Raffles Le Royal Monceau Starck reworks Paris’s iconic Le Royal Monceau
Coco Chanel, Charlie Chaplin, Josephine Baker
Reason to Stay:
Historic Hotel, Clarins Spa, Designer Interiors
Preferred Room:#714 Ray Charles Suite
Special Features:Gourmet Eatery, Designer Interiors, Historic Hotel
Amenities:Restaurant, Pool, Spa, Bar, Cigar Lounge
One of the grand hotels of Paris's 8th, Le Royal Monceau hasn't really been a relevant luxury hotel since it played host to Coco Chanel and Josephine Baker in the 20s and 30s and favored diplomatic address for Ho Chi Minh and Golda Meir. After signing onto the Raffles collection, the hotel closed from mid-2008 till October 2010 to conduct a massive, much-need renovation under the direction of designer Philippe Starck. At the helm of Le Royal Monceau is GM Syvain Ecoli, who brings his cool lux style via the Martinez in Cannes and Byblos in St. Tropez where we met him years before.
But before you think three-legged chairs and white tile bathrooms, Starck of late is fresh off work at Le Meurice, Mama Shelter and Baccarat Moscow that's evolved his style to more of a moody mix of '40s French industrial meets Marie Antoinette that we actually love. The Monceau's ruby-covered entrance designed by original architect Louis Duhayon looks much the same as it did in 1928, lined in royal red carpet leading into a an intimate reception arranged in curiosity cabinets and lounge arrangements. Amongst towering curtains just a glimpse of the singular grand staircase almost gives chills, surrounded in beveled mirrors and topped with five grand crystal chandeliers.
Once home to two Michelin-star restaurants, both are back with French La Cuisine in a dining room under a ceiling of Stéphane Calais colorful frescoes and mix of more formal creamy white tables and seen-it-already chromed barstool seating found in several recent Starck's properties like the SLS Los Angeles. Italian Il Carpaccio has more of a casual plage-feel with seashell walls and canopy ceiling amongst wicker chairs and checkerboard floor. Le Bar Long is the main hotel bar with its nod to '50s Paris with wooden chairs and bookshelves that nobody probably will use with walk-up metal bar and long center table ala Asia de Cuba.
Having paired down the number of rooms in order to make some a bit larger, a total of 84 and 54 suites feature a grown-up Parisian design aesthetic with rosewood paneling, floor-to-ceiling doors and marble bathrooms with heavy mirrored detailing on walls and vanity. Thoughtful design details like great coffee table books and decorative bric-a-brac lend the feel of a private home, especially the built-in wet bars adorned with colorful Murano wine glasses and chunky tumblers in select suites. Interior-facing rooms overlook a courtyard botanical garden with living sculpture and reflection pond with glass bottom offering views of the basement level Clarins Spa due to open in the spring with swimmers pool and fitness center. Don’t miss room #714 which Ray Charles once called home and the 10-fully private apartments with gourmet kitchens and private butler service.
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