By Angela Fairhurst
Near the Champs Elysées on Avenue Hoche in the center of Paris is the five-star Le Royal Monceau Raffles Paris designed by Phillippe Starck. Starck wanted to bring a contemporary take to, and re-imagine, the property while still paying homage to its art deco history and ultra-luxe palace style hotels. In 2016, after a two-year renovation, in true form, Starck delivered a masterpiece of art and style. Inspired by the culture of Art Deco and the culture of the 40s and 50s, Starck added his quirky modern twist using art to deliver his statement throughout the building.
Le Royal Monceau calls itself “Art de Vivre”, the art of living, French style. The hotel is fully curated with omnipresent art. With a dedicated ‘art concierge’, Julie Eugène, you can get information and advice on art.
Of course, the artwork starts with the grand entrance and in the lobby with a rotating exhibition. The hotel has a dedicated art-themed bookstore, art gallery, and 99-seat theatre with art continuing down the halls, in the restaurants and into the guest rooms.
Striped optical illusion wallpaper creates op-art effects in the corridors. There’s glass and crystal everywhere, from the staircase with tiny chandeliers to the multi-colored illuminated bar of the restaurant.
There are 149 contemporary rooms and suites, furnished in whites, greys, pastel pinks and lilacs with plush rugs and artwork leaning against the wall instead of hung. The bathrooms are works of art as well. Surrounded by reflective surfaces of steel and mirrors, there is a rain shower and a freestanding white soaking tub which becomes the focal point of the room. The hotel has a team of cleaners whose only job is to keep those mirrored surfaces sparkling. The amenities include a Dyson hair-dryer and Clarins products.
Food & Drink
Le Royal Monceau stands out among traditional luxury hotel dining. Matsuhisa Paris serves Japanese-South-American fusion cuisine by the renowned Chef Nobu Matsuhisa famous for the Nobu chain of restaurants co-owned by Robert DeNiro. Il Carpaccio is an Italian Michelin starred restaurant that reinterprets traditional family recipes from different Italian regions. Bar Long is a living room setting for cocktails and bites.
Their decadent Sunday brunch has a spread unlike no other with various cuisines and hot and cold dishes. You’ll find Italian pasta cooked in front of you; elements of the Matsuhisa menu (try the cod); roasted meats with a selection of mustards; high-quality cold and cured meats, French cheeses; Lebanese mezze and a range of fresh fruit; breads including glazed croissants; delicious pastries, macarons and desserts from Paris patisserie star Pierre Hermé, who is the Pâtisserie of all the restaurants, and was awarded World’s Best Pastry Chef in 2016.
The Spa is pure white and mirrors, a well-being area offering 7 treatment rooms providing a range of Clarins treatments, separate areas for men and women that both include sauna and steam, a Watsu basin, water cycling, an exceptionally large swimming pool, as well as a well-equipped technogym area, and fitness rooms for cardio, yoga, kinesis, pilates and personal training.
Underneath all this, low-key and exceptional service is crucial. The staff is warm, attentive and discreet, making this luxury hotel down from the Arc du Triomphe a perfect choice in the center of it all.