Paris, one of the world’s most beautiful cities, offers such enviable hotel accommodations that you can even find small hotels that have a history and significance unknown to most tourists.
A good example is L’Hotel Paris, located in the heart of the left bank of the Seine River and the Latin Quarter, in the middle of rich culture, bohemian soul and the haute couture of the St. Germain-des-Pres District. One of the smallest five star hotel in Paris, it has only 20 rooms beautifully decorated and its location practically has been a secret for nearly two centuries.
Built in 1828 by artist Celestin-Joseph Happe, it has been called different names throughout its history: it was Hotel d’Allemagne in 1868 and then Hotel d’Alsace after the war of 1870.
Many famous people have passed through its rooms including Salvador Dali, Princess Grace, Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. One of the most important, without a doubt, was the brilliant writer Oscar Wilde, author of The Importance of Being Earnest and The Picture of Dorian Gray, who spent his last years in room 116, until his passing away in 1900 and after he was imprisoned in London and then exiled to France.
Guests have the opportunity to trace the steps of Wilde, through the Paris that was the end of the 19th century, by means of a guided tour offered by Wilde historian and biographer, Dominique Vibrac, followed by an enchanting lunch or afternoon tea in the hotel.
Remodeled by the renowned designer Jacques Garcia, it is home to the acclaimed one Michelin star restaurant, Le Restaurant, headed by the young chef, Julien Montbabut. In addition there is the distinguished bar, Le Bar, where you can drink some of the most appetizing cocktails in Paris.
The rooms at L’Hotel Paris reflect a sophisticated preference for retaining a traditional style. A spiral staircase leads up to six opulent floors where rooms and suites can be found, each decorated with luxurious fabrics and original artwork.
The two most luxurious and interesting hotel rooms are the Oscar Wilde Suite and the Apartment Suite, both inspired by people. The Oscar Wilde Suite, a tribute to the writer, is a very large room with a nice private terrace with views of the city.
The Apartment Suite is dedicated to Louis Antoine de Noailles, Cardinal Archbishop of Paris, second son of the Duke of Noailles, who lived and passed away in Paris, during the 18th century. It is the largest room in the hotel and the decor is inspired by cardinal apparel, with red velvet curtains and silk lining the walls. From its terrace, breakfast becomes an eventful experience, because it is possible to see the roofs of the city and bell tower of the Saint Germain des Pres Church. ■
PHOTOS: © L’Hotel Paris