Few institutions are as synonymous with London as The Ritz. Conceived by renowned hotelier César Ritz, this iconic hotel was the first steel framed building of any significance in London. With its French château-style architecture and large copper lions standing proudly at each corner of the roof, The Ritz was praised for its brilliant refinement of detail and articulation. A Louis XVI theme still dominates the interiors, while the antique guestroom furniture, decorative gold leaf mouldings, original light fittings and chandeliers have been meticulously restored during recent renovations.
The 113 guestrooms are large and comfortable with immaculate detailing, high ceilings, classical proportions and spacious bathrooms, while each of the 24 magnificent suites take this a step further, offering the ultimate in luxury, privacy and comfort. The Ritz doesn’t have the latest Swarovski lighting or hidden bathroom mirror television, but it can guarantee an extraordinarily comfortable and luxurious stay in a completely unique historical institution.
Walking the corridors, the history of the place still feels alive in the hotel walls. During its early years, The Ritz enjoyed the patronage of The Prince of Wales, later to become King Edward VIII. King Alfonso of Spain and Queen Amelie of Portugal met in the hotel; and Churchill, de Gaulle and Eisenhower met for summit meetings during the Second World War. Charlie Chaplin required 40 policemen to escort him through his fans into the hotel in 1921 and Tallulah Bankhead sipped Champagne from her slipper during a press conference in the 1950s.
The restaurant is considered by many to be the most beautiful hotel restaurant in the world. Its floor-to-ceiling windows overlook Green Park and its sumptuous chandeliers are joined by gilt bronze garlands around the room. Its culture of ‘palace-style’ food and service ensure any meal feels like a special occasion. The spectacular Rivoli Bar celebrates its 10th birthday this year, serving the signature martinis and Champagne cocktails for which The Ritz is renowned. If this isn’t entertainment enough, The Ritz Club and Casino is found in the former ballroom of the hotel and hotel residents are offered complimentary membership.
In November 2006, The Ritz opened William Kent House adjoining the hotel. Designed in the 1740s, it has undergone an extensive period of restoration and has now been resplendently reborn as event spaces. The Queen is known to privately entertain here which should give you an idea of the exceptional standards.
Worthy of an official state visit or simply a treat for a loved one during the holiday season, a visit to The Ritz is an absolute must