Steeped in a history both luxurious and scandalous, The Ritz Paris at the exclusive Place Vendôme has reopened this week after four years of painstaking renovations.
The giant, grand hotel has 71 residential rooms and 71 suites for those willing to splash out on the starting price of $1,983. Following a reported $611 million refurbishment by designer Thierry Despont, the result is an unrestrained combination of opulent Empire style and Classicism marked by fine wood panelling and soft pastel colours.
Founded in 1898, the Ritz has acted as the private playground for illustrious artists and creative figures throughout history. A rollcall of notable residents and guests includes Coco Chanel, who died at the hotel in 1971 after calling it home for 35 years; Ernest Hemingway, for whom one of the hotel's bars is named; and Marcel Proust. Fifteen light-bathed, exquisite Prestige Suites are named for characters such as Chanel and Proust but also F Scott Fitzgerald and the Duke of Windsor, each taking in elements of their personal style. The 59-square-metre Marcel Proust suite, for instance, authentically replicates the novelist's original quarters at the hotel, complete with rich library, souvenirs and period furniture. The plush 188-square-metre Coco Chanel Prestige Suite matches classic black and white touches with gilded mirrors and velvet lounges.
Exterior of The Ritz Paris.
Within The Ritz Club alongside an impressive tiled pool, The Chanel au Ritz Paris is a new lavish spa dedicated to Chanel skincare - a world first for the luxury brand. Notably, Australian hair stylist David Mallet whose clients include Carla Bruni and Charlotte Gainsbourg, has been appointed in-house stylist.
In the hotel's courtyard, a retractable glass roof serves as a barrier to the elements in the winter months. The Ritz Escoffier cooking school of pastry and French cuisine has also expanded with three shiny new kitchens, and guests may also dine at the luxe L'Espadon restaurant with Nicholas Sale at the helm, Bar Vendome brasserie or The Ritz Bar bistro, all within the hotel walls.
The Ritz Paris, 15 Place Vendôme, 75001 Paris, +33 1 43 16 30 30, ritzparis.com