In a hundred years’ time, who will want to buy a luxury hotel that has been opened today?
This is what I was thinking on Saturday morning, while I was sipping a cup of coffee and reading the Corriere della Sera about the sale of 3,500 lots, including furniture and decorative items, from the Paris Ritz.
Opened in 1898, this hotel has been a point of reference not only for the wealthier, but also for the show business and the world of culture. Among the lots on auction, for example, there will be two sofas from Salon Proust as well as the beds featured in the movie Love in the Afternoon with Audrey Hepburn and Gary Cooper.
While I was having a look at the items for sale, I wondered… might there still be hotels, now, that have such a strong evocative and emotional power?
Probably not. Due to different reasons: they are no longer the cultural salons where important meetings take place; even the most beautiful hotels are often perceived as “selfi e locations” and the reception is often regarded as less important than the wi-fi.
Is the future of hospitality going to be all about technology, and the history of hotels going to be lost like tears in the rain? In fact, I believe that the future of many hotels lies precisely in their history. Not a dusty, selfcelebrating memory, but a story that can involve and excite their guests starting from the online experience. Restructuring projects, too, should emphasise continuity
with the past to the greatest possible extent. Simply because history is the great asset of every hotel.
And for those who have a pinch of nostalgia and want to take home a piece of history, it may be interesting to know that the Ritzbranded six-person tea and coffee set has been priced between three and fi ve hundred euros.
Translation of the italian
editorial by Paola Praloran