The hotel on Place Vendôme. The grande dame of luxury hospitality. One of the most famous hotels in the world. The Ritz Paris, situated at 15 place Vendôme, is known by many monikers but to me, it is simply the happiest place on earth. With its storied history and unwavering commitment to excellence and luxury, it is considered to be one of the most legendary hotels. Honestly, I could write an entire post dedicated simply to its remarkable biography but instead, I’ll suggest you read Tilar J Masseo’s sweeping history of this cultural landmark entitled The Hotel at Place Vendôme: Life, Death, and Betrayal at the Hotel Ritz in Paris.
Opened in 1898 by celebrated hotelier César Ritz and his partner, the equally notable Auguste Escoffier, the Ritz Paris began with the mission of providing unparalleled service and refinement for its guests. Constructed behind the 18thcentury façade of the Hôtel de Gramont, the former home of the Duchesse de Garamont, the hotel was the first in Europe to provide its guests with en suite bathrooms, electricity, and a telephone for each guest room. It has played home to some of the most famous and infamous names in history and has been the setting of many historic and notable moments. Its suites are named for the notable personages like The Duke and Duchess of Windsor, The Prince of Wales, Coco Chanel, Marcel Proust, Maria Callas, Ernest Hemmingway, Charlie Chaplin, Frederick Chopin, and F. Scott Fitzgerald that once called the Ritz Paris home, if only for a little while. As for the Imperial Suite, it is modeled on Marie Antoinette’s bedroom at Versailles and is designated a National Monument of France in its own right. And for the queenly sum of at approximately 18,000 Euros a night, you too can call it home.
Having enjoyed a totally decadent brunch with my parents there before the hotel closed from 2012-2016 for a multimillion-dollar renovation, it has long been at the top of my hotel wish list. Having anxiously awaited its reopening, I couldn’t wait to revisit this incredible property. I was fortunate enough to enjoy an incredible 3 nights at my dream hotel during my most recent trip to Paris with my mum. While we had originally booked an Executive Room, thanks to booking with an American Express platinum card, we were given an upgrade upon arrival to a Deluxe Room. We were also given a transfer to the airport for our return flight in the house car (a luxurious Mercedes sedan that had Wi-Fi, bottled water, and green tea scented towels upon our entry) and our decadent multi course breakfast was included each morning as well (to be enjoyed in-room or in the elegant dining room) thanks to being American Express Platinum card holders. A quick note on American Express platinum membership: it is worth everypenny. Darling Husband and I always take advantage of the amazing travel perks like automatic hotel upgrades with participating hotels, lounge access at the airport, travel credits and more. Combined with the multitude of points we earn on our spending; it has proved to be the perfect card.
Upon arrival, we were warmly greeted by name by the hotel manager, and after a quick check-in, ensconced in our stunning room. Let me tell you, it was a bit of a pinch me moment. With its marble and gold fixtured bathroom and powder room, mirrored walk-in closet, spacious (and not just by Parisian standards) layout, and balcony views of the Eifel Tower the room was nothing short of perfection. The handwritten welcome note and assortment of fresh fruit and sweet treats were simply the finishing touches on an incredible first impression. Appointed with elegant furniture and refined finishings, it surpassed all of my wildest hotel dreams. The hotel continued to impress, the service provided by the staff was both friendly and welcoming, while maintaining the exacting standards of excellence that has distinguished the hotel over its century plus existence. Not a detail is overlooked – the décor throughout the hotel, from the rooms themselves to the public spaces, are nothing short of breathtaking. Noted floral designer Anne Vitchen creates veritable artwork with the floral installations throughout the hotel that left me snapping many a photo.
As for the dining, we enjoyed a multi course breakfast each morning that was sublime. I still have dreams about the bowl of berries that I would start each morning within the gilded dining room of the two Michelin starred L’Espadon before moving on to matcha oatmeal, the lightest herbed scrambled eggs, and ending with a sweet crepe. We didn’t have a chance to enjoy dining at Bar Vendôme or L’Espadon for dinner or lunch this time, but I absolutely look forward to trying those out on future visits. Instead, we opted for room service on two of the nights during our visit, and the Ritz Paris managed to elevate a meal as simple as croque monsieur with French fries and a green salad to culinary perfection.
The hotel proved to be the ideal jumping off point as it’s located in the heart of the 1starrondissement. After full days of exploring and enjoying the city, we would spend a relaxed hour or two enjoying the pool at the Ritz Club Paris. With its chic black and white décor, one can’t help but feel that Mademoiselle Chanel herself might at any moment stride into the soaring space to enjoy the turquoise tiled pool. How fitting this thought is because the House of CHANEL partnered with the Ritz Paris to create an unrivaled spa experience (but more on that in a future post).
Honestly, this article and any others written about the Ritz Paris cannot even begin to do justice to this incredible hotel. It is truly the pinnacle of luxury and exemplifies the founding principle of César Ritz’s unfailing commitment to excellence. I feel so truly lucky to have been able to experience this legendary property and am already eagerly anticipating a return visit. I have no doubt that it will be as memorable as my first, if not better!