Built in 1895 by Roland Bonaparte, the palace which today houses the Shangri-La Paris, became a hotel in 1910. In 1925 the Napoleon Bonaparte’s family sold the building to the Compagnie Universelle du Canal Maritime de Suez. In 2006 the heritage palace was acquired by Shangri-La Group, the Shangri-La Paris opened in 2010 following a multi-million dollar investment to renovated, restore and expand the historical palace.
In 2014, it came as no surprise that Shangri-La Paris was awarded Palace distinction, the highest ranking for some of the finest luxury hotels in France, which have to meet very strict criteria. With 92 rooms and suites, an ideal inventory to extend impeccable individualised service, Shangri-La Paris enjoys some of the most stunning views of the Eiffel Tower, being located in the heart of Paris, steps from Avenue Montaigne and many attractions of the French capital. Champs Elysees is within a 3 minute drive and less than a 10 minute walk.
The location of the property in a predominantly residential area away from the bustle of high-streets such as Champs Elysees, makes Shangri-La Paris as one of the safest Palace ranked luxury hotels in Paris. There is also a feel of prestige which the location lends, making any guest feel privileged to be hosted at the Shangri-La Paris. As a classic heritage building, all windows of all accommodation ore opening, providing the critical need for fresh air especially during a pandemic.
After almost a year of closure because of the pandemic, I was exceptionally impressed how fast the property has been able to regain its exceptional spirit and vibe which its team has always been oozing. Staff seemed genuinely enthusiastic to be back at work. Service was incredibly warm, attentive with an exceptional eagerness to fulfil the needs and requirements of the most discerning guests.
At every interaction with the entire staff, they would effortlessly remember to address me by name, and most importantly, I noticed they would adapt their warmth to each guest, some guests preferring a more formal approach, some expecting casual warmth. I was also immensely impressed how staff was seemingly confident and secure, conveying a feeling of ”being in safe hands” to all the guests.
Thanks to its location and unique views, Shangri-La Paris is not only attracting foreign travellers but also Parisians who are seeking for a dining experience or domestic French travellers looking for a get-away. You will welcome and you will feel pampered and taken care of, even more that the exceptional service standards are consistent, no matter the department or venue within the hotel.
Rooms and suites are classic, while the breathtaking authentic Louis XIV style of all public spaces will make one feel like Royalty, almost as if residing in a Palace such as Versailles – but in the heart of Paris. No detail has been overlooked in public spaces, with state-of-the art lighting which adapts to the natural light and time of the day, aromatherapy, and an exquisite array of salons, which, in a way, make up for a ”lobby space”, although the feel is like being in the drawing or living room of an chateau.
Despite of the lavish and even decadent decor, you will not feel overwhelmed. There is a certain one-of-a-kind residential feel which is an integral part of the Shangri-La DNA. More importantly, the sophisticated classic furnishings are also comfortable, particular attention having been paid to the quality of entire furniture, with flawless finishes at the time of transformation of the building into Shangri-La’s luxurious hotel.
Located in what were originally the stables of Prince Roland Bonaparte’s hôtel particulier, the Spa is without any doubt ranking among the top 5 Spas of all Palace ranked hotels in Paris. Chi, The Spa at Shangri-La draws inspiration from the legendary Shangri-La, a place of personal peace, enchantment and well-being. Besides the imposing natural light inundated indoor heated swimming pool, which has its very own outdoor terrace, the Spa also includes fitness facilities and a beauty treatment centre. I was very pleased to discover my favourite beauty brand, The Organic Pharmacy – my Signature rebalancing massage was a unique experience, with a highly skilled therapist.
Europe’s first Shang Palace Restaurant (a brand of the Shangri-La Hotels) opened in Paris in 2011. In 2012, it became the only Chinese restaurant in France to be awarded a Michelin star. Inspired by Southeast China’s culinary traditions, the restaurant offers authentic Chinese cuisine by Chef Samuel Lee. Shang-Palace Paris is set to reopen September 1st 2021.
The main restaurant of the hotel is La Bauhinia, which also boasts a unique outdoor terrace overlooking the beautifully manicured private garden of the hotel, with views of the Eiffel Tower. My dinner experience was a genuine treat, with a splendid selection of Asian fusion dishes in perfect synch with impeccable service. The restaurant is headed by Executive Chef Christophe Moret and the Pastry Chef Maxence Barbot.
Once the hotel accommodations will have been renovated (estimated for H2 of 2022), Shangri-La Paris will once again boast a unique 360 degree luxury experience. I have no doubts that the current team will achieve exceptional results in a relatively short amount of time. Their professionalism, vision and unique drive, will not only maintain but exceed the highest expectations for a property which is undoubtedly a flagship of the Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts.
Oliver Petcu in Paris
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