Le Royal Monceau Raffles, the essence of Parisian bien-être
Bien-être is how the French define a harmonious lifestyle, as the perfect balance between piece of mind, well-being and a sense of personal fulfilment. Luxury at Le Royal Monceau Raffles is about welcoming guests to experience a true Parisian experience, from the residential feel of an apartment in all rooms and suites, the very best of French cuisine to a unique encounter with the arts, through interior design, books, music and cinema.
Since it was inaugurated in 1928, Le Royal Monceau has never ceased to attract the most discerning international travellers and Parisians alike. This unique mix of patrons and the uncessable quest to surprise guests through innovation and creativity have become part of the hotel’s DNA.
Some of the unique features of Le Royal Monceau include: a state-of-the-art private cinema with 99 seats, a permanent book store dedicated to contemporary art, a library with a collection of rare books, the hotel’s own art gallery which hosts regular exhibitions, a bespoke edition of a Jaguar limousine, Presidential suite with separate entrance and dedicated elevator, the finest macarons and croissants by Pierre Hermé (the celebrated heir of four generations of Alsacian patissiers).
At the heart of Le Royal Monceau’s spirit also lies the unique approach to French cuisine, so passionately overseen by Chef Laurent André, whose pledge is to entice guests to re-discover the real taste of genuine French cuisine, with the utmost attention to seasonality and the very best quality in ingredients, most sourced from small suppliers at local markets. The sophisticated and lavish decor of La Cuisine, the French all day dining restaurant of Le Royal Monceau comes into an ideal contrast with the simplicity of the food presentation; while Il Carpaccio, the hotel restaurant embodies a ‘dolce vita’ feel, serving Tuscan dishes.
In February this year, two years since Le Royal Monceau re-opened after extensive renovations, under the management of Raffles Hotels (the hotel is owned by Katara Hospitality – Qatar Holding LLC) Le Royal Monceau was awarded its first two Michelin stars: one for its French restaurant La Cuisine, the other for its Italian restaurant, Il Carpaccio, the only Michelin-star Italian restaurant in Paris. These two stars come as a recognition of the talent and consistency of Executive Chef Laurent André and his team as well as Omer Acar, the General Manager of the Le Royal Monceau Raffles (formerly in the same position at Ritz Paris), with a career drawn from F&B, but also with passion and I might call it even obsession, to achieve perfection.
The immaculate white SPA is yet another gem of the Le Royal Monceau, featuring probably the most beautiful swimming pool among all luxury hotels in Paris – glass ceiling with abundant natural light, sophisticated mirrors, classic furniture with white linen and water heated at just the right temperature. Services include hammam, ultimate amazon shower, a laconium room, sauna and dedicated fitness and swimming coaches. While I appreciated the quality of service and expertise of therapists, I wish a natural (or ideally, organic products) choice would be offered too. The SPA features exclusively My Blend by Clarins and Clarins products and treatments.
Much like the rest of the hotel, all the room and most of the suites were designed by Philippe Starck, featuring some of his signature designs – furniture elements and lighting. The wooden floors and and wooden finishes on the walls and the soft cream colour palette makes the rooms warm and cosy. The attention to details is evident in every corner of the rooms, the quality of finishes and materials is indeed of the highest standards.
The sanctuary-type, white marble bathrooms, felt like an in-room SPA – most upper category rooms and all suites have free-standing classic bathtubs and huge walk-in marble showers. You will love details such as the Toto vanities and the rich cotton bathrobes. Ladies, in particular, staying in Suites are offered a unique selection of haird products, upon checking-in enhancing the quality and standard of service provided.
The sense of place is subtly instilled through details such as: bedside lamps with hand written reminder notes in French (5 pm theatre…), a vintage map of Paris (in French) placed under the glass of the business desk, which points to the most exclusive spots – tailors, florists, fashion boutiques, bio markets etc., not to mention the wealth of magazines and catalogues on art, fashion etc. I was also impressed by the quality of the organic cotton linen on the oversized king bed, manufactured by a French specialist house – each embroidered with the RM letters or a sketch. All of these elements of personalization not only add to the comfort, but recreate in a genuine way the spirit of living in Paris as a local.
When it comes to art, Le Royal Monceau has taken yet again a unique approach, with a full time in-house Art Concierge - a consultant and cultural mediator, Domoina Debrantes and her team guide and advise guests as they visit Paris, with up-to-date information on the latest exhibitions and galleries throughout Paris and devising tailor-made plans. The hotel features its own art collection, spread throughout rooms and suites, realized by artists such as Simon Chaput, Koichiro Doi, Guy Le Querrec, Lucien Hervé, Rune Guneriussen, Thierry Dreyfus, Harry Gruyaert and Marie Maillard. My suite featured not only a working piano but also a series of portraits by Arlette Kotchounian of Ray Charles, once a regular guest of the hotel.
Dedicated photo gallery of the hotel is available on our Facebook page.
Oliver Petcu in Paris