I’ve been breathlessly waiting for the reopening of The Ritz Paris ever since it closed for renovations four years ago. It was supposed to open in March but a major fire in January delayed the opening till June. What I was most concerned about was whether or not the grandest hotel in Paris would retain its old world luxuriousness or would it cave into modern times with technology taking over, making it into a soulless haven for uber rich tourists.
I had a bit of trepidation about going to the hotel without a reservation at the bar or restaurants or to pick up a client because a number of years ago I spontaneously walked in and was thwarted by a security guard who snootily told me I couldn’t enter unless I was staying in the hotel or had a reservation.
This time I dressed smartly and wore a jacket and dress pants instead of jeans and polo shirt and instead of being dismissed, I was warmly greeted by a lovely young lady who offered a tour of the newly renovated hotel. Sauntering through the venerable corridors once occupied by Coco Chanel, Ernest Hemingway, Proust and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, I was dazzled by the stunningly decorated but familiar looking rooms and breathed a sigh of relief along with a big smile, knowing my grand dame had been treated with love, respect, and TLC. It was as though she had the best kind of facelift- the kind where the person looks almost the same but slightly different and you can’t tell why they look different.
New York based architect and interior designer Thierry W. Despont was in charge of the difficult task of renovating the hotel from top to bottom without changing its essence and the cost is estimated to be as high as 450,000,000€.
The Ritz now features 142 rooms and a series of newly themed suites including the Mozart, Maria Callas, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Duke and Duchess of Windsor, and Proust.
The Hemingway Bar is virtually untouched (another big sigh or relief) and legendary mix master Colin Field has invented daring new cocktails to celebrate the reopening including a Bloody Mary where the client chooses their own seasonal tomatoes that go into their drink.
One of the most beautiful features of the renovation is the spectacular inner garden inspired by the formal gardens of Versailles and designed by landscape artist Jean Mur, who planted 24 linden trees and white roses.
Checkout the sexy short film about the hotel, Behind the Door by American director Zoe Cassavetes, starring Ana Girardot and Andrés Velencoso as lovers.
For more details about the new Ritz Paris, click here to read my article published by www.travelagentcentral.com
Eye Prefer Paris Postcards
I am thrilled to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Postcards, a 3, 6 or 12-month subscription service where the subscriber receives three physical postcards of my iconic Paris photos every month. Each month will have a specific theme, from architectural street scenes to romantic outdoor cafes to beautiful gardens to unique shots of iconic monuments. Each mailing will include two postcards in color and one in black & white or sepia, beautifully packaged in a special French Blue postcard holder with a custom designed seal.
Each 6” X 4.25” traditional size postcard is printed on thick matte coated card stock, similar to traditional vintage postcard stock that enhances the vibrancy of every image.
Only $30 for a 3-month subscription plus shipping or
Only $60 for a 6 month subscription (plus shipping)or
$110 for a 12-month subscription (plus shipping)
Click here to order a 3-month subscription from my Etsy store
Come experience Eye Prefer Paris live with Eye Prefer Paris Tours, which are 3-hour walking tours I personally lead. Eye Prefer Paris Tours include many of the places I have written about such as small museums & galleries, restaurants, cafes, food markets, secret addresses, fashion & home boutiques, parks and gardens and much more. In addition to my specialty Marais Tour, I also lead tours of Montmartre, St. Germain, Latin Quarter, in addition to Shopping Tours, Gay Tours, Girlfriend Tours, Food Tours, Flea Market Tours, Paris Highlights Tours, and Chocolate & Pastry tours.
Tours start at 225 euros for up to 3 people, and 75 euros for each additional person. I look forward to meeting you on my tours and it will be my pleasure and delight to show you my insiders Paris.
Check it out at www.eyepreferparistours.com
Click here to watch a video of our famous Marais tour
New! Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes
I am happy to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes. Come take an ethnic culinary journey with me and chef and caterer Charlotte Puckette, co-author of the bestseller The Ethnic Paris Cookbook (with Olivia Kiang-Snaije). First we will shop at a Paris green-market for the freshest ingredients and then return to Charlotte's professional kitchen near the Eiffel Tower to cook a three-course lunch. After, we will indulge in the delicious feast we prepared along with hand-selected wines.
Cost: 195 euros per person (about $210)
Time: 9:30AM- 2PM (approximately 4 1/2 hours)
Location: We will meet by a metro station close to the market
Class days: Tuesday,Wednesday, Thursday,Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
Minimum of 2 students, maximum 6 students.
Click here to sign up for the next class or for more info.