Montreal’s Ritz-Carlton celebrated its 100th anniversary on October 29 with a star-studded gala. The iconic hotel had undergone a much-needed multi-million dollar renovation. Some of the restorations were so artisanally-precise that tooth picks were used, Andrew Torriani was overheard to explain. The elegant Ritz ceo and president attended with his wife Arlene. Their Serene Highnesses (love that title!) Prince Albert ll and Princess Charlene of Monaco were guests of honour, and inaugurated the hotel’s Royal Suite, re-named the Grimaldi Suite in honour of the House of Grimaldi and the Principality of Monaco. PHOTOS: George Pimentel
Prince Albert ll and Princess Charlene of Monaco
The invitation-only black tie affair was attended by a bevy of beautiful people, including Brian and Mila Mulroney(in sleek beige satin),
Brian and Mila Mulroney
Arlene and Andrew Torriani, ceo Ritz-Carlton, Montreal
Emmelle and Alvin Segal, Connie and Javier San Juan, ceo L’Oréal Canada,
Connie and Javier San Juan, Joey Adler
and Joey Adler,(Diesel Canada), as well as Galen Weston Sr. and Hilary Weston, former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, who flew in from Toronto
Galen and Hilary Weston
as did Jessica Brownstein (stunning in a lacey-racey electric blue strapless gown), and husband Ben Mulroney. Bearded from his recent fund-raising mountain trek, the E-Talk Daily host emceed the glamorous gala.
Ben and Jessica Mulroney
Noted in the crowd of stellar chic were Céline Dion’s...yes..THE Celine (accent or not ..who knows?) Dion’s mother, Thérèse Dion and brother, Paul,
Paul and Thérèse Dion
Serge Rocheleau and Lise Watier, ceo , founder Lise Watier Groupe, (in black with matching biker-chic-today’s-look leather jacket),
Lise Watier and Serge Rocheleau
Nadia and Lino Saputo Jr., Mirella and Lino Saputo Sr., Claudia Barila (sexy in an eyes-wide-open crimson creation), Emmanuelle Duperré, (glam in non-revealing grey and her signature shades),
Claudia Barila and Emmanuelle Duperré
Alexandre Bilodeau, actor Zaib Shaikh, Iohann Martin and Mitsou
Iohann Martin and Mitsou Gélinas
Samia El and Carlos Ferreira (he of his eponymous resto), Canadiens P.K. Subban, and Jacob and Florence Richler (quietly elegant in white).
Jacob and Florence Richler
Guests were entertained by the Cirque du Soleil in the hotel’s Palm Court.
Cirque du Soleil
The dinner menu, prepared by the renowned Daniel Boulud, of the Ritz’s Maison Boulud, included Lobster Salad, Duo de Boeuf, and artisanal Quebec cheeses. Veuve Clicquot champagne ended the dinner on a bubbly note, which helped the mood, as diners sang along eagerly with The Tenors.
M. Daniel Boulud
The after-party on the hotel’s roof was held around the brand new pool, where guests admired Montreal’s midnight skyline. All in all, a Cinderella eve, with memories of 100 years of celebrities dancing in guests’ heads. Over the years Ritz guests include the Queen Mother, Winston Churchill, Charles de Gaulle, Richard Nixon, and George Bush Sr., as well as Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, who celebrated their first wedding at the hotel. A little full disclosure. I held my wedding reception at the Ritz – sigh. But, we digress……Bottom line? The Ritz is back. Red carpet glamour is alive and well. Thank you to George Pimentel for his photos of this chic historic moment.