A true legend of hospitality on the Place Vendôme
The Ritz Paris has maintained the highest standards of hospitality (many of these standards originating with the hotel’s founder, Cesar Ritz) for more than a century. Kings, queens, starlets, statesmen, authors and celebrities of every ilk have visited the famed Ritz. It is as much a symbol of Paris as the Eiffel Tower, and in everyday speech has come to mean the epitome of luxury as in “puttin’ on the Ritz.” Located on the historic and elegant Place Vendôme, the Ritz has dominated the roster of luxury hotels in Paris since its founding in 1898.
Perhaps the most famous denizen of the Ritz, Ernest Hemingway, who stayed frequently and lengthily and also logged record time in the bar (now called the Hemingway Bar), described his version of heaven:
”When I dream of afterlife in heaven,” he said, ”the action always takes place in the Paris Ritz. It’s a fine summer night. I knock back a couple of martinis in the bar, Cambon side. Then there’s a wonderful dinner under a flowering chestnut tree in what’s called ‘Le Petit Jardin.’ That’s the little garden that faces the Grill. After a few brandies I wander up to my room and slip into one of those huge Ritz beds. They are all made of brass. There’s a bolster for my head the size of the Graf Zeppelin and four square pillows filled with real goose feathers – two for me, and two for my quite heavenly companion.”
The Hotel Ritz consists of two townhouses, one on the Place Vendôme and one on the rue Cambon, linked by long corridor with shopping display cases of some of Paris’ most exclusive goods, earning it the name “Temptation Walk”.
Attention to every single detail, from the light switch (a golden key) to the bathroom glasses (stored inside an ornate medicine cabinet as decreed by Cesar) is carefully considered by the 500+ staff for the guests in the 106 rooms and 56 suites. The rooms vary in size and decor, but all are opulent, gilded and sporting reproduction Louis furniture of high quality as well as every amenity.
The oversized and elegant marbled bathrooms evoke another legend. One of their features is the king-size bathtub, a innovation of Cesar Ritz, whose royal guest, the also oversized Edward VII, got stuck in an ordinary tub. Cesar is also reputed to have been the inventor of the “king”-size bed.
The culinary offerings at the hotel are superlative including the haute cuisine experience at the renowned L’Espadon restaurant, afternoon teas in the garden and cooking classes at the onsite Ritz L’Escoffier cooking school. There is also a health club with indoor pool, Turkish baths and saunas as well as massage and beauty treatments.
The Ritz Paris
Location: 15 place Vendôme, 75001, Paris, France; Charles de Gaulle (CDG) is 30 minutes by taxi.
Luxury style: A night at the Ritz is a likely item on many lifetime ‘to-do’ lists and one easily attainable with sufficient cash. The name brand of luxury is still a magnet for celebrity, but the truly gracious standard of service extends a warm welcome to all guests regardless of their celebrity or pocketbook. Perfect for a truly memorable special occasion, anniversary or honeymoon.
What we’ve heard: ‘Don’t miss’ experiences include the one-color menu at L’Espadon and the famed afternoon tea in the garden. And the “Temptation Walk” of luxury vendors might inspire a truly memorable souvenir of the Night at the Ritz.