You may have heard that the Ritz Paris reopened lately… I pushed the doors of the well-known palace and I have been sucked up in the past. A movie of a century back is about to begin. Shhh…
Four years of renovation were needed to ensure the come back. As an economical point of view, the industry isn’t going perfectly lately. First due to the new comers of the marketplace aka the pure players or the startups, and secondly because of events happening around the world involving violence and causing fear. But beside all these, we aren’t discovering a new hotel, but a new version of the hotel. Clients may not see huge differences as visually they wanted to keep the heritage and make them feel home, or the same way they were used to. Indeed, each hotel conveys a certain emotion that is, of course, specific to their own. As many famous people, we all have to find our ways wether in life or where we stay and some of them could call the Ritz home. From Hemingway to Lady Diana, through Proust and Chanel, the luxury hotel is fed by plenty of stories and anecdotes.
Counting now 142 rooms, including 71 suites (88 before renovation), the reduction of the number starts from the will to have less rooms but bigger ones so the clients could feel even better. The hotel was the first ever to set up individual bathrooms inside the rooms, moreover César Ritz the founder of the hotel, invented the king-size bed, wall-to-wall carpeting and many more. His son Charles was very proud of him. Well, we should say that avant-guard is another word to describe the Parisian palace – with a creative woman such as Mademoiselle Chanel who was also very visionary, living there for more than 30 years! Indeed her atelier was located right behind, on rue Cambon. On another scale, it was Lady Di’s last home because she just left the hotel right before her accident in the city. Thus its international renown is partly due to famous people who visited it. Marcel Proust, a regular of the luxury hotel has been dedicated a salon on the ground floor near the entrance where you can enjoy a thé à la française! Typical madeleines can be found as referring to the man – you can also notice them on the sugar bowl and once again these are the details that people do not necessarily see but only the most informed will understand the link. Pastry chef François Perret is the father of these marvels. I had the chance to try out his lemon pie during Omnivore ; a dessert that I always find either too sweet or too acid, but his was totally tasty and very light!
Right opposite the alley, we can find the Vendôme Terrace recognizable by its fountain. On one side, the Vendôme Bar welcomes you to have a snack, a salad or sandwiches. On the other side, we can enjoy the lunch of the gastronomic restaurant of the hotel L’Espadon managed by chef Nicolas Sale. Both are covered with removable greenhouses. This entire area will be set up differently later in the year into a winter garden. The specificity? You can’t notice it but the ground will be warmed up so your feet won’t get a cold 😉
Further than the lobby, a gallery connecting the Vendôme part to the Cambon one shelters a shopping area inspired by Parisian passages. A concept store dedicated to the travel world has been created among all the boutiques. The hallway is brighten up by the Ritz’s garden. Secret until now, the jardin à la française covers 1 650 square meters. Hopefully they made it open to public because this hidden beauty should not remain unknown! Smelling flowers, listening to the streaming water of the fountain or the singing birds, life is simple. Order a tea and have a seat please! This is slow life… It helps taking time and enjoy the simplest things. We don’t need a mountain to be happy, be hedonist!
Anybody visiting the Ritz is living moments, getting l’esprit Ritz. It has this je-ne-sais-quoi Parisian ‘I don’t have time’ aura. haha. Passion, romanticism, history, … The building is alive and damn unique! Wait a sec. I haven’t told you about the swimming pool yet. Breathtaking. I wasn’t expecting the hugeness of the size. Indeed it is the biggest pool of a hotel in Paris, but that is not it. It is surrounded by a living area where you can have a drink and chat. Well, well, well. I came to the conclusion that the Ritz is basically a small village where you can spend your days and nights without going out of the property.
Let’s be real, the service is beyond expectation. I guess no other palace can ever compete with the Ritz. Never say never but sometimes you gotta admit that this is excellence. I’m not only talking about what happened to me personally but really about the whole thing. Let me explain real quick. I was basically so shocked that the concierge remembered my name. I know it may seem nothing but these are the details that change everything. Details that regular clients may not necessarily notice (madeleines, heating ground, the grass where your stilettos don’t get stuck in etc). I mean, he sees so many people during the day and I was simply surprised by that. I obviously told him, because, how much doesn’t it cost to compliment somebody seriously? Nothing… so do it more often. He replied: I’ve been doing my job for so long! He smiled. I feel you sir.
Not only is it original but I discovered so many anecdotes by working on this article. ‘Customer is always right’ has become so mainstream, you hear it everywhere. But did you know that Ritz was the first to claim it? ‘See all without looking; hear all without listening; be attentive without being servile; anticipate without being presumptuous. If a diner complains about a dish or the wine, immediately remove it and replace it, no questions asked.’
The Ritz once again became the Ritz… Are you ready to live the riziest experience ever?
15 Place Vendôme