Chef Jean-François Piège, Concord chain of luxury hotels, Count of Crillon, Crillon Hotel, Destaileurs, Hotel de Crillon, Jacques-Ange Gabriel, Les Ambassadeurs Restaurant, Louis Francois Trouard, Place de la Revolution, Place Louis XV, Societe des Grands Magazines et des Hotels du Louvre
This is my favorite hotel. I’ve always wanted to stay where you are treated like Royalty. I finally got my chance last week when we were able to spend 2 nights at the Crillon Hotel. This isn’t just a hotel, it’s a Palace. In fact, the hotel will be closing down in April for a 2 year renovation. I didn’t think it needed anything. I thought it was perfect. Apparently a Palace needs a spa and a pool. The rooms that are lacking in perfection will be upgraded. There are probably a lot of little things that we mortals just can’t see.
This hotel has been part of the Concord chain of luxury hotels. It was recently sold and I have no idea what will be happening next. But I do know what happened before.
In the early 18th century, there was no Place de la Concord. There were fields. In 1758, King Louis XV commissioned the most famous architect of his time; Jacques-Ange Gabriel to design and build a square and twin Palaces. The square was called Place Louis XV. This was 1763. Thirty years later, the name changed to Place de la Revolution and guess who lost his head there.
King Louis XVI was married in the square in 1770 and in 1973, he was executed there. The named changed 5 more times but Place de la Concord has stuck since 1836.
In 1775, the city of Paris sold #10, Place Louis XV to Louis Francois Trouard an architect and student of Gabriel. Before the building was finished, the Duke of Aumont wanted to rent the building and have it finished in great luxury for his family. He was an art collector and this would be the perfect venue for his collection. When the Duke died in 1782, Trouard took the building back but then leased it to the Spanish Ambassador for several years. In 1788, they sold the building for 300,000 pounds to the Count of Crillon and his wife. It remained in their family until 1907.
During the revolution the residence was converted into a lodging house, Hotel de Courlande. Then it became the Corrazza Café. The interior of the building suffered when divided into 2 stories. The family of the Count of Crillon returned to Paris from Spain after the revolution and his widow, the Marquis de Crillon took possession of the home in 1820. After more renovations the building was given the status of a historical monument.
The word Hotel, in French use to mean a private residence and not necessarily a public place to spend the night.
In 1907, the Societe des Grands Magazines et des Hotels du Louvre acquired the Hotel de Crillon and 2 adjoining buildings. They remodeled again and transformed the building into a luxury Hotel. The architect this time was Destaileurs, who needed to preserve the historic and sumptuous decorations. On March 11, 1909, the Hotel de Crillon gave its first gala dinner and then opened for business.
At present there are 103 rooms, 39 suites and 5 luxury apartments. The building works well as a luxury hotel and yet it retains the intimate atmosphere of a private residence. The staff is gracious, helpful and considerate. I was able to spend time chatting with a number of them.
Chef Jean-François Piège is the Award-winning chef for “Les Ambassadeurs” Restaurant where he has created a Classic French menu with incursions into contemporary cuisine. Jacques and I had 2 lovely breakfasts in the beautiful dining room.
Even if you are not staying at the hotel, you can enjoy tea or coffee in the beautiful Jardin d’Hiver or a cocktail in the Bar.
Be sure to wander in to see the beautiful public rooms. You will be welcomed. I want to thank the staff for a great stay at the Hotel de Crillon.