Archive for September 30th, 2020

September 30, 2020

Paris and a Hilton!

So still digging my old photos from my vault as I go along in my road warrior trips in my region. I stay in Paris, yes my eternal Paris. A city came to know first as the name my blog indicates 1972, felled in love in 1990 and never look back. Lucky enough to work in it and visit every month until the virus.

Let me tell you a nice story about a Hilton hotel of Paris.

After losing its last intramuros Parisian establishment ,today the Hotel du Collectionneur,(today close due to the virus) the famous Hilton group has only 3 establishments in the Paris region: in Orly, Roissy and in La Défense. In 2013, the chain bought the former Concorde Opéra, which after extensive renovations became the Hilton Paris Opéra in 2015.

It so happened have been to the old Hilton Champs Elysées which is now call the Hotel du Collectionneur that have not been… and was a guest at the old Concorde Opéra which is now the Hilton Paris Opéra which have not been. So therefore, been while the old names were there. I feel for my souvenirs in my blog, and the nice story for all, in addition to visit the newer hotels ,they deserve a post of their own. Therefore ,here it is.

The Hotel du Collectionneur (previus Hilton C-E)  is located at the bottom of the rue de Courcelles in the 8éme arrondissement of Paris. Close to Parc Monceau and avenue Hoche, 700 meters from the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs Elysées. Going down rue de Courcelles, you cross Boulevard Haussmann, before crossing rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré. 300 meters further on you are in front of the Champs Elysées roundabout at the opposite end of which leads to Avenue Montaigne. This 5 star hotel is in a beautiful location, far from the bustle of the Champs Elysées but close enough to be able to enjoy its riches.

The new hotel du collectionneur official webpage is here:

For info, below is my Dad walking ahead to the Hilton lol!!!

Paris Hilton Hotel C-E pipo get juan y reynol 28apr10

The former Concorde Opéra, renovated in early 2015, the Hilton Paris Opéra is a listed building with a hall with a ceiling height of 14 meters and adorned with mirrors, bronzes, crystal chandeliers and marble columns. This hotel enjoys a beautiful location in the heart of Paris, a stone’s throw from Gare Saint-Lazare, between the Opéra Garnier and the great department stores and not far from the Madeleine. The Hilton Paris Opéra hotel offers spacious, bright rooms and suites on 5 floors, with great refinement, decorated with light colors and paintings of Parisian scenes, providing a prestigious atmosphere. For eating and drinking it still has the Grand Salon for breakfasts, restaurant Terminus Café, and the Le Petit Bar, recently redecorated in a revisited art deco atmosphere.

Located in the 8éme arrondissement, the Concorde Opéra hotel was ideally located to enjoy the monuments of Paris. The Garnier opera house, the Madeleine Church, the Sacré-Cœur Basilica and the Royal Palais are just a few meters from them. Many nearby tourist attractions. You will find there not far from places of going outs and restaurants. Public transport is easy to access. Passage du Havre at about 137 meters, FNAC – Saint Lazare at 94 meters, Gare Saint Lazare at 90 meters, Opéra Garnier at 57 meters.

A bit of history I like on this one which not only visited for the wonderful architecture and history but held several business meetings there.

Initially the hotel was inaugurated in 1889 as the Grand Hôtel Terminus, to welcome British travelers arriving via Saint-Lazare train station to visit the Universal Exhibition, and belong to the Société du Louvre, then in 1972 it became the Concorde Saint-Lazare then the Concorde Opéra Paris. Purchased by the Hilton group at the end of 2013, it was renamed Hilton Paris Opéra in January 2015. This hotel, with its Haussmann-style exterior architecture, features an imposing entrance framed by pink granite columns. Dating from 1889, its Eiffel-style hall and Second Empire-style coffered ceiling are decorated with paintings and sculptures by artist Charles Joseph Lameire as well as mirrors, bronzes and crystal chandeliers. Thus, in the 1950s, it was named Snack Spot and was then one of the “trendy” establishments in Paris, frequented by many young people, notably from the nearby Lycée Chaptal high school. Among the clientele, future celebrities: Mario David, Martin Monestier and Alain Figaret. And especially two friends passionate about culture from the United States who came to drink milkshakes and who will become singers, Christian Blondieau and Jean-Philippe Smet, who have not yet taken their respective stage names: Long Chris and Johnny Hallyday !

Among the personalities who have resided at the Concorde Opéra Paris, was Georges Feydeau . In September 1909, after a violent argument with his wife, he left his marital home and, using the excuse of the embarrassment of moving, settled down for a few days in the hotel. He ended up staying there for more than ten years, at room 189. The walls of his room hosted works by artists who had become fashionable such as Van Gogh or Utrillo, and even Claude Monet had also made it his Parisian pied-à-terre when he lived in Giverny.

The official current Hilton Paris Hotel webpage is here:

Ok cannot find picture of the old Concorde Paris hotel so will give you the front of gare St Lazare to the right off the picture is the hotel…..believe me please.

paris rue du havre et st lazare feb14

Therefore, I feel my story have been told and recorded in my blog. Hope you enjoy it too, and do come to my eternal Paris. Many more stories to share in over 30 years of relationship with Paris!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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September 30, 2020

Paris and Au Printemps!!

