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Local Matters / Architecture & Landmarks

The historic Concorde Opéra Paris hotel undergoes a major makeover

Hôtel_Concorde_(Paris),_cour_de_Rome

The Concorde Opéra Paris hotel is undergoing a significant restoration program, prior to re-branding as the Hilton Paris Opéra in September 2014. The hotel remains open during the renovation work, which is scheduled for full completion in early 2015.

Set in the 8th arrondissement (district), the hotel is close to the many shops, restaurants and museums of the neighborhood. The well-known department stores, Le Printemps and Galeries Lafayette, are minutes away. The sumptuous Palais Garnier, which houses the Opéra Garnier, is also nearby.

French architect Juste Lisch designed the majestic building to house visitors to the 1889 Exposition Universelle (World Fair) in Paris. The centerpiece of the World Fair was Paris’s most famous monument, the Eiffel Tower, which acted as the gateway to the exhibition.

The hotel was then known as the Grand Hôtel Terminus and was completed in the record time of 15 months. It was built close to the Gare Saint-Lazare, which Lisch remodeled, and was owned by one of the private railroad companies. At that time, it was common for these companies to offer their own luxury hotel near their main station.

Famous guests of the hotel include playwright Georges Feydeau, who moved in after a dispute with his wife and stayed for 10 years, and Impressionist painter Claude Monet.

The hotel is typical of the Belle Epoque (Golden Age) style, with high ceilings and ornate décor. After the renovation, the hotel will have 268 guest rooms, including 29 suites, on five floors. The Belle Epoque grandeur will be preserved and recreated with frescoes and arcades, crystal chandeliers and mosaic flooring in the imposing lobby. A new bar is inspired by legendary French fashion designer Christian Lacroix.

Parisian based ERTIM Architects is overseeing the c. €37 million renovation in collaboration with Richmond International of London. The project is being carried out in phases to allow the hotel to remain open.

Crédit photo © Philippe Alès

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