Since 1910 this historic Paris hotel has hosted celebrities, artists and politicians. And now, after a massive refurbishment, it’s set to open its doors next year. Baroque Travel checks out Hotel Lutetia
Come March 2018, the iconic Hotel Lutetia, opened in 1910 by the Boucicaut family who made their millions by opening the first modern department store in the city, will reopen its doors. The new iteration of this historic hotel will feature 184 plush guest rooms and suites, a state-of-the-art spa, excellent fitness facilities, not to mention a jazz and a cigar bar.
The hotel’s fascinating history includes being taken over the Taittinger family (of champagne fame) in 1955. In the late 1980s, fashion designer Sonia Rykiel opened a boutique in the building and supervised a major redesign to recreate its original unique style. Then Taittinger’s Groupe de Louvre sold the hotel to Starwood Capital in 2005, who sold it to the Israeli Alroy group five years later for US$177.3. For the past three years, Hotel Lutetia has been closed for a US$118 million renovation. It will reopen in 2018 as part of the Set Group.
Initially created as a palace-inspired luxury hotel on the Left Bank and given the city of Paris’ Roman name, Lutetia, this establishment was one of the finest luxury hotels in the city, filled with the likes of Christofle silver and Baccarat crystal. A mixture of Art Nouveau and Art Deco, the hotel was home to numerous Left Bank luminaries such as Andre Gide, James Joyce, who wrote Ulysses while staying there, and Ernest Hemingway, who assisted Joyce in editing his masterpiece. Picasso and Matisse both stayed at this iconic hotel and Josephine Baker was a regular visitor. More recently, filmmaker David Lynch designed his own suite and celebrated French-born American sculptor and artist Arman Fernandez used the hotel as his pied-a-terre for two months of every year.
Once more, when it reopens, the Lutetia will be a venue for artistic collaboration, as it has been over the decades. Accommodation will include seven one-of-a-kind individually designed signature suites plus a penthouse and a dramatic internal courtyard next to Salon St German, which will offer dining for up to 40 guests. The Jazz Bar has been designed by Jean Michel Wilmotte with both traditional and futuristic touches and the exclusive Cigar Bar will feature a private club atmosphere and its own private courtyard. In addition, the Salon President Ballroom is being fully restored to its former glory.
A highlight of the newly refurbished hotel will be the reopening of the gourmet Lutetia Brasserie, offering capacity for up to 180 guests on two levels. On the ground floor there will be a dining area, bar, terrace and show kitchen, whilst the upper level will feature a mezzanine dining area, separate private dining room and open terrace with a second private dining room.