“Why don’t you go where fashion sits–puttin’ on the Ritz,” wrote Irving Berlin in 1929, coining a term that has become the English lexicon’s short-hand for prestige, glamour, and luxury.
But come July, the Hotel Ritz Paris will close its doors for two years in order to undergo a series of modernizing renovations. The Hotel has quelled fears that the improvements would alter the signature opulence that has been seducing luminaries ever since the Ritz opened its doors in 1898. The renovations are confined mostly to what’s beneath the Ritz’s gilded surface; air conditioning, heating, and plumbing updates are at the top of the list, along with plans for an underground passageway spanning the parking lot under Place Vendome to the Hotel to ensure discretion for arriving celebrities.
And the Ritz Paris is no stranger to celebrity. Among the many to haunt their halls are Marcel Proust, Coco Chanel, Ernest Hemingway, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Cole Porter, and Princess Diana. As the hotel enters its next era, Ritz spokesman Matthieu Gifford assures us it will certainly “keep the very French Ritz spirit of Parisian luxury.” And what a relief that is.