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Photo: Hotel Elysia
Hotel Elysia is a world-famous five-star hotel located in Paris, France. Just constructed a little over a year ago, Elysia is a five-star stay at the heart of France’s capital. According to most sources, it seems to live up to its name: marble-covered items, high ceilings, and beautiful ornate fireplaces are just some of the features of the building. Part of the goal of the hotel is to create an idealized version of Paris that the rest of the world would most likely recognize in comparison to what Paris actually looks like. There is one main way that it accomplishes this atmosphere: paying homage to an artistic movement, specifically incorporating the Romantic Era of its country. The hotel has branded this the “Romantic Art of Living.” A brief history lesson: the Romantic Era of Europe mostly took place during the 18th century. This era was loosely focused on fostering spirituality, finding warmth in everyday life, bringing forth a new and often colorful way to interpret art, and the pursuit of feelings. The food, the architecture, and the artwork all play a part in capturing this important era for the sake of the hotel’s aesthetic.
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The Hotel Elysia – Architecture
A key part of embodying the Romantic Era of France is to embody the architecture of that time. During this timeframe, there were a few hallmarks that Hotel Elysia could look to as a reference. For instance, a signature of French Romanticism was the use of marble. Elysia has many items in their rooms covered in marble, and they can specifically be found in the fireplaces in all types of rooms they have available. Another hallmark is the heavy-vaulted ceiling. These kinds of ceilings were commonly used when designing churches and cathedrals, and invoked a sense of awe and wonder from the average citizen. While Hotel Elysia doesn’t exactly have this specific kind of ceiling, the rooms’ ceilings are incredibly high to emulate them.
The Romantic Era influence also focuses largely on pursuing and centering on how things make a person feel, i.e. comfort. Elysia’s rooms are definitely geared towards comfort. The description of what they dub the “classic rooms” explain as much. Emotions are treated with the utmost importance. This includes making rooms that promise beautiful color schemes and unique materials such as velvet. “Executive rooms” go even further, adding pastel colors and bits of gold here and there to the design. The style of furniture used in the hotel is comfortable yet classy in its white and gray color scheme. In the same vein as 18th-century Romanticism, natural light was also important in designing comfortable rooms. When creating Romantic Era furniture and all things inside of buildings, it’s important for everything to express a certain level of relaxation.
Food is another important facet of capturing the essence of the Romantic Era for Hotel Elysia. Vegetarianism became increasingly popular in Romantic Era Europe. Pastries and wine became popular foods of choice, replacing or at the very least adding to people’s diet of animal products.
In the world-famous hotel, there are a couple of different food options that try to reflect this. One of these options is a restaurant called Le Bayadère. It’s located nearby in the Champs-Elysées District of Paris. While they offer various types of meat and fishes, they offer all kinds of vegetables, pastas, and wine as well. Some of these dishes incorporate grilled pumpkin, sweet potatoes, chanterelle mushrooms, and ricotta ravioli. They included a vegetarian club sandwich as well. They also have their fair share of desserts, including chocolate tarts, ice cream, and fruits. The list of wines is long and interesting, greatly ranging in prices and styles. There are champagne blancs, champagne rosés, white wines, burgundies, and more. Getting the food right is important to accurately portray any culture or era, and the Romantic Era of France is definitely included.
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During the Romantic Era, marble was the material of choice from which to carve sculptures and statues. Painters from this era also had very specific styles. Like the rest of the Romantic Era, it was mostly a reaction to the intellectualism of the Enlightenment Era before it. This led to the creation of paintings and sculptures that were supposed to be deeply felt.
There is artwork galore in Hotel Elysia, and many of these pieces are supposed to reflect the Romantic Era or simply romantic inclinations of Paris. For instance, there is a walk specifically designed for hotel-goers through which to stroll. When one first walks in, there is a replica of Gustav Klimt’s “The Kiss.” [The original sculpture was completed long after the end of the Romantic Era, but it is a cornerstone of French art that decided to pursue feelings and elicit romantic emotions (ed. note: Gustav Klimt’s “The Kiss” is not a sculpture but a painting, and it’s not French, it’s Austrian. This needs to be rewritten)]. It also incorporates certain other aesthetic choices that typically dominated the artistic Romantic Era scene, such as loose brush strokes and a bright color palette. Another specific inspiration can be found in the hotel’s restaurant Le Bayadère, which is modeled after La Danse by Henri Matisse, another artist whose work was dedicated to bright color palettes. The following place in this stroll is the Parisian-style flats, inspired by architect Georges-Eugène Haussman and his notorious use of gold and wood colorings. This area of the hotel is collectively titled the “Romantic Art de Vivre,” and it’s one of the most obvious signs of Hotel Elysia’s dedication to all things French and Romantic.
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Hotel Elysia is a luxury stay that is by all accounts breathtaking and purposefully uses its location’s surrounding history and heritage to enrich the experience. It has pulled from a plethora of different influences, designers, architects, and painters for inspiration. It shows in its chosen artwork, layout, materials, fabrics, ceilings, and everything else about the hotel. All these things make it a must-visit for anyone who wants to stay in a luxury hotel in Paris. Not only does this hotel provide top-quality services and a high-quality experience, it’s also likely to be an interesting and holistic lesson in the local culture and history of the community.
By Zachary DePiore
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