Why and how it all began
In 1933, Le Berger was created as a solution for a club of friends who couldn't easily live their secret second life. They were big merchants, butchers, greengrocers,... and they wanted to find a comfortable place that could house them for an short moment, with their mistresses.
One of them, Mr. Gabriel Duhoux, was the entrepreneur who designed and build Le Berger. They wanted something a bit luxury for the time in order to be attractive for young ladies. It was designed as a place where they could drink Champagne and eat oysters and enjoy life as much as they could.
Already in 1936, Mr Duhoux, pushed by the success of Le Berger, decided to expend and to create larger room with en suite bathrooms (now our superior rooms). Mr Duhoux was also the head cook of the restaurant which offered small alcoves in which you could eat and then go up to the rooms with the young women.
Discretion and circulation
Of course, at that time, people's mindsets weren't as flexible as they were after the war or by now. Any woman with a friend was considered as a whore back then. People's sex life were very secret and hidden but they still needed a place to express. Therefore the highest discretion was needed when you entered the place.
The whole circulation was made in a way that it was impossible to meet another customer inside the walls of the hotel. You came in by a door, take the first elevator and access to your room with the tenant. Afterwards, you get down by another elevator and exit by another door. Reminiscence of this circulation is still in place today as we kept both the elevators.
No, it was not a brothel. Le Berger's direction has always been clear about it: No prostitution was allowed in its walls. It was clearly written at the entrance of the hotel with this sign (below). People came to Le Berger to make love en to enjoy life, not to make money nor to consider women as an object.