THE HOTEL ON PLACE VENDOME by Tilar J. Mazzeo is a fabulous historical biography of the famous Ritz hotel in Paris. From the date of the opening in 1898 to the end of World War Two, the story of this amazing hotel and its visitors and residents will amaze and entertain you to no end.
You may remember Mazzeo’s THE WIDOW CLIQUOT. A wonderful true rendering of a woman made famous through my favorite champagne. Isn’t it the ONLY champagne!
The book begins with several pages filled with interesting information about the cast of “characters” in THE HOTEL ON PLACE VENDOME. It may astound you to see so many of the world’s rich and famous named here. The place housed the “lost” generation of Papa Hemingway and his cronies. The artists and authors we all know. Then along came the forties and the war. The owner of the Ritz decided to keep the famous hotel open. While other hoteliers were fleeing Paris,she remained. As did her staff. They graciously opened their doors to the likes of Herman Goring, who we discover was not just a nazi, but a morphine addict as well. You’ll see Coco Chanel and her famous lover. You may ask yourself if the Parisians actually fell in with the Germans, or, pretended to. Good question. Lots of subterfuge going on within the walls of this amazing hotel. Secrets abounded in every salon and bar. Bartenders were bearers of hidden information. People were hidden as well. Lives were threatened.
I loved hearing about Hemingway and his antics. Yes, he was right there at the end of the war when they opened up the wine cellar of the great hotel. And what a night that was.
This famous hotel on Place Vendome has seen the likes of stuff we can not even imagine in our wildest dreams. I know where I will be sitting at the bar having a cocktail the next time I am visiting P