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Hotel Raphaël was built in 1925 in the heart of the “roaring twenties”, located right in the heart of the 16th arrondissement behind an ornate, sculptured exterior, close to the Arc de Triomphe and the bustling shops and restaurants of the Champs-Elysées. A beautifully maintained, traditional hotel, it still has the feel of the Belle Epoque with gleaming wooden panelling, artworks, antiques and hand painted murals: a glamorous abode with a grand staircase, ornate ceilings, an original wrought-iron lift and classic black and white marble chequerboard flooring. It will come as no surprise that Cary Grant, Steve McQueen and Audrey Hepburn used to frequent the property as it oozes that sort of by-gone age, time-honed charm and even John Malkovich is a fan, it seems. There are just 83 rooms and suites spread out over seven floors at the property, serviced by a long-term staff welcoming back regulars warmly time after time and offering a consistency often lacking at other hotels. The rooms also hark back to times gone by, with furnishings in the style of Louis XV-XVI; large wardrobes; chandeliers; hand-painted murals; patterned wallpaper; panelling; swagged curtains and antiques. Enjoying an enduring appeal, room sizes are slightly larger than other hotels, ranging from 25 square metres for the entry level rooms to 40 square metres for the Boudoir Room with a terrace overlooking the Eiffel Tower. With the high ceilings, the extravagant décor, antiques and sumptuous fabrics, each suite feels like it belongs in a château, with the Arc de Triomphe Terrace Suite in particular offering fabulous patio views over the monument, one of the larger suites with a 65 square metre footprint. The top suite of course is the Presidential offering 135 square metres of living room overlooking the Eiffel Tower, a fantasy landscape mural working as a bed headboard, crystal chandeliers, Directoire style furnishings and tiled bathrooms, one of three in the suite. 

When it comes to wining and dining, the all-day dining Restaurant is traditionally elegant with huge windows looking out onto Paris and muralled panels depicting landscapes and Romanesque images. When the weather turns fine, The Rooftop comes into play, probably the most contemporary space in the entire hotel with epic views looking out over Paris and filled to the brim with scented flowers and planting for all day snacking. The wood panelled English Bar, by way of contrast, has a more club like appeal, perfect for light bites, cocktails or a tipple or three. To be honest, this hotel is like a time capsule, taking us back to a gentler age and allowing us a glimpse of the past.


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