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For a special occasion on the Rive Gauche, I love stopping by the recently renovated Hotel Lutetia. This historic spot is the only hotel with a Palace distinction on the Left Bank, and yet it doesn’t feel pretentious thanks to the light and bright décor.
Begin your visit at Bar Joséphine. The space is a perfect blend of Hotel Lutetia’s modern renovations and Belle Époque roots—think lovely light parquet wood floors, an impressive display of bottles behind the bar, and mirrored elements on the bar and ceiling.
One of our favorite details is the beautiful Art Nouveau frescoes on the walls. Discovered under six layers of paint during renovations, the artworks took 17,000 hours to restore!
The spacious bar offers plenty of spots to grab a seat and, of course, plenty of drinks to choose from. Come in the morning for a coffee or tea and in the afternoon for a casual bite (I love the LVT Burger). In keeping with the spirit of the Left Bank, there are live jazz performances every weekend.
If you’re after a more elegant meal, make your way across the lobby to the hotel’s gastronomic restaurant, Le Saint-Germain. Be sure to look up as you enter the space, as its pièce de résistance is without a doubt the colorful glass ceiling by Fabrice Hyber.
Once hidden behind paint and plaster like the frescoes in Bar Joséphine, the architectural art was rediscovered during the renovation of the hotel. Under the gorgeous glass ceiling, Le Saint-Germain’s comfortable, custom-made furniture and color scheme pick up on hints of the pinks and blues above.
A library filled with 16,000 books spills into the restaurant too, adding to the stunning yet inviting ambiance. On nice days, there’s also the option of dining outside on the Saint-Germain’s pretty Parisian patio.
The menu by Chef Benjamin Brial features creative touches that lighten traditional French dishes—a perfect complement to the atmosphere of the restaurant.
Both Bar Joséphine and Le Saint-Germain can be enjoyed equally day or night thanks to the light that pours into the spaces.