At a Glance
Since 1910, the Hôtel Lutetia—the only Palace Hotel on the Left Bank—has anchored Paris’s lively and literary Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood. Picasso and Matisse lived here; Josephine Baker was a regular visitor. Now, the hotel is still a backdrop to Parisian social life (Bar Joséphine pays homage to the Jazz Age singer, and hosts intimate performances throughout the year). Brasserie Lutetia is a true Parisian brasserie—relaxed and buzzy, and a draw for locals with its outdoor terrace on sunny days. After a lunch of sole meunière, you’re a five-minute walk from Le Bon Marché, the city’s oldest and chicest department store. The 184 rooms and suites are sumptuous and light-filled; many have dreamy Eiffel Tower views, including Suite Amour and the Eiffel Writer’s Suite. Most luxuriously, the bathrooms are made almost entirely of marble—the white Carrara is also prominently featured in the hotel’s spa, Akasha, which has a 55-foot-long pool, a 1,000-square-foot fitness center and a range of holistic classes.
The Standout: The lively, buzzy brasserie, a neighborhood mainstay
Don’t Miss: A jazz night at Bar Joséphine, if one is on during your stay
- The heart-of-Saint-Germain location for cafés, shops and long walks
- The signature suites, including Suite Parisienne by actress Isabelle Huppert, who designed it with haute couture in mind
- The luxurious urban spa, Akasha, with a 55-foot-long pool
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 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 who love a Paris Palace Hotel but prefer the Left Bank location
Written by Mara Hoberman