Historic Hotels in Paris, France

Historic Hotels in Paris, France

The city of light, known as the capital of France, is full of famous landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, the Champs Elysees, the Arc de Triomphe, and Notre Dame Cathedral. Each of these landmarks represents a piece of French history, but some of Paris’ most fascinating historical stories can also be found in the many historic hotels .

Some of the grandest venues have hosted extravagant parties, hosted world-famous celebrities and royalty, showcased cutting-edge artistic design throughout the centuries and even served as places of repatriation during conflicts. Here are five historic hotels in Paris that have a fascinating story to tell.

Hotel Lutetia

Hotel Lutetia is a luxury hotel in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés district of Paris. It claims to be “the only luxury palace hotel” in the area of Paris known as the Left Bank.

The history of Hotel Lutetia

Le Bon Marche, a famous Parisian store, had the idea of creating an upscale accommodation that could be used by “important” shoppers. The hotel was built in 1910 on Boulevard Raspail, adjacent to the Le Bon Marche location. The architects commissioned sculptors to create a striking Art Nouveau façade for the hotel.

Historic Hotels in Paris, France - Photo 2

Hotel Lutetia

The Lutetia quickly became a luxury haven for various bohemian and intellectual circles. Pablo Picasso, Henry Matisse, Josephine Baker, Ernest Hemingway, Samuel Beckett, the writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and the singer Marianne Oswald were regular guests at the hotel and James Joyce allegedly wrote parts of Ulysses there. Charles de Gaulle spent his honeymoon at the Suite Amour.

In 1940, after the French government evacuated Paris during the German occupation, Lutetia was requisitioned for the Abwehr (German military intelligence). When Paris was liberated, Charles de Gaulle ordered that Lutetia become a base for the reception of concentration camp survivors and others deported and displaced during the war. Thousands passed through it hoping to be reunited with loved ones.

Lutetia’s brilliant reputation was further enhanced in the 1950s when the Tatanger family (the producer of the Tatanger Champagne) bought the hotel. It remained their property for many years before it was sold in 2005.

Hotel Lutetia today.

The tribute to the hotel’s historic association with the arts continues to this day . French-American singer and dancer Josephine Baker, who spent much time at the Lutetia, has a stylish suite and luxurious bar at the Art Nouveau-style hotel named in her honor. Recent notable guests have included Yves Saint Laurent co-founder Pierre Bergé and American filmmaker David Lynch, who designed one of the hotel rooms.

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Hotel Lutetia

In the 1980s, French fashion designer Sonia Rykiel renovated some of the hotel’s interiors and suites, but a more grandiose and complete renovation began in 2014. The number of rooms was reduced from 230 to 184 to provide more spacious accommodations. The renovation made Lutetia’s Art Nouveau and Art Deco heritage famous, but these styles were combined with modern, cutting-edge design.

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Hotel de Crillon

The Hotel de Crillon is a luxury hotel in Paris, France, located in a prestigious location on the edge of the Place de la Concorde, an 18th century public square with an Egyptian obelisk (over 3000 years old) in its center.

History of the Hotel de Crillon

The building of the hotel dates back to 1758, when King Louis XV commissioned Ange-Jacques Gabriel, the great French architect of the time, to build two great residences overlooking the Place de la Concorde, also designed by Gabriel. One of the mansions that appeared became home to the family of the Count of Crillon in 1788, whose descendants lived there until the early 1900s . After the palace was purchased by the Crillon family, it was used for a time by Marie Antoinette, who reputedly took piano lessons there. In October 1793 she was executed by guillotine outside the palace on the Place de la Concorde.

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Hotel de Crillon

Fifteen years earlier, in 1778, the Salon d’Aigle in the building was the site of the signing of the Franco-American treaty recognizing the Declaration of Independence . A little more than 140 years later, in 1919, the same room was used for the signing of the Pact of the League of Nations.

In 1909, soon after the Crillons took over the building, the architect Walter-André Desteiller converted the palace into a luxury hotel. This proved a wise decision, as the hotel soon attracted royalty and celebrities from all over the world, including literary figures and names from various spheres of art and entertainment. Among those who stayed at the Hotel de Crillon over the years were Charlie Chaplin, Igor Stravinsky, Theodore Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Peggy Guggenheim, Andy Warhol, Madonna and Taylor Swift.

