Ritz hotel - Paris, France
Costing €400m, the four-year top-to-toe refurbishment of the Ritz required the hotel to close for the first time since it opened in 1898, during which architect Thierry Despont overhauled not just the plumbing, heating and electrics, but he reduced the number of rooms down to 142 and also inserted a suite of extraordinary new public spaces.
In addition to a new restaurant, there is the Ritz Bar on the rue Cambon side of the hotel, and the Chanel au Ritz Paris, which is the fashion house’s first spa (a perfect accessory to the new Coco Chanel suite).
Meanwhile the freshly minted Salon Marcel Proust is just the spot for some afternoon tea après a soul-satisfying retail spin through Place Vendôme. And if prying paparazzi are an issue, Despont has thoughtfully carved out an underground tunnel between the carpark and the hotel.