Hôtel Lenox ***
15, rue Delambre - quartier Montparnasse..
Old name : Grand Hôtel des Écoles.
This hotel is located in a street that was particularly frequented by artists during the roaring twenties. The Lenox hotel was then called Grand Hôtel des Écoles. Among its prestigious guests:
Henry and June Miller, who lived there from 1928 to 1930. At this time, Miller wasn't a writer yet.
Tristan Tzara: writer, poet and founder of the Dada movement. In 1921, while he was just arriving in Paris, he rented a room at the Lenox.
Alice Prin, as known as 'Kiki de Montparnasse'. Model and Man Ray's lover, she also posed, among others, for Foujita, Soutine, Bob Lodewick and the painter with whom she lived for 4 years, Maurice Mendjinsky. Starting with nothing, and that's little to say, she soon became alternately a cabaret singer, a writer and a painter.
James Joyce: author of 'A Portrait of the artist as a young man', 'Ulysses', 'Finnegans wake', 'Stephen Hero'.
Gertrude Stein: a writer, poet, feminist and art collector. Her best-seller book is 'The Authobiography of Alice B. Toklas'.
Jean Cocteau: 'The Terrible parents', 'Beauty and the Beast'…
Marc Vaux: the photograph of painters.
Man Ray: He's room as room number 32. It became one of his first photo-studios. There, he photographed James Joyce, Gertrude Stein…
Hôtel Belloy St Germain**** (Hôtel des Etrangers)
2, rue Racine, Saint-Germain-des-Prés
The Belloy Hotel was first known as the Hotel des Etrangers. It was created in 1871. Among the employees during its opening year, there was a barman and pianist, the composer and poet Ernest Cabaner. Paul Verlaine was a client at the bar, and that is where the two men met and liked each other. When speaking of Cabaner, Verlaine was used to say that he looked like “Jesus Christ after three years of absinth drinking”. In september, 1871, Paul Verlaine, who didn’t where to put up his friend and lover Arthur Rimbaud, asked Ernest Cabaner some help. He therefore accommodated Rimbaud for about two months at the hotel where he was renting a room at the 3rd floor. This encounter will allow Cabaner to got Verlaine started with the piano. For this instrument, the method of learning used by Cabaner was to put colors on each note. The story says that this method inspired Arthur Rimbaud for his poem “Vowels” (“Voyelles”). At this time, in Paris, poets were meeting in order to create the Parnasse movement. For the Parnassiens, only the beauty of the poem was admissible. They hold back every lyrical, dramatic or sentimental work. A poem had nothing to do with politics or with the poet’s feelings. Théophile Gauthier named that “Art for the Art”. Only the style and beauty of the verses were counting. Paul Verlaine and Arthur Rimbaud had done some short appearances in this group. Not satisfied, they created the “Zutiques” in response to the Parnassiens, with André Gill, Charles Cros, Camille Pelletan, Léon Valade. They used to meet at the Belloy hotel (Hotel des Etrangers). The only aim of this group was to ridicule the Parnassiens, especially one of its most active members, François Coppée, with writings and caricatures.
Nowadays, the Belloy hotel is a charming hotel located on the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, at the corner of the boulevard Saint Michel.
A Black, E white, I red, U green, O blue : vowels,
I shall tell, one day, of your mysterious origins:
A, black velvety jacket of brilliant flies
Which buzz around cruel smells,
Gulfs of shadow; E, whiteness of vapours and of tents,
Lances of proud glaciers, white kings, shivers of cow-parsley;
I, purples, spat blood, smile of beautiful lips
In anger or in the raptures of penitence;
U, waves, divine shudderings of viridian seas,
The peace of pastures dotted with animals, the peace of the furrows
Which alchemy prints on broad studious foreheads;
O, sublime Trumpet full of strange piercing sounds,
Silences crossed by Worlds and by Angels:
O the Omega, the violet ray of Her Eyes!
Hotels in Paris
4, Rue Saint Julien le Pauvre – Paris.
It is located on the left bank of the Seine. From most of the rooms, one can admire the river as well as Notre-Dame cathedral, the City Island and the Saint Julien le Pauvre square with its black locust, the oldest tree in Paris, planted on 1602.
Far from today’s standards, you will like the Hôtel Esméralda for its decoration and its simple welcoming. None of the 16 rooms are identical. The furniture has been bargain-hunted on antique dealers’ shops and flea markets.
The first thing you notice when pulling the entering door of the hotel is the staircase going up to the rooms. In 1968, Jane Birkin was shooting for Pierre Grimblat’s movie “Slogan”. The director had booked for her a room at the Esméralda. Her partner in this movie was Serge Gainsbourg. One says that the first meetings between Jane and Serge there were rather chaotic… until the day when Serge went to find Jane Birkin at the Hôtel Esméralda to bring her to dinner at Maxim’s. Serge Gainsbourg fell in love with the British beauty that particular day when he saw her climbing down the old and tortuous staircase. It was the time of the “swinging London” and of the very short skirts in England. You can easily imagine the effect that could produce the graceful Jane in these worn wooden stairs. Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin then spent their first night together in the Esméralda.
Hugo Pratt also stayed at the Hôtel Esméralda, as well as the world famous choreographer Maurice Béjart.
Hôtel le Louisiane. ** 100-140€
60, rue de Seine - Paris.
Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir lived in this hotel. Simone de Beauvoir wrote about it: « Aucun de mes abris ne s'était tant rapproché de mes rêves; j'envisageais d'y rester jusqu'à la fin de mes jours » [None of the places I lived in was this close to my dream home; I was considering staying there until the end of my days].
A lot of other artists stayed in this hotel, some have played here too:
Juliette Greco, Boris Vian, Hernest Hemingway, St Expupéry, Henry Miller, Milles Davis, John Coltrane, Lester Young, Chet Baker, Charlie Parker, the Doors, Pink Floyd, Salvatore Dali, Bernard Buffet, Alberto Giacometti, Louis Malle...
Bertrand Tavernier used the hotel as the setting of his movie “Round Midnight”.
Quentin Tarantino wrote “Pulp Fiction” in three weeks in one of the rooms of the Louisiane. He also stayed here during the shooting of “Inglorious Basterds”.