Bonjour Paris: Le Royal Monceau Raffles
There may have been a downturn in tourism numbers in France last year, but you would never know it at Le Royal Monceau Raffles, where the stylish rooms are as highly sought after as always. This is unsurprising given the appeal of the hotel’s accommodation options, public areas, restaurants, and newly unveiled Clarins spa. The quixotic brilliance of French designer Philippe Starck is the quintessence of the hotel and is immediately recognisable in the quirkily fabulous decor, fittings, and furniture. It is rare that a hotel can engender excitement all by itself, but the overall sensation of a stay at Le Royal Monceau is indeed exciting thanks to the excellence of experiences at every level.
Le Royal Monceau has been one of the most famous hotels in Paris for decades, but its history as a Raffles property is relatively recent. Managed by Raffles since 2008, the hotel was given an extensive and expensive renovation to bring it in line with guest expectations when staying in a Raffles property and reopened in 2010 with half the previous number of rooms and suites. Under the leadership of debonair General Manager Aaron Kaupp, Le Royal Monceau Raffles has retained its position as the preferred hotel for visitors to Paris, especially those with interest in the arts. Le Royal Monceau takes great pride in its support of the arts; booklovers with be enthralled by the unique literary items available in the hotel, which is also home to an art gallery for temporary exhibits, a 99-seat private cinema, and unique fashions and fragrances in the Eclaireur boutique.
Undoubtedly, the highlight of a stay at Le Royal Monceau is a dining experience at Carpaccio, the Michelin-starred establishment which exemplifies the best of European restaurant experiences. Whether in the airy and bright dining room or outdoors on the summer terrace, the food is superb, the culinary experience enhanced by the impeccably professional staff headed by F&B Director Olivier Lot. Le Royal Monceau is also the home of Nobu Matsuhisa’s only restaurant in the French capital; it is as popular as the Long Bar next door which carries on the Raffles tradition of socialising over drinks and light meals. As at all Raffles locations around the world, Le Royal Monceau has its own version of the famous Singapore Sling, which uses the smooth Sipsmith gin among its many ingredients. Even breakfast is exceptionally delicious, with the influence of macaron master Pierre Hermé in evidence through such delicacies as rose-infused croissants and other baked goods seen nowhere else.
Le Royal Monceau Raffles‘ convenient location on Avenue Hoche places it halfway between the Arc de Triomphe and the lovely Parc Monceau. Besides the Champs Élysées, several other attractions are within short walking distance of the hotel, including the Nissim de Caimondo museum of decorative arts and the Salle Pleyel recital hall.