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The street in which the hotel is located was formerly the site of the west wing of the Abbey Saint Germain.In the late 14th century, Pope Alexander III entered the monastery using a door situated in what is now the hotel lobby. Two angels engraved in the stonework of the hotel’s facade are the only remaining signs of this doorway.
In the 18th century, the building housed the Imprimerie Nationale state printing works, responsible for printing Parliament’s official documentation.
It is therefore only fitting that the hotel Bel Ami, a hotel whose frontage bears witness to the industrial revolution and its conversion from a former printing works, owes its name to the title of one of the best known works of French literature from the 19th century – ‘Bel Ami’ by Guy de Maupassant.
The Hotel Bel Ami is a mere stone’s throw from the Place Saint-Germain-des-Prés, a few minutes’ walk from ‘Café de Flore’ and the restaurant ‘Les deux Magots’, once frequented by Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Marguerite Duras and their existentialist circle.
While the last few years have seen major luxury fashion houses take up residence beside designer boutiques on the left bank, the Place Saint-Germain-des-Prés continues to attract artists and intellectuals.