By Cailey Rizzo
November 20, 2019
LIONEL BONAVENTURE/Getty Images

One of Paris’ most historic department stores is reopening after a 15-year closure — is coming back in style. 

La Samaritaine, a part of LVMH conglomerate, is "undergoing a bold and innovative renovation project in preparation for its much-anticipated renaissance" and is expected to reopen to the public in April 2020. 

The department store is expected to carry more than 600 brands of fashion, home decor and kitchenware. But people may just want to visit for the spectacular architecture. The building is renowned for its glass ceiling and grand staircase. The renovation cost more than $550 million to bring the building back to its 1905 glamour.

When the building — that was named a historic national monument in 1990 — opens next year, it won’t just be a shopping center, it will also feature a hotel from the ultraluxe French brand Cheval Blanc (a favorite of Beyonce).

The Cheval Blanc Paris will have 72 rooms, 46 of which are suites, each with a view directly overlooking the Seine. But it won’t come cheap. The opening rate is expected to be about $1,270 (€1,150) per night. With that nightly rate, guests will enjoy access to Paris’s largest hotel swimming pool. And if you book the hotel’s largest suite (that price is confidential), you’ll have your own private pool on one of its two levels. The hotel will also feature a Dior-branded spa and three gourmet restaurants.

Parisians will have the opportunity to move into one of the building’s new 96 apartments that span across Rue de l’Arbre-Sec. 

“This will be a magnet,” Jean-Jacques Guiony, president of La Samaritaine, said at a presentation this week, according to Le Parisien, “it’s a mixed project because people are going to live here, others will come to work. Tourists and Parisians will be welcomed.”

The legendary space first opened in 1869. It was a cultural fixture during the Belle-Époque and the leading department store of early 20th century Paris. But by the 1970s, sales were on a decline. The building closed in 2005 after failing a safety inspection and has sat waiting for its grand re-debut ever since.

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