The Ritz Paris
A brief history of the grand hotel, which reopens this month— from Proust and Hemingway to Coco Chanel and Princess Diana. ÒWHEN I DREAM of an afterlife in heaven,” Ernest Hemingway once wrote, “the action always takes place at the Ritz Paris.” This month, after a $220 million renovation, the legendary hotel will reopen after four years and begin the next chapter in its rich 118-year history. Marcel Proust and Coco Chanel once called the Ritz home, Sophia Loren considered it “the most romantic hotel in the world,” and the Nazis took over several floors when they occupied Paris during World War II.
Not everyone has appreciated the many luxuries that the Ritz has to offer, though. Soon after it opened in 1898, Oscar Wilde complained that the elevators moved too fast and the en suite bathrooms were not his style: “Who wants an immovable washing basin in one’s room?” he sniffed. “I do not. Hide the thing. I prefer to ring for water when I need it.”