Tuesday, September 20, 2016
The Ritz Paris
Ever since my first trip to Paris in 2012, the Ritz Paris has been closed for renovations. I've walked by it countless times on the Place Vendome, eager to take a glimpse inside one of the world's most iconic hotels. Throughout its storied past, the Ritz has hosted a slew of famous guests including Hemingway who used it as his base when he covered the war and Coco Chanel who lived there for 34 years.
The Ritz finally reopened in June of this year, and clearly it was worth the wait. The hotel invested over €200+ million in the renovations which were led by interior designer Thierry Despont and his team of over 800 stonemasons, guilders, upholsterers, and painters who brought the hotel back to its former glory. Aesthetically, the hotel still has the traditional 18th-century French décor that its guests are familiar with, but the difference now, according to both Mr. Boyens and Mr. Despont, is that there is a lighter, fresher feel throughout.
Suffice it to say a night at the Ritz doesn't come cheap - rooms start at €1000/night. However, one can instead grab a drink at the infamous Hemingway Bar or indulge in afternoon tea in the hotel's newly opened gardens. For as Hemingway so aptly put it, “When I dream of afterlife in heaven, the action always takes place in the Paris Ritz.”