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District: Champs Elysées + Arc de Triomphe
Hotel California has always played the trump card of the American West Coast and its easy living. This is because for many years, the effervescent Herald Tribune (which was first known as the New York Herald Tribune) was right across the street. The headquarters of the European edition of this American press giant was located at 15 Rue de Berri from 1930 to 1978.
Great American journalists, who were special envoys from New York or Los Angeles, gradually turned Rue de Berri into an essentially American street. When France was liberated, they found themselves at a ringside seat with an eye on the action. This was where the first American restaurants on the Champs-Elysées were founded, which obviously attracted the leading names of Hollywood cinema.
At the California Bar in the fifties, it was not unusual to cross the path of Hemingway, Orson Welles or Clark Gable; Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton were regular visitors. Hotel California was born officially on March 9, 1923, when the Princess of Polignac bought land located at 16 Rue de Berri. Pierre Bermond, the French pioneer of the luxury hotel industry, who also left his mark on the history of the Royal Monceau Hotel in Paris, the Ruhl in Nice and the Miramar in Biarritz, turned the hotel into a veritable palace. It immediately became famous with the arrival of the first American journalists. Stars were interviewed in their suites. There was a shopping area with a hairdressing salon on the underground floor.
Bustling activity that concerned newspapers, cinema and the United States focused on the California, which was long a beacon reflecting the lights of Hollywood.