The Ritz Paris • Paris, France

A true legend of hospitality on the Place Vendôme

The Ritz Paris - Guest room

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.

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Ritz Paris spa facilities
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 Bar at the Ritz Paris

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 Ritz Paris • Paris, France - Lobby

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.

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Hôtel de Vendôme • Paris, France

Intimate, gracious, romantic with shades of the Sun King

Hotel de Vendome exterior

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Paris is a city of lovers and where do lovers most like to go? The cozy corners in a five-star history-laden boutique hotel. And, in Paris, this can be found at the 29-room Hôtel de Vendôme, a 17th-century mansion designed by Louix XIV’s chief architect, Jules Hardouin-Mansart. Located on the historic Place Vendôme, the guest can imagine himself transported to the 17-th century seamlessly from square to room.

The interior of this very private hotel is quiet and restful, carefully secluded from the busy square beyond the entrance.

Hotel de Vendome Guest room

Garden strolls and river walks will be on the agenda for any guest at the Hôtel de Vendôme since it is located just two blocks from the Tuileries Gardens and three blocks from the Seine.

Opulence abounds, whether in the lobby with its Chesterfield fauteuils and crystal chandeliers or in its clublike Vendôme Bar and Restaurant with mahogany wood paneling and British atmosphere. A bountiful buffet breakfast is served here daily, while French cuisine is available for lunch and dinner.

The rooms are festooned with elegant designer fabrics and antiques. and also have warm wood paneling. Wireless Internet, satellite TV and high-tech remote controls keep the room up-to-date as well.  Whether a romantic getaway or a full-scale holiday, the Hôtel de Vendôme, will please the most discerning traveler.

Breakfast at the Hotel de Vendome

Hôtel de Vendôme
Location: 1 place Vendôme, 75001, Paris, France; Charles de Gaulle (CDG) is 30 minutes by taxi.

Luxury style: Boutique, intimate, historic, location of all locations. Perfect for lovers, but also shoppers, jetsetters, travelers with a yen to splurge and an eye for history. Honeymooners, especially ones who are Francophiles, will be in heaven here. The shadow of the Sun King will stroll with you through every magnificent hallway, public space and guest room.

What we’ve heard: Guests rave about the location, but also commend the reception desk, whose clerks also serve as concierge, ready to arrange reservations for dinner, shows and even the ‘bateaux mouche‘ Seine river cruise which stops nearby. In the tradition of true luxury, service is immediate, low-key, friendly and efficient.

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The Wynn Las Vegas • Las Vegas, United States

It’s (classy, upscale, luxurious, memorable, sumptuous) Vegas, baby!

wynne las vegas swimming pool

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Dear George,

Remember this pool — and our midnight swim a deux? I’ll bet you do. Hey, it was much more memorable than Alicia Silverstone in Batman and Robin. I’d bet you’d like to forget that mishap, along with the too-tight batsuit. But here’s one wager that I’m confident of winning. You’ll always think back fondly on our visit to The Wynn Las Vegas. I know I will.

the wynne dining room

First off, there’s the dining room at The Alex, The Wynn’s French Riviera-inspired restaurant. Doesn’t it look like where you wooed Julia in Ocean’s Eleven? The Alex is only one of 15 fine dining venues here. We also checked out the SW Steakhouse for classic American cuisine, and the fresh fish at the Barolotta Ristorante di Mare — all wonderful experiences. We were inspired by the many masterpieces by Rembrandt, Renoir, Monet, Picasso and other geniuses displayed throughout the property. Culture is good. It’s one way to cleanse the soul after too much fine dining, hot stone massages, and high stakes gambling.

wynn guest suite

Here’s a photo of one of the 2,716 guestrooms, which are positioned over fifty floors to grant panoramic views of the most infamous strip in the world. It doesn’t show the tower suite we stayed in — that’s for the paparazzi to discover — but close enough. Anyway, if you wanted privacy, you’d have stayed home in Lake Como. The automatic lighting and drapery controls located near the bed were ultra-convenient. The ultra-deluxe 320-thread count Frette linens made things ultra-comfy too. We loved the marble-furnished bathrooms with soaking tubs, separate glass-enclosed showers and flat-screen televisions.

What more can I write? The Wynn was fabulous, spectacular, marvelous and memorable. It was Vegas, baby — all it could be and beyond.

Hugs and kisses,

D.

The Wynn Las Vegas
Location: 3131 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, Nevada; McCarran International Airport is five miles away.

Luxury style: Luxurious, sophisticated, spacious and upscale — a cut above other Vegas accommodations. Hotel is located on a three-acre lake and features a pine-covered artificial mountain with several waterfalls at the entrance, giving it an air of removed serenity unusual for Las Vegas.

What we’ve heard: Hotel is so calm and beautiful that it feels like a spa, unlike most Vegas hotels. Guestroom windows span from floor to ceiling and offer spectacular views of the Strip. To get the best deals, book early and try to get a tower suite. As a guest of the Wynn Las Vegas, you enjoy exclusive access to the connected golf course, the only property on The Strip to boast one. Word to the wise: Check for construction on the neighboring Trump Condominiums — until construction is completed, request a guestroom on the other side of the hotel to ensure a good night’s rest.

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