PARIS — Will the towels be quilted? The treatment tables upholstered in the same supple lamb leather as its iconic chain-handled bags?
Such questions spring to mind as Chanel said that it plans to open its first spa at the Ritz Paris, confirming a report in WWD on April 29. In a brief statement, the French fashion house said “Chanel au Ritz Paris,” dedicated to the brand’s skin care, will open at year-end in the Ritz Club.
The high-profile project is likely to further fan anticipation for the reopening of the mythic, five-star hotel, shuttered since July 2012 for an extensive renovation slated for completion late this year.
It also represents a high-profile calling card for Chanel’s extensive skin-care range, whose profile has nevertheless trailed the brand’s fragrance and makeup categories.
It is understood the Ritz spa is to be a one-off for the Rue Cambon fashion house, which has historic ties to the Place Vendôme hotel, whose famous residents included the late couturier for 34 years.
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The Ritz has long been famous for its Coco Chanel suite, and the shape of the Chanel No. 5 bottle is said to echo the configurations of buildings on the Place Vendôme, with the Ritz in a prime corner location. The hotel suite is also getting a facelift.
“The story linking Chanel and the Ritz Paris would not be complete without the opening of a new Coco Chanel suite inspired by the one she originally occupied and by the decor she loved so much,” stated Chanel.
The Ritz Paris basement pool has been the site of many fashion shows, particularly for Versace, and the hotel has housed famous models, editors, society figures and celebrities throughout the decades.
Billed as the biggest refurbishment in the history of the 117-year-old establishment, the project involves revamping rooms, suites, restaurants, bars, the spa and leisure areas, in addition to the Ritz Escoffier cooking school and the hotel’s gardens.
The Crillon hotel on Place de la Concorde, another fashion haunt, is also in the midst of a wide-ranging overhaul.
Competition in the Paris luxury hotel sector has heated up with the arrival of three Asian-operated newcomers in recent years, including the Peninsula, the Shangri-La and the Mandarin Oriental Paris.