Hotel de Crillon today.

The hotel reopened in 2017 after a four-year renovation that included upgrades (while retaining the original neoclassical style) and several suites designed by fashion designer and former Chanel creative director Carl Lagerfield.

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Hotel de Crillon

The Ritz Paris

The Ritz Paris is a famous luxury hotel in Paris known for its extravagance and for hosting many celebrities. It is still one of the most famous hotels in the world.

History of the Ritz Paris

Every inch of the Ritz Paris has been steeped in glamorous history, ever since the days of the Swiss César Ritz (who began his career as a waiter) and his partner Auguste Escoffier. The hotel opened in 1898. The event was visited by the famous writer Marcel Proust, who spent a lot of time at the hotel and wrote part of his novel A la Recherche du Temps Perdu (In Search of Lost Time) there. Proust befriended the maitre d’ Olivier Dabescat as a source of social gossip.

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Another regular guest was the fashion designer Coco Chanel . Who lived in a suite (which she furnished herself) at the Ritz for 34 years from 1937, despite the fact that she had a chic apartment above the neighboring haute couture house on Rue Cambon.

Paris Historic Hotels in Paris, France - Photo 6

The Ritz Paris

The Ritz was occupied by the Nazi Party for several years, during which time Hermann Goering stayed in the Imperial Suite. When Paris was liberated in 1944, another frequent guest, writer and journalist Ernest Hemingway, reputedly drank 51 consecutive martinis at the hotel bar (now called Bar Hemingway) and ordered champagne for everyone in attendance.

The Ritz’s literary pedigree is complemented by such luminaries as F. Scott Fitzgerald, George Bernard Shaw, Somerset Maugham and Graham Greene, as well as famous faces including actor Audrey Hepburn, opera singer Maria Callas and composer Cole Porter.

In 1997, Princess Diana and Dodi Al-Fayed dined at the Imperial Suite of the Ritz (the hotel was and still is owned by Dodi’s father, Mohamed Al-Fayed), shortly before they were both killed in a car accident.

The Ritz Paris today

The Ritz’s historic reputation and associations with luxury are as strong today as ever . The tribute to some of the hotel’s famous guests remains strong, particularly with the Coco Chanel suite, decorated entirely in her favorite colors, black and white. Similarly, there are suites by Marcel Proust and Ernest Hemingway, full of elegant woodwork and books .

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The Ritz Paris

L’Hotel

L’Hotel is a luxury boutique hotel located in Paris’ artistic and bohemian Saint-Germain-des-Prés district. It consists of only 20 rooms. It is associated with the Irish playwright and poet Oscar Wilde, who died here in the early 20th century.

History of the L’Hotel

L’Hotel will forever be the place where Oscar Wilde spent his last days . He died in one of the hotel rooms in 1900. It is believed that it was here that Wilde made one of his most famous statements. Claiming that he was “Dying beyond his means,” a typically witty reference to ending his life in an extravagant hotel that he could not afford (the exact text of the quote is disputed, but it is widely believed that Wilde did say something to that effect).

But the story of L’Hotel goes much deeper than just Wilde’s colorful story. Along with other hotels, L’Hotel claims to be “the world’s first boutique hotel. Whether the claim is to be a boutique or not, L’Hotel certainly boasts nearly 200 years of history as an upscale resort, a luxury destination beloved by the elite.

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Discover Old Town Hotels in Paris, France - Photo 8

L’Hotel

Part of the 17th-century palace of La Reine Margaux, particularly the Pavillon de l’Amour (Love Pavilion), is on the grounds of the L’Hotel. Célestin-Joseph Happé built the hotel in 1828 before it became the Hotel d’Allemagne in 1868 and the Hotel d’Alsace in 1870. When Oscar Wilde died here in 1900, it was still called the Hotel d’Alsace . The hotel welcomed many other famous names over the years, including Grace Kelly (Princess Grace of Monaco), Frank Sinatra, Jim Morrison, Elizabeth Taylor and Salvador Dali.

L’Hotel today.

The room that housed L’Hotel’s most famous guest has been transformed into the Oscar Wilde suite, paying homage to Wilde’s creative flair and providing a desk in case guests want to write something themselves. Architect Jacques Garcia has updated the place in a modern style, but has retained its luxurious historic look. The rooms are as luxurious as you’d expect from a L’Hotel heritage site, and there’s even a hammam pool and steam room if you can tear yourself away from the gorgeous rooms.

