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  • Ritz exterior 1906

    110

    YEARS OF SPLENDOUR AND ELEGANCE

    the ritz london

HISTORY

When The Ritz first opened its doors on 24th May 1906, it was considered one of the greatest hotels in the world. Conceived by the famous hotelier César Ritz with the aim of becoming the ultimate destination for guests looking to stay at the most luxurious hotel in the land, no expense was spared on its opulent interiors and lavish furnishings.

1906

THE RITZ OPENS

Quickly gaining a reputation as London’s most prestigious hotel, it attracted a host of both famous and fashionable guests.

During its early years, the hotel enjoyed the patronage of The Prince of Wales (the future King Edward  VII) who was a loyal client of César Ritz and is reputed to have said; “Where Ritz goes, I go”.

Other iconic figures include Pavlova, the Russian Prima Ballerina who danced at The Ritz in 1912, the Aga Khan and Paul Getty had suites, and Winston Churchill, Dwight Eisenhower and Charles de Gaulle met in the Marie Antoinette Suite to discuss operations during the Second World War.

Lady Diana Cooper, who lived in Arlington Street, recalled that The Ritz was the first hotel, which allowed young unmarried women to go unchaperoned.

The history of The Ritz
1922

FAMOUS GUESTS

The Ritz also became the hotel of choice for Hollywood stars. Charlie Chaplin required 40 officers to escort him through his fans into the hotel in 1921.

English playwright Nöel Coward wrote songs at The Ritz including ‘Children of The Ritz’ and Tallulah Bankhead sipped Champagne from her slipper during a press conference in the 1950s.

Jackie Onassis described The Ritz “it’s like paradise”.

Prime Ministers Sir Edward Heath and Harold Macmillan dined at The Ritz.

In addition, The Palm Court was as popular for Afternoon Tea as it is today.

1995

FILMING

In 1995, The Ritz was returned to private British ownership when Sir David Barclay and Sir Frederick Barclay’s private company, Ellerman Investments, bought it.

In 1999, Richard Curtis’ romantic comedy ‘Notting Hill’, starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant, featured several scenes shot at The Ritz.  These included the amusing scene in which Roberts’ character, film-star Anna Scott, is holding a press conference in the hotel’s Trafalgar Suite, and bookshop owner William Thacker, played by Grant, passes himself off as a reporter from Horse and Hound magazine. Head Hall Porter at The Ritz, Michael deCozar, is featured in the concierge desk scene and recalls the filming taking place over night between midnight and 6.00am, and being interrupted on one occasion by a telephone call which came through to the concierge desk from a guest relative in Australia!

Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother regularly dined at The Ritz and her favourite song to be played on the piano was ‘A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square’

In 1999, The Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker-Bowles attended the 50th birthday of Annabel Elliot at The Ritz, and was the first time they were pictured together in public leaving the hotel.

The Trafalgar Suite
2002
The Ritz London Banqueting

Royal Warrant

In January 2002, The Ritz received a Royal Warrant for Banqueting and Catering Services. Awarded by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, The Ritz London is the first, and only hotel to have been honoured with this prestigious award.

On 14 November 2002, HM Queen Elizabeth II hosted a party on The Prince of Wales’s 54th birthday in The Ritz Restaurant as a ‘thank you’ to her close family and friends for the success of her Jubilee year.

Sir Roger Moore stayed at The Ritz when he was knighted in 2003 – he arrived a mister and left a Sir.

2005
William Kent House

NEW DEVELOPMENTS

In 2005, The Ritz bought William Kent House, a spectacular historic mansion designed in the 1740’s that adjoins the hotel.

In November the following year, it was opened to Ritz guests, following an extensive refurbishment project which saw the exquisite collection of lavishly decorated private dining rooms and suites restored to their original Renaissance style decor. Today, this stunning 18th century house, designed by famous architect William Kent, is an integral part of The Ritz, providing guests with a range of magnificent rooms to enjoy.

HM Queen Elizabeth II held her 80th birthday celebrations in 2006 at The Ritz, which took place throughout the ground floor of the hotel, and The Ritz Club. This was the first official event in William Kent House, since it was fully refurbished and opened as part of The Ritz.

In August 2015, key scenes for the final episode of the acclaimed television drama’ Downton Abbey’ were filmed in The Ritz Restaurant with Lady Edith and Lady Rosamund, broadcast on Christmas Day 2015. Filming took place overnight and was the final ever scene filmed with the cast and crew, who all dressed in 1920’s costumes to mark the occasion (and Lady Mary was a camera operator for the night!).

2016

MICHELIN STAR

In October 2016, The Ritz Restaurant was awarded a Michelin star in the Michelin Guide Great Britain and Ireland 2017. Commenting on the announcement, John Williams MBE, Executive Chef said; “It is the greatest honour to have been awarded a Michelin star today. This star is testament to the entire team’s dedication to delivering excellence to every guest dining in The Ritz Restaurant daily. I am extremely proud to receive this recognition for the first time as part of the culinary history of this great hotel”.

Now, more than 110 years after first opening our doors, The Ritz continues to offer our guests the same exceptionally high standards and exquisitely luxurious experience that was the keystone in the creation of our world-class hotel.

