Debunking the Run-of-the-Mill 5-Star Hotel Concept
Most of the luxury hotels have similar features and almost all have the same level of service. Treat the newly refurbished Hôtel Ritz Paris differently. It could be the Rolls Royce of 5-star hotels. It lives and breathes irrefutable luxury to a certain degree that one would almost question reality.
The story of the Ritz hotel chains has its roots from the "king of hoteliers and hotelier to kings" -- César Ritz, a Swiss hotelier who revolutionized luxury accommodation in Europe back in early 1900s.
Seeing it first-hand though, this 5-star hotel has recently reopened after 4 years of renovation work valuing up to USD 450 million (with 'cha-ching' sound effect). It was financed by the famous investor, Mohamed Al-Fayed and if his name rings a bell to you, then yes, you are right, he’s the father of Dodi -- from the Lady Diana scoop.
It brought back its structural prominence at the historical Place Vendôme in Paris with its old-world luxury interiors. The total design was rendered by The Office of Thierry Despont, headed of course by the well-known French but New York-based architect/interior designer, Thierry Despont. His firm specializes in “luxury residential work, museum projects, hotels and historical restorations”, according to their website.
I was there to attend my baking class.
The rooms are elegantly designed with classic pastel-toned French decors combining artwork, antiques and modern pieces. The bathrooms are made of marbles and there are golden swan faucets all over.
Note to readers: The photo you see as the blog image was taken and borrowed from the Hôtel Ritz Paris website to which I give full credits. The photo is an example of one of the suites in the hotel. I adore the color schemes used in their apartments and suites and I simply love their classy take on the pastel color pink.
A trademark of the Ritz experience lies in their personalized service from their unique savoir-faire staff. When you enter the hotel, bellhops and concierge greet you with proper salutation and surprisingly with your last name! They know a great deal about your quirks and kinks, too. So, how did they know that I cannot live without my iPhone and iPad running with me to a point where there was a power bank that greeted me with a sweet note: “Cindy, We know. Just in case you run out of battery?” It’s simply amazing.
Part of the Ritz’ magic is anchored on its strategic location. It is a stone throw away from some famous landmarks like the Opéra and the Louvre.
The unforgettable experience is a result of the hotel’s perfect formula of combining exclusivity, ultra-comfort and emphasis on the rudimentary principles of art, history and culture. It’s similar to packaging a luxurious gift offered to you on a polished silver platter for which unfortunately, only a scantly few could have the privilege of having.
When we checked-out of the hotel, the discreet yet sophisticated luxurious scent of its hallways and rooms somehow managed to cling on our clothes. I don't know if you can imagine that distinct whiff of air which makes you instantly feel filthy rich and reeking with wealth? Yes. That. One.
It quickly dissipated however, as soon as Charles hailed for a cab to take us to the train station for our return train journey to Geneva. Back to reality.
Elegant Grand Siècle interiors are common themes in many salons of the hotel
Fountain of Zen, as Architect Thierry would put it
Les Jardins de L'espadon with atrium garden is open for lunch during summer. In winters, lunch is served at the La Table de L'Espadon.
every furniture piece exudes opulence
one of the lobby elevators encased in a cylinder of limed oak peppered with Neoclassical art designs
the famous landmark column right at the Place Vendôme, originally made of melted cannons from the Battle of Austerlitz and a bronze statue of Napoleon Bonaparte on top.
Beautiful and stylish women heads in aluminum, iron or marble art installations by Spanish artist Manolo Valdés at Place Vendôme in Paris presented by Marlborough Gallery