Raffles Paris: A True Art Hotel

Raffles Paris: A True Art Hotel

By Adam H. Graham
April 15th marks the final day of the 2013 YIA Little Art Fair (for Young International Artists), hosted by Raffles Paris and featuring a selection of contemporary painters and sculptors from France, Italy and the US as selected by three Paris galleries (Galerie Natalie Obadia, Galerie Patricia Dorfmann, and Galerie Laurent Godin) who chose rising stars of the contemporary art scene for a group exhibition.

This year one selected YIA artist was Brooklyn resident Michael DeLucia, a former assistant of Jeff Koons, who studied at the Royal College of Art, London and the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence. His abstract sculptures explore the appropriation, fetishization and exploitation of mass produced objects. Other artists selected include Vincent Beaurin, Charlotte Charbonnel, Aurélie Pétrel, and Parisian art cooperative Societe Realiste.

Le Royal Monceau Raffles' façade on 37 Avenue Hoche.

When it opened in autumn 2010, Le Royal Monceau Raffles Paris—designed by Philippe Starck—developed an extensive art and culture program, including a bookstore dedicated to contemporary art (La Librairie des Arts), a private cinema (Katara Cinema), a contemporary art gallery, a private collection of over 300 works of art and a contemporary Arts Concierge who knows where the best galleries and street art in her city can be found.

Located at the heart of the hotel, Le Bar Long, is a high, long, narrow and luminous bar. Designed by Philippe Starck, the structure is broken up by large white linen curtains, artwork, a fantastic array of lamps and chandeliers and the repetitive face-to-face layout between patrons and a bartender moving behind a bar breaks up the conventional look of a bar.

This in-house Art Gallery is the hub of the artistic and cultural life of the hotel. A new venture into the world of contemporary art in Paris, Art District welcomes artists, art connoisseurs and collectors, patrons and art professionals. Similar to many other Paris art galleries, the space is dedicated to premiere exhibitions in Paris: retrospectives, commissions for Le Royal Monceau, presentation of new or previously unseen collections.

If that weren't enough the hotel's art gallery space—which has previously exhibited works from Basquiat, Dennis Hopper and Michael Somoroff—will showcase work by Mexican born artist Gabriel Orozco until the end of June 2012. His floating "The Roiseaux" will be exhibited in the lobby and is composed of two large mobiles, lithely constructed hybrids of bamboo branches and feathers. 

YIA artist Michael DeLucia's abstract sculpture.

But the swaddling at Raffles isn’t just about art. Beds feature ivory leather headboard, and oversized beveled mirrors conceal the TVs amping up the modernist Art Deco feel. The hotel’s white monochromatic 1,500 square meter Clarins spa opened in 2012 and includes a 23-meter long pool, the longest in any Paris hotel. The hotel’s two restaurants the French La Cuisine and Italian Il Carpaccio each racked up a Michelin star after opening.

The hotel even offers an art concierge service. Helmed by consultant and cultural mediator Domonia Debrantes and her team, the art concierge service guides and advises guests as they visit Paris, keeping them posted on current art news and devising tailor-made plans. The entire team also offers customized visits of the hotel’s private collection.

This spring, Paris is host to several arty events including Paris Museum Night on May 19 when all the city’s museums stay open until 1am, and Belleville Artists’ Open House from May 24-27. (33-1-42-99-88-77; doubles from $1,021).

The leading contemporary art bookstore in a Parisian luxury hotel, La Librairie des Arts, is an emblematic element of art and culture at the hotel. The bookstore has over 700 titles, as well as objects by artists and architects, limited editions, and various unusual formats.

A guest room with a sliding tiled glass door leading to the luxurious bathroom.

The Presidential Suite includes three bedrooms, a private fitness room, and an immense reception room opening up to the dining room.

At the hotel's spa, My Blend by Clarins, guests can blissfully lounge and take a dip at the 23 meter swimming pool, the longest ever built in a Paris luxury hotel.

A pair of chefs prepare dishes in the open kitchen at Raffles' one Michelin-starred restaurant, La Cuisine, described as "refined, generous, and spontaneous French cuisine."


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