Le Royal Monceau – Raffles Paris
A decadent, arty, and hip hotspot near the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs Elysées
37 Avenue Hoche 33 (0)1-42-99-88-00 www.raffles.com
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At a Glance
Sparing no expense, Philippe Starck’s inventive creation is a sumptuous fusion of old and new Parisian chic near the Champs Elysées and Parc Monceau in the tony residential neighborhood.
- The curated private art experiences that can be arranged by the hotel’s Art Concierge Team (and the art collection of 300+ contemporary pieces on display throughout the hotel) and recommended gallery and museums shows
- The roomy junior suites and three 3,600-square-foot private apartments that come with separate entrances, direct spa access, a hammam and a gym trainer
- The sky-lit swimming pool in the 5,000-square-foot My Blend by Clarins spa (and ample Clarins products in all rooms)
- The electric bikes available for guest use (and guided tours that can be arranged to nearby galleries and museums like Palais de Tokyo)
Uber-designer Philippe Starck said that Le Royal Monceau, which now belongs to the Singapore-based Raffles Hotel Group, is not a typical Starck hotel. Indeed its creative fusion of old and new showcases a design sensibility not seen in previous Starck properties. Originally opened in 1928 near the Champs Elysées and the Parc Monceau in the ritzy 8th arrondissement, Le Royal Monceau was one of Paris’ most venerable and extremely tired properties when Raffles took over and closed it for a gut renovation in 2006. A new chapter was ushered in with a bang—quite literally—in the form of a demolition party that drew close to 3,000 people, including Starck himself. During this well-publicized event, the designer discovered gorgeous old brick beneath the layers of false walls, which were preserved in the renovation. Now, the red- and grey-hued stones frame the main staircase and are brilliantly lit by stained-glass windows that cast a moody, colorful light throughout the day. Starck also kept many of the old property’s finest antique chandeliers, gathering them into one enormous cluster of light, crystal and nostalgia—a surprisingly touching decorative flourish just off the lobby staircase on the ground floor.
While some of the former details have been preserved, this is by no means an old-world property. For starters, there’s a serious collection of contemporary art on view throughout, ranging from photography and painting to ceiling murals, sculpture and installation. It’s the kind of hotel where you cannot help but run your hand across everything—tabletops, walls, curtains—because the textures and materials are all hand-selected and incredible.
This kind of haute quality continues in the 149 guest rooms and suites, which are perhaps the most “typical” Starck, while also maintaining the playful whimsical nature of the public spaces. Giant beds are placed in the center of the room, in front of enormous mirrors that also contain a flat-screen television. Large-scale photographs lean against the walls; a glass-topped desk displays a map of Paris with some choice highlights (Colette, Charvet, Jardin du Luxembourg); the lamps have Murano-made bases; the massive king-sized beds are covered in linen embroidered with the profile of a face in the center. Travelers who love a good bathroom will be very happy here: even smaller rooms come with extensive chrome shelving and Clarins products in abundance—and as with the living and dressing room, they are mirror-clad extravaganzas whose large rain shower also features a sleek egg-shaped bathtub, inviting like a cocoon. Travelers looking for a knock-out view may be disappointed at Le Royal Monceau, as the hotel’s best vistas are of its serene courtyard or the rooftops of Paris; Avenue Hoche suites are brighter and equally quiet and offer a glimpse of the Arc de Triomphe, lit up at night a few blocks away. The largest suite, named for Ray Charles (and featuring a series of moody portraits of the singer by Arlette Kotchchounian) comes with its own grand piano and a guitar has a chic artist’s studio vibe (and a distant view of the Eiffel Tower and Paris rooftops).
In step with the rest of the property’s only-the-best-will-do philosophy, Le Royal Monceau has three, three-bedroom apartment-style suites next door with private entrances (often booked for longer stays); an exclusive Clarins & My Blend spa (15,000-square-feet with seven treatment rooms and a 75-foot swimming pool); La Librairie des Arts, a chic boutique curated with art books and fanciful gifts like colorful leather backgammon sets by Hector Saxe and Limoges coffee, tea and breakfast cups and saucers commissioned by Starck; a playful contemporary art gallery with changing exhibitions; a 99-seat cinema available for private screenings and concerts; and music lessons can even be arranged upon request. The hotel’s commitment to art, design and an authentic, destination-specific sensibility give the property its depth and true Parisian soul.
The hotel also has several dining options: Il Carpaccio for Michelin-starred Italian, created in partnership with the Cerea family (behind three-Michelin star Da Vittorio restaurant near Milan), which serves authentic Italian dishes (a signature melts-in-your-mouth carpaccio with truffles on top, yellowtail tartare and handmade close-your-eyes-and-you’re-in-Italy pasta dishes. Matsuhisa, Nobu Matsuhisa’s first restaurant in France, blends Japanese and Peruvian flavors and crowd favorites (miso black cod, sashimi tacos and gorgeous sushi) in a pretty modern space with its own sake bar and an omakase menu. In the mornings and on weekends, the space doubles as La Cuisine and offers an epic breakfast (with pastries to dream about and brunch on weekends). Both restaurants spill out onto a leafy terrace with a small pool in warmer months. Le Bar Long also serves drinks and tapas in a sleek space off the lobby. (The hotel also has connections to the top tables in town.) Picnics for guests (complete with Champagne lobster and delicious salads and pastries) can also be arranged in the park.
Who Should Stay
Style seekers, design aficionados and return Paris visitors looking for more of a boutique vibe (and a park for those looking to get in a run) and who don’t mind the location, which is a bit removed from the center of the city. Parents with teens may like the location as teens can easily walk to the Champs Elysées on their own. Private shopping experiences can also be arranged at Printemps Haussmann.
- Simone Girner
- Jen Barr
Indagare Plus Amenities
- $100 USD equivalent Food & Beverage credit to be utilized during stay (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
- Complimentary Breakfast
- Upgraded Room Category on Availability at Check-In
- Late Check-Out on Availability
- Complimentary WiFi Internet Access