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Hotel Lutetia Paris hotel review 2024

Simon Calder’s Travel

In a nutshell: Glamorous lodgings in the heart of Paris, with a subterranean spa, chic brasserie restaurant and rooms with an Eiffel Tower view


Hotel Lutetia is in the centre of Paris’s Saint-Germain-des-Prés. A historic hub for literature, music and the arts, Hemingway’s old haunt Café De Flore, the bookstore Shakespeare & Co (go early to avoid the queues) and Serge Gainsbourg’s graffitied house and museum can be reached on foot in under 20 minutes. This part of town is also home to Hermes’s flagship store, which you’ll find just around the corner from the hotel, which itself was founded in 1910 by the iconic Le Bon Marche department store, located a short walk across the green.

The nearby Latin Quarter is known for its cobbled streets, bistros for whiling away the hours, cabarets, bars and historic landmarks such as The Pantheon (the ‘temple of the French nation’ and final resting place of, among others, Victor Hugo, Emile Zola Jean-Jacques Rousseau). You’ll find the Jardin de Luxembourg 10 minutes south; Head here for the romantic setting of the Italian Renaissance-era Medici Fountain, lawns, tree-lined promenades and to watch the model sailboats on the octagonal Grand Bassin.

The vibe

Bar Josephine is named after Josephine Baker, the jazz singer who frequented the hotel

(Hotel Lutetia )

A mammoth renovation in 2018 painstakingly restored Hotel Lutetia’s historic features, helping it retain a 20th-century Parisian feel. A former hangout for the likes of Pablo Picasso, Henry Mattisse, James Joyce (it’s where he wrote much of Ulysses) and the jazz singer Josephine Baker, the hotel’s history helps it stand out from trendier and more contemporary accommodation in the area. Attracting an older crowd, Lutetia knows its audience and harks back to its heyday with a blend of Art-Nouveau and Art Deco style interiors to reflect the original 1910 building.

Brasserie Lutetia and Bar Josephine (named after Baker) both ooze elegance thanks to grand ceilings and intricate frescoes, with floor-to-ceiling doors and windows for plenty of natural light, and an Art Deco-style bar with a piano for nights of live music. The drinking den is a quiet place for whiling away an hour or so while admiring your beautiful surroundings, before heading out for dinner or more drinks.

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