The Ritz London

 
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Top-drawer London institution
The second eponymously named hotel of Swiss-born César Ritz (1850–1918), this London fixture opened its doors in 1906, eight years after Ritz's splashy Paris debut. Facilities are of the highest standard, the Louis XVI-inspired decor is ritzy by definition, there's a casino in the basement and the Palm Court afternoon tea qualifies as one the city's iconic mid-afternoon activities. And you can pretty walk anywhere from here, including highly recommended neighbouring brasserie/café/restaurant the Wolseley [see entry]. Tube station: Green Park.

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