Classic, polished, modern
45 Boulevard Raspail 33-1-49-54-46-00 hotellutetia.com
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At a Glance
Poised to become the Left Bank’s first “Palace Hotel” following a four-year renovation, the Hôtel Lutetia stays true to its Art Déco style and Rive Gauche roots. Handsome and luxurious, but not ostentatious, the 1910 hotel has been painstakingly restored to its former glory and treated to more than a few 21st-century updates.
- Brasserie Lutetia—a longtime favorite of Left Bank denizens—which is helmed by Michelin-starred French chef Gerald Passedat (formerly of Le Petit Nice, in Marseille).
- The duplex penthouse suite on the 7th floor, which has a private roof garden with 360-degree views of the city.
- The hotel’s spa, the Akasha Holistic Wellbeing Center, which is made entirely of white Carrera marble and has a 55-foot-long pool.
Hôtel Lutetia Review
When the Hôtel Lutetia re-opened in the summer of 2018, following a painstaking renovation and restoration that kept it shuttered for over four years, locals were delighted to see a beloved Left Bank institution returned to its original splendor and reclaim its place as a neighborhood haunt. A Rive Gauche mainstay since 1910, the Lutetia has been an important gathering spot for artists and intellectuals including Ernest Hemingway, André Gide, Samuel Beckett, James Joyce, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Josephine Baker, who were all regulars.
The Lutetia has kept its iconic Art Déco design while undergoing significant capital improvements and cosmetic upgrades. The lobby lounge, jazz bar, brasserie, and guest rooms have been enlarged and brightened thanks to new windows. Public and private areas have been redecorated with chic modernist furnishings. Among the most exciting amenities is the Akasha Holistic Wellbeing Center, a 7,500-square-foot spa clad entirely in Italian white marble, including the 55-foot-long sky-lit indoor pool. The center also has a fantastic fitness center and offers regular classes like bootcamp, meditation, boxing and yoga.
Adding natural elements—light and greenery—to the hotel was a top priority for French architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte, who oversaw the renovation. A grand salon formerly used for private events has been transformed into a verdant interior courtyard where guests can sip cocktails or enjoy an al fresco meal. The airy lobby restaurant, le Saint-Germain, is flooded with light thanks to a large skylight that has been painted in bright translucent tones by local artist Fabrice Hyber. Here, guests can enjoy afternoon tea and seasonal fare such as stracciatella with heirloom tomatoes and strawberries and tuna tartar with avocado and ponzu dressing. For a casual French meal, the Brasserie Lutetia, by Michelin-starred chef Gerald Passedat, is a hot spot for locals and travelers alike.
The 184 guest rooms and 87 suites have been enlarged and made more luminous. Furnishings are characterized by clean lines, geometric shapes and a limited number of sumptuous materials, including polished eucalyptus wood and 400 tons of white Carrera marble. The most lavish aspect of interior design is saved for the spacious bathrooms, which are made entirely of marble. (Most, but not all, rooms have a large tub and separate shower.) Rooms on the upper floors, overlooking the Boulevard Raspail, are decorated in dark blue tones, while those overlooking the courtyard have a beige palette. Street-facing rooms have views of the Eiffel tower, which can be enjoyed from small balconies.
Who Should Stay
Those looking to explore the Left Bank and experience the “esprit Rive Gauche” will do so in comfort and style at the Hôtel Lutetia. Neither trendy nor froufrou, the hotel is refreshingly restrained and modern—with no Empire-style furniture or Philippe Starck designs in sight.
- Mara Hoberman