Hotel Online  Special Report


Hospes Hotels Acquires the 60 room Hotel Lancaster, Paris
for € 48 million (US $60.2 million) 
Hospes adds one more to the list: Hotel Lancaster - right in the heart of Parisian
Golden Triangle hotel. With its purchase, Hospes reaches the number of 14 hotels
and plans on a portfolio of 30 hotels within the next 10 years. 

July 18, 20069 - Hospes has purchased the hotel Lancaster from previous owners – Mr & Mrs Stéphane Andrieu – for a sum of € 48 million. GLA Hotels, headed by Grace Leo-Andrieu, has signed a collaboration agreement for one year. Banif Inmobiliario, a subsidiary of Banco Banif specialized in Value-Added Real Estate Advisory, took part to the deal. Banif Inmobiliario produces market research, design investment strategies, finds investment opportunities according to clients objectives and help them during due diligence and execution processes. 

Situated just off the Champs Élysées and Arc de Triomphe (7, rue de Berri, Champs-Elysées) Hotel Lancaster is an exclusive hotel boutique built in 1889 and the high expression of refined Parisian culture. With only 60 rooms, including 11 suites situated around a zen-like courtyard garden, this mini-palace takes pride in the tranquillity and discretion it offers its guests. An exceptional collection of French antiques and paintings gives the feeling of the most elegant and exceptional environment. Hotel Lancaster is part of The Leading Hotels of the World, the prestigious association to which only the outstanding hotels around the world belong to. 

Hotel Lancaster counts with one Michelin Star restaurant, La Table du Lancaster, run under the talent of French master chef, Michel Troisgros. His inspiration gives life to the most exquisite creative cuisine, a combination of traditional French cuisine with an oriental touch and a prominence of slightly sour notes. 

Hotel Lancaster, which was originally built when the soil belonging to the Princes of Hennin was sold to the Spanish nobleman Don Santiago Drake del Castillo, now returns to its roots thanks to this latest acquisition. 

The Lancaster History

For generations, the discreet ancienne regime style building at 7 Rue du Berri has housed one of the last bastions of traditional hospitality - Hotel Lancaster. A beautiful intimate hotel of 60 bedrooms built around a honey suckle scented courtyard, there are no armies of uniformed flunkies and no glitz, instead, there is a fundamental understanding of the importance of the highest levels of personal service and of the innate quality of every aspect of the hotel from the precise shade of the bed linen, to the basins hewn from solid marble and the collection of fine antiques and artefacts which decorate the hotel. If the maxim that “God is in the detail” where ever applicable to a hotel, The Lancaster is that hotel. Since it opened in 1930, the hotel has had just three operators, the legendary hotelier Emile Wolf, the Savoy Group and Grace Leo-Andrieu. Works of art and fine pieces purchased by Emile Wolf in the 1930’s are seamlessly combined with the works of carefully chosen and briefed contemporary artisans. The feeling is that of the private home of a connoisseur, with painstaking attention to detail and taste apparent in every aspect of the hotel’s refurbishment, from the beautifully restored marble staircase patinated by a century of use, to contemporary sandblasted white oak panelling in the reception set off by the stained Iroko architraving and skirting boards. Contemporary and traditional elements are integrated with such finesse that one is conscious of only the comfort, quality and elegance of the whole. Beautiful fabrics abound throughout the hotel - carefully chosen Toiles de Jouy, Damassé and Indienne, many with their own themes - "Voyage en Chine", "Marchands d'Etoffes", "Le Singe Savant" and, the specially woven Braquenié carpets which enhance the curtains. The Lancaster still respects its past heroes and heroines. Marlene Dietrich made the hotel her home on visits to Paris and one of the suites is named as a tribute to the 30's screen idol and decorated in the star's favourite colour of lilac. A Von Sternberg original drawing of Marlene hangs above the bed and a stunning Louis XV desk presides in the living area. The "Emile Wolf" suite is decorated in the warm hues of gold and cinnamon, which is picked up by the marignan motif curtains. A serious collection of 18th century marquetery cabinets along with the commode and a baby grand piano complete the scene. Today, the Hotel Lancaster is a home for those who appreciate quality over ostentation and elegance over fashion. 

