04 09 2014 480

César Ritz (1)

The life and Times of Cesar Ritz - Part 1

CÉSAR RITZ - the first years

César Ritz* was the son of farmers, born in the Swiss village of Niederwald on 23 February 1850, a tiny village in the Swiss Alps. He spent his childhood  tending goats. At the age of 13 he was brought to a family in the regional capital Sitten for a certain degree of education. At the Hotel Couronnes et Poste he started an apprenticeship program as waiter. His patron later advised Ritz: "You will never become a hotelier; it needs a special talent and flair, both you don't have!'

In 1867 he came to Paris, where he found employment as a waiter at the hotel 'de la Fidélité'. He became waiter, later headwaiter.His next job took him to the Hotel Voisin, where he met Auguste Escoffier, the talented chef.

In 1873, Ritz went to Vienna to work at the French restaurant 'Les Trois Frères Provençaux', which was a temporary institution at the World Exhibition. There, it is said, Ritz for the first time met the Prince of Wales, who would later become his loyal follower.

He then worked in resorts throughout Europe and managed luxurious hotels like the Grand National in Lucerne and the Grand in Monte Carlo. He opened his own properties, including the Hotel Minerva in Baden-Baden and the Hotel de Provence in Cannes.

*The correct writing of Cesar Ritz is César, with an accent aigu (´) but accents are often not displayed correctly. Should you find the word César without an accent in this article, or should the accent not be displayed, please note: on the e of Cesar should always be an accent aigu ´. Thank you


See also: César Ritz -Savoy Years 1889-1900

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