Contrary to popular belief, attending Fashion Week isn’t ‘quite’ the glam-slam event that our Insta posts would lead people to believe. Running from show to show in high heels through Paris’ cobbled streets isn’t for the faint-hearted. And truth be told, after the final curtain call of the day, we’re all in need of somewhere clandestine to escape to.
In Paris, one of the most beautiful bolt-holes is the Ritz Paris on Place Vendôme. Its understated façade belies its internal beauty, with elegance oozing from its 19th-century walls. Built in 1898 by hotelier César Ritz, it has since coaxed the likes of Coco Chanel, Winston Churchill, Marlene Dietrich and Maria Callas to bed down in its sublime suites. Following an incredible restoration that completed in 2016, the hotel – which has now been immortalised in a book published by Assouline this month, Eternally Ritz Paris – begs you to pull yourself away from the front row and surrender yourself to the art of experiential luxury.
Part of the beauty of the hotel, aside from its glorious history and intricate interior décor, is the feeling you get when enveloped by the charm of its Prestige Suites, because the next-level bespoke service one is afforded is truly second-to-none. Naturally the Coco Chanel Suite, with its graceful simplicity, always wins our hearts (who doesn’t want to spend a night surrounded by gilded mirrors and Gabrielle-inspired monochrome furnishings?) but the Suite Impériale – with its replica of Marie-Antoinette’s bedroom – or the Windsor Suite – with its elaborate ice cream-hued Louis XVI-style furniture – are also dreamy abodes far from the madding fashion crowd.
Beyond the on-tap social media opportunities, it’s the intimate personalised service that has become the hotel’s USP when reserving one of the Prestige Suites. All the lovely ‘norms’ of flexible check-in/check-out, breakfast and airport transfers apply, but it’s the pillow cases embroidered with your initials, and your very own ‘meet and greet’ butler who will escort you from the door of the airplane direct to your suite, that really elevates the hotel for discerning guests.
If Fashion Week has taught us anything it’s also that you need to refuel to avoid getting run down, and trust us, the best place to do this is at the Michelin-starred L’Espadon. An haute couture offering from the culinary world, the lobster with blueberry consommé followed by iced vanilla from Madagascar with French toast, should do the trick.
Our advice, tuck in, then tuck yourself in... You can thank us later. Suite dreams.
From the September 2018 issue of Harper's Bazaar Arabia
For a slice of true Parisian luxury, check into one of Ritz Paris’ Prestige Suites, from Dhs72,500 a night, for a city escape with unaparalleled service and personalised experience. Photography by Vincent LeRoux.