The building which today houses the Hôtel Lancaster was originally built in 1889 as a town house, in the style of the ancienne regime, for Monsieur Santiago Drake del Castillo, a Spaniard nobleman who had acquired the land ten years earlier from the Prince and Princess d’Hennin. The house remained in the Castillo family until 1925, when it was sold to a Swiss gentleman, Monsieur Emile Wolf. The property at this stage comprised four flats, one on each floor, but Monsieur Wolf decided to commence the process of enlargement and transformation which was to create the Hôtel Lancaster. As part of the works, four more floors were added to the building between 1925 and 1928. However, Wolf was at pains to ensure the that the old met with the new to form a seamless whole - a philosophy which has been maintained in the hotel’s refurbishment of 1996. During the period of conversion, completed in 1930, Wolf and his housekeeper, the daughter of an antique dealer, scoured the auction houses of Paris for furniture, antique clocks, paintings, chandeliers, lamps, tapestries, crystal and porcelain to furnish the hotel. The furniture that they assembled remains at the hotel and now forms the core of an extensive and continuously evolving collection. The wealth of Louis XV and Louis XVI furniture adds an inimitable Parisian chic to the rooms though it has to be said many of the pieces are high quality 19th century copies now collected in their own right. A typical example is found with the Louis XVI style bureau à cylindre which is decorated with marquetry music trophies in palissander olive and lemon wood. Although English in origin, the desk was made to appeal to the Victorian interest in pre-Revolutionary France. The chiming of numerous antique clocks floats through The Lancaster. Particularly appealing examples contained within the hotel’s collection are a ormolu-mounted bright green rococo clock. Another equally aesthetic timepiece dates from the years when Napoleon was Consul (1799 - 1804) - its motifs of palm leaves, lotus flowers, gilt-bronze sphinxes were inspired by Napoleon’s Egyptian campaigns which unleashed a flurry of pharonic decoration. A rococo boulle clock by Ifenne sits on a bracket in the Grand Salon, opposite a 19th century canal scene by Felix Ziem (1821 - 1911). The result is a hotel steeped in history, where each room takes on an individual identity. This luxurious elegance and comfort, attention to detail and impeccable standard of service has led the hotel to become a particular favourite with royalty, society and leading figures from government and the arts. The Lancaster’s past clientele has ranged from Noel Coward and King Umberto of Italy to Marlene Dietrich, Jeremy Irons, Ewan McGregor, Patricia Arquette, Greta Garbo, Sir Alec Guiness and John Houston. 

Historical Suites

Furnished with exotic antiques and each with its own individual identity, these stunning ‘apartments’ have been long standing favourites with royalty, society and leading figures from government and the Arts. Past and present clientele have included Jeremy Irons, Grace Kelly, David Lynch, Ewan McGregor and Patricia Arquette. To this day, they still bear the indelible mark of the hotel’s illustrious guests. 

Marlene Dietrich Suite A tribute to Marlene Dietrich who made The Lancaster her Parisian home for over three years in the 1930’s, this particularly romantic suite is decorated in her favourite colour of lilac. “Marquis de Pierre”, a purple fabric with an ivory background, adorns the bedroom walls, whilst the spacious salon features a large Louis XV desk with bronzes, a pair of glass pear-shaped lamps, which were formerly used as display perfume bottles, and a Chinese porcelain showcase, all set within a sumptuous setting of Warner damask silk. Hanging over the bed is a portrait of the diva given to The Lancaster by Marlene’s impresario. Behind the mauve and pale green “Calcott Heliotrope” curtains is a view over the tranquil courtyard garden designed by Philippe Niez and Alexandra Schmidt. Guests will find sleep hard to resist with the gentle murmur of the wall fountain below. 

Emile Wolf Suite This magnificent suite of autumnal colouring is situated on the 4th floor looking onto the Rue de Berri. A tribute to Emile Wolf, the Swiss hotelier who created The Lancaster and amassed the exceptional collection of antiques still in the hotel today, this sumptuous accommodation features an enormous salon in cinnamon and gold silk damask, Louis XV style furniture, a marble fireplace and a grand piano played by illustrious stars of cinema and opera. In contrast to the sharp, clean lines of the modern bathroom in Carrera marble, the bedroom has pale gold silk covered walls and curtains and hand-painted renaissance toile in guise of wardrobe doors. Decorated in amber and ivory “Marquis de Pierre” colours, it adjoins the Marlene Dietrich Suite, the dividing doors of which can be thrown open to create your own ‘mini-palace’. 

The Honeymoon Suite A staircase winds up to the secluded intimacy of Suite 80, the sole occupant of the eighth floor. To open the door is to unveil a rich, deep, red living room, its walls covered in red silk from floor to ceiling. Contrasting red and purple “Wise Monkey” designs on an ivory background cover the walls of the bedroom, reminiscent of a French Château in design. 

Suite 75 With a view west over the courtyard garden and a large amount of natural daylight, this oriental ‘apartment’ is popular with businessmen. Climb three steps into the Salon and you embark on a voyage of China. The bedroom is decorated in mustard yellow with a raspberry-red chinoiserie design, whilst The “Bellecour” salon with its tobacco, beige and raspberry striped walls has no connecting rooms and provides a private venue for meetings. 

An artistic melting pot, The Lancaster hotel combines the modern with the classic, the exotic with the understated. Seamlessly, damask and silks of exquisite colour and design - such as Diva Rouge, Wise Monkey, Marquis de Pierre and Blue Scarborough - are interwoven into an overall tapestry which, though undisputedly unique, is not one to forsake modern convenience. 

