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AU REVOIR LE RITZ: It was a full house at the Ritz Paris. By early evening Tuesday all but one of the hotel’s 159 rooms were booked for its final night before closing for extensive, two-year renovations. The reserved rooms include the Coco Chanel suite, which went for 9,950 euros, or $12,212 at current exchange.
“We have guests coming specifically to spend a last night at the Ritz,” said a hotel spokesman. “July has been a great month; reservations were up compared to last year.”
The Ritz is not yet taking reservations for its targeted reopening in summer 2014. While Paris’ Royal Monceau Raffles hotel in 2008 hosted a legendary “demolition party” before closing for its major revamp, there is no such plan at the Ritz tonight.
“The Ritz is classified as a historic monument; it cannot be demolished,” explained the spokesman.
Instead, around 50 guests enjoyed a special last dinner at the hotel’s fine-dining restaurant, L’Espadon. The menu, concocted by executive chef Michel Roth, included ritzy duck foie gras; blue lobster with raspberry vinaigrette and caviar; steamed sea bass with shellfish; truffle vol-au-vent; chocolate soufflé, and “peach Melba Ritz 2012.”
A Champagne reception for employees is planned for today in the Ritz’s garden.