Closed for renovation between the years 2008 and 2010, Le Royal Monceau – Raffles Paris is again reigning in the city of light.
Those who were born to be a king will never lose their royalty, even if it means to deal with the weight of the crown: to break with all that was once known and launch itself into a new era. Thus, from its own French Revolution, the Le Royal Monceau – Raffles Paris returned to the throne of the French capital. Everything began in 2010 when guests, friends, and the media were able to closely check the radical metamorphosis that cost two years and 800 million Euros. The extreme makeover of the palace was led by French designer Philippe Starck, who made the premises of Le Royal Monceau a sweet and creative metaphor of Paris and of life itself.
Therefore, art, hospitality, fashion, warmth and haute cuisine get together at number 37 of the distinct Avenue Hoche – of which still can be seen, just around the corner, the imposing Arc de Triomphe. But in order to stay grounded in front of so much beauty, Starck brings us subtlety back to earth when purposely introducing a bit of chaos in the hotel’s facilities: a scruffy carpet, a crooked lampshade, a slightly out of place table – all to remind us that life is not straight; it is full of small idiosyncrasies that make our human experience even more amazing. It was not for the lack of notice or attempt: French designer Phillippe Starck did everything in his power to keep us in balance with reality, but it is impossible not to return to the clouds when we taste the wonders that make Le Royal Monceau – Raffles Paris a five-star hotel with praise.
The Parisian fairytale starts early, at breakfast, served at La Cuisine, Chef Laurent Andre. There, the day begins in the most organic way possible, with natural juices and freshly made pastry options. Democratic in every possible way, La Cuisine follows the routine of their guests and, on weekends, allows mornings to drag on until later in a generous brunch. Another temptation in the hotel to which we must surrender ourselves is the Il Carpaccio Italian restaurant, awarded a Michelin star. Led by chef Roberto Rispoli, a native of Tuscany, the restaurant has a menu guided by the seasons, since it only admits fresh produce. To celebrate 30 years of the place, Rispoli went personally to Sicily to create the house olive oil. As if it wasn’t enough with its hearty and well-prepared dishes, Il Carpaccio has a bonus of typical Italian desserts, but with a special touch that only one chef patissier Pierre Hermé’s caliber could do. Relaxing moments deserve equal attention – and, in this case, the best option would be the tables of Le Bar Long, a more casual and friendly atmosphere, and more flexible hours as well.
To make sure you take in the most you can from this “palace,” save some time to visit the Terrace. A restaurant that, as the name suggests, is in a more open environment – the official description, it is even called “garden restaurant.” Although this is not the most formal restaurant in the hotel, it is probably the one that best describes it, since it changes with the seasons, and never fails to bloom. The tables are arranged around a glass dome, which reveals the ever-restless waters of the spa pool, located on the ground floor.
The passion for culture that runs through the veins of Paris also circulates through the halls of Le Royal Monceau, the only hotel in the world to make an Art Concierge available to guests – a professional expert in cultural trends, able to close the Pompidou for private visits for some hours. Although the golden keys of the concierges of the palace can open any door, there is no need to go too far to find the best of the cultural life of Paris. This very inn houses a gallery dedicated to modern art and a bookstore meticulously curated, bringing together the best books, magazines and tangible objects in the universe of fashion, film, and art.
When the options are many and the mind asks for rest, a visit to the Spa My Blend by Clarins can be the solution to every dilemma. Also known as “white paradise,” the center and relaxation of Le Royal Monceau is home to one of the largest indoor pools in Paris, 24 meters long and 8 wide. Voted Best Hotel Spa in 2012 by Virtuoso Award, the My Blend by Clarins is guided by the uniqueness of its customers, already adapting their treatments to the profile of its users. After relaxing in a totally white environment, a burst of color waiting for guests on the screens of Le Cinéma de Lumières, with a capacity for 99 spectators. Equipped with the latest machines, the cinema of Le Royal Monceau is able to play 3D movies, which puts it in the crosshairs of the most exclusive premieres of France and beyond.
As might be expected, the 149 suites at the palace hotel are equipped with all of the comfort items you can imagine: a king size bed, pressurized shower, walk in closet, plasma television and more. All accommodations, from the simple studio room to the majestic Presidential Suite 241, summarize the whole philosophy of the inn. And each, in its own way, balances this unique blend of chaos, colors, culture, tastes, technology, and urban havens – and constantly reminds that it is not necessary to be asleep in order to dream.
Photos: Courtesy Le Royal Monceau