In June 2016, after 4 years of renovation, the magnificent Hôtel Ritz at Vendôme Square in Paris reopens its doors – the interior remains full of splendour, charm and the illustrious history of the Ritz! Opened on the first of June 1898, the Ritz came together through the audaciousness and influence of the Swiss gentleman César Ritz… the man who introduced, almost invented, the new art of chic hospitality and fine cuisine. Indeed, the Ritz oozes French refinement while also securing long-lasting foundations and milestones. Invaluable furniture, decorations, lighting through fabulous diamond chandeliers – from its opening, the Ritz has counted highly distinguished guests among its clientele… the Rothschild, the countess of Pourtales, Galouste Gulbenkian, the arch-duke Michel in exile from Russia, Anna Goud, Boni of Castellane.
In 120 years, the Ritz attracted many high profile clients; overcome by its service, restaurant and its impressively beautiful suites. And when we examine the history of Paris, it is often the Ritz which is observed at the centre of the city! Soothed by the magic of its muffled décor, Cole Porter could spend hour after hour seated at the piano – it is said that he composed Begin the Beguine at this exact spot. King Alphonse XIII of Spain sampled Dom Pérignon alongside cognac and strawberries in the fine surroundings of the Ritz. Coco Chanel spent the last 40 years of her life there.
“When I dream of an afternoon in paradise, it always takes place in the Ritz Hotel in Paris” wrote Ernest Hemmingway many years ago. He celebrated the liberation of 1944 in the bar which is now named after him. And the walls of the Ritz now have so many more stories to tell. “The Ritz kept its style, simultaneously luxurious and intimate. It is a palace and a fantasy, a hotel which is known across the world and undoubtedly a trendsetter” remarks Stéphane Aubert, the manager associated with Artcurial for sales “There was… the Ritz Paris” which was held last April. We roamed around the grounds as is done in a palace in French taste – we travelled across time, transported by the magnificence of a place of dreams, always there to protect the treasure of the past century!