Paris’ First Love Hotel …

Each time France has a new president we hear about how the country should be modernized. So, how is this for modernization? France – Paris that is – is to get her first love hotel! I don’t somehow think that President Sarkozy had this in mind when he too told the French that they are […]

Each time France has a new president we hear about how the country should be modernized.

So, how is this for modernization?

France – Paris that is – is to get her first love hotel!

I don’t somehow think that President Sarkozy had this in mind when he too told the French that they are behind the times, but one normally does not get what one bargains for, does one?

The ‘hotel’ which will be called ‘Heart Break Hotel’ – they must have the cuckolded husbands; I don’t know what the feminine of the species is called – in mind. However, hotel is rather a grand name, for it will actually be a set of three capsules that can be rented by the hour with ‘love’ in mind. It’s Valentine Day today so I will call it love …

The three capsules will be in a building called the CentQuatre – the 104. The building, 420,000 square feet (39,000 square meters) at No 104 Rue d’Aubervilliers in Paris’ 19th Arrondissement (district) dates from 1873. It was then a giant funeral parlor constructed by the Catholic Church, and as funerals were at that time a state monopoly the Church and the State operated the parlor together. Then, when Church and State separated in 1905 and France became a non-religious country, the state took over the parlor. With the Church out of the way divorced women and people who had committed suicide won the right to a day-time funeral – in the Church’s days they could be buried only at night and without a religious ceremony. But funerals all the same remained a state monopoly until a law, the Sueur Law, ended the monopoly on January 8, 1993. Until then it was the State, and only the State, that sold coffins, erected tombstones and operated hearses. It was also compulsory to hang black drapes over the street door of a building where a body was lying; this however was abolished in 1980. Here I must say that when I came to Paris in the 1970s it gave me the creeps whenever I saw those black drapes!
The State monopoly finally something of the past, fewer and fewer bodies ended up at No. 104 Rue d’Aubervilliers and in 1997 its last body set off for the cemetery.

What then to do with the building?

With property developers eager to lay their hands on it, Paris’ town hall quickly had the building’s façade and glass roof listed as ‘historical’ and the building could no longer be demolished. In 2001, Paris’ new Socialist mayor, Bertrand Delanoë, decided that the building will become an interactive site for the arts. As a result the CentQuatre, as an artistic and scholastic center, opened last year. It houses art exhibitions, fashion shows and so on.

Now, in June this year a lieu of love (I think this sounds more tender than ‘love hotel’, will open on the premises.

The lieu of love, the brainchild of two brothers – Cyrille and Laurent Berger; the first an architect and the latter a painter and sculptor – will consist of a set of three capsules. These will be let out per hour at a fee of between 10/15€ (12/19$ ; 9/13£).

In the first capsule a couple (the couple) will be set in the mood with ‘exhilarating’ substances. The French sounds better; des substances euphorisantes.

In the second capsule … now how to say this? Well, whatever one paid over one’s Euros for will happen.

In the third capsule the couple will be able to enjoy more stimulants. Or rather some relaxants.

The three capsules will be indigo blue and virginal white and decorated with provocative tapestries.

The two Berger brothers intend to keep this lieu of love open for five months. In other words until winter hits Paris …

The Japanese were the first to open love hotels. There are some now in Barcelona, Spain; they are called hotels for couples – hostales para parejas.

The English resort of Brighton also has one, the Hotel Pelirocco but a couple must take a room for the night. The rate? Between 100/150 GBP ($144/210$ ; 111/167€).

I think the way the French are going to do it will be another ‘first’, kind of …

Marilyn Z. Tomlins

5 Responses to “Paris’ First Love Hotel …”

  1. 5
    Anonymous Says:

    Bravo France!!!!!!!!!

  2. 4
    Tony Says:

    I agree with Catherine, Jo and Satima – hi girls! – this disgusts me too.

    Tony from Bristol

  3. 3
    Satima Flavell Says:

    All they need is sex toys for hire and they’ll be all set up!

  4. 2
    Jo Says:

    I am not surprised at the Parisians, but I am surprised at the Brits.

    Thanks the lord we are an old, staid, married couple LOL

  5. 1
    Catherine Modin Says:

    I think this is when one says OH LA LA!

    Catherine Modin

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