Spirit of The Ritz

If walls could whisper, Gatsby himself would blush at the stories shared behind the gilded doors of the one and only Ritz Paris


What Xanadu is to Kubla Khan, The Ritz is to Paris: it’s own citadel where legends are made, pleasures are unleashed and idiosyncrasies abound. A clutch of famous names including Marcel Proust, Sir Winston Churchill, Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Coco Chanel (who lived there from 1937 to 1971) found an affinity for the 1917 hotel that helped place the establishment at the heart of Paris. 

In 2023, myth and reality still collide in the labyrinth 142 room hotel that was refreshed and remodelled to the estimated cost of £400m by the architect Thierry W. Despont and reopened in 2016. Over the decades it has become a place where fashions are seen and set, where dignitaries, royalty, business moguls and creatives rendezvous for grand dinners and intimate tete - a- tete. Anna Wintour, Lady Amanda Harlech, Kate Moss are amongst the fashion royalty that take up residence during fashion week. Where else can you drink a flute of Krug with a Michelin styled club sandwich or soak up a late night of negronis at Bar Hemingway with truffle mash from room service like the Getty’s?

The Ritz Paris Room

@pernilleteisbaek // Instagram

Frame x Ritz Paris Collection

@ritzparis // Instagram

The venue on Place Vendome, an 18th century palace, once served as the residence to several noble families, and the opulent ambiance flourishes again with a staff to guest ratio of 2:1. The mezzanine level was removed to allow more light to flood the halls, a 128 foot tunnel built to link guests to the garage while the artists at master fabric maker Pierre Frey spent 950 hours designing the custom fabric and iconic red carpet. The first and only Chanel Spa was unveiled alongside a new multi-story health club while the original swimming pool with its frescoed ceiling featuring billowing clouds remains an idyllic spot for laps and lounging. Post plunge, a pre-soirée blow out is bookable with resident stylist David Mallet. The underground ballroom meanwhile is a wonder for grand celebrations.

This is the second restoration owner Mohamed al-Fayed, the Egyptian businessman, has given the property which he bought from the Ritz family in 1979. In 2012, he shuttered the doors to bring the hotel back to glory and the recent refresh took in serious technical and infrastructural changes including water pressure and air conditioning. It has a reputation to live up to - after all Cesar Ritz’s big flag waver back in 1896 was that every room boasted its own bathroom which was an extravagance at the time. Today, in the mix of residences, there are unique themed suites named after Coco Chanel, Mozart, Maria Callas and Proust decorated with Despont’s subtle mix of antiques, replicas, restored furniture and marble bathrooms with its delightful gold swan taps.   

During fashion week, The Ritz is in full swing with guests filling the salons, the ‘mini Versailles’ gardens, and spilling out to the Place Vendome where paparazzi are never short of a shot. The chandelier decorated Salon d’Ete hosts showroom collections with François Perret pastries and espressos served in its signature china cups. While in the Marcel Proust Suite, the hotel launched its second Frame x Ritz Paris Capsule, spearheaded by Al Fayed’s daughter, Camilla. Find slumber attire, children’s wear, The Ritz crest and script embossed unisex cashmere and souped up varsity jackets. 

Can we please have a late check out?

Ritz Unisex Cashmere Sweater

@aasian // Instagram

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