01 Dec 2000
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A London Lodging Landmark


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At London's storied Ritz Hotel, where Charlie Chaplin once tossed carnations out his window to adoring fans below and where Tallulah Bankhead drank champagne from her slipper, managing director Giles Shepard (14th PMD) is overseeing extensive renovations. Amid basic improvements, such as new carpeting and wiring, no detail is being overlooked in an effort to restore the hotel to its former glory in time for its centenary celebration in 2006, the Mail on Sunday (September 24, 2000) reported. Consider, for example, the matter of pillows. "They are specifically designed for the Ritz and have to provide the maximum amount of comfort," Shepard explained. "The top pillow is soft so that a guest can just sink into it, but the bottom pillow is firmer so that the guest does not suffocate with too much softness." Shepard has insisted that closets in each room feature no less than eight types of hangers to properly accommodate different kinds of clothing. What's more, he noted, "the hangers are all of a higher quality to that found in almost every other hotel."

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