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L’Hotel

Hotel Meurice.

This spacious and incredibly luxurious Parisian hotel with a rich history is located on the edge of the Tuileries Garden. It is famous for having hosted many famous artists, literary figures and members of various royal families.

History of Le Meurice

With former guests including the likes of Queen Victoria, Tchaikovsky, Franklin Roosevelt, Elizabeth Taylor, Salvador Dali, Orson Welles, you’ll be in good company if you stay here. It began as an inn in Calais , opened by postmaster Charles-Augustin Meris in 1771, primarily to accommodate wealthy travelers on their way from Britain to Paris. Charles-Augustin’s son Charles built a second hotel in Paris in 1818 for the same guests who stayed at the Calais Outpost. In 1835 the hotel moved to its present location.

Le Meris quickly became a popular destination for the rich and famous, hosting numerous parties and dinners, some of which reputedly lasted all night and all the next day. When Queen Victoria chose Le Meurice for her state visit to Paris in 1855, the entire first floor was renovated for the occasion.

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Hotel Meurice.

In the 1880s, Le Meurice offered guests the use of telephone lines (the hotel claims to have been the first in Paris to do so, although other hotels make similar claims). In 1907, Le Meurice provided private bathrooms in every room and suite – again, the hotel claims it was the first in Paris to do so.

Word spread quickly, and soon Le Meurice was hosting a large list of rulers and royalty from around the world . They included the King of Montenegro, King George VI, the Sultan of Zanzibar, the Maharaja of Jaipur, and the Grand Duchess of Russia. King Alfonso XIII of Spain was also a regular visitor, bringing his furniture to his favorite apartments. All the while, the rooftop garden restaurant was a favorite meeting place of the high society who inhabited Le Meurice, offering a magnificent panoramic view of Paris.

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Le Meurice today

The hotel is still an exclusive place to visit if you can afford it. Its splendid and rich heritage is a tribute to its everywhere and is combined with contemporary innovations, such as the Le Dali restaurant, inspired by one of the hotel’s famous guests.

Historic Hotels in Paris

Hotel Royal Mansart Paris

The Royal Mansart Hotel is located in the 1st arrondissement area and provides amenities such as an elevator and parking. The hotel occupies a 6-story building.

Shangri-La Paris 5 stars

10 Avenue D Iena, Paris, France (Show on map)

Hotel Shangri-La Paris

The historic Shangri-La Hotel, Paris is located in the shopping district, 1.1 km from the Eiffel Tower. Shangri-La Hotel, Paris is located next to Avenue Montaigne and has been welcoming guests since 1896.

Hotel Napoleon Paris 5 stars

40 Avenue De Friedland, Paris, France (Display on map)

Hotel Napoleon Paris

The 5-star Hotel Napoleon Paris is located near the Champs-Elysées and offers room service, 24-hour security and dry cleaning. The Hotel Napoleon Paris is located next to the Arc de Triomphe.

Novotel Paris Les Halles 4 stars

8 Place Marguerite De Navarre, Paris, France (Map)

Novotel Les Halles Paris

The Arc de Triomphe is 4 km away and the Champs-Elysées is 3.2 km from the hotel. The center of Paris is 1 km away.

Hotel Mayfair Paris 4 stars

3 Rue Rouget De Lisle, Paris, France (map)

Hotel Mayfair Paris

The Hotel Mayfair Paris is located in Paris, 550 meters from Place de la Concorde and features a shared lounge and bar. This luxury hotel is located near the Tuileries Garden and close to Place Vendôme.

