King of Hoteliers
César Ritz is a legend in the world of hospitality and his last name is synonymous with luxury in many countries around the world. César Ritz developed the saying “the customer is always right,” which helped to forever change the hotel business. César Ritz’s legacy goes on 100 years after his death.
At the age of 12, Ritz was sent to a French-speaking boarding school in Sion run by Jesuit Fathers, but the young César showed little interest in the subjects that were taught by his professors. At 15, Ritz’s father decided to move him to Brig, to apprentice as a sommelier at a hotel.
Coming to Paris
At the time of the 1867 Universal Exhibition, Ritz left Switzerland to seek his fortune in Paris, where he worked in a variety of restaurants and hotels, rising through the ranks from waiter to manager. By the age of 19, he had earned a reputation as a top server who was quick on his feet and attentive to his customers.
His life changed
In the 1880s, César Ritz’s life further changed and evolved: he met Marie-Louise Beck, the daughter of a hotelier, who became his loving wife and the mother of his two sons. He also bought two businesses, the Restaurant de la Conversation in Baden-Baden, Germany and the Hôtel de Provence in Cannes, France.
A Legend, Forever
Unfortunately, shortly after realizing his ambition, Ritz began to suffer from unexplainable breakdowns and melancholy, to the point where his wife was forced to take over the business, becoming the world’s first hotel manager. He died on October 24, 1918, leaving a large void in the world of luxury hospitality. The pioneering hotelier’s influence goes on: his views and ideas are still influential in the culinary and hotel industries. The guest has become the center, the fundamental element around which everything in modern hospitality revolves, due to Ritz.