75041 Travel Guide
Contrary to alarmist reports last week, the Hotel Ritz in Paris did not burn down during that random fire that broke out along Place Vendome. True, the hotel was covered in large amounts of black smoke but we now know the hotel's interiors are safe...until the hotel closes down this summer to make way for its planned renovations of course.
A French reader emailed us the latest info on the fire:
The iconic Hotel Ritz in Paris went up in smoke today as an underground parking garage in the Place du Vendome caught fire.
The fire appears to have been put out already but looking at these photos compiled by the Le Parisien newspaper we can see it was a rather tremendous blaze covering the entire area in black smoke. Whether the hotel itself suffered interior damages, we aren't quite sure. Several folks on Twitter say the hotel is on fire but actually the fire began in the parking garage which is next door to the hotel and it's not clear if the fire spread to the Ritz.
Normally, we'd say we hope the hotel makes it out ok but the Ritz is closing this summer for two years for a massive renovation, so we're not sure they're keen to keep much of the old stuff.
Anyone fluent in French with updates on the Ritz fire, keep us updated SVP!
Poses like these might be tough for a while...
Last time we checked in on Paris' classic The Ritz, it was with our own Josh Flagg, who had more than a few things (and none of them good) to say about the hotel's outdated, unsympathetic attitude towards dress code.
This week, clothes weren't the issue for supermodel Kate Moss (when has she ever looked bad anyway?), who had to cut her stay at the Ritz short because of a bizarre injury. According to an article in the Daily Mail, Kate woke up with no feeling in her right arm and hand, a pretty scary situation for anyone, and after several visits with doctors there, learned that her arm had become temporarily paralyzed due to an ulnar nerve entrapment. Ouch!
How do the French say "out with the old and in with the new?"
It looks someone was listening when our VIP hotel reviewer, Josh Flagg said that the Ritz Paris was "very tired" and "overpriced" compared to the City of Light's other fabulous luxury hotel, The George V. That's because the Ritz has announced today that it will close for over TWO YEARS while it undergoes a massive renovation project.
Expatica France writes:
In a statement, the hotel said the "unprecedented renovation project" would start in the summer of 2012 and take 27 months. Financial details were not disclosed.
It said hotel facilities, including its 160 rooms and suites, would preserve their traditional style while "offering the latest technological innovations".
Only about 30 of the hotel's about 500 employees would be kept on during the renovation, a hotel spokesman said, adding that "talks are underway" with staff representatives on assistance.
Stumped for holiday gift ideas? Wish you could give someone an awesome stay at the Ritz Paris, but not quite making the bank to pull it off? You may want to consider a ball instead.
Not just any ball, though--a chocolate ball. One prepared by the Ritz pastry chef Sébastien Serveau.
The Ritz Paris Christmas Ball is now available--in a limited edition, naturellement--from the Ritz Paris Boutique.
It's the endless summer of celebs in Paris!
We'll always have Paris...and Madonna to show us what the latest fashion trends are and for Fall 2010 it looks like wide-legged trousers are in. Madge (not so gracefully) modeled the new trend while exiting the Ritz Hotel on Place Vendome. She's been in France shooting "W.E." a biopic about the affair between King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson.
Now, we know that Madonna and her brood are not slumming it in one of the hotel's regular rooms which start at 550€ a night. The question is--which one of the Prestige Suites is she staying in?
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It used to be something of a tradition for Londoners to hop on the Eurostar for a quicky weekend in Paris – especially when it came to winter romance. But it obviously isn’t going so well at the moment, thanks to the insanely strong euro: Eurostar is currently bombarding London with ads, and Parisian hotels seeing to be flinging out special offers by the day.
Anyway, if you can bear the dreadful exchange rate, there are deals to be had. This week the Leading Hotels of the World group have jumped on the bandwagon, offering up to 30% off – which, when you’re talking hotels like the Ritz or the Crillon, is a pretty big deal.
With the Leading in Paris offer, starting rates are down to €590 at the Hotel Le Bristol, €550 at the Ritz, €530 at the Hotel de Crillon and €589 at the Hotel Fouquet’s Barrière. Slightly cheaper are the Hotel Lancaster from €370, or the Hotel Raphael from €365 (the Raphael will also chuck in breakfast and a special “welcome gift).
More often than not, the lives of the fabulously fashionable and fashionably fabulous intersect with hotel lobbies and bars, giving us regular folk a glimpse into their gilded partying. The latest raucous affair went down this week in the bar of The Ritz in Paris, when the "Eroticism" issue of Acne Paper Magazine was celebrated with burlesque performers, of course, and plenty of flashbulbs.
The big news is not so much the party, but rather what will come of it; during the fete, designer Alber Elbaz of French luxury label Lanvin photographed instead of drank and schmoozed, as he was shooting for his next menswear campaign.
This is reminiscent of the time that Jimmy Choo's ads were all done at The Plaza. Perhaps next time we accidentally wander into the midst of a hotel party, which we've totally done before, we'll end up appearing in a Vogue ad spread; probably not, but a girl can dream.
[Photo: Olivier Zahm]
This week's HotelChatter Question comes from yours truly and it has to do with hotel bills, everyone's favorite topic.
Now, every single time we have checked into and out of a hotel, the hotel has always had the credit card that we used to book the room on file. Once we've checked out, either that card or a different one that we put down at check-in is charged.
This has never not happened. That credit card, whichever one it may be, is always charged. And more often than we like, it is charged with some additional fees on it that we did not order or use. Like getting charged twice to use the internet when we only used it once. (This happens a lot.)
But we are not here to ask you about your favorite bill-reviewing method. Or even what hotels frequently mischarge you for. (Although, that could be a good question later.)
No. Today we want to know how the #$&@!% Raffaello Follieri, Anne Hathaway's dashing ex-boyfriend/con man, managed to stiff the Ritz Hotel in Paris out of 4,551.70 Euros.