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Ritz Paris - Another side of the Hotel
Ritz Paris, 15 place Vendome,
Paris 75001, France
That's what you see when you
enter the 'suite'
Windows in €810 room - this is
exactly what you see when you
are 5'8 tall
Ritz Paris hotel is often considered as one of the best hotels in Paris. That's what you can find in Frommer's traveler guide about this hotel: "The Ritz is Europe's greatest hotel, an enduring symbol of elegance on one of Paris's most beautiful and historic squares." A bit below, the guide continues saying that "each guest room is uniquely decorated, most with Louis XIV or XV reproductions; all have fine rugs, marble fireplaces, tapestries, brass beds, and more." Well, our recent experience showed that this is not entirely true.
I cannot say that what we found in reality was completely different from the description. There was a marble bathroom with a separate toilet (and in line with the description no separate shower and bidet). There were actually two TVs - I guess someone may even say that the reality exceeded expectations since there were two rooms (bedroom and sitting room) and what we got could be even called a suite with a TV in each of its two rooms. Unfortunately, good news stopped here. Oh, I forgot - there was also a "view over Vendome."
I am thinking, my point is very simple - there is a well known concept of what you get for your money. And I can tell you, that in Paris you can get much more for €810 than what you can see on pictures of our "suite." Obviously, the most important part of any hotel deal - the room you get - was not as described in the hotel confirmation. Just look at pictures. Where is the furniture? There were no even draperies - what Louis XVI we are talking about? And with these windows all we could see is the roof of the building across the square.
Rooms were dark; there was no even a more or less convenient place to sit and take notes. We were interested in actual size of both rooms - by our rough measurements they were about 270 sqft (120 sqft bedroom and 150 sdft sitting area). Keep in mind, that these numbers relate to the floor footage which is tricky because of the shape of the ceiling (where you cannot approach the wall facing the square). By our estimate, the usable footage in both rooms (measured by using the actual ceiling projection onto the floor) is not more than 85(!) sqft in the bedroom and not more than 100 sqft in the sitting area. Although we asked for a non-smoking room, we could easily detect some remaining smell of smoke. Ash-trays and matches were all over the place. Between us, we quickly dubbed this "suite" as a "mouse trap."
With a small hall (about 35 sqft) and bathroom (which was rather big) perhaps the total floor footage can approach promised 410 sqft. But for obvious reasons (just look at pictures), the overall experience was dismal. The issue is very simple - this room is not priced correctly, and for amount of money paid, anybody in 2007 could find a much better deal in Paris.
Now, a few words about other things we found in the hotel. The service was good: friendly and prompt. The hotel itself though does not have a fresh look - it's mostly very dark, interiors clearly show the signs of aging. At times, especially in the evening, the atmosphere in the hotel was reminiscent of some cheap places. For example, one of the bars was almost completely dark - only few small candles were lightening the premises. Another bar was cramped with tables; the cigarette smoke was drifting out of the bar's door.
I am sure this hotel has excellent rooms, and I can easily see that someone may have better experience than ours. Just be careful and be ready for what may happen to you in Ritz. Finally, If I can give one practical recommendation about this hotel - do not go there with kids.