I drank fresh-pressed orange juice and got tipsy from the view. Lynn Loring, the Activities Vice President, at American Women’s Group Paris, arranged a “Ladies Who Drink in the View @Hotel Raphael” visit. And we drank in the view on La Terrasse on a very bright sunny Paris day under parasols surrounded by greenery. I crossed over the chess board checkered floor to one side of the Hotel Raphael terrace bar to see the Arc de Triomphe. With my zoom lens barely extended, I could almost touch the monument. On the other side was the Eiffel Tower fronted by an elegant Haussmannian building. It was easy to justify the fifteen euros cost of the juice: three for the juice and the rest for the views. It was a fun two hours.
The grand entrance to the hotel avoids the classic hotel entrance straight line. At the Raphael, you enter the main hall with left and right turns preparing you for a modern moment with a step back in time. The English bar and Lounge “le 17” on the ground floor has dark red cushions set within dark wood paneling. Meetings were taking place in one of the lounge nooks, someone on a stool was keeping the barman company. It was quiet and discreet but busy at the same time.
The elevator with its iron gates held a dark green velour covered bench seat with legs, not the fold down kind. The colors of the hall furniture changed as I glided up past each floor to reach La Terrasse on the seventh floor. As he showed us the State Suite (La Suite d’Etat) and a double room on the fifth floor, the concierge explained some of the Raphael’s design and history . The bathrooms in the suite are a ceramic, floral art gallery from floor to ceiling with work by the artists, Mr. & Mrs. La Morinerie.
The Hotel Raphael has been in the same family since its 1925 opening date and takes its name from the painter, Raphael, a favorite of the founder, Léonard Tauber and his associate, Constant Baverez.
17 Avenue Kléber 75116 Paris
Tel : + 33 (0)1 53 64 32 00
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