Meet me at the bar
The bar of Lutetia Hotel is probably the last place where the real feel of Saint Germain des Prés still floats in the air. The authentic Art Deco decor of this beautifull hotel will host, every afternoon, a ballet of writers meeting with their publishers, directors convincing actors to be in their new movie and other intellectuals sharing point of views with politicians from the nearby Senat or Parliament.
Built in 1910 by Madame Boucicaut, owner of the adjacent department store, Le Bon Marché, for their high rise clients visiting Paris for sprint shopping.
Le Bon Marché is the ancestor of the department stores of the world. Founded in 1838, it has been the first place offering in a wide space all kinds of goods with a price tag, an easy street access and a « satisfied or your money back » sales policy; a store that wouldn’t only sell goods but would also sell desire to buy.
Madame Boucicaut spared no efforts and no money in building a hotel that will become the only Palace on the left bank for decades.
During World War II the hotel wil be requisitioned by the Abwehr, the nazi intelligence services. In 1945, it will be turned into a shelter for the nazi camps survivors where Parisians will come, day after day, to check the lists displayed on the revolving doors to see if any friends or family members had survived.
From 1955 to 2005, the hotel belonged to the Taittinger family, the famous champagne makers before being bought by Israeli group Alrov.
Lutetia is one of the places on which time has no grip and that seems to be the believe of the actual owners. No major renovation that could hurt the authenticity of the place that has kept many of its original decorative elements, cosmetics updates to dicreetly ameliorate the amenities and certainly no desire to compete with the other luxury hotels of Paris and their impersonal standards.
45 boulevard Raspail 75006 Paris
Jazz piano bar every day after 7:00pm
Crédit photo:Hôtel Lutetia