Hotel De La Paiva, Paris

#78 of 214 in Historic Sites in Paris
Historic Site · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
The Hôtel de la Païva was built between 1856 and 1866 at 25 Avenue des Champs-Élysées by the courtesan Esther Lachmann, better known as La Païva. She was born in modest circumstances in the Moscow ghetto, to Polish parents. By successive marriages, she became a soi-disant Portuguese marchioness and a Prussian countess, this last marriage supplying the funds for the hôtel, at which she gave fabulous feasts.HistoryLa Païva had already acquired a luxurious mansion at 28 Place Saint-Georges in Paris, but dreamt of building another on the Champs-Élysées, which she thought the most beautiful avenue in the world. According to legend, in her youth she had been pushed out of a cab by a hurried customer and slightly injured. She promised to herself to build herself a house on the avenue where she fell. After her marriage to Albino Francisco de Araújo de Paiva, the self-styled Portuguese marquis de la Païva, she had the funds to do so.Once the hôtel was built, she received many notable people there, including the Goncourt brothers, Théophile Gautier, Léon Gambetta, Ernest Renan, and Hippolyte Taine. In 1877, suspected of espionage, La Païva and her husband, Prussian multimillionaire Count Guido Henckel von Donnersmarck, whom she had married in 1871, left France and withdrew to Silesia, where she died in 1884.Since 1903, the Hôtel de la Païva, with its large yellow onyx staircase, Moorish-style bathroom, sculptures, paintings, and a ceiling by Paul Baudry, has been home to the Travelers Club.
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Hotel De La Paiva reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
27 reviews
  • They got it. If there might be an issue with the not so new bedrooms, they completely recover with service, which is out of this world. They do what they can, with what they have, and they do it well. Members only club.
  • Private club where you can go if you're invited by a member some nights. We had dinner there, excellent food & wine, very good service.

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