One of the world’s most treasured cities is home to some pretty unforgettable hotels. Paris is a blissful city where extravagance is definitive and luxury supreme. From the moment one beholds the grand façade, it is truly a place with a heavenly touch, or more appropriately a true Shangri-La in the city of lights.
The hotel occupies a privileged spot, just steps from the Eiffel tower it offers the best and most unobstructed view of it in town. Occupying a century old palace that belonged to the nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte, there is no lack of uniqueness and character to every one of the rooms, suites, halls and atriums. Different from many of its sister properties in Asia, it has a smaller room count with 81 total. The historic building which it occupies allows for a different conceptualization of the hotel’s atmosphere, but it is assuredly as refined, relaxed and personalized as any other property in the chain.
From the moment one enters the lobby there is an immediate sense of intimacy and nobility all at once. Floors are polished marbles of varying color patterns, chandeliers sparkle alternating gold and crystal hues. Overall the décor and design is kept to a minimum of select and precious objects, a mix of European statues and paintings with decorative Asian vases and ceramics. Interactions with the hotel personnel are delightful and productive. Each member of the staff exudes an aura of being an ambassador of Asian hospitality in the midst of Parisian opulence.
The common areas of the hotel maintain the grandeur of the palace, yet each has its own unique identity, making each amenity an innovative experience. There is the lounge area adjacent to the lobby, which offers guests three delightful parlors in which to unwind, read, chat, and enjoy delectable refreshments. The newly installed pool on the spa level is an appealing spot to de-stress and its atmosphere captures the essence of quiet luxury. The spa offers an unparalleled haven in which to relax and enjoy savory treatments in the heart of the city. The gym is small yet comprehensive, offering a wide range of exercise equipment of excellent quality.
There are two in house restaurants, which have received Michelin stars, making this the only hotel in Paris with that fame. The first is L’Abeille which holds two Michelin stars and features French gourmet cuisine. Guests are limited to forty per dinner service, with fourteen chefs and fourteen waiters making the experience singular and polished. The other Michelin starred restaurant is Shang Palace, which highlights Chinese and particularly Cantonese food and has an attractive layout and menu.
The hotel rooms have either a view towards the Eiffel tower or facing the grand neighborhood of palaces and embassies. Rooms are laid out in various manners, but they are quite large considering the average type of room size in Paris. The interiors are colored with light blues, pale yellows and many other soft colors. The design is self-described as ‘luxury minimalist’ and ‘empire.’ The furniture is well crafted, the beds are plush and wide and closets are deep and spacious. Bathrooms are overlaid in white marbles with soaking tubs and designer toiletries. Who wouldn’t love basking in the view of the Eiffel tower soaking in a nice hot tub?
The hotel has some 27 impressive suites as well. The finest one is called La Suite Imperiale and served as the main living quarters for the original owner. Ceilings are soaring, furniture is exquisite, décor is a mix of boutique items and elegant works of art. It is a stunning treasure within an already stunning masterpiece of a hotel. The Shangri-La Paris is certainly one of a kind, it is warm and elegant, inviting and full of all around grandiosity.