While visiting Newport this summer, Norma Thiessen, founder of the blog My Beautiful Paris, and I became fast friends. Norma lives in the Beaches, Toronto and adores all things French… the people, food, fashion, history, architecture, countryside, and culture. But most of all, she loves Paris. For the past six years, Norma has been living a dream many of us have, and some are lucky enough to carry out. And of those lucky ones, some are gracious enough to share this dream with us. As Norma says, “By creating a website on Paris, it was my hope that I could share my passionate, wild devotion for this city and have something to offer future travelers.” I have been craving a trip to France, so I asked Norma if she would be so kind as to take us on a virtual tour of the recently renovated Ritz Paris, which is at the top of my bucket list. Enjoy!
There Is Nothing Quite Like The Ritz!
Guest post provided by Norma Theissen, My Beautiful Paris…
Ritz Paris has recently undergone a four-year, $220 million renovation. The hotel reopened its doors last summer with rooms beginning at $1,200 a night, a Chanel spa, the Marcel Proust tea salon, a new culinary team, and Terrasse Vendôme, the hotel’s inner courtyard which transforms into a winter garden in the colder months. Architect and designer Thierry W. Despont oversaw the redesign of the 142 rooms and suites.
“It needed a redo, but maintaining its essence and strong identity was essential, and my vision was to keep the Ritz exactly as it was but better,” he said. “Many of the changes are subtle. We don’t want to say ‘Look what we did.’”
Although Paris has an ample supply of luxurious hotels, there is nothing quite like the Ritz. My love affair with this hotel began many years ago. It was prior to the renovation when I spent a memorable three nights here with my mother. From the precious chocolates left on your pillow to the ultra-luxurious peach coloured towels and our beautifully decorated room, I have to say we acted like two girls and could hardly contain our excitement–we were just short of jumping up and down on our beds. It was simply marvelous, and a time I will always cherish!
Last summer I had the pleasure of experiencing Ritz Paris once again in all its luxuriously renovated glory. When I arrived, I immediately thought the problem with checking in is knowing that you will have to check out! Ugh.
But it’s not just about the luxurious finishes and the dome-covered desserts awaiting me in my suite, prepared by the very talented head Pastry Chef François Perret… the hotel’s history and surroundings are just as appealing.
Bar Hemingway is nestled in the back corner of the hotel, named after famed author Ernest Hemingway, for whom it was a favourite drink joint. And the most desirable: the Coco Chanel Suite, available for the lucky few who can afford such extravagance.
A girl can dream! Karl Lagerfeld headed the design of the suite. However, saying that, if I did have a choice to stay in any suite at the Ritz Paris it would most definitely be the $30,000 a night (Yikes!) Imperial Suite. It left me speechless.
Dating back to 1898, this hotel is one of the most recognized hotels in the world and is at the perfect location, right at the heart of Paris. Ritz Paris is worth every hard earned penny!
For the lucky ones heading to the City of Light this summer, I wish you a fantastic time while you devour the most delicious pastries and take in the magnificent views. And in the end, wherever you are staying, it doesn’t really matter – as long as you are enjoying the beautiful sites of Paris! Norma
Unless otherwise noted, photography is by Norma Theissen. Additional enjoyment of all things French can be found via Norma’s website, My Beautiful Paris. You will also want to follow her on Instagram for daily inspiration. Thank you, Norma, for taking us inside this iconic French hotel! And to read about the Newport trip where Norma and I met, click here.