I just returned from a luxury adventure in France and my first stop was the fabulous Shangri-La Hotel, Paris. Housed within a former royal palace (that of Napoleon’s grand-nephew Roland Bonaparte) the hotel offers a bespoke luxury experience with Shangri-La’s Asian influence.
Opened in 2011, the Paris hotel was the first in Europe for the Hong Kong-based luxury hotelier, they’ve since opened a London property at The Shard. Created within what was once a palace, the Paris property retains its ornate historic features and is listed as a French Historic Monument. Highlights for me include the former palace ballroom, now a function room, with its magnificent wood carvings. The room (and the hotel) is filled with both “B’s” and bees, denoting the palace’s former owner, Prince Bonaparte. The central staircase, like something out of a romance novel, also always makes me want to make a grand entrance.
My Eiffel Tower View Room
Upon arrival, the spacious room immediately had a luxurious feel with its contemporary French design with just enough of a nod to the classic Second Empire style. Rich drapery, beautiful cabinetry and furniture add to the luxury experience. You also have some Asian influence in the artwork and the jasmin tea service brought on arrival. Details like silk wallpaper, textured room moulding, ceilings and wall panels elevate the stay beyond a regular five-star hotel. All that was quickly forgotten once we saw the city’s iconic symbol looming right outside the room’s large French windows.
The view was just perfect, the hotel is right across the river and about a block up from the Eiffel Tower, offering a unique corner perspective. You’re close enough to see the structure and its details, fortunately the room came with a set of binoculars for more careful viewing. As a fan and student of the Tower, it was just amazing to lay in the comfortable bed and stare at the structure for hours. Some of the Shangri-La’s rooms and suites even have private terraces allowing guests some incredible personal time (and photos) with the iconic monument.
The marble spa-like bathroom, complete with heated marble floors and a towel warmer, was a wonderful place to spend time. There was a huge soaking tub, with a supply of bath salts and BVLGARI amenities. A lavatory room was separated by a glass door, as was a large shower with a rain showerhead. The shower was finished in marble and had a marble seat as well. Chrome faucets and fixtures were pristine and everything looked brand new, a detail I find that separates Shangri-La properties from those of chain luxury brands.
The Shangri-La Paris has three dining options and on this visit we had dinner at La Bauhinia, the hotel’s Asian-French restaurant. Being from Los Angeles, it was a lot of fun to try their take on some of the Thai specialties I was already a fan of like Tom Kha Kai (coconut milk, chicken and lemongrass soup) and Crying Tiger (spicy marinated beef with cucumber salad). Service was seriously on-point, as you expect to find at a fine restaurant in France. Our wonderful server never led us astray, with perfect recommendations for champagne (Duval-Leroy Premier Cru) and wine (2014 David Duband Burgundy from Hautes-Cotes de Nuits). Aside from La Bauhinia, the hotel also has L’Abeille, their two Michelin-starred serious gastronomic restaurant.
Finally, like all Shangri-La hotel locations, the Shangri-La Paris has its own Shang Palace. The Shang Palace in Paris is special as it’s the only Chinese restaurant in all of France with a coveted Michelin star
Even the in-room dining (calling it mere room service doesn’t do it justice) is spectacular and we especially enjoyed the mind-blowing breakfasts that came each morning. Each individual thing: the croissants, the bacon, the butter, the orange juice, the fruit, the jams, the eggs, the honey, etc. was the best and freshest example available. With the table set up to give us Eiffel Tower views as we dined, it was just amazing.
Aside from a nice-sized gym, there are a few treatment rooms for spa services in the fitness center. The luxury hotel specializes more in personalized in-room treatments. There is also a large indoor pool in a beautiful tiled space on one of the lower levels.
As I’ve mentioned, you’re perfectly positioned in the 16th arrondissement across the Seine for some amazing Eiffel Tower views from the hotel’s rooms and suites. If you like to take photos of the Eiffel Tower, you’re also a few steps from the Place du Trocadero, the raised park directly across the river from the Tower. If you love high fashion, the hotel is also steps away from the couture houses on Avenue George V and Avenue Montaigne. All the other landmarks and tourist areas of Paris are only a brief subway, Uber or taxi ride away.
The Shangri-La Hotel, Paris
10, avenue d’Iena