Historical Royal Hotels: The Ritz in Paris

The amazing Hôtel Ritz in Paris is located at the Place Vendôme (number 15) in
the first arrondissement of Paris. The hotel is ranked at the list of the
"Leading hotels of the world".

After a major renovation the Hôtel Ritz re-opened on 6 June 2016. Besides
these facts, the hotel really is an interesting place full of  royal history.

Ritz Hotel in Paris Entrance - own picture taken in 2017


Some (royal) history

On 7 June 1738, Cesar Ritz bought the building at the Place Vendôme number
15 to for fill his dream. The hotel was an immediate success, attracting a
distinguished and moneyed clientele headed by the Prince of Wales in 1897.

Ritz's innovative standards of hygiene demanded a bathroom for every suite,
the maximum possible amount of sunlight and the minimum of curtains and
other hangings.

The hotel opened on 1 June 1898 to a "glittering reception". Together with
Auguste Escoffier, a French chef, Ritz made the hotel synonymous with
opulence, service and fine dining.

During the summer of 1940, the Luftwaffe set up their headquarters at the
Ritz with their chief Hermann Göring.

Auguste Escoffier died in 1935 and Cesar Ritz died in 1976. After the death
of Cesar Ritz the hotel went into a period of slow decline.

In 1979 it was rescued by an Egyptian businessman, Mohamed Al-Fayed,
who gave the hotel a renovation.

On 31 August 1997, Diana, Princess of Wales, and Al-Fayed 's son
Dodi Al-Fayed dined in the Imperial suite of the Hotel before leaving
the hotel with their chauffeur and bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones
to have a fatal car accident in the Pont de l'Alma tunnel.

Ritz hotel in Paris - own picture taken in 2017


On 1 August 2012 the Ritz closed for the first time in its history for an
extensive restoration.

In the 21st. century the Ritz really is one of the "Leading hotels of the World".

Ritz hotel in Paris, France - own picture taken in 2017


The Ritz style

The Ritz was built in a classical architecture style from the end of the reign of
King Louis XIV of France. The façade was designed by the royal architect,
Mansart, in the late 17th. century.

Each guest room is uniquely decorated, most with Louis XIV or Louis XV
reproductions.  There are famous suites as:

- The Elton John suite
- The Windsor suite (with portraits of the duke and duchess of Windsor)
- Coco Chanel suite
- The imperial suite (with an identical bed to that of Queen Marie-Antoinette
in the Versailles Palace).

Ritz Hotel in Paris, own picture taken in 2017


Famous guests

Marcel Proust;
F. Scott Fitzgerald;
Ernest Hemingway;
King Edward VII of England;
Coco Chanel;
Queen Marie of Romania;
Elizabeth of Greece;
Maria of Yugoslavia;
Shah of Iran;
George H.W. Bush.

Nowadays

Now the Ritz is listed as number 157 from the 1812 hotels in Paris on
TripAdvisor (date: 20 April 2018).

History - OnThisDay - 17 April 1958 - Expo 58 started in Brussels, Belgium

Paris has its Eiffel Tower, London its Big Ben, Berlin its Brandenburg Gate ...
and what about 'hellhole' Brussels?

Well Brussels is the proud owner of its Atomium. This magnificent building
was created on the occasion of the Expo 58. First it was meant to be a temporary
construction, but the Atomium was so succesfull that the 9 balls became
permanent.

Expo 58 and the Atomium, picture taken at the Belvue Museum in Brussels in 2015



On 17 April 1958, King Baudouin opened the World Exhibition with a
touching speech about peace, freedom and connection to each other.

On Youtube, there is a movie in French of the original speech of
King Baudouin of the Belgians at the opening of Expo 58. First there is
an advertisement of Marie Tumas :-)

Link



The World Exhibition of '58 became a gigantic success with more than 41 million
visitors! For many of them, it was a first acquaintance to other cultures.

The Expo 58 ended on 19 October 1958, but the spirit of this extra ordinary
event will last forever. Many objects of the Expo 58 are now fantastic stuff for
collectors.



Some movies about the opening and the Expo 58 in French

Link

Link



Nowadays, only the Atomium stands symbol of the glorious Expo 58.
Moreover it stays the symbol of Brussels, capital of Belgium.
Wherever you are in Brussels, you almost can see the Atomium.


Atomium taken in front of the Palace of Justice in Brussels


Atomium from the roof terrace of the NH Hotel in Brussels