The History of the Hotel
Saint Petersbourg Opera
The Hotel Saint-Pétersbourg Opera & SPA was founded prior to 1870. Its name derives from a collaboration with the Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-lits et des Grands Express Européens (The International Sleeping-Car and European Great Expresses Company), founded in 1872. The very first line that this prestigious company put into service, the Nord-Express, left from the Gare du Nord in Paris for St. Petersburg, crossing Prussia.
A postcard from the period shows the entrance to the hotel, as well as the carriage that collected travellers from the station.
The hotel offered a guide for travellers with photos from the period that show us its American bar, one of the very first in Paris to serve whisky.
On June 2nd, 1914, Tsar Nicolas II changed the name of the city of Saint Petersburg, renaming it Petrograd. So, the Hotel Saint-Petersbourg added Petrograd to its name, as shown on this old postcard.
1917 - 1918
The hotel became a ‘guest house’, one of the earliest YWCAs along with one established in London. The intention was to provide a place of welcome for the female personnel, mainly American and Canadian, who had contributed to the war effort in 1914-1918.
During the First World War, the hotel accommodated up to 200 nurses per day and was used to set up a very busy ‘American registry or American legion’ office, tasked with bringing soldiers and their families together, tracing and registering missing personnel and, most poignantly, arranging visits to cemeteries.
The hotel was acquired by a family of Swiss hoteliers, who after extensive renovations in 1924 and 1925, gave it new life and restored its original name, the Hotel Saint Petersbourg.
After the liberation of Paris, the hotel provided accommodation for American troops. These occupied the establishment exclusively for the next 2 years until the owners decided to sell it.
1955 - Aujourd'hui
The hotel was acquired by Mr. Paul POULIQUEN, who undertook the complete renovation of the building, which was in very poor condition. He built bathrooms for all the rooms and installed modern elevators.
Thanks to a collaboration with Bruno Coquatrix, the owner of the famous Olympia Theatre, many actors, singers and other performers came to stay at the hotel. The actors Aldo Maccione and Bourvil thus become true friends of the family.
The management of the hotel is still the responsibility of the members of the Pouliquen family.
The last total renovation, carried out between 2013 and 2020, has allowed the hotel to be reborn again, while retaining the precious aspects of its charm that have survived the years.