Fusing lavish French heritage with exquisite Asian influence and some of the best Eiffel Tower views in the capital, Shangri-La Hotel Paris is as visually stunning as it is luxurious. It’s this along with exemplary service, Michelin-starred cuisine, and now the newly launched Le Bar Botaniste, that proves the hotel to be so exceptional.
Many would say it’s this hotel’s extraordinary heritage that makes it such a remarkable setting. Indeed, as the former palace of Prince Roland Bonaparte, its architecture and interiors are imbued with countless stories. But as well as being an exemplar of Parisian style, the hotel also owes its appeal to the exquisite mark Shangri-La has made in complementing the space with its trademark oriental touches.
Architect Richard Martinet and interior designer Pierre-Yves Rochon were behind the restoration of the palatial salons, galleries and grandiose winding staircase. Reinvigorating the palace from its domed entrance and marble columns, to its hand-carved panels, striking mosaics and murals, they meticulously brought life back into the interiors, while updating them to suit the modern day.
Then there’s the hotel’s unrivalled setting; situated in the prestigious 16th arrondissement, on the opposite bank of the Seine to the Eiffel Tower, the hotel has what are undoubtedly some of Paris’s best views, as well as the advantage of being a short stroll from many of the city’s major landmarks, museums and avenues.
The rooms too, combine Parisian and Asian aesthetics. Silk-threaded wallpaper, lavish materials and ornate furnishings all fit comfortably within the palace’s grand façade, keeping the hotel’s colour scheme of blue, ecru and gold, with the addition of luxury amenities, from marble bathrooms with rainfall showers, heated floors and Bvlgari toiletries, to in-room Nepresso.
Of the hotel’s 81 plush rooms, 27 are suites, and three of those are the hotel’s capacious signature suites: Suite Chailott, Suite Shangri-La, and Suite Impériale – the palace’s former master bedroom. What truly makes each and every terrace room and suite so remarkable though is each one’s private balcony affording those views Shangri-La Paris is lauded for, making Champagne seem almost compulsory.
If the main motivation for coming here is the cuisine, there’s little risk of being disappointed. It’s Executive Chef Christopher Moret – formerly of Restaurant Alain Ducasse – who oversees each of the restaurants. In the true spirit of the hotel, La Bauhinia specialises in French and Southeast Asian cuisine. Flooded with light from a circular skylight, this is the setting for long, leisurely breakfasts and for sinking into the rich velvet seating while gorging on contemporary plates that encompass produce from the surrounding region.
Much of Chef Moret’s focus falls on two-Michelin-starred L’Abeille though, where – as the Head Chef – he whips up classic French fine dining plates. Then it’s Hong Kong-born Chef Samuel Lee Sum who’s at the helm of Cantonese restaurant Shang Palace – proudly the only Michelin-starred Chinese restaurant in France.
Of course, it’s not all about gastronomy here; La 8 Iéna terrace bar acts as extension of La Bauhinia, and this month saw the launch of Le Bar Botaniste, honouring Bonaparte’s passion for botany by serving signature cocktails encompassing botanical spirits, and nature-inspired décor including a botanical wall. Perhaps the most special setting though is the Suit(e)-up Lounge; held on the palatial terrace of the Shangri-La Suite, guests are invited when the suite is free for Champagne and what is arguably Paris’ most extraordinary view.
The hotel’s setting means there are bountiful sites within its immediate surroundings. In fact, the area is said to have one of the highest concentrations of museums in Europe. The Eiffel Tower sits just across the water, and Champs-Elysée is a short walk in the opposite direction. Earlier this year, Shangri-La Paris launched their own guidebook ’10 Parisien Walks’ too, revealing each area’s lesser-known sites.
But within the hotel itself, it’s worth venturing down to CHI, The Spa, sprawled throughout the palace’s former stables. Here, Shangri-La’s oriental influence leads the way, with modern white décor providing a backdrop for a 16-metre mosaic pool, which leads out onto a tranquil plant-filled terrace from where guests can peer up at the tip of the Eiffel Tower.
In a Nutshell
A stay at Shangri-La Hotel Paris provides both extraordinary surroundings and the benefit of being at the heart of the city’s most celebrated streets, along with the chance to dive into the hotel’s immense gastronomic offering and sip cocktails in their brand new botanical bar.
Rates range from £585 for a Superior Room to £2,335 for a Terrace Eiffel Tower View Suite, and £17,320 for La Suite Shangri-La.
Words by Lauren Hill