Hundred Years of Pulchritude at the Lutetia

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Fabrice Rambert

Aging gracefully The Lutetia has remained a rendezvous for fashionable Parisians

Billed as Paris' first Art Deco hotel when it opened in 1910, the Lutetia celebrates its centenary this year with artistic events and exhibitions, all in the spirit of its Left Bank location. The calendar includes a performance by legendary jazz drummer André Ceccarelli on May 21, a series of Literary Sundays being held until June and photography exhibitions in association with the Maison Européenne de la Photographie. The hotel has even commissioned its own celebratory blend of Taittinger Champagne and commemorative postage stamp (just 3,000 available, on sale at the hotel).

You'd expect nothing less from a hotel redolent with history and for long a magnet for the great and good. The names of Matisse and Picasso can be found in the guest book. Charles de Gaulle spent a night there celebrating his nuptials. Entertainer Josephine Baker had a semipermanent suite.

Today, you might spot Carla Bruni breakfasting in the brasserie or Gerard Depardieu, Catherine Deneuve and Dita von Teese enjoying discreet cocktails and dinner in the Sonia Rykiel–designed bar and Michelin-starred restaurant. Rykiel's interiors are faithful to the Paris of the early 20th century: Lalique crystal chandeliers, lovely original lemon-and-black stained-glass windows and sumptuous blood-red velvet furniture.

The 231 rooms and suites have a more contemporary feel, and nearly a third of them have uninterrupted views of the Eiffel Tower. Stay three consecutive nights between now and the end of the year, and as part of the centennial festivities you'll get a hotel dining voucher worth — what else? — 100 euros (about $134). See

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