The gal is intrigued by the sudden profusion – a better word than rash – of pop-up eating places in the courtyards that are so traditional in Paris hotels. The courtyard at Le Grand InterContinental has been covered over, but those of, in alphabetical order, Le Bristol, Buddha-Bar, Park Hyatt, Ritz Paris and Royal Monceau Raffles Paris are open. Budda-Bar’s courtyard is currently a Japanese garden, with shabu-shabu pop-up. Park Hyatt has an alpine chalet for raclette and gluhwein, and Royal Monceau Raffles Paris has the divine grotto, shown above (sponsored by Belvedere Vodka, its rear wall is a holograph image of a wintery wood). OH there is so much fun in this luxury hotel.
Trying to take photos of any room, suite or even the massive Presidential Suite is almost impossible, but do see the video below. The lowest level of the 149-room hotel, 25 stairs down from the lobby, is the calm and stress-free health and wellness zone. There is a pool, used regularly by some very important people, and a Technogym with Citterio equipment, and a MyBlend by Clarins spa. I had a totally soothing facial by Elodie, who confirmed my theory that Parisiennes do know their faces – she certainly knows her Clarins products and how to massage. The room changes colour, from purples through greens, but I suspect the colours stop when she is actually at work.
It is typical Philippe Starck to line spa corridors in white. He did the same thing for the spa at Viceroy on Brickell, in Miami, but there the spa reception, where most of the floor area is taken up by an admittedly-shallow decorative pool, is dominated by a six-foot-high yellow chandelier hanging overhead (he certainly has his faults, does M. Starck – my suite, for instance, has books displayed on the top of columns that are 11 feet high, in other words just below the ceiling). There is colour here, at Royal Monceau Raffles: I love the cabins of the three main elevators, which are stainless and mirror and then a bright-colour, deliberately skewwhiff carpet, say bright green, or purple.
Pale pink is the house colour of the hotel, from the tissue paper elegantly lining envelopes, ready to accommodate either note cards or sheets of notepaper – other hotels please note these super-luxury elements. Grey is also used, say for the piping white towel robes, and bags for hairdryers and, another stylish touch, bags for newspapers (these bag have one handle, running from the centre to one side of the top to the other). But it is white that is the main colour memory for me, of this lovely luxury hotel, the white of the courtyard’s loggia, my all-white – and mirrored – bathroom, and the eight different milks on the breakfast buffet, surely a record. NOW SEE A VIDEO OF THE ROYAL MONCEAU SUITE