Once a favorite haunt for legendary artists, poets and writers, Paris‘ newly renovated Hotel Lutetia has a story to tell. This 1910 St. Germain des Pres icon proudly re-opened its doors last June, brought up to date for the 21st century with homage to its historical significance. Beneath all the beauty are whispers of the past that will likely intrigue Mom and Dad, combined with a delightful welcome for well-heeled kiddos.
My husband and I took our 12-year-old to the Lutetia for a few nights’ stay in Paris before traveling to the French countryside. It was obvious upon arrival that we were in for a treat; the stunning architecture and 5-star service shine brighter than ever, thanks to the recent overhaul. In addition to adding a pool and spa, the Lutetia team remodeled the public spaces to take advantage of natural light and painstakingly removed layers of paint that had covered up an original fresco in the bar Josephine.
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The new design pays tribute to the flavor of St. Germain des Pres and locals who have long gathered here in search of community. Hemingway, Picasso and Josephine Baker are only a few of the prominent guests who once filled the public spaces and cemented the significance of the Lutetia in the storied 6th Arrondissement. Sitting in the hotel’s light-filled L’Orangerie for breakfast, we imagined the ghosts of famed authors poring over manuscripts, and picturing celebrated artists walking through the doors will inspire the mini artists in your family.
Most compelling of all is a plaque on the exterior that reads, “From April to August 1945, this hotel, which had become a reception centre, received the greater part of the survivors of the Nazi concentration camps, glad to have regained their liberty and their loved ones from whom they had been snatched. Their joy cannot efface the anguish and the pain of the families of the thousands of disappeared who waited in vain for their own in this place.” It’s the unmistakable marking of a property with soul.
The Lutetia’s spacious accommodations are fresh from an elegant makeover of their own. While the number of rooms was reduced, the tradeoff is that families enjoy significant space. Our room was generously sized, with a separate sitting area that made a perfect spot for our daughter’s comfortable twin bed. The marble bathroom was luxurious and large, with a remarkable shower and bathtub carved out of one full slab of marble. Bright natural light flooded in and brightened the interior; if Paris hadn’t been calling, we could have lingered all day.
The dining venues at the Lutetia have been revitalized with a nod to the importance of Parisian gastronomy. Families will love L’Orangerie for its exceptional service and traditional French breakfast, full of organic and gourmet options. Bar Josephine, one of two onsite, pays tribute to its most famous patron, Josephine Baker. Lutetia Brasserie — a 3-Michelin-starred spot for a celebratory meal — is slated to open soon; for a more casual yet still elegant experience, visit Le Saint Germain, capped by a colorful glass roof preserved from the hotel’s early days.
Although there are no family-specific amenities at the Lutetia, it goes without saying that all ages will feel pampered here. In addition to personal service upon request, in-room amenities include Hermes bathroom toiletries, touch-screen remote temperature controls, 24-hour room service, a mini bar and safe, and luxury bathrobes and slippers. No stone is left unturned for guests enjoying a Parisian stay.
The Akasha Holistic Wellbeing Center offers a menu of beauty and spa treatments as well as a lap pool, a sauna, a steam room and a Jacuzzi. Note, hours are limited for children under 16. Guests who still have the energy after strolling Paris’ streets can work up a sweat in the onsite fitness center.
The property offers a fantastic balance of luxury and convenience. It’s an understated, elegant haven in prime tourist territory, surrounded by shops and restaurants and close to Parisian treasures on the family travel bucket list.
Editor’s Note: Amy received a media package to review Hotel Lutetia for families. As always, our opinions are our own on Ciao Bambino. Photos by Amy Annis and Hotel Lutetia.
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