The BEST WESTERN Ronceray Opera 3 stars

10 Boulevard Montmartre, Paris, France (map)

The BEST WESTERN Hotel Ronceray Opera Paris

Maillol au Jardin des Tuileries is 1.8 km from the 3-star Best Western Ronceray Opera, which offers a garden and a bar. The Grands…

Hotel Brighton – Esprit De France 4 stars

218 Rue De Rivoli, Paris, France (Show on map)

Hotel Brighton - Esprit de France Paris

The Hotel Brighton – Esprit De France with luggage storage and safe deposit box is located 200 meters from the Tuileries Garden, close to the Cour des Comptes. Within 500 metres of the hotel, guests can visit the Vendôme Place…

Hotel Banke Opera, Autograph Collection 5 stars

20 Rue La Fayette, Paris, France (map)

Hotel Banke Opera, Autograph Collection Paris

Hotel Banke Opera, Autograph Collection features a bar, a banquet hall and a shared lounge, less than 1.6 km from the Louvre. It is close to Place Vendôme, 500 metres from the Place de…

Hotel Lancaster Paris Champs-Elysees 5 stars

7 Rue De Berri, Paris, France (Show on map)

Hotel Lancaster Paris Champs-Elysees Paris

Hotel Lancaster Paris Champs-Elysees is a 5-minute drive from the Champs-Elysees and features allergy-friendly rooms, a sunbathing veranda and a sunbathing terrace. Within 250 metres of the hotel there is…

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Pullman Paris Montparnasse 4 stars

19 Rue Du Commandant Rene, Paris, France (map)

Pullman Paris Montparnasse Paris

Pullman Paris Montparnasse is an attractive 4-star hotel with luxurious rooms, located a 15-minute walk from the Luxembourg Garden. It is 150 metres from the hotel and a short walk from the…

Hotel De Crillon 5 stars

10 Place De La Concorde, Paris, France (map)

Hotel De Crillon Paris

The Hotel De Crillon is located next to the Tuileries Garden and offers guests a library, a sunbathing deck and a sunbathing terrace. The Eiffel Tower is 5 minutes away by car.

Hotel Lutetia 5 stars

Hotel Lutetia, located at 45 Boulevard Raspail, Paris, France (Show on map)

Hotel Lutetia Paris

Hotel Lutetia, located in Paris, 1.4 km from the Seine, offers a spa, a jacuzzi and a sauna. The hotel is 1.7 km from the Louvre.

Hotel Du Louvre, In The Unbound Collection By Hyatt 5 stars

Place Andre Malraux, Paris, France (map)

Hotel Du Louvre, In The Unbound Collection By Hyatt Paris

The 5-star Hotel Du Louvre, In The Unbound Collection By Hyatt is located in Paris, next to the Louvre. Currency exchange and luggage storage are also available on site.

Hotel Minerve 3 stars

13 Rue des Ecoles ,Paris 75005, Paris, France (map)

Hotel Minerve Paris

Located a 10-minute walk from Notre Dame de Paris, the 3-star Hotel Minerve offers individual rooms. Hotel Minerve is located close to Arènes de Lutèce.

Tonic Hotel Du Louvre 3 stars

12 Rue Du Roule, Paris, France (map)

Tonic Hotel Du Louvre Paris

The hotel is a 5-minute drive from Cité Island and close to Le Alle. Guests will appreciate the close proximity to the Bourse, which is 450 meters away.

Holiday Inn Paris Gare De L’Est, An Ihg Hotel 4 stars

5 Rue Du 8 Mai 1945, Paris, France (Show on map)

Holiday Inn Paris Gare De L

Le République and Notre Dame de Paris are 1.1 km and 2.6 km away respectively. The hotel is located 3 km from the center of Paris.

Hotel Moulin Plaza 3 stars

39 Rue Pierre Fontaine, Paris, France (Show on map)

Hotel Moulin Plaza Paris

The hotel is a 5-minute drive from Champs Elysées and close to the Moulin Rouge. Guests will appreciate the close proximity to the Museum of Erotica, which is 200 meters away.

Hotel Louvre Piemont 4 stars

22 Rue De Richelieu, Paris, France (map)

Hotel Louvre Piemont Paris

The hotel is next to the Louvre and 200 meters from Pyramides Metro Station. The hotel is a 5-minute drive from the Musée d’Orsay in addition to the Eiffel Tower, which is a 10-minute drive away.

Hotel Marignan 3 stars

13 Rue Du Sommerard, Paris, France (map)

Hotel Marignan Paris

Located in the 1st arrondissement, near Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Hotel Marignan offers a warm atmosphere. There are 30 rooms available.

Nolinski Paris 5 stars

16 Avenue De L’Opera, Paris, France (view on map)

Nolinski Paris

The excellent Hotel Nolinski Paris is close to Sculpture Energies. The hotel was built in 2016 and is decorated in a traditional style.

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