Hôtel Ritz Paris


Hôtel Ritz Paris

The Hôtel Ritz is a hotel located at 15 Place Vendôme, in the heart of Paris, France. It is one of the most prestigious and luxurious hotels in the world and is one of the seven Parisian palaces recognized by The Leading Hotels of the World organization [ [http://www.lhw.com/destinationprofile.aspx?id=5 The Leading Hotels of the World ] ] . Established in 1898, it is the oldest "Ritz Hotel" in the world.

History

The building was constructed in the early part of the 18th century as a private dwelling. In 1854 it was acquired by the Péreire brothers who made it the head office of their "Crédit Mobilier" financial institution.

The façade was designed by Jules Hardouin Mansart. Converted to a luxury hotel by César Ritz, it opened on June 1 1898. Together with the culinary talents of minority partner Auguste Escoffier, Ritz made the hotel synonymous with opulence, service, and fine dining.

The Hôtel Ritz consists of the Vendôme and the Cambon buildings with rooms facing Place Vendôme and on the opposite side, rooms overlooking its famous garden. The hotel became a favorite of many of the world's wealthiest people, with luxurious suites named for some of its notable patrons from the past. These include Ernest Hemingway, for whom a bar in the hotel was named, and F. Scott Fitzgerald, Marcel Proust, King Edward VII of the United Kingdom, Iranian leader Reza Shah, Rudolph Valentino, Charlie Chaplin, Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Maurice Chevalier, Jean-Paul Sartre, Elton John, plus couturier Coco Chanel who made the Ritz her home for more than thirty years.

In 1979, the Ritz family sold the hotel to Egyptian businessman Mohamed Al-Fayed who refurbished it and in 1988 added the Ritz-Escoffier School of French Gastronomy. On August 31, 1997, Dodi Al-Fayed and his companion, Diana, Princess of Wales, had visited the Ritz when employee Henri Paul drove them from the hotel and crashed in the nearby Pont de l'Alma road tunnel.

The Ritz Today

The Hôtel Ritz Paris currently offers 161 rooms, one restaurant, and two bars. The rooms start at 730 a night [ [http://www.ritzparis.com/jump_to.asp?id_target=1250&id_lang=1 Hôtel Ritz Paris ] ] . Suites start at €3,000 [ [http://www.ritzparis.com/jump_to.asp?id_target=1254&id_lang=1 Hôtel Ritz Paris ] ] and can go up to €12,000 a night for the most prestigious ones ("Suite Impériale") [ [http://www.ritzparis.com/jump_to.asp?id_target=1253&id_lang=1 Hôtel Ritz Paris ] ] .The hotel's restaurant, "L'Espadon", was awarded a star by the 2007 edition of the influential Michelin Red Guide.

The hotel in fiction

*Noel Coward's play "Semi-Monde" takes place in the Paris Ritz. The play follows the extravagant, promiscuous, and ultimately cyclical life of a fictional Paris elite between 1924 and 1926.

*In Billy Wilder's 1957 comedy "Love in the Afternoon", Audrey Hepburn initiates her romance with Gary Cooper in his suite in the hotel.

*The hotel was featured in the 1966 movie "How to Steal a Million", with a romantic scene between Audrey Hepburn and Peter O'Toole in front.

*In the Bret Easton Ellis novel "Glamorama", a group of supermodels turned terrorists plant a home-made bomb in the Hôtel Ritz Paris, resulting in the hotel's collapse.

*In "The Man Who Lived At The Ritz", Phillip Weber and Hermann Göring, Joss Ackland, are staying at the hotel during WWII.

*In "The Da Vinci Code", the protagonist, Robert Langdon, stays at the hotel while in Paris.

*In Lauren Weisberger's "The Devil Wears Prada", Andrea Sachs and Miranda Priestly stay at the hotel while in Paris.

Trivia

* Pamela Churchill Harriman, who was appointed United States Ambassador to France by President Bill Clinton in 1993, died in Hôtel Ritz Paris while taking her customary morning swim in the pool. Two other politicians have died at the Ritz Paris: Eleftherios Venizelos and Frederic Salusbury.
* Forbes Magazine has called Colin P. Field, head barman of the hotel's Hemingway Bar, "The World's Greatest Bartender". [http://www.forbes.com/2001/05/30/ritzbar.html]
* It is said that Ernest Hemingway, as a war reporter with the US Army, came to the Hôtel Ritz during the liberation of Paris in 1944, shooting into the air with a pistol. He later bragged that he had personally liberated the hotel.

References

See also

* Ritz-Carlton hotel chain
* Ritz Hotel London, opened 8 years after the Paris one
* Ritz (disambiguation)

External links

* [http://www.ritzparis.com Hotel website]
* [http://www.hotelmanagement-network.com/features/feature1103/ Interview with Colin Field, leading mixologist and head barman of the Ritz's Hemingway Bar]


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