When the Boucicaut family opened the first modern department store, they changed how Parisians, and then the world, do their shopping. Once they had transformed retail commerce, their decision to innovate hoteliery was almost an afterthought. Their store was such a runaway success, that their many suppliers, bringing luxuries from afar, needed a comfortable place to spend the night. Visiting customers from across Europe also needed an enticement to stay longer. The board of ‘Le Bon Marché’ decided to open a modern, palace-inspired, luxury hotel in Paris, directly across from their famous store.
To name this second Left Bank landmark, they reached back to the origins of Paris itself, and took the city’s Roman name: Lutetia. As one of the finest luxury hotels in Paris, every aspect of the Lutetia was a model for the new luxurious lifestyle. No expense was spared in crafting a masterwork. Thanks to their network of suppliers for the store, they could choose the very best: China from Haviland, silver from Christofle, and crystal from Baccarat. The design of the hotel itself is a daring transition from the Art Nouveau of the day to the emerging style of Art Deco. But their biggest innovation is leaving the usual enclaves of grand dame hotels, centred across the river, and bringing modern luxury to the Left Bank.
As one of the finest hotel’s in the history of Paris, classic and contemporary lives side by side and the latest stars to adopt the Lutetia find inspiration in the hotel’s storied past. This includes, fashion icon Sonia Rykiel’s redesign in the ’80s. Starting with her own shop in the hotel, she goes on to reclaim the Lutetia’s art deco heritage in the rooms, brasserie and Michelin-starred restaurant.
Not to be outdone, guests from sculptor Hiquily to filmmaker David Lynch design their own suites. The largest of these is, not surprisingly, by Arman, celebrated creator of monumental sculptures. It becomes his pied-a-terre for two months of each year, when he comes to Paris to oversee his foundry.
Opening in Spring 2018, the new-look Lutetia will display the next step in the hotel’s evolution of modern luxury, making it a must-see for any discerning visitor to the city.