LÉNA, A PARISIAN STORY
Some would claim that she is the illegitimate daughter of a count and a fortune teller (which would explain her natural ease where-ever she stands ...) others, relying on her natural gesture and, sometimes, on her rustic manners, projects on her peasant origins. What is certain is that Lena cultivates mystery in general, and mystery about her origins in particular. It’s by adopting the maxim of Liane de Pougy, a very famous courtesan, "A courtesan must never cry, never suffer.", that Léna leads her life. Just like the greatest elegant women of her time, Léna lives from man to man without ever to have to belong to any. Beyond being a libertine, she is free.
Bored of her living through society clubs where she meets everyone in Paris, and where no one gets enough of her charms and especially a certain Baron H, she leaves the city to live a Caribbean time break. She thought she would find a new social virginity there. Above all, she built there a fortune. Saint Barthelemy, back then, was under the control of Sweden, which had just abolished slavery, and seemed to her perfectly suited to her situation. Sher owns there a small, but highly profitable sugar cane plantation. This agricultural ease tends to confirm her peasant origins. There she “cultivates” not only cane but also Victor, the child of her governess who died in childbirth. He was an infant when she took care of him. He is now 16. An age which, at the time, made him a man, the only one who now shares her life, in a very different way from what she had experienced so far. But the spleen, an expression dear to Baudelaire, is here. The spleen of the country, the city, its noise, its smells.
The spleen of Paris is here. Hence, she decides to sell everything and make a flamboyant comeback in the City of Lights.
She berths peacefully by the Seine in the early morning. The city is covered with mist, as if to mask the changes that Baron H had undertaken. Once the mist vanished, she discovers, bewildered, the transformation. Paris has transformed from this pleasant town she knew to a vibrant cosmopolitan city. A world city where everything is constantly rustling. Caught up in a frenzy, she moved not far from the Louvre with Victor, as if to remember her years in the gardens of the Royal Palace. But now, she no longer feels at home in her city, in this hotel. Suddenly, she remembers a plan that her little Baron, as she used to call him from time to time, had shown her. A new city, new boulevards, a new breath were there on the paper of his memory. In no time, she asked to be heard by her little Baron, who became a powerful and respected governor, who does not wait to listen her.
The rendez-vous is awkward. He sees in front of him the courtesan of her past desire and, at the same time, the powerful and rich mistress she became. The Baron navigates between tenderness, respect and fear. Lena feels it and tastes these new feelings in the eyes of whom she only had desire for.
She talks with her Baron about the future of Paris and he says “the north! The east! This is where everything will be developed. In fact, here are the plans. ”Lena’s plans for the memory and the future are in front of her… She fingers point a boulevard, about two train stations away, an ideal position for a woman who wants freedom above everything. The Baron told her, “The nameless boulevard.” She immediately replied, “Give it the name of a victorious battle. The emperor will be flattered. There is indeed an Italian battle at the moment.“ Le Baron : What about Magenta? The battle and the color. You who liked purple so much, you should appreciate it.” Léna, always charming: “You know me too well.”
Barely finished with her meeting, she jumps in a car to get there and discovers a vast site that seems limitless, a breath of fresh air for Paris. A breath in Lena’s life. Buildings are poping from the ground on all sides, however there is an empty parcel on that boulevard. The luck is here. She needs it, she has it. As a wealthy mistress, as well as a wise businesswoman, she builts the hotel of her desire, the hotel of her success, at her image: provocative, elegant and welcoming. She transmits it to Victor, her fatherless son, she, who was a woman, a mistress without a husband. The hotel transmits this fresh breath to passing by travelers and thus perpetuates the legend of an elegant, but too disturbing woman for history.
Like the old boudoirs, the rooms envelop the occupants with softness and elegance. The materials are delicate and light, the colors are feminine and refined. Each piece has a unique identity, composed around racy wallpaper: here peacock feathers, there golden graphic patterns, marine stripes or palm leaves… The smallest detail has been researched, from the Imperial tap to the wardrobe in brass up to very “Art Deco” sconces. Léna's rooms have been designed as cocoons of comfort for travelers with everything necessary for a relaxing and unforgettable stayLearn more