Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Luxurious landmark hotel with seriously impressive Philippe Starck-designed interiors
Originally designed by architect Louis Duhayon, who blended neo-classical, Haussmannian, and Art Nouveau styles, the hotel opened in 1928 and soon became the place to stay in Paris -- the list of notable guests is extensive. In 2008, however, the contents of the hotel were auctioned off and the interiors were demolished and totally renovated under the direction of renowned French designer, Philippe Starck. The hotel reopened in 2010; the facade remains unchanged, but interiors became a spectacular mixture of both sumptuous and sleek design, coupled with innumerable pieces of artwork by a wide range of internationally recognized artists. Around every corner is another interesting curio or unusual artifact -- a letter from Jean Cocteau, for example -- while huge mirror panels reflect a dozen absurdly ornate chandeliers dripping with crystals. The ambience is hushed and seriously sophisticated, attracting a generous blend of celebrities and the super-rich, who amble around accompanied by the Royal Monceau's signature fragrance that permeates throughout the hotel. There's even a members-only cigar club, The Viñales Club, decorated with works of art and plush red Club chairs, and stocked with books.
Set in the upmarket 8th arrondissement, near the Arc de Triomphe and Champs Élysées
The hotel is located on an attractive avenue in the swanky 8th arrondissement in northwest Paris. The Place de l'Étoile, featuring the Arc de Triomphe and the start of the Champs Élysées, is about a five-minute walk away, as is the location of the Charles de Gaulle - Étoile transport hub that connects to the whole of Paris and beyond. The iconic Eiffel Tower is an eight-minute cab journey (without traffic) from the hotel, while the center of Paris -- where the Louvre and Notre-Dame Cathedral can be found -- is around a 12- to 15-minute drive.
Each room provides a guitar, and is well sound-proofed
The hotel has 149 rooms, most of which are decorated in a casual but luxurious style with hand-crafted Philippe Starck-designed furniture, original art pieces, and abundant mirrored paneling. Beds are topped with custom-made linens and goose down bedding, while most rooms also extend to walk-in wardrobes. Tech is high-end but discreet -- the large, flat-screen HDTV is concealed behind a mirror and there are plenty of extras available on request -- though some in-room features can be overly complicated or excessive for some guests (for example, toilets in some rooms open and close independently). Bathrooms are spacious and marble-floored with walk-in showers and/or free-standing claw-footed baths, while toiletries are Clarins brand. Suites offer even greater scope and luxury of amenities, but every room provides an acoustic guitar no matter the category.
Two Michelin-star restaurants and Paris's largest indoor hotel pool
In a hotel full of of superlatives, it comes as little surprise that two of its restaurants -- La Cuisine and Il Carpaccio -- both have a Michelin star. In fact, Il Carpaccio is the only Michelin-star Italian restaurant in the city. The hotel's spa is also home to the city’s biggest indoor hotel pool, while a 99-seat state-of-the-art theater is Europe's most modern screening room. Art infuses the entire hotel: there's a permanent exhibition hall, art book shop, and dedicated art concierge. Le Bar Long is designed like an old-school Parisian salon with a striking assortment of chandeliers and lamps, while drinks can also be taken in the Terrace Garden, or enjoyed with a cigar in the super-exclusive Viñales Cigar Lounge. There is a somewhat small but luxurious (naturally) gym with warm wood floors and dark wood-paneled walls. A meeting room for up to 150 people can be divided up into various configurations or booked in its entirety. The hotel is known for its elaborate breakfasts, which include sweets by French pastry chef Pierre Hermes and fresh-squeezed juices.
Le Royal Monceau is a seriously luxe hotel a stone's throw from the Arc de Troimphe. A Philippe Starck renovation -- finished in 2010 -- brought a heady mix of art and design, which extends to every corner of each of the 149 rooms, to this already high-class hotel. Facilities also go above and beyond most five-star standards, from Michelin-star dining to a guitar in every room, to bespoke art collections and a digital 3D theater on-site. Unsurprisingly, rates are eye-wateringly expensive -- probably the highest in Paris -- so this resort is only to be considered by those with very deep pockets.
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