories about the character, one of the biggest-selling series of fictional books of...

's James Bond
James Bond
James Bond, code name 007, is a fictional character created in 1953 by writer Ian Fleming, who featured him in twelve novels and two short story collections. There have been a six other authors who wrote authorised Bond novels or novelizations after Fleming's death in 1964: Kingsley Amis,...

 novel From Russia, with Love is set at the hotel. The villain, Rosa Klebb
Rosa Klebb
Colonel Rosa Klebb is a fictional character and the main antagonist from the James Bond film and novel From Russia with Love. She was played by Lotte Lenya in the film version...

, stays in room 602 and engages in a battle with Bond which results in her death.

Cinema


The hotel has featured in several films, two of which starred Audrey Hepburn
Audrey Hepburn
Audrey Hepburn was a British actress and humanitarian. Although modest about her acting ability, Hepburn remains one of the world's most famous actresses of all time, remembered as a film and fashion icon of the twentieth century...

; Billy Wilder
Billy Wilder
Billy Wilder was an Austro-Hungarian born American filmmaker, screenwriter, producer, artist, and journalist, whose career spanned more than 50 years and 60 films. He is regarded as one of the most brilliant and versatile filmmakers of Hollywood's golden age...

's 1957 comedy Love in the Afternoon
Love in the Afternoon (1957 film)
Love in the Afternoon is a 1957 American romantic comedy film produced and directed by Billy Wilder. The screenplay by Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond is based on the Claude Anet novel Ariane, jeune fille russe , which previously was filmed as Scampolo in 1928 and Scampolo, ein Kind der Strasse in...

, when Hepburn initiates her romance with Gary Cooper
Gary Cooper
Frank James Cooper, known professionally as Gary Cooper, was an American film actor. He was renowned for his quiet, understated acting style and his stoic, but at times intense screen persona, which was particularly well suited to the many Westerns he made...

 in his suite in the hotel and in the 1966 movie How to Steal a Million
How to Steal a Million
How to Steal a Million is a 1966 heist comedy film, directed by William Wyler and starring Peter O'Toole, Audrey Hepburn, and Hugh Griffith. It is set and filmed in France, though the characters speak entirely in English...

, with a romantic scene between Hepburn and Peter O'Toole
Peter O'Toole
Peter Seamus Lorcan O'Toole is an Irish actor of stage and screen. O'Toole achieved stardom in 1962 playing T. E. Lawrence in Lawrence of Arabia, and then went on to become a highly-honoured film and stage actor. He has been nominated for eight Academy Awards, and holds the record for most...

 in front of the hotel. In the Indian film Jhoom Barabar Jhoom
Jhoom Barabar Jhoom
Jhoom Barabar Jhoom is a 2007 Bollywood film starring Abhishek Bachchan, Preity Zinta, Bobby Deol and Lara Dutta. It is directed by Shaad Ali. The film is produced by Aditya Chopra and Yash Chopra under Yash Raj Films...

, Abhishek Bachchan
Abhishek Bachchan
Abhishek Bachchan is an Indian actor and producer. He is the son of Indian actors Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan and is married to actress and former Miss World Aishwarya Rai....

 meets his fictional love (played by Lara Dutta
Lara Dutta
Lara Dutta Bhupathi is an Indian actress, UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador, and former Miss Universe.-Early life:Dutta was born in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh to a Punjabi father and an Anglo-Indian mother. Her father is Wing Commander L.K. Dutta and her mother is Jennifer Dutta...

) at Hotel Ritz.

See also

  • Ritz-Carlton
    Ritz-Carlton
    The Ritz-Carlton is a brand of luxury hotels and resorts with 75 properties located in major cities and resorts in 24 countries worldwide...

     hotel chain
  • Ritz Hotel
    Ritz Hotel
    The Ritz London is a luxury 5-star hotel located in Piccadilly and overlooking Green Park in London.- History :Swiss hotelier César Ritz, former manager of the Savoy Hotel, opened the hotel on 24 May 1906...

     London, opened 8 years after the Paris one
  • Ritz (disambiguation), for other uses
  • The Leading Hotels of the World
    The Leading Hotels of the World
    The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd. is a hospitality consortium owned by Hotel Representative, A.G. It represents over 430 hotels and resorts worldwide. Headquartered in New York City, the consortium maintains offices in 24 cities world wide....

  • Paris Ritz To Close Doors For Two Years

External links