The Paris Theatre That Inspired 'The Phantom of the Opera' Is Hosting Its First-Ever Overnight Stay

Hear the music of the night while spending the night at the historic Palais Garnier — if you're lucky enough to score the Airbnb booking.
Sarah Ward
Published on February 13, 2023

In 2022, Airbnb had travellers worldwide vying for nights at the Bluey house, the Scooby-Doo Mystery Machine and The Godfather mansion, plus the South Korean estate where BTS filmed In the Soop, the Sanderson sisters' Hocus Pocus cottage, Hobbiton and the Moulin Rouge! windmill, too. That's last year's batch of must-stay destinations. New year, new range of spots that you wouldn't normally get to slumber at, but can if you're lucky enough to score a reservation. And if you're keen on spending the night hearing the music of the night, you'll be excited about the accommodation platform's latest addition.

If you don't know the Palais Garnier by name, that's okay — but if you've ever seen or even heard of The Phantom of the Opera, be it on the stage or screen, then you're familiar with the Parisian opera house without realising it. The theatre inspired French author Gaston Leroux's novel back in the early 20th century, after he reportedly heard rumours about the 19th century-built, 1979-seat venue. The rest is literary history, and musical history as well thanks to Andrew Lloyd Webber and company from the 1980s onwards.

As an opera house, Palais Garnier doesn't usually let folks slumber overnight — whether they're wearing masks like The Phantom of the Opera's namesake or not. But for two guests, that'll change on Sunday, July 16. This'll be the first time ever that the venue has opened for a sleepover, and whoever nabs the booking will even sleep in an opera box.

The theatre's largest box, aka its box of honour, is normally reserved for visiting dignitaries — but that'll mean whoever gets to stay overnight this winter, too. For the Airbnb reservation, the chamber is being turned into a bedroom, complete with heavy splashes of luxurious red and gold. Of course, actually sleeping in such rare and decadent surroundings, and soaking in Palais Garnier's splendid architecture from the best spot in the house, is just one part of the visit.

Also included is a tour of the theatre's hidden areas in the Palais Garnier, which usually aren't seen by the public — such as the Opera de Paris' private archives and its famed underground lake. You'll also get a private ballet initiation with one of the company's dancers, and watch a recital by the Paris Opera Academy over champagne and hors d'oeuvres.

Dinner will take place in the private Foyer de la Danse, the backstage dancing rehearsal room. Also, a tour of the private dance studios that sit beneath the building's eaves will let you scope out stunning views of the Paris skyline.

Your host: Véronique Leroux, the great-granddaughter of French novelist Leroux, who is keen to "welcome 'phans' to the famous setting of his much-loved novel for a once-in-a-lifetime stay".

Folks already dreaming of a night — and a Paris trip — to remember will need to get booking on Thursday, March 2 at 4am AEDT / 3am AEST / 6am NZDT. Your stay will cost you 37 euros, which is AU$57, and honours the box of honour's number.

You will need to be over 18, have a verified Airbnb profile and boast a good record on the service — and getting to and from Paris is not included in the reservation, so that's at your extra expense (and you'll need to organise it).

For more information about the Palais Garnier listing on Airbnb, or to apply to book at 4am AEDT / 3am AEST / 6am NZDT on Thursday, March 2, head to the Airbnb website.

Images: Blue Max Media / Thibaut Chapotot.

Published on February 13, 2023 by Sarah Ward
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