The Ritz London, England Luxury Hotel Building, English Accommodation Property

The Ritz London, England Hotel

5 Mar 2020

The Ritz London, England, UK
photo © Adrian Welch

The Ritz London, England

The Ritz London – an iconic hotel located in the bustling borough of Mayfair in the heart of London. In 1900, two renowned architects, Frenchman Charles-Frédéric Mewè and Englishman Arthur Davis, joined forces and construction on the hotel began in 1905. The Hotel was the brainchild of the world famous Swiss hotelier César Ritz. He was often referred to as the “King of Hoteliers, and Hotelier to Kings,” a title that is best illustrated by The Ritz London.

César Ritz’s goal was to create the most luxurious hotel in the country and when it opened it’s doors in May 1906, many believed it to be the best hotel in the world. It stands tall and proud and, without doubt, is still, to this day, the most iconic hotel in the London skyscape.

At the time of it’s grand opening, “The Builder’s Journal” and “Architectural Engineer” described the structure as “the finest example in England of the use of American techniques”. Charles-Frédéric Mewè and Arthur Davis worked tirelessly in order to make this the first steel framed building in London.

Atrium view looking up to the elegant circular skylight:
The Ritz London, England luxury hotel building
photograph : Edwardx, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It truly was a multi-cultural effort, with the building itself being designed by the Swedish engineer Sven Bylander, who first learnt about steel when working in a shipyard in his home country. The methods he eventually brought to Britain were groundbreaking, and led to the passing of the LCC (General Powers) Act, also called the Steel Frame Act, in 1909.

The steel frame was inspired by The Flatiron Building in New York City and allowed for larger windows. Its steel frame meant that the majority of the columns were decorative rather than for structural purpose, which catered for clearer and more open spaces throughout the building. The overall detail in and around the hotel is truly impressive, with even the large copper lions that stand on the roof having been made with extreme care and consideration.

The interior follows suit, and no stone has been left unturned when it comes to its design. It was inspired by French château style architecture and features ornate rooms that come with Louis XVI style décor and antique furnishings. It truly is the definition of luxury, with chandeliers hanging in every room. No expense was spared on its palatial interiors and lush interiors. The Ritz Club, which is easily the most luxurious and exclusive casino in the city, is no exception and is home to neo-classical décor as well as holding all the trappings of the finer things in life.

The hotel is the ultimate destination for guests looking to spend a night in luxury, and has been the hotel of choice for Hollywood stars and royalty since it opened in 1906. Charlie Chaplin, the well known comic actor and filmaker, famously required over forty policemen to escort him through a crowd of overexcited fans into the hotel in 1921.

It has also proved to be a popular filming location. The much-loved 1999 romantic comedy Notting Hill featured a number of scenes at The Ritz. The Richard Curtis directed movie, starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant, even features the hotel’s actual Head Hall Porter in the film. On top of this, the Ritz Restaurant featured in the final episode of the British historical drama television series Downtown Abbey in 2015.

In 2005, The Ritz purchased the adjoining William Kent House, a historic mansion designed in the 1740’s, and it is now open to guests of the hotel. It has grown to be an integral part of the overall hotel experience and it’s wonderful suites have been fully restored to their original Renaissance style décor.

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