There are many hotels in the world named 'Ritz' something, but there is only one 'The Ritz'. Situated on Place Vendôme, Paris, it defined and set the standard for luxury hotels for decades. Today there are more expensive and luxurious hotels around the world, but few can compete with its remarkable history. 

Founded in late 19th century by Swiss César Ritz, who at the time was a celebrity in Europe. He had managed every single luxury hotel on the European continent, and was the man behind the success of hotels such as The Savoy. For years he waited for a suiting property to become available, so that he could build the jewel of the world's hotel market. When in 1896 finally a private mansion in the middle of the most prestigious area in Paris was up for sale, he knew that that was where his hotel would be. Today, it is still luxurious quartier, with exclusive fashion boutiques side by side with international banks. César Ritz was backed up financially by several royal houses in Europe, and the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) said "Wherever Ritz goes, I will follow." 

The house was refurbished and remodeled into a hotel of opulence and class, and was the first hotel ever to have electric lighting all over, bathrooms and telephones in every room. No effort was spared on even the smallest details, and this made it the first of the true luxury hotels of the world. Also, with the restaurant L'Espadon, Ritz popularized eating in public, which was not common at the time. Today, L'Espadon is rated as a highest class restaurant, with over 120,000 bottles of wine in its cellars, some unique vintages.

The hotel has been the home of hundreds of royals and celebrities, with Coco Chanel living there for over 30 years. Ernest Hemingway used to say "When I dream of afterlife in heaven, the action always takes place at the Paris Ritz.", and he even got one of the bars named after himself; the Hemingway Bar. This is also where Lady Di spent her last night in life. Today it is still often used by visiting monarchs and music and film stars. The hotel is owned by Mohammed Al Fayed since 1979

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