Today, the Ritz Paris has shuttered it’s celebrated doors to embark on a two year, $170 million renovation.
From it’s opening by Cesar Ritz in 1898, the Ritz has been the home away from home for legends ranging from Marcel Proust to Ernest Hemingway to Princess Diana. The “Gem of the Place Vendome” is iconic from it’s gorgeous rooms and suites to it’s infamous Hemingway Bar to the Ritz Escoffier Cooking School. The renovation, which insiders say was somewhat overdue, will be overseen by French architect and designer Thierry Despont, who was responsible for the renovation of the Carlyle in New York and the Dorchester in London. According to the New York Times,
“Some things he will barely be allowed to touch: the building facade, the Art Deco bas-reliefs and wood paneling in the Imperial suite and the allegorical ceiling and 18th-century marquetry floors of the Chopin suite are classified as historic monuments. The wood-paneled Hemingway bar will stay, but the Vendôme Bar will be enlarged and fully renovated with the addition of a glass roof. There will be new suites with their own terraces overlooking the garden. But the rest remains a secret. “
Hopefully, the old world ambience, that inspired Ernest Hemingway to say “when he dreamed of afterlife in heaven the action always takes place at the Paris Ritz”, will remain.