6 January 2017

Hotel Raphael

Hotel Raphael, Paris
By Haleigh In Non classé

Sometime after her own birthday and our recent trip to Italy, Ladan shared with me a beautiful message.  She wrote “we still have the privilege of being unreasonable.” I’m not sure if it’s what she meant, but if it’s spending five-hundred bucks last minute for a night in a five star hotel in the city I live in, then I agree. In case I need another excuse to justify such behavior, it was also my birthday. Twenty-eight is surely a sweet spot, just old enough to call myself a woman and afford the life I love, just young enough to still be…unreasonable.

I had always wondered about the Hotel Raphael but it totally slipped my mind once I set my eyes on the newly reopened Ritz at Place Vendôme. Turns out I am not totally out of control after all. Upon further investigation I would have to rent out my Paris apartment for two months to afford a night at the Ritz in Paris. This is just too steep a price to pay, but figuratively speaking I’ve paid dearer costs for just one night, but that is a sad story for another time. Give me another decade, or a winning lottery ticket, and I’ll try for the Ritz again.

But back to the Hotel Raphael because this place hardly feels like settling. Actually, I kind of enjoy that it doesn’t need to be dripping in gold to be fantastically French. If it’s good enough for the diplomats and politicians whose secret service are constantly parked outside in black sedans, then it’s good enough for me. And this is just one of the fascinating things about this beautiful hotel.

It’s owner, Françoise Bavarez, inherited the hotel from her family and has since declined every offer from incessant Arab, Chinese, and American groups constantly trying to buy her out. Nearly every other five store hotel in Paris is owned by foreigners and undergone some questionable renovations financed primarily by oil money. But not Françoise’s…she just isn’t having it, which makes me kind of adore this woman I’ve never met. A long list of iconic clients like Walt Disney, Audrey Hepburn, Ava Gardener, Grace Kelly, Cary Grant, and Steve McQueen are just a few names that appear in the reservations of her hotel’s fascinating history. During the German occupation of Paris some of the highest ranking Nazis imposed themselves on the hotel by choosing to live here, which doesn’t surprise me since they were known for their great taste in hotels, and…well…being the worst people ever. Françoise wasn’t around then, but I’m sure if she was she would have strongly objected to the whole thing, given how she feels about foreigners coming in and trying to acquire the place.

Nowadays the Hotel Raphael doesn’t seem to need a full service spa or twenty-four hour room service to earn its five stars. I love everything about it just the way it is and I hope they never change it. There is just the right amount of patina to make you wonder what these floral wallpapers and crown moldings would say if they could talk. If they did, maybe they would mention me, twenty-eight years young in my five star hotel room, polishing off a Laduree birthday cake while I still have the privilege of being unreasonable.

Comments

  1. Leave a Comment

  2. Audrey | Brunch at Audrey's 22 July 2016

    Happy belated birthday! What a beautiful place to spend it 🙂 Francoise sounds like quite the woman! -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

    Reply
  3. Kari 22 July 2016

    What a stunning spot to stay!
    Kari
    http://sweetteasweetie.com/ambrosia-salad/

    Reply
  4. Cheyanne 6 January 2017

    Beautiful pictures!
    -Cheyanne
    http://www.lifeofcheyanne.blogspot.com

    Reply
  5. Michelle 8 January 2017

    Happy Birthday dear Haleigh who continue to inspire me to enjoy life and take beautiful photos 😀 Although I can’t be unreasonable anymore … I would definitely have some Laduree cake too maybe this Valentine’s Day???

    Reply
  6. Travelling Hopper 10 January 2017

    Hi, welcome to my city, Amazing Paris. I am still exploring everything in it, a perfect part of my life is living in Paris!!! Travelling Hopper…

    Reply
  7. Carolina Aurélie 16 January 2017

    Oh wow, this hotel looks so beautiful! 🙂

    Great post!

    Reply
  8. Savita 25 January 2017
    Reply
  9. Tara 25 January 2017

    Looks like a dream!
    http://www.latourdetara.com

    Reply
  10. uptown18 27 January 2017

    Feeling Royal…..when i see your pictures i feel Royal….Awesome Hotel…keep posting

    http://uptown18.blogspot.com/

    Reply
  11. Elaine 7 February 2017

    Had the privilege to stay one night here too! Next time request the room used for Wes Anderson’s “Hotel Chevalier”! We were placed one room over from it!

    Reply
  12. GOindiastore 19 July 2017

    Absolutely stunning photos! thanks for sharing with us.

    Reply
  13. GOindiastore 19 July 2017

    Wow stunning photos! thanks for sharing with us.

    Reply
  14. GOindiastore 28 July 2017

    SO pretty! Thanks for sharing these beautiful pictures with us.
    Visit: GOindiastore

    Reply
  15. GOindiastore 16 August 2017

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful blog!

    Reply
  16. Claudia 13 September 2017

    Happy belated birthday! This is gorgeous as is all you do. I’m so happy I found you again, it’s been too long! I’m in Paris and would love to catch up.

    Reply

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