Today: Review of Shangri-La Hotel, Paris
- Location: Google maps
- Hotel website: Shangri-La Paris Hotel
- Tip: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso
The historic Shangri-La Paris, once home to Prince Roland Bonaparte (a nephew of Napoleon), is known as one of the French capital’s finest hotels. Guests can choose from 100 rooms, including 36 suites, many with a private balcony and breathtaking views of the Eiffel Tower and the hotel’s private garden. Two gourmet restaurants offer unique styles: La Bauhinia is great for casual fare, while Cantonese dishes are served at Michelin-starred Shang Palace. Chi, The Spa – with its treatment rooms, fitness center, and naturally lit swimming pool – completes the luxurious hotel experience.
Shangri-La Paris features in my top 10 list of the best luxury hotels in Paris.
Have you ever stayed at Shangri-La Paris? If so, what was your experience? Leave a comment.
In this review (more information below my YouTube video):
- Pros & things I like
- Cons & things to know
- My verdict
- Tips for future guests & save money
- Best time to visit
- How to get there
PROS & THINGS I LIKE
- Nestled in the French capital’s residential 16th arrondissement, the Shangri-La Paris Hotel enjoys a superb location on Chaillot Hill across the Seine, facing the Eiffel Tower and a stone’s throw from Place du Trocadero. The area around the property has one of the highest concentrations of museums in Europe. Just steps away, the renowned Guimet Museum offers Paris’ most extensive permanent collection of Asian art. Art lovers will also enjoy the treasures of the Palais Galliera, Palais de Tokyo, Museum of Man, Museum of Modern Art and the Marmottan Monet Museum, all within walking distance. Not to be forgotten, the prestigious Avenue Montaigne and the Champs-Elysées are a short walk away.
- The hotel is housed in a historic mansion, which was built in 1896 as the home of Prince Roland Bonaparte, a grandnephew of the French emperor Napoleon. After Prince Roland Bonaparte passed away at the age of 66, his daughter Princess Marie sold the estate to the Suez Canal Bank Company, which transformed the palace into luxury apartments, adding two storeys and a cupola over the ground floor, inspired by the work of Gustave Eiffel. Acquired in 1944 by the French Center of Foreign Trade, the building served to welcome foreign dignitaries and discuss international business agreements throughout the rest of the 20th century. The Shangri-La Hotel Group acquired the building in 2006 and transformed the site into its first European hotel.
- Upon acquiring the building in 2006, the Shangri-La Group took immediate steps to register the building with Monuments Historiques, demonstrating the group’s understanding of and respect for the historical and cultural significance of the former residence to Paris and to France. The four years spanning the renovation project, the same amount of time taken for the building’s original construction, are testament to both the scale and the painstaking detail the group devoted to restoring the building. Under the guidance of architect Richard Martinet and interior designer Pierre-Yves Rochon, the renovation team included leading renovation specialists in order to ensure that the integrity of the original home was protected and restored.
- The hotel’s stunning exterior blends the architectural styles from both the 17th and 19th centuries known as “eclectic design.” The palace’s magnificent façade is inspired by the Louis XIV style with intricate masonry of stone from L’Oise. Sculptors Steiner and Houguenade, who also rose to fame for their craftsmanship on the Louvre and the Tuileries Palaces, were commissioned to carve the façade’s in eclectic style, featuring the family coat of arms – lion heads and antlers. Passing through the original iron gates, guests arrive at the Shangri-La Paris Hotel in a small, protected courtyard under the restored glass porte cochere. Two Ming Dynasty inspired vases flank the entryway and set the tone from the outset for Asia-meets-Paris elegance.
- On the inside, the Shangri-La Paris Hotel stays true to the building’s history with an impressive Empire style decor. Bathed in history, the hotel’s majestic lobby features high ceilings, refurbished marble and a grand staircase. There are several thoughtfully placed alcoves on the lobby’s side, which offer discreet nooks for guests to consult with Shangri-La personnel (e.g. concierge and check-in area). Imperial insignias and ornate monograms of Prince Roland Bonaparte, subtly integrated into the design, are complemented with Asian influence. In front of the reception room are a collection of meticulously restored salons which function as a lounge and look as if they could be straight out of the Palace of Versailles.
- The Shangri-La Paris Hotel offers 100 spacious rooms including 37 suites. South-facing and bathed in natural light, 40% of the rooms and 60% of the suites feature a direct view of the Eiffel Tower and the Seine. All rooms are decorated in shades of blue, white and ecru, keeping both European Empire and Asian aesthetics. During my visit, I was upgraded to a Terrace Eiffel Tower Room on the 5th floor, which featured an oversized bedroom (with the largest bed I’ve ever slept in), a walk-in closet, and a private, furnished terrace providing spectacular views of the Eiffel Tower. The marble-clad bathroom was equipped with two sinks, a bath tub, and separate cabins for a rainshower and toilet. Premium Guerlain toiletries were provided.
