Moveable Feast
Belle Magazine Australia|October 2017

This 1920s hotel has serious cultural cred, from its enviable art collection to its glamorous refurbishment by design royalty.

Harry Roberts

Paris has always held a particular fascination for artists. Just as the time-travelling protagonist of the 2011 film Midnight in Paris was transported to a milieu of avant-garde painters, jazz musicians and Lost Generation literati, a pilgrimage to the City of Light has been enshrined as a rite of passage for creative types compelled by the vibrancy of les années folles. Yet the city’s artistic charms are certainly not consigned to the past, with the modern-day metropolis enlivened by a contemporary art scene set in dynamic contrast to its historic urban fabric.

More than any other hotel, Le Royal Monceau – Raffles Paris encapsulates this hybrid of bygone romance and dazzling modernity. Opened in 1928 during the heyday of cafe society, the former haunt of Coco Chanel, Josephine Baker and Ernest Hemingway belongs to a select group of properties bestowed with France’s superlative ‘Palace’ distinction, with all the opulence and outstanding service that entails. Yet a radical overhaul by designer Philippe Starck and an emphasis on contemporary art sets the hotel apart from its peers. Now a glamorous playground for pop royalty – counting Rihanna and Beyoncé among its habitués – Le Royal Monceau has channelled its cultural pedigree for the 21st century, offering guests a passport to the cutting edge of Parisian culture.

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