Luxury Hotels


Oh what a difference etceteras, or addenda or whatever you wanna call them, make to a top-class hotel. ROYAL MONCEAU RAFFLES PARIS has been renowned for style since it first opened in 1928 but now, for the first time in about a decade, it has a revitalised je ne ne sais quoi (but that’s wrong as the hotel’s stylish GM, Nicolas De Gols, was born in Belgium not France).

Look what he’s done since he arrived a year ago.  He’s given lodging, in the form of an ave Hoche display room, to the latest Range Rover, the hotel’s long-time automotive partner.

He’s revolutionised the bar. Glassware is all Baccarat and china is now Raynaud, scarlet-edged to match salt and pepper mills, and small roses on each table.  What is more, bar and all restaurant staff are having new fashion (not uniform, please note, but gear that is bespsoke when it comes to fit).  No more ‘small, medium or lounge’. No-one does their best in clothes that are not exactly right, says M De Gols.

In a city of deservedly-renowned haute cuisine, you have to work to keep fit, and sane. Girlahead-Emily worked out in the two adjacent fitness centres, both havens of subterranean white loveliness. Then it was up 19 carpetted steps to the bar and out on to avenue Hoche. This is one of eight radial streets emenating from the Arc de Triomphe, especially statuesque in a floodlit evening. Round one circumferential road. Wait at traffic lights. Round the next, and so on. But when to stop. Girlahead switched to her Emily mode and flagged down a cab driver for help.

After a fabulous night of lovely white bedlinens, it was pre-prandial hard walking, this time down ave Hoche to the park and back again for breakfast. Nicolas De Gols showed off the lobby sculpture, double-head Hermès by Daniel Arshom (see above). He has lots more culture creativity. Girlahead wants to hear that more.