  • Ritz exterior 1906

    110

    YEARS OF SPLENDOUR AND ELEGANCE

    the ritz london

HISTORY

When The Ritz first opened its doors on 24th May 1906, it was considered one of the greatest hotels in the world. Conceived by the famous hotelier César Ritz with the aim of becoming the ultimate destination for guests looking to stay at the most luxurious hotel in the land, no expense was spared on its opulent interiors and lavish furnishings.

1906

THE RITZ OPENS

The history of The Ritz

Quickly gaining a reputation as London’s most prestigious hotel, it attracted a host of both famous and fashionable guests.

During its early years, the hotel enjoyed the patronage of The Prince of Wales (the future King Edward  VII) who was a loyal client of César Ritz and is reputed to have said; “Where Ritz goes, I go”.

Other iconic figures include Pavlova, the Russian Prima Ballerina who danced at The Ritz in 1912, the Aga Khan and Paul Getty had suites, and Winston Churchill, Dwight Eisenhower and Charles de Gaulle met in the Marie Antoinette Suite to discuss operations during the Second World War.

Lady Diana Cooper, who lived in Arlington Street, recalled that The Ritz was the first hotel, which allowed young unmarried women to go unchaperoned.

1922

FAMOUS GUESTS

The Ritz also became the hotel of choice for Hollywood stars. Charlie Chaplin required 40 officers to escort him through his fans into the hotel in 1921.

English playwright Nöel Coward wrote songs at The Ritz including ‘Children of The Ritz’ and Tallulah Bankhead sipped Champagne from her slipper during a press conference in the 1950s.

Jackie Onassis described The Ritz “it’s like paradise”.

Prime Ministers Sir Edward Heath and Harold Macmillan dined at The Ritz.

In addition, The Palm Court was as popular for Afternoon Tea as it is today.

1995

FILMING

The Trafalgar Suite

In 1995, The Ritz was returned to private British ownership when Sir David Barclay and Sir Frederick Barclay’s private company, Ellerman Investments, bought it.

In 1999, Richard Curtis’ romantic comedy ‘Notting Hill’, starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant, featured several scenes shot at The Ritz.  These included the amusing scene in which Roberts’ character, film-star Anna Scott, is holding a press conference in the hotel’s Trafalgar Suite, and bookshop owner William Thacker, played by Grant, passes himself off as a reporter from Horse and Hound magazine. Head Hall Porter at The Ritz, Michael deCozar, is featured in the concierge desk scene and recalls the filming taking place over night between midnight and 6.00am, and being interrupted on one occasion by a telephone call which came through to the concierge desk from a guest relative in Australia!

Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother regularly dined at The Ritz and her favourite song to be played on the piano was ‘A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square’

In 1999, The Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker-Bowles attended the 50th birthday of Annabel Elliot at The Ritz, and was the first time they were pictured together in public leaving the hotel.

2002

Royal Warrant

The Ritz London Banqueting

In January 2002, The Ritz received a Royal Warrant for Banqueting and Catering Services. Awarded by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, The Ritz London is the first, and only hotel to have been honoured with this prestigious award.

On 14 November 2002, HM Queen Elizabeth II hosted a party on The Prince of Wales’s 54th birthday in The Ritz Restaurant as a ‘thank you’ to her close family and friends for the success of her Jubilee year.

Sir Roger Moore stayed at The Ritz when he was knighted in 2003 – he arrived a mister and left a Sir.

2005

NEW DEVELOPMENTS

William Kent House

In 2005, The Ritz bought William Kent House, a spectacular historic mansion designed in the 1740’s that adjoins the hotel.

In November the following year, it was opened to Ritz guests, following an extensive refurbishment project which saw the exquisite collection of lavishly decorated private dining rooms and suites restored to their original Renaissance style decor. Today, this stunning 18th century house, designed by famous architect William Kent, is an integral part of The Ritz, providing guests with a range of magnificent rooms to enjoy.

HM Queen Elizabeth II held her 80th birthday celebrations in 2006 at The Ritz, which took place throughout the ground floor of the hotel, and The Ritz Club. This was the first official event in William Kent House, since it was fully refurbished and opened as part of The Ritz.

In August 2015, key scenes for the final episode of the acclaimed television drama’ Downton Abbey’ were filmed in The Ritz Restaurant with Lady Edith and Lady Rosamund, broadcast on Christmas Day 2015. Filming took place overnight and was the final ever scene filmed with the cast and crew, who all dressed in 1920’s costumes to mark the occasion (and Lady Mary was a camera operator for the night!).

2016

MICHELIN STAR

In October 2016, The Ritz Restaurant was awarded a Michelin star in the Michelin Guide Great Britain and Ireland 2017. Commenting on the announcement, John Williams MBE, Executive Chef said; “It is the greatest honour to have been awarded a Michelin star today. This star is testament to the entire team’s dedication to delivering excellence to every guest dining in The Ritz Restaurant daily. I am extremely proud to receive this recognition for the first time as part of the culinary history of this great hotel”.

Now, more than 110 years after first opening our doors, The Ritz continues to offer our guests the same exceptionally high standards and exquisitely luxurious experience that was the keystone in the creation of our world-class hotel.

New Year's Eve Celebrations

Six-course gala dinner, half a bottle of Krug Champagne, live music, marching band, dancing and fireworks

FIND OUT MORE

New Year's Eve Celebrations

Six-course gala dinner, half a bottle of Krug Champagne, live music, marching band, dancing and fireworks

FIND OUT MORE

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