The Grand Hotel de Paris - Intercontinental
The Bal des Parisiennes, le Bal Viennois de Paris® will take place on Saturday, June 16th 2018, from 7.00 pm till 5.00 am, in Paris at the Grand Hôtel Intercontinental of Paris, near the Opéra Garnier and the Grands Boulevards.
The Grand Hôtel Intercontinental of Paris
2, Rue Scribe
An access by car or limo is possible at 2, rue Scribe. A car-park is to be find 100 m. far near the Galeries Lafayette.
The Grand Hôtel has been inaugurated on May, 5th 1862, by Empress Eugénie, Napoleon III's wife. It opened on the 4th of June the same year. It was the brilliant time of the Second Empire : the huge works of Baron Haussmann transformed Paris into a bright, clean, and modern city. It was also a time of economical progress, due to the development of railways and communications. A time of peace and prosperity.
The Parisians were highly interested in the building of this huge hotel, the biggest in the world at that time, in the wholly renovated neighbourhoof of the Opéra, designed to be a new Parisien centre close to the centre of politics, economy, finance and culture.
Originally the Hotel used to offer 800 rooms and suites. Four floors were dedicated to the clients, and one for the staff. You could find a restaurant "Table d'hôte" there, the Café de la Paix, a tea-room (Café-Divan), and numerous drawing rooms, that could welcome Princes, Press, meetings, but also rooms for ladies, ballrooms, concert halls, billard rooms, and magnificent cellars so as to store wines coming from every part of France. The hotel also used to host a studio of photography.
Each room and suite of the Hotel had its own chimney. Only the most luxurious suites had a bathroom, but clients could benefit from a bath service with many options such as hydrotherapy, baths, showers, rubbings… The rooms were in the style of the Second Empire. Today some parts of the Hotel remain in their original state : the Salon Opéra, which is the former Ballroom, ceilings, columns and paintings of the Café de la Paix, or the ceiling of the Imperial Suite.
As soon as it was inaugurated, the Grand Hôtel de Paris was the place where to seen and to be seen. Kings and queens, maharjahs and sultans coming from every part of the world used to go there, such as the last czar of Russia, King Edouard VII or, more recently, Queen Ranai of Jordan.
The Hotel has become a major crossroad for artists, actors and leaders of artistic movements. Victor Hugo used to organize banquets there, and Emile Zola chose the setting of the Hotel for the death of his tragic heroin Nana, who dies in a flowered room on the 5th floor. In 1860 James Gordon Bennett who founded the International Herald Tribune met Henry W. Stanley in order to convince him to go in search for Dr. Livingstone in Africa. During WWI the Hotel was partly transformed into a military hospital. The begininng of the jazz era brought new celebrities in its walls, such as Josephine Baker, who used to sing at the Olympia nearby, or Noel Coward and Marlene Dietrich who were famous for being some of its most faithful clients.