Paris is a city of art and culture, and if you’re going there to partake in those, you should make certain you stay somewhere that takes both of those things as seriously as does the Hotel Lumen Paris Louvre. Their name is no mistake, as their location is just a few blocks walk from the famed Palace turned museum, and, like the Louvre itself, they view hospitality as a palette on which to perform a work of art.
The hotel commands a prime corner location in the 1st Arrondissement between the Rue des Pyramides and the Passage de St. Roch allowing extra charm to its outdoor areas. It abuts the Eglise de St. Roch and the hotel maintains the rear wall of the church as a container garden as part of their restaurant’s outdoor eating area. It’s a superb area for people-watching and relaxing. It’s easily accessible from the Pyramides, Tuileries, and Concorde Metro stations. As a bonus, the Paris Tourism office is half a block away so any questions you have about things to do can be answered after a very short walk.
The Hotel is privately owned by the Bal family. Originally from Armenia, they fled the genocide there to Turkey and then on to France. So, though the hotel is everything you might expect in Parisian luxury, they’ve also kept an eye to their origins, giving it a touch of the opulence of the East. You see this in the custom chandeliers and light fixtures that dot the establishment. That extra touch of brilliance and intricacy that is the hallmark of Armenia’s Byzantine artistic heritage.
Upon entering the establishment, you are greeted in the lobby with refreshments, as though you were entering the home of a particularly generous host. A partnership with famed Parisian Chef Pierre Herme ensures the treats are absolutely superb. The check-in process is simple and painless, smoothed by the excellent staff. And you immediately note the recurring circular theme in the chandelier and sofa backs. These are custom. Designed especially for the hotel and a reflection of the attention to detail that is put into every aspect of the hotel and the guest experience. There are recurring reflective surfaces to add a touch of brightness and glamour to each space.
We stayed in the superb Jacuzzi Suite on the top of the Hotel. Our view of the rooftops of Paris and the dome of St. Roch next door reminded me of nothing more than Caillabotte’s famed painting in the Musee D’Orsay. The room is a spa-like haven of tranquility with plush beds, marble bath tiles and soft rugs as could possibly be wished for. And we were greeted with a plate of Mr. Herme’s incredible Macarons and a personal note of welcome. This is an example of the attention to detail put into the entire place.
The bathrooms were amply supplied with fine soaps, hair and skin products as well as fluffy towels and bathrobes for comfort. Everything felt spacious and restful. I would have liked to have spent more time there, but we were in Paris to visit and so we had to spend much of our time out and about. And we quickly learned just how ideal the location of the hotel was in our short walk across the grounds of the Louvre, across the Seine, and along it a short distance to our destination, which afforded us a splendid view of Notre Dame Cathedral and, on the way back, the Eiffel Tower lit with its sparkling lightshow. You are ideally located to see the famous sights of Paris.
Before we left, however, I met with the Hospitality Manager and son of the owner, Mr. Arnaud Bal, to take me on a tour. He was happy to answer my questions about the hotel and told me about the family background and all they’re doing to renovate over a cup of coffee in the shadow of St. Roch. As he walked me through the hotel, he explained the design aesthetic and that they are in the process of revamping the bar space and also all of the guest rooms to reflect a more sophisticated palette of grays and golds, all with custom touches that are led by Mr. Bal’s uncle, who is a textile designer in Turkey.
But in the process of redesigning, they are also rethinking everything about guest comfort, including incredibly thoughtful touches like this example of electrical outlets suitable for most styles of appliances. There are UK format plugs, US format plugs, and European along with USB ports. And it’s all built in the wall for your convenience, you don’t even need a converter. They truly are trying to think of everything for the comfort of their guests. It’s not just fancy and sophisticated finishes, it’s thinking about hospitality.
The use of space is also an integral part of the design with a number of the rooms occupying several levels within the hotel and having staircases to move from seating to bedroom areas. It’s almost like having a miniature apartment while you stay. And the light wood mixed with the sophisticated marble finishes and the sleek gray makes for a modern and comforting space that retains just the slightest bit of glamour in the golden touches on the accessories.
We had an absolutely superb night sleep in our Aerie far above the Paris street and woke to the light of dawn pleasantly coming in the skylight windows.
After using the complimentary coffee things in the morning, we went downstairs and had the superb continental breakfast in the restaurant. We very much enjoyed the views out the large windows of the hustle and bustle of people going about their business on a Saturday morning. It could not have been more charming. But sadly, there was no rest for the wicked and we had to be on our way, despite the wonderful room beckoning us to go back and relax in it.
If you are in Paris for business or pleasure, you really can’t do better than Hotel Lumen Paris Louvre for location, comfort, or hospitality. You can easily book your stay through their website.
Photographs by Kelly Chenault and Suzanne Magnuson.