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What is it?
A luxury Art Nouveau bolthole on Paris’s glam Left Bank and a stalwart of local history.
What's the deal?
Drop the name of this hotel to any Parisian, and watch their eyes immediately light up – they’ll know Lutetia as one of the most iconic and elegant hotels in the city, its original jazz-era spirit (it opened in 1910, just before les années folles kicked off) undimmed by an intervening decade and a $234 million renovation that finished four years ago. Her undulating white façade – which once concealed wild turn-of-the-century parties and, later, French Jewish Holocaust survivors – still stands high and mighty on the Boulevard Raspail, a reassuring landmark from a bygone era.
Inside, though, things are different: the refurb gave her stylish grey-and-navy rooms tablet-controlled smart systems; enormous, plush beds; and floor-to-ceiling marble bathrooms complete with sizable bathtubs and roomy rain showers (each with a bench, in case you need a mid-wash repose). Downstairs, the sexy, fresco-daubed Bar Josephine is an essential pre-dinner pit stop, and then in the basement, the super-plush, gold-lit spa features a 17m pool, sauna, steam room, whirlpool and a host of delicious treatments.
We’ll make no bones about it: Hôtel Lutetia is a splurge, but the level of care and attention doled out by the staff more than justifies the rate. Everyone at Lutetia is a consummate professional in the art of hoteling – they know to anticipate your needs before you even have them. You can see this in the perfectly-executed daily turndown: a pair of slippers are lined up by the bed; a bottle of water is placed on the nightstand; and towels are folded in every section of the bathroom where you could conceivably need them. They’ve had a decade to perfect their craft, and they’ve pretty much nailed it – toeing the line perfectly between doting, old-school service and a modern predilection towards privacy.
The best stay for...
Anyone who wants a taste of la vieille Paris but can't imagine holidaying without a smart TV.
45 Bd Raspail, 75006 Paris