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4 OCTOBER 2021


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Article from BTNews 4 OCTOBER 2021

The Ritz pampered

A Piccadilly landmark, where the Queen celebrated her 80th birthday and Maggie Thatcher lived out her days, The Ritz is set to be given planning permission for the largest refurbishment in its 115-year history.

The London Evening Standard has been investigating.

The proposed overhaul – at an estimated price tag of £300m – is aimed at modernising a hotel that has fallen behind the standards now expected at the world’s elite destinations. Westminster planning officers have recommended approval of the plans, which will go before councillors at a committee meeting next Tuesday.

Documents show that the five-storey basement would include a huge two-level spa with 20-metre swimming pool, gym, steam, sauna and treatment rooms, a juice bar and a beauty salon.

The Ritz’s plans would also see the addition of 53 bedrooms, taking the total to 191. This would involve an extension of the main building at roof level to the Arlington Street wing and a new structure on land currently occupied by the Eagle Star House office block, which is being demolished.  

The proposals come after the hotel was sold by the Barclay family to Qatari tycoon Abdulhadi Mana Al-Hajri in March last year for an estimated £700m. The modernisation will bring the overall bill to about £1bn.

In its application, The Ritz, founded by César Ritz in 1906, argues that despite major internal renovations in the Seventies and Eighties, it has fallen behind modern standards for luxury hotels. Its ground-floor Palm Court is famed for its superb afternoon teas, so popular that they start in the morning and run every two hours until early evening!

A spokeswoman for The Ritz said: “This inspired project will ensure that the unique essence of the hotel is retained, sympathetically restored and further enhanced to reaffirm its status, for generations to come, as one of the world’s most iconic hotels.”


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