No matter how elegant and enduring, every grande dame eventually needs a face-lift. This year, three of Europe’s most venerable hotels—one a London landmark, the other two Parisian palaces—plan to reclaim their places among the world’s preeminent properties when they reopen after significant and, by all indications, successful surgeries. The renovations will add modern-day technologies and amenities while restoring the hotels to their original grandeur, ensuring that these timeless beauties remain so for years to come.
When the Swiss hotelier César Ritz opened the Ritz Paris in 1898, electric lights and telephones were considered cutting-edge. Nearly 120 years later, the famed hotel at 15 place Vendôme will reopen following an overhaul of its once-state-of-the-art systems and aesthetic renovations that include restoring artworks and antique furnishings. The three-year project, which is due for completion in the fall, will bring fewer rooms and more suites (tallying 72 and 71, respectively), a new restaurant, and expansions of the spa and Ritz Escoffier cooking school.
Fit for a King
Located at the foot of the Champs-Élysées, the Hôtel de Crillon shut its gilded doors in 2013 to embark on a two-year makeover. Late this year, the hotel’s 106th, the Crillon will reopen under the management of Rosewood Hotels & Resorts. A meticulous restoration will reinvigorate the neoclassical palace—commissioned in 1758 by King Louis XV—and add modern touches throughout. The finished hotel will feature larger guest rooms, suites designed by Karl Lagerfeld, a subterranean pool, a spa, and a wine cellar with a tasting room.
Hôtel de Crillon, +184.108.40.206.15.00, crillon.com
Opened in 1991, London’s Lanesborough is youthful by grande-dame standards. Still, the stately property—located within a 19th-century hospital across from Hyde Park—was deemed due for an upgrade, and so it closed in 2013 to undergo a renovation led by the interior designer Alberto Pinto. Pinto passed away before the project’s completion, but his vision of a contemporary update of the opulent landmark should come to fruition when the property reopens as an Oetker Collection hotel this spring. Improvements will include new custom furnishings and artworks, as well as keyless technology in the 93 guest rooms and suites.