Cornell Hotel de France is family owned and operated. The story is, in many ways, that of the American Dream. Fifty years ago, Claude and Micheline Lambert, with their five year old daughter Sabine, arrived in San Francisco, from their native Orléans, France. They started work for room and board in a dilapidated establishment which they renovated and eventually purchased.
Over many years, they redecorated every room, collected, framed, and installed French art prints throughout the Hotel and added the manifold personal touches which make the Cornell Hotel uniquely European, and clearly a labor of great love. It is now a landmark in San Francisco attended by discriminating guests as well as distinguished visitors: well-known writers, artists,members of Diplomatic Corps and top French government officials.
One of the most remarkable achievements is found downstairs where Mr. Lambert created a beautiful reflection of his native Orléans, Restaurant Jeanne D’Arc, named after the French heroine and famous all around the Bay.
Mr. Lambert continues to play an active roll with the French community of San Francisco. He has occupied several important positions within local French schools: the French-American Bilingual School, the “Petite Ecole Française,” which was created around him and became the renowned Lycée Laperouse. For many years, he taught at the Alliance Française. In 1994, July the 14th was named by the Mayor of San Francisco Claude and Micheline Lambert Day in honor of the Lamberts’ ongoing contribution to the local Franco-American community.