PaperCity Magazine

September 2016 - Houston

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Page 72 of 197

Dear Ritz PARIS You haven't changed a bit — but, my, how you've changed. It's been years since we've seen you — almost four — and so much has happened in the world (to say the least). Are you still a refuge from it all? Hopes are high. We see your enhancements, your updates, your sparkling new rooms. Your red-carpeted entryway: It's wider! Your lobby: It's brighter! Light floods into it from new windows — and from one that was there all along, an oval, long covered over, with its postcard view of Place Vendôme. (If that obelisk could talk.) Your famous Gallery still runs right through — Place Vendôme to rue Cambon — but now shines with new shops, 95 (!) tempting window displays, and, soon, a store devoted just to travel gifts. We see your sumptuous Prestige Suites, with names that foretell the style or who stayed: Impériale, Windsor, Chopin, Chaplin, Callas. Clever, the one that includes a replica of a certain queen's boudoir at Versailles. (She'd lose her head if she could see it!) The Suite Opéra? Its bow window overlooks the gilded façade of the Opéra Garnier. The Fitzgerald? It's studded with travel mementoes and books galore. Even your lowliest — to use the term in jest — accommodations are posh, almost 400 square feet each of, well, ritz, with light glinting off a crystal chandelier, a plump bed sized for a king, and a marble bath for soaking it all up — or away. Oh, for a lap in your aqua-blue pool, a whirl through your fitness center, a treatment at the new Chanel au Ritz — the fashion house's first spa. We see your restaurants, your bars — familiar yet fresh. L'Espadon, where chef Nicolas Sale tantalizes with everything from humble breakfast to haute cuisine. Bar Hemingway, mercifully intact, where Cole Porter would curl up — Is it true he wrote "Begin the Beguine" here? — and where Gary Cooper and Mr. Hemingway would sit and gab for hours, maybe days. Colin Field, its head barman, will concoct anything you wish, even a Bloody Mary made with fresh tomatoes of your choosing. And what of your new technologies! Your showers run stronger, your air is ever-so-better conditioned, and you now have this terribly modern thing called Wi-Fi. (All the better to stream Belle de Jour — or Funny Face.) New is your secret tun- nel under Place Vendôme, which connects to a parking garage, just the thing for paparazzi-proof entrances and exits. Every- where there are new finishes, new systems, new carpets, a new subterranean ballroom, a new garden lined with linden trees ... And yet ... LETTER TO THE RITZ BY ROB BRINKLEY PHOTOGRAPHED AT THE RITZ PARIS, AUGUST 2016 Photography Mindy Byrd for The Photo Division. Art director Michelle Aviña. Models Estelle for Elite New York; Drea Grady for Wallflower Management, Dallas/Established Models, London; Esmeralda for Campbell Agency/IMG, London. Stylist Doug Voisin for Independent Artists Agency. Hair Asami Maeda. Hair assistant Yui Hirohata. Makeup Ai Cho. Makeup assistants Yuka Sudo, Kana Nagashima. Fashion credits editor Hannah Swiggard. , 69

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