The luxury world welcomed the Ritz back from refurbishment in June, after nearly four years and about HK$3 billion spent.
The building dates back to the 1600s, with the Ritz occupying it since 1898. Ever spearheading the technology of its era, the hotel opened with electricity, telephones and en-suite bathrooms. The refurbished Ritz still has craftmanship-led design, but boasts wi-fi, air-con and remote lighting.
The Ritz’s legacy is a collection of its best stories, with a long list of elite visitors enchanted by its avant-garde atmosphere and five-star facilities.
Coco Chanel, perhaps the hotel’s most famous guest, lived at the Ritz for 34 years, routinely using the staff entrance on Rue Cambon.
The Ritz now has 71 suites, with 15 paying homage to its most famous guests, including Coco Chanel, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Chopin, Charlie Chaplin, Marcel Proust and Ernest Hemingway.
The 2,024 square-foot suite built in Chanel’s honour houses sketches and photographs that are not on exhibition elsewhere.
Still in residence at the hotel is the Chanel Au Ritz, a spa dedicated to Coco that offers Chanel treatments and products.
As the 2016 host to Karl Lagerfeld’s Métiers d’Art collection, the Ritz retains its link with Chanel’s legacy.
Other guests have been honoured with eponymous bars. Bar Hemingway is tended by Colin Field, ranked among the global best.
Salon Proust is named for the renowned Modernist author, who was a regular guest in the hotel’s first decade.
With contemporary VIPs using an underground tunnel that takes them from chauffeur to suite, the Ritz has retained its ability to create exclusive experiences for the global elite.
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