at 15 Place Vendôme, Paris, 93500 France
The Hôtel Ritz is a grand palatial hotel in the heart of Paris, in the 1st arrondissement. It overlooks the octagonal border of the Place Vendôme at number 15. The hotel is ranked highly among the most prestigious and luxurious hotels in the world and is a member of "The Leading Hotels of the World". As of 2014 the Ritz is closed for a major multimillion-dollar renovation.The hotel, which today has 159 rooms, was founded by the Swiss hotelier, César Ritz, in collaboration with the chef Auguste Escoffier in 1898. The new hotel was constructed behind the façade of an 18th-century town house, overlooking one of Paris's central squares. It was reportedly the first hotel in Europe to provide a bathroom en suite, a telephone and electricity for each room. It quickly established a reputation for luxury, with clients including royalty, politicians, writers, film stars and singers. Several of its suites are named in honour of famous guests of the hotel, including Coco Chanel and Ernest Hemingway who lived at the hotel for years. One of the bars of the hotel, Bar Hemingway, is devoted to Hemingway and the L'Espadon is a world-renowned restaurant, attracting aspiring chefs from all over the world who come to learn at the adjacent Ritz-Escoffier School. The grandest suite of the hotel, called the Imperial, has been listed by the French government as a national monument in its own right.During the Second World War, the hotel was taken over by the occupying Germans as the local headquarters of the Luftwaffe. After the death of Ritz's son Charles, in 1976, the last members of the Ritz family to own the hotel sold it in 1979 to the Egyptian businessman Mohamed Al-Fayed. In August 1997, Diana, Princess of Wales and Al-Fayed's son, Dodi, dined in the hotel's Imperial Suite before their fatal car crash.
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