If money is no object, and we mean it – as a single night could set you back €28000, the Coco Chanel Suite in the Paris Ritz is the epitome of elegant refinement and luxury. But if you really want to channel your inner Chanel – this is the place to do it.
Coco at the Ritz
Coco Chanel once declared: “The Ritz is my home.” Although she had a luxurious apartment above her shop across the street, still there at 31 rue Cambon, she moved to the Ritz in 1937 making suite No. 302 her own. It remained her home until her death in 1971.
In her honour the room was renamed The Coco Chanel Suite and made available for booking, to the delight of Chanel fans worldwide.
In 2012, the hotel closed for an extensive four-year renovation. While 80 percent of the hotel’s original items were refurbished, some pieces were put in storage or auctioned. Although none of Chanel’s personal items were included, some furnishings from her suite were, and they set record prices.
The revamped Coco Chanel Suite
The Channel suite has been moved down a floor (suite 202) to provide a better view of Place Vendôme and its famous column. It’s a stunning scene, one that inspired the octagonal cap on Chanel’s first perfume, Chanel No. 5.
Karl Lagerfeld, the enigmatic designer and creative director of Chanel, collaborated with the Ritz’s design team to recreate Chanel’s world, from fabrics to furniture and the whole look of the space.
Step inside Chanel’s world
Enter through the softly swishing door of the Suite and you step into a room that is unmistakably Chanel. The colour palette is black, white and shades of beige. At 188m₂ (2024ft₂) the two-bedroom, two-bathroom suite is larger than many homes. While luxurious, the living room is comfortable and is an idyllic spot to lounge with a glass of wine or sip a cup of coffee, soaking up the ambience. In front of the ornate fireplace is a comfy suede sofa trimmed with brass nail heads, a design based on Chanel’s sofa from her rue Cambon apartment. It’s a spacious room with several seating and designated work areas. The large windows provide plenty of light.
An immense sparkling chandelier showcases the decorative soaring ceiling. Several small bookcases contain books on Chanel as well as objets d’ art. There are sketches by Karl Lagerfeld in the entrance and throughout the suite are never-seen-before archive photos of Chanel during her time at the Ritz. It is in effect, a mini Chanel museum.
The living room separates two spacious bedrooms, the ultra-posh bedding begs you to lie down for a quick afternoon nap. Here you’ll find Goossens gilt-framed mirrors, more photos of Chanel, and the holy grail, lacquered Coromandel screens gleaming with a rich patina. Chanel started collecting antique Coromandel screens during her days with her English polo playing lover, Boy Capel. She owned dozens.
The table lamps and sconces in the bedrooms and throughout the suite were inspired by Alberto Giacometti and Jean-Michel Frank, contemporaries of Chanel.
While the designs are vintage, they are modern in every sense. These two, like Chanel, were ahead of the times.
Both bathrooms scream Chanel: sink faucet handles are engraved with her name, deep tubs are perfect for relaxing, there is plenty of natural light. The vanity table stands ready to hold your collection of Chanel products. These are functional bathrooms, they aren’t fussy. The fluffy towels are a soft peach, a signature of the Ritz Paris.
It’s not cheap to stay in this fabulous suite but there are some truly special add-ons.
The rates range from €18000-€28000 for a single night. This does however include some great perks: a greeter at the door of your plane and express fast-track immigration procedures. Round trip limousine airport transfers and flexible check-in and check-out times are available. You’ll also have unlimited access to the Ritz Club (pool and fitness room with state-of-the-art-equipment).
Chanel once said: “Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury.”
Chanel was right.
Ritz Paris, 15 Place Vendôme; www.ritzparis.com
By Barb Harmon who visited (but didn’t stay the night)… Barb is a freelance travel writer and hopeless Francophile. She and her husband are looking forward to living the good life in France (fingers crossed). She blogs at www.chasingthenextchapter.com