Le Royal Monceau – a Parisian palace from jazz’s golden age
General Info and Location
Le Royal Monceau is one of Paris’s most fashionable palace hotels. Philippe Starck completely renovated the hotel in 2008 and stated confidently, “I fly every day and spend every night at the hotel so I know what I want. In fact, I know what you want.”
The hotel is situated in the impressive and prestigious eighth arrondissement, where it very much stands out on Avenue Hoche. The entrance is adorned with a red carpet, six door men, and is illuminated by Moulin Rouge-inspired sconces, with an Art Deco style that gives you a tingle in the stomach. As a guest here you come to expect luxury, drama and Parisian elegance.
Royal Monceau opened for the first time in 1928 and was already a sophisticated hotel and venue for contemporary celebrities. Artists, musicians, and celebrities, such as Ernest Hemingway, Ray Charles, and Josephine Baker were among the regulars. Philippe Starck kept the hotel’s fascinating history in mind during the renovation. He did not want to just create a hotel, he wanted to create “a home” – full of history, art, and with a touch of the atmosphere of Paris in the twenties.
Starck has drawn inspiration from the iconic twenties, and the interior harmonises perfectly with the house’s heritage from the Art Deco period. An overall theme that Starck implemented is reflections, and there are a number of mirrors around the hotel, along with crystal chandeliers, which provide an abundance of shiny surfaces throughout.
The interior is consistently faithful to the original artistic style, while offering some refreshing surprises. Along with the historical heritage, this induces a very special atmosphere.
Art and art installations have been given a major role in the shaping of the hotel’s new design, the Royal Monceau even has its own art gallery. It is led by expert Herve Mikaeloff, who also serves as art advisor for the hotel guests who desire one. The hotel shop has a great selection of art literature, jewellery, and designer objects, often made by Parisian artists. The hotel’s shop has become an attraction in its own right and is admired by trend spotters as a place where you can hunt for treasures and that something special. We fell for these coffee cups!
The cinema is the hotel’s cultural jewel. Here one meets high technology and pleasantly soft, white leather chairs. Before the film starts, gourmet snacks and champagne is served under the auspices of the culinary manager, Piere Herme. If one desires to develop their musical talent, there is a high quality guitar in every room, and of course, there is also a guitar teacher available at the hotel.
The hotel’s spa area is 1,500 square metres. It is a white oasis complete with a 23 metre infinity pool. The spa is a member of the ‘Spa My Blend by Clarins’, and won the award for best spa in the 2012 Virtuoso Best of the Best Awards.
Royal Monceau has two Michelin restaurants. ‘La Cuisine’ serves classic French dishes and often uses fresh herbs from the hotel’s botanical garden. This is also where we ate a fantastic lunch. We ended up sitting there for a long time and found it hard to leave the affable atmosphere and the wonderful service we received. On the other side of the hotel is the Italian restaurant, ‘Il Carpaccio’, a charming restaurant that has Roberto Rispoli as manager. Both Restaurants provided exceptional, authentic experiences.
Over all, we must say that the Italian restaurant became our favourite. It was here that we were met with personal enthusiasm, a real love for food, and on top of this, we often noticed the presence of the head chef, who really gave the room a special vibe and as he walked around and talked with the guests.
The bar, Le Bar Long, is designed like a long alley and is located in the middle of the hotel. The bar is divided into small areas by works of art and has a stupendous collection of chandeliers and lamps. This is a place where people stop to read a newspaper, drink a cup of coffee, talk with friends over a glass, and generally enjoy life. In the evening tapas is served. It is this bar, which, for the last 100 years, has been a place where iconic celebrities met, and the atmosphere remains to this day.
The rooms are decorated in the same style as the rest of the hotel, with a blend of elegance and artistic individualism. Let us call it a fusion of modern and contemporary Paris from 1928. Once again we encounter a number of mirrors, and one of them transforms, by miracle, into a large, widescreen television. The television appears to almost hover in the room after one press of a button. Subdued lamps and relaxing colours give the rooms a pleasant atmosphere despite the shiny, boudoir-glamorous furniture. Heavenly soft beds allow guests to relax fully. This really is a hotel you do not want to leave!
Even the hotel’s smallest room is much more expensive than a normal room at a 5 star hotel, however, the rooms are crammed with luxury and comfort. Our assessment is that you get great value for your money even with the cheapest rooms. If your wallet allows a little extra luxury, there are no limit to how far you can go. The hotel has three Presidential Suites, and many other room categories below that level, so it is more a question of how much you are willing to pay.
The bathrooms are amazing and incredibly luxurious. In the bathroom you really get a feel of the hotel’s style: lots of mirrors and reflections. The walls are covered with marble and mirrors, and the illuminated ceiling attracts the eye with its transparent surfaces. When you go into the bathroom in a room at Le Royale Monceau, you are reminded of scenes from Stanley Kubrics movie, ‘2001 – A Space Odyssey’. However, it does not feel cold and inhospitable, the opposite in fact!
We experienced a very professional service at the hotel. Our bags were unpacked, and our clothes hung and laid out in the appropriate places. We called room service once and we received a gentle knock upon our door a few minutes later.
Friendly and service minded people were everywhere: at the reception, at the entrance, whenever we encountered the staff. The concierge helped us greatly, and even fixed us a good table at one of Paris’ finest restaurants.
Royal Monceau has become a place for a new generation of artists, intellectuals, gentlemen travellers, and fashionistas, just like when it opened in 1928. A night or two here enriches you. You experience a piece of Parisian Art Deco.
Pros: The hotel is dedicated to art, music and offers a truly luxurious experience. A lot of style and very high standards. The hotel has lots of exciting art and other items that make for quite a memorable stay. Excellent service.
Cons: A little too much high-tech in rooms. Many buttons to control the audio, lighting, TV etc.
The hotel is a destination in itself, and to be honest, you do not need to leave the hotel to feel the pulse of Paris. One of our favourite hotels in Paris! As the saying goes: it comes at a price, but you will enjoy complete luxury and a hotel experience that will leave you wanting to come back. We would gladly return to the Royal Monceau. Certainly recommended!
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