If there are those who thought Starck’s stock took a tumble a few years back when Ian Schrager, possibly the savviest hotelier of them all, tapped artist-filmmaker Julian Schnabel to be his aesthetic guide in reimagining New York’s Gramercy Park Hotel, effectively ending the 14-year-long collaboration with Starck that produced the Royalton, the Paramount, the Delano, the Mondrian, St. Martins Lane, the Sanderson, the Hudson, and the Clift, eight stop-the-presses hotels that virtually redefined the industry, Starck responded by signing an “exclusive” contract in the United States—“from 2006 until 2021”—with L.A.-based hospitality and entertainment impresario Sam Nazarian for SLS Hotels, the first of which opened in Beverly Hills in 2008.
But then Starck is nothing if not philosophical, perhaps invaluable for a man now on his second marriage, with four children, some 19 houses, and a nine-seat private Swiss jet to maintain. “I never make architecture for architecture,” he says. “I am not interested in stone, aluminium, glass, and concrete. I am interested in life. That is why a hotel for me is a movie. I imagine why people will come, why people will come back. What they will live, what they will feel. I hope for them to feel more creative, more intelligent, more elegant, more sparkling, more poetic, more foolish, more in love.”
Le Royal Monceau–Raffles Paris; doubles from $1,062.