Le Meurice - History and Facts | History Hit

Le Meurice

Tristan Parker

03 Sep 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Le Meurice

Sitting on the edge of Tuileries Garden, this expansive, immensely luxurious Parisian hotel is steeped in history. It’s known for having hosted an array of famous artists, literary figures, and members of various royal families.

Le Meurice history

With former guests including the likes of Queen Victoria, Tchaikovsky, Franklin Roosevelt, Elizabeth Taylor, Salvador Dalí, Orson Wells, you’ll be in good company if you stay here. It started as a Calais coaching inn opened by a postmaster, Charles-Augustin Meurice, in 1771, primarily to house wealthy travellers making their way from Britain to Paris. Charles-Augustin’s son built a second inn in Paris in 1818 to house the same guests who had stayed at the Calais outpost. In 1835 the hotel moved to its current site.

Le Meurice quickly become a popular haunt for the rich and famous, hosting numerous parties and dinners, some of which reputedly lasted through the night and into the next day. When Queen Victoria chose Le Meurice for her state visit to Paris in 1855, the entire first floor was renovated for the occasion.

In the 1880s, Le Meurice offered guests use of telephone lines (the hotel claims it was the first in Paris to do this, although other hotels make similar claims). In 1907, Le Meurice provided private bathrooms in every room and suite – again, the hotel claims it was the first in Paris to do this.

Word spread quickly and it wasn’t long before Le Meurice had hosted a grand list of rulers and royals from across the globe. These included the King of Montenegro, King George VI, the Sultan of Zanzibar, the Maharaja of Jaïpur, and the Grand Duchess of Russia. King Alphonse XIII of Spain was also a regular guest, bringing his own furniture to his preferred suite. Throughout it all, the hotel’s roof garden restaurant was a favourite hangout for the high society figures that populated Le Meurice, offering magnificent panoramic views across Paris.

Le Meurice today

The hotel continues to operate as an exclusive destination spot to be seen in – if you can afford it. Its glitzy, opulent heritage are paid tribute to throughout, and are combined with contemporary innovations such as the Restaurant Le Dalí, inspired by one of the hotel’s famous guests.

Getting to Le Meurice

Le Meurice lies on the northern edge of the famous 17th century Tuileries Garden in the 1st arrondissement of Paris, France. It’s also extremely close to some of the city’s most well-known sights and attractions, including Place de la Concorde a few minutes to the west and the Louvre art museum to the east. The hotel is almost opposite the Tuileries Metro station and is next to the Castiglione bus stop.

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