Well here is one that escaped me , and one I walk by every day for almost 9 yrs! and shopped many times! Oh well wrote about the other one nearby but somehow left this one out of one post. I have mentioned in brief moments in other posts but not stand alone which it deserves.

I like to tell you a bit more on the grand magasin Au Printemps dept store of Paris and the world.

paris au printemps at haussmann mar13

Au Printemps Paris perpetuates, over the seasons, its vision of essential luxury at low prices. Au Printemps is a department store that mainly focuses on fashion, luxury and beauty brands. The flagship store is located on Boulevard Haussmann in the 9éme arrondissement of Paris. In 2013, Au Printemps was bought by Disa, an investment fund with Qatari capital ,already with 25 stores. The flagship store and the one I passed by many many times was Au Printemps Haussmann ; open Mondays to Saturdays  11h to 20h, Sunday 11h to 19h . Metro Havre-Caumartin lines 3 and 9 closes bus line is the 43 on rue du Havre and 32/66 on bd Haussmann.

A bit of history I like

Au Printemps was created on May 11, 1865, by Jules Jaluzot and Jean-Alfred Duclos in the Chaussée-d’Antin neighborhood of the 9éme district. This location also benefits from the proximity of the Gare Saint-Lazare train station. Thus Au Printemps moved to the corner of rue du Havre and boulevard Haussmann. The first years of Au Printemps saw the store shine throughout France and then abroad. The Universal Exhibitions of 1867 and 1878 contributed to this recognition. In 1883, Au Printemps was the first public place fully equipped with an electric lighting system. On the mezzanine, the customer can also admire the electrical factory behind a glass wall.


In 1904 announced the construction of a second store which is the current Printemps Haussmann store better known as Printemps de la Femme (woman store),on the even numbered side of Boulevard Haussmann. The first stone was laid in May 1907 and the new store was inaugurated in April 1910. It is dominated by a dome which illuminates a large hall 42 meters high, and also includes a central staircase with four Art Nouveau-inspired revolutions. The ceilings are by painter Marcel-Pierre Ruty. The store on rue du Havre is raised two floors and topped by a panoramic terrace in 1963. Testimony to the splendor of Au Printemps in the years 1910-1920, the dome on the 6th floor of Printemps de la Femme, built in 1910 by the master glassmaker Brière recalls the masterful decor of the Au Printemps of  yesteryear.

The official Au Printemps on the bd Haussmann store:


In 1912, Au Printemps opened a store for the first time in the provinces, in Deauville. At the beginning of the 1930s, Au Printemps had three stores. Since 1921, a warehouse has been transformed into a sales area which in 1930 becomes Brummell, the store of the elegant man. In 1969, Au Printemps de Parly II at Les Chesnay-Rocquencourt(Yvelines 78) opened its doors and marked the beginning of Printemps’ involvement in a new form of distribution as shopping centers. The Parly II store is the one I came most as next door to Versailles:

In 1931, a new concept arrived from the United States: the single price for everyday consumer products. Au Printemps then opened a new company, Prisunic,(eventually closed in 2013, but I got to buy here too), which was responsible for selling inexpensive everyday products.

In 1977,new activities were developed or strengthened such as food (Disco), clothing (Armand Thiery still my fav store today) and mail order (La Redoute). In the 1980s, Au Printemps department stores opened up to the world, inviting their customers to various thematic and cultural exhibitions. The store opens branches as far as Japan (later sold) ,Istanbul, Jeddah, Dubai, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. François Pinault acquired the Au Printemps group in 1991, then merged his own group with Au Printemps, which then took the name of Pinault-Printemps, made up of brands such as Conforama (furniture/electronics), Prisunic (again closed in 2013), La Redoute, then in 1994, Fnac (now merge with another group Darty).Au Printemps therefore focused on five strong universes: Beauty, Lifestyle, Fashion, Accessories and Men. The Parisian store Brummell, specializing in men’s clothing, was renovated and became Le Printemps de l’Homme (Mens store) in September 1999. The 2000s saw an increase in activities, with the opening of the Au Printemps Design store at the Centre Georges-Pompidou. In May 2019, the Au Printemps group announces the opening of its first store abroad for 2021. It will be located in Doha, the capital of Qatar, the country of the group’s new owners since 2013.

This is the Groupe Printemps as of today with their brands:

And now I feel better credited in my blog. I always got an inspiration walking out of gare St Lazare and walking past it to cross Haussmann on my way to work! A sublime experience that will always remember, did for almost 9 years!! And of course, sneak in once in a while for some serious shopping, many times to take back to my boys a garment. However, with the family was more in the store at Parly II in Les Chesnay (now the town call ChesnayRocquencourt) as my boys went to school in the town which is across the street from Versailles where we lived.

Hope you enjoy the post as I did bringing back many nice family memories, always remembered. Enjoy while in Paris, the Au Printemps dept store.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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