In House Artist Boris Pastoukhoff (1894-1974)

The Lancaster in Paris must be one of the few hotels in the world that can claim to have had its own artist in residence, the Russian émigré Boris Pastoukhoff. The artist stayed at the hotel on many occasions during the 1930’s and over 80 works of art were exchanged for payment of his bill. Pastoukhoff’s works still hang on walls of The Lancaster and bear testament to his skills as a portraitist and still life painter. Born in Kiev, Boris Pastoukhoff studied at The Academy of Fine Art until, forced to leave by the revolution, he fled to Yugoslavia to continue his studies. In Belgrade, Pastoukhoff steadily built a reputation for his paintings. Primarily a portrait painter, Pastoukhoff maintained that if an artist could paint the human hand he had mastered the art of portrait painting. A maxim which served him well as he was soon appointed the official portrait painter to the court. In 1931, Pastoukhoff moved from Belgrade to the then centre of the art world, Paris, where he exhibited regularly at the Salon des Tuileries, Salon d’Automne and several private galleries including the Charpentier and Durand-Ruel. Throughout the nineteen twenties and thirties Pastoukhoff’s reputation developed and spread with commissions not only from the ancient regime of Europe but also from the new stars of Hollywood like Marlene Dietrich and Clark Gable. Ultimately, in addition to regular exhibitions in Paris and Russia, Pastoukoff was to show at the Royal Academy of Arts and The Royal Society of Portrait Painters as well as in Italy, Spain and Ecuador. His work is included in private and public collections throughout the world, including the Brooklyn Museum of Fine Arts and Moderne, Madrid. Although famous primarily as a portrait painter, Pastoukhoff also painted still life. Indeed his life works at The Lancaster display a compositional rhythm and three-dimensional vivacity, while the passionate use of colour and bold brushwork give his work vigour and intensity. His favourite subjects at the hotel were the bountiful bouquets of flowers that were sent up to the guests’ rooms as well as those in the public areas. 

La Table du Lancaster - Michel Troisgros 3 star Michelin Chef charged with creating a new restaurant concept

Michel Troisgros has conceived a menu which is inspired by his extensive travels and focuses on the vivacious, tangy and acidic flavours for which he has become renowned. Michel Troisgros was one of the first chefs of his generation to employ the culinary methods and techniques that are widely used in cuisine today. Ahead of his time, he has created an inimitable style, largely due to his original and innovative touches. Inspired by his love for travel and his Italians origins, Michel Troisgros’ cuisine reflects his gastronomic discoveries in Asia, USA, and Russia. Bringing his own personality to his cooking, Michel Troisgros has reated an exciting new dining experience at the Lancaster Hotel. 

To dine in its restaurant is to experience an air of intimacy in a timeless atmosphere, whether it be in the main dining room or the charming Zen Garden. Previously appreciated exclusively by hotel guests, the restaurant has recently opened to the discerning public. Michel Troisgros brings with him the spirit of his refined restaurant in Roanne, and has made La Table du Lancaster a contemporary version of the former, with casual Parisian elegance. The menu that he has conceived reads like a page from his extensive travel diary, and is divided into six distinct themes. The focus is put on the vivacious, tangy and acidic flavours for which he has become renowed. 

The redecoration of the restaurant interior has introduced sleek dark wood chairs upholstered in a taupe twill entwined with copper filaments, and flame orange velvet clad banquettes. The modernist lines of the bronze coloured oak bar, and the tables and chairs of Iroko wood are complemented by magnificent 19th century-style Chinese wall paintings and a floor-to-ceiling mirror in an Iroko frame, which reflects onto the hotel’s adjacent Zen Garden where guests can also dine in the finer weather. Upon arrival, guests are treated to the sight of fine white porcelain in different shapes and sizes and beaten silver tableware placed upon tablecloths made from Egyptian cotton. Orange water goblets and beaded candleholders complete the effect with an individual flower floating in a small dish on each place setting. All these elements come together to create an original and memorable setting for lunch or dinner. 

Hospes Hotels & Moments

Hospes Hotels & Moments is an innovative concept whose ideals are its guests' well-being and revitalization. Purity and authenticity define Hospes Hotels & Moments. Such elements can be surprising when they are expressed in a pure state and in a natural way. They inspire disconnection and the opportunity to find oneself again. The sequence of discovery, disconnection and liberation leads to that moment of pure expression which is Hospes leit motiv. Hospes means experiencing an untransferable personal way of life. 

The concept on which Hospes is based goes beyond business objectives. It is the decision and the personal development of a team that believes in itself and in its project in order to create something different thanks to its talent, and it uses these instruments to express excellence and coherence. Hospes is the sum of the attitudes, aptitudes, capacities and dreams of all the people that form its team. 


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Also See: GIC Real Estate Pte Ltd Acquires the InterContinental Hotel Paris from IHG for 315 million euros (U.S.$ 390 million); The 438 room Hotel to be Rebranded Westin Paris / September 2005
JJW Hotels & Resorts Group Acquires the De Vigny and Balzac Hotels in Paris for $65 million / June 2004

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