In the city of exquisite chic, where all is about art de vivre, in the 8th arrondisement just across from the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs-Elysées, sits Le Royal Monceau Raffles Paris – an artistic experience in its own right. This five-star palace originally opened in 1928, and was transformed by the eccentric French designer and architect Philippe Starck in 2010. An exploration of poetry and romanticism is infused in every nook and cranny of the space – from the monochromatic striped hallways to the fully mirrored rooms to the elaborate chandeliers that swing from the ceilings and the 15 life-size wooden elks which are placed at the bottom of the brick-backed staircase.
An element of surprise is embedded at every opportunity, which makes Le Royal Monceau our number-one pick for an elegant-yet-Insta-worthy destination. Once you step through its revolving doors, an all-knowing Art Concierge points you towards La Librairie des Arts on your left-hand side that houses over 700 art pieces and art books, or to your right, where a retro welcome desk awaits you.
During your stay, you can indulge your inner gourmand with a culinary encounter somewhere between Asia and Latin America at the first Matsuhisa restaurant in France, or perhaps haute Italian cuisine at Il Carpaccio that includes masterpieces from famed pastry chef, Pierre Hermé.
For a quintessentially French vibe you can pass by Le Bar Long with reinterpretations of a classical Le Royal Monceau menu. And if that isn’t satisfying enough, a day of relaxation is waiting for you at Spa My Blend by Clarins where you can dive into the longest pool in any Parisian hotel, and spend some peaceful time in the hammam or laconium room. Seven treatment rooms with high-tech procedures that can be tailored to specific skincare needs will no doubt make you feel nurtured before ending the day in a truly fabulous way; movie time in the property’s private 99-seat Katara cinema with Pierre Hermé’s custom-made gourmet popcorn.
As Philippe Starck so beautifully puts it, get ready to delve head first into a world of “exploration of what is, of what should, and of what could be the joy of the French spirit.” We are totally on board – bien sûr. Rooms start from Dhs3,485.
From Harper's BAZAAR Arabia's December 2019 Issue
Images: Le Royal Monceau