- The Shangri-La Paris Hotel offers its guest a culinary experience in two sophisticated restaurants:
- Shang Palace Restaurant received one star in the 2012 Michelin Guide and remains to this day the only Michelin-starred Chinese restaurant in France. Executive Chef Samuel Lee and his brigade of four Hong Kong chefs assure its authentic culinary style and serve dishes that are inspired by Southeast China’s culinary traditions.
- Located beneath a magnificent 1930s-era, Eiffel-inspired steel and glass cupola, La Bauhinia is the hotel’s more casual dining venue. The menu spans Western and Southeast Asian classic dishes, focusing on authentic traditional favorites. Signature Asian dishes include Yam Som O (Thai pomelo salad) and Otak-Otak (filet of cod with yellow curry and coconut milk), while French signatures include salmon tartar, sea bream and rock oyster, as well as roasted saddle of milk-fed lamb
- The hotel invites its guests to achieve balance and serenity at CHI, The Spa, which draws inspiration from the legendary Shangri-La, a place of personal peace, enchantment and wellbeing. Spa treatments are based on natural healing methods found in traditional practices shared by many Asian cultures. Located in what were once Prince Roland Bonaparte’s stables, the spa is also home to a magnificent indoor swimming pool, which is bathed in natural daylight thanks to enormous glass windows. An outdoor terrace provides a tranquil space for guests to relax. Above the pool is a state-of-the-art fitness center which features cycling machines, treadmills, elliptical trainers, and Vario cardiotraining machines among others.
- The hotel is managed by Shangri-La Hotel & Resorts, one of the world’s leading luxury hotel brands. Through nature-inspired design, delightful culinary & cultural experiences, and its impeccable service, the brand aims to offers its guests a Shangri-La moment. Headquartered in Hong Kong, the Shangri-La Group has grown from a single hotel business to a global portfolio comprising real estate and investment properties, wellness and lifestyle facilities. Today, the Group owns, operates and manages 100+ hotels under four brands: Shangri-La, Kerry Hotels, JEN, and Traders. The company is part of the Kuok Group, one of Asia’s most dynamic multinational conglomerates and a leader in properties, logistics, agribusiness, maritime and hospitality.
CONS & THINGS TO KNOW
- More than half of the rooms and suites at Shangri-La Paris have a direct view of the Eiffel Tower and the Seine (and some accommodations come with a terrace or balcony). The Eiffel Tower view from the hotel’s top suites has even featured on countless glamorous fashion and travel magazines. However, the downside is that some rooms and suites do not come with those iconic Eiffel Tower views. The hotel website clearly states which rooms have a view and which don’t, so my advice is to book the room that best fit your taste and expectations.
- Located right off of the Seine in one of the most expensive neighborhoods of the city, the property is a short stroll from the Eiffel Tower and a 15 min walk to the Champs-Élysées and plenty of shops, restaurants, and bars. However, the property is some distance from the glitter of the city’s Golden Triangle (where most tourist attractions are located), but there’s a metro station just steps from the hotel’s entrance.
- The Shangri-La Paris is one of the most exclusive 5-star hotels in the French capital, and its rooms, food and spa services are priced according to its stellar reputation. For example, expect to pay 42 euro per person for a continental breakfast (only when breakfast is not included in the room rate). But even though the property is very expensive (and you should know that going in), its prices are similar to what is charged at other ultra-luxury hotels in Paris.
- Location: 9/10
- Design: 10/10
- Pool: 9/10
- Rooms: 9/10
- Food: 8/10
- Breakfast: 9/10
- Spa: 9/10
- Service: 9/10
- Value for money: 8/10
- Overall experience: exceptional 9/10
TIPS FOR FUTURE GUESTS & SAVE MONEY
- Save money: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and $100 USD hotel credit; a one way airport transfer with VIP meet & greet upon arrival is also offered for guests staying in a Deluxe Suite category and above).
- Save money: make use of Shangri-La’s best rate guarantee. If you find a better rate, the Shangri-La Hotel Group will honour that lower rate, plus give you a further 10% discount off the lower rate.
- Save money: Golden Circle is Shangri-La’s frequent guest program. Every time a guest stays, enjoys a spa treatment or dines at any Shangri-La Hotel & Resort, they will enjoy exclusive privileges and benefits across many different aspects of the group’s hotel and resort offerings. Golden Circle Award Points can then be redeemed towards hotel stays, dining or spa experiences at any Shangri-La hotel, resort, Kerry hotel, Traders hotel and Hotel Jen. Points may also converted into airline miles. Read my review of Golden Circle here.
- Room tip: Book a room with an Eiffet Tower view since that’s why you want to stay at this hotel in the first place.
- Read my tips for preparing your trip in time.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
Paris is best visited between April and May (spring) or September through November (autumn), right before or directly after the summertime high tourist season. You’ll contend with fewer tourists, enjoy somewhat mild temperatures (the city’s weather is notoriously finicky), and also experience Paris as the locals do, at its laid-back best.
HOW TO GET THERE
Paris can easily be reached by plane, train or car. For those coming by plane: there are three airports in Paris: Charles de Gaulle, Orly and Beauvais. The two main airports are CDG to the north-east and Orly to the south and both airfields are well connected to the city center, while Paris Beauvais airport is located quite far up north and used by budget airlines.