Hollywood glamour, fashion and fame. It conjures up images of paparazzi, private jets, champagne on tap, gourmet food and nights in glamorous hotels such as the Ritz-Carlton.
This type of luxury lifestyle is becoming a reality in Melbourne, thanks to a new apartment and hotel development by Far East Consortium, located at the site of the former Age building on Spencer Street and with Melbourne’s first Ritz-Carlton as its centrepiece.
- The ritzy renaissance surrounding Melbourne’s West Side Place
- Five-star hotel living in Melbourne’s CBD is no longer just a dream
The hotel’s minimalist but luxurious interiors are echoed in West Side Place’s apartments below the Ritz-Carlton which, when built, will be the tallest hotel in the southern hemisphere.
West Side Place is offering hotel-style living fit for any A-lister, with a gym and wellness centre to keep in shape.
The development will include 2600 luxury apartments in four towers below the Ritz-Carlton, allowing residents to live like some of the stars who have called the Ritz home over the past (almost) 120 years.
The Ritz has become the ultimate luxury hotel, now found in 30 countries and offering a glamorous getaway for travellers and famous guests.
The original was opened by founder Cesar Ritz in Place Vendome, Paris, in 1898 and since that time the Ritz has been home to many celebrities.
These various famous faces – including those featured – have contributed to the Ritz-Carlton Hotel becoming recognised as one of the world’s best-known hotel brands.
Far East Consortium executive director Craig Williams says the Ritz-Carlton aligns perfectly with West Side Place – the height of luxury inner-city living.
“Buyers are increasingly seeking a combination of convenience and luxury when purchasing an apartment, and they are particularly interested in the benefits of hotel-style amenities and services,” he says.
Living at the Ritz
In the 1930s, beige sofas were the height of fashion thanks to Coco Chanel, one of the most famous long-term residents at the Ritz Paris.
Coco moved into the hotel in the 1930s, occupying a two-bedroom, self-furnished suite with her own style that included the sofa.
She lived in the hotel for almost 35 years. Ritz Paris, which has just reopened after being refurbished, has a beauty spa and a suite named in her honour.
Former British Prime Minister Baroness Margaret Thatcher lived at the Ritz-Carlton in London while recuperating from surgery, and died there in 2013.
Baroness Thatcher stayed in one of the hotel’s suites, convalescing with the help of her medical team and carers. Many hotel staff befriended her and attended her funeral.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
The author of such classics as The Great Gatsby, American writer F. Scott Fitzgerald often visited Paris, calling the Ritz his home away from home with wife Zelda.
Like his contemporary, Ernest Hemingway, he was a frequent visitor to the bar, spending his nights drinking and talking about his work. He penned a novella entitled The Diamond as Big as the Ritz in 1922.
The French novelist loved the Ritz Paris so much that one of the main characters in his series In Search of Lost Time was inspired by a maitre d’hotel.
Marcel visited the hotel’s restaurants and bars to observe the rich and famous. He died in 1922 (aged 51) and on his deathbed, he sent a driver to the Ritz for his favourite cold beer, taking a final sip before he passed away.
The renowned American novelist was a regular at the Ritz in Paris, especially its bar.
Legend had it that when Paris was liberated from the Germans at the end of World War II, Ernest was the first back to the Ritz’s bar to buy a round of champagne for everyone.
The story later proved to be a tall tale, nevertheless a bar at the Ritz was named the Bar Hemingway in his honour.
West Side Place
- Address: 250 Spencer Street, Melbourne
- Developer: Far East Consortium
- Building, interior and landscape design: Cottee Parker / K.P.D.O. / Rush Wright Associates
- Sales: Colliers International
- Display suite: 250 Spencer Street, Melbourne (by appointment only)
- Other projects: In addition to West Side Place in Melbourne, Far East Consortium is also bringing the Ritz-Carlton to its other developments at Queen’s Wharf, Brisbane, and Elizabeth Quay, Perth.