Ritz personally managed much of the hotel's operation for many years. He hired world-famous chef Auguste Escoffier to provide cuisine to match the opulence of the hotel's decorations; he placed a special bell in the entryway by which the doorman could notify the staff of the impending arrival of royalty. The high standards to which he held his staff and the ultimate luxury which he provided his guests had been entirely foreign to Victorian Londoners, and the sensation he caused in the hotel industry precipitated a dramatic shift in that industry's focus.
The hotel was owned for some time by the Bracewell-Smith family who also had significant stakes in the nearby Park Lane Hotel. However the oil crisis in the early 1970s affected business and prompted the family to sell their stake to Trafalgar House in 1976 for £2.75m.
David and Frederick Barclay purchased the ailing hotel for £80 Million from Trafalgar House, in October 1995, through their company Ellerman Investments. They spent eight years and £40 Million restoring it to its former grandeur.
The current General Manager is Stephen Boxall
The hotel has Six private dining rooms, the Marie Antoinette Suite and the rooms within William Kent House.
In 2006 the William Kent House was opened as an extension of The Ritz. The William Kent House has been converted in a complete Function area with the Burlington Room, the Queen Elizabeth Room and the most ostentatious William Kent room. The William Kent House also accommodates three of The Ritz' top suites: The Arlington Suite, the Royal Suite as well as the Prince of Wales Suite.
On 27 January 2007 around 300 people were evacuated to the nearby Mayfair Hotel following a fire alarm in the hotel. No one was hurt in the blaze, which started in the basement Ritz Club casino kitchens extraction vents. The Ritz casino only suffered "minor damage". The blaze happened around 1420 GMT and fire-fighters were present in the building for two hours before allowing the guests and staff to return.
London without the Legwork; the Sumptuous Ritz Hotel Has Discovered the Perfect Way to Help Their Guests to See the Capital's Sights and Still Have Energy Left over for Serious Relaxation, Discovers Cate Wilson
Aug 12, 2000; Life of luxury: The world-famous Ritz hotel - enjoy the sumptuous surroundings. Inset, inside the guest dining room. Relaxing in...
RITZKRIEG; Anarchists Hijack TUC Cuts March; Ritz Hotel under Siege; 1,000 Demonstrators Occupy Fortnum & Mason; Ammonia Thrown at Police; Anarchists Occupy Fortnum & Mason
Mar 27, 2011; Byline: Ian Gallagher and George Arbuthnott EXTREMISTS brought violent chaos to Central London yesterday after hijacking the...