Luxury Hotels


To continue yesterday’s saga, luxury is the food you really really want at a particular time. A sudden bout of food poisoning the previous day meant that on arrival at RITZ PARIS Girlahead honestly felt like going straight to bed but the Ritz Bar and its best-selling smoked salmon club sandwich, above, fitted the evening bill. Obviously the Chasse-Spleen 2014 was the ideal tonic, as was the conversation. (Sorry, everyone, manners may maketh man and eating such fare in one’s fingers would undoubtedly not have passed the Emily Post etiquette book but you try eating this club with a knife and fork.)

Luxury is the level of a hotel’s retail.  Walk along Ritz Paris’ elegant Galerie, past vitrines of designer outfits on stylish mannequins, and coffee and tea boutiques. (Up there on the elegance stakes are much bigger stores at WYNN LAS VEGAS and The Peninsulas in Los Angeles and Beijing and Shanghai, but here you find the ultimate bijou promenade.)

And luxury is the quality of the spa.  Does it have plenty of perfect fresh fruit? This one does. It has spacious locker rooms and changing rooms, and robes are fluffy and long. You do not have to walk too far to the treatment rooms, and the resulting treatment, based on a quality assessment of one hour-long Biologique Récherché facial, was superb

Luxury is breakfast, plentiful supply of reading material, water without asking, quick hot beverage. Breads automatically brought, with good butter and a selection of preserves – in the case if Ritz Paris, labelled as if the hotel’s own. Soft music, no noise to annoy. On departure, smiling and alert people. At Gare de Nord, outsourced concierge Teddy miraculously appeared to help through French emigration, followed immediately by UK immigration (once again, an inner voice says Blast Boris, for Brexit if nothing else). But nothing could lessen the overall satisfaction of a stay that afforded an insight into a property that truly understands luxury.