It’s always a good time to visit the City of Lights – but even more so during the festive season. Where better to feast and celebrate than Paris?
We shortlist four of our favourite spots to visit for your next trip:
Stay: Le Royal Monceau Raffles Paris
Le Royal Monceau Raffles Paris is a rare find. After undergoing a major two-year renovation in 2010 by Philippe Starck, each of the 149 rooms and suites embodies its own historical narrative and is infused with artistic and romantic Parisian flair. The spaces, inspired by the 1940s and ’50s, are a juxtaposition of eclectic lighting and furniture pieces with retro and contemporary elements that instantly transport you to Starck’s imaginative sphere. "What’s with the red chair?" one of us asks, pointing to the only red seat in the whimsically designed in-house cinema. "That’s exactly what Starck had in mind when he conceived the design – it has to be interesting and thought-provoking," explains public relations and communication manager Diane-Laure Dudoué. The modern palace is now home to a gallery, an art concierge, a Clarins spa and the largest hotel swimming pool in Paris.
Eat: Matsuhisa Paris
Opened in March this year, Matsuhisa Paris emerged from the partnership between world-renowned chef Nobu Matsuhisa and Le Royal Monceau Raffles Paris. Under the guidance of executive chef Hideki Endo and his expert team, the Japanese fine-dining restaurant delivers exquisite dishes adapted from the celebrated Peruvian-Japanese cuisine formula at Nobu’s other outposts, as well as incorporating a few local French delicacies. "It has become one of the latest gastronomic hotspots for not only our hotel guests but also local people," says Diane-Laure. It almost goes without saying – the stately venue is complete with exceptionally high ceilings adorned with French artist Stéphane Calais’ A Garden in Paris, which allow the statement pendant lights to pop without obstructing the overall ambience.
Famed for its understated romance and unmistakable quality, Bonpoint has been a purveyor of delicate children’s wear infused with a twist of Parisian chic since 1975; a perfume and skincare series for children and mothers has also been introduced by the maison. Upon arrival at the over-10,000-sqft Paris flagship store in the St-Germain-des-Prés quarter, you’ll instantly be enchanted by the fairytale-themed private mansion – complete with a French garden and a tea room.
Photography: © Iwan Baan
See: Fondation Louis Vuitton
With aims to be an integral part of the Île-de-France cultural landscape and to rekindle interest in western Paris, the Fondation Louis Vuitton showcases art pieces from the 20th and 21st centuries in a space with exceptional Frank Gehry architecture. Proudly adorning the structure at the moment is the temporary installation Observatory of Light by Daniel Buren, which comprises 3,600 glass pieces in 13 colours that create different effects during the day to reflect the building in a new light.
Lead image courtesy of Le Royal Monceau Raffles Paris.