When a hotel also happens to be located in the former palais of Napoleon’s nephew, a stone’s throw from the Eiffel Tower, you know it’s going to be a lavish affair. But the Paris outpost of the Shangri-La, the Hong Kong-based chain of luxury hotels with locations in 26 countries, doesn’t just look pretty; it’s also a modern, romantic masterpiece with personalized service and truly spectacular accommodations.
We recently had the opportunity to spend a couple nights at the 5-year-old establishment at the invitation of the hotel, and we were simply floored by the experience. As the former home of Prince Roland Bonaparte, the hotel still retains many of the original building’s architecture, complete with plenty of marble, a grand staircase, and perfectly preserved event spaces (like the Grand Salon, above). Our room had an expansive terrace and a spectacular view across the Seine of the Eiffel Tower; of the 101 rooms and 36 suites (all individually designed by Pierre-Yves Rochon), many offer views of the Tower.
Decorated in shades of blue and white, with silk-threaded wallpaper, rich carpeting, and floor-to-ceiling windows, the rooms exude Old World luxury — staying at the hotel really does feel like being a guest of the Bonapartes. The rooms aren’t dated, either. On the contrary, all lighting can be controlled via a bedside console, guests are offered their choice of a variety of pillows, the floors of the marble bathroom are heated, and bathrooms have a top-of-the-line rainfall shower and a flat-screen TV integrated into the mirror.
The hotel also offers several meeting and event spaces, a health and fitness center, a spa with a large pool and outdoor terrace, and three restaurants. The two-Michelin-starred L’Abeille (above) offers high-end French gastronomic cuisine; the one-Michelin-starred Shang Palace offers upscale Cantonese cuisine under chef Samuel Lee; and the more casual La Bauhinia serves French and Asian cuisine in a spectacular dining room under a glass cupola. The snug lobby bar, Le Bar Botaniste, is a warm and inviting space that serves some truly spectacular cocktail creations and can certainly be considered a hidden gem for cocktail enthusiasts to discover.
The opulent and elegant surroundings, professional and personalized service, tranquility of the hotel, excellent dining options, upscale furnishings, and commanding views of the Eiffel Tower all team up to make the Shangri-La one of Paris’ finest hotels — and certainly one of its most romantic.