24-hour room service: Shangri-La Hotel, Paris

Paris has another star from the East

You can't help but feel a little frisson of excitement as you pass through the tall iron gates and pull up under the beautiful wrought-iron and glass porte-cochère of the Shangri-La in Paris.

So far, so French. But as you step inside the hotel you're greeted by two giant Ming dynasty-style vases standing sentry at the door, hinting at the provenance of this new address on the Parisian hotel scene.

The Shangri-La was the second of a trio of Asian-based luxury hotel groups to open properties in the French capital in the past 18 months (joining Raffles Le Royal Monceau and followed by Mandarin Oriental). It celebrated its first anniversary last month and is arguably the most romantic and intimate of the three, housed in the Belle Epoque Palais d'Iéna, the former home of Napoleon Bonaparte's grand nephew, Prince Roland Bonaparte. The family coat of arms, lions' heads and antlers can still be seen, carved into the pale stone façade.

Inside, a spectacular sweeping staircase leads to the principal salons on the first floor. The Grand Salon – all chandeliers, parquet, gilt and mirrors – recalls the grandeur of Versailles and is among several elements of the palace now protected on the list of "Monuments Historiques".

The restoration of the building, which latterly belonged to the French Centre of Foreign Trade, took four years. It involved some additions, which are mercifully subtle.

Gentle hints of the Orient infuse the hotel. For example, delicate Jasmine Chung Hao tea from China's northern province of Fujian is offered when you are taken to your room.

It's no coincidence that the arrival of these Asian hoteliers coincides with an influx of well-heeled Chinese visitors eager to spend their yuan. During my stay, enthusiastic groups were jumping into the hotel's fleet of slick limousines, presumably off to peruse the luxury brands of the nearby Avenue Montaigne.

The Shangri-La's prices reflect this profligacy – you'll need a stiff drink before reading the bar, restaurant and room-service menus.

There are three restaurants. La Bauhinia features a stunning glass cupola uncovered during the restoration, while L'Abeille, the gastronomic French restaurant, takes its name from the Napoleonic bee. The Shang Palace, which opened last September and was immediately booked solid, is easily the city's most sophisticated Chinese restaurant, serving refined Cantonese cuisine.

Later this year, an indoor swimming pool and spa are due to open in the former stables. The currrent lack is of little consequence: there are still few more romantic places to stay during Paris's loveliest season.

Location

The hotel clings to the side of Chaillot Hill in Paris's chic, buttoned-up 16th arrondissement. The Shangri-La is just across the Seine from the Eiffel Tower and is only moments away from the Trocadéro with its views of everyone's favourite landmark.

Several museums and galleries are also a short stroll away: the Guimet Museum, Musée du Quai Branly, Palais de Tokyo and the Marmottan Monet Museum. Perhaps more importantly, the Golden Triangle is a mere Louboutin's totter down the hill.

Comfort

There are 81 rooms and suites divided into five categories. The view that all visitors lust after is the symbol of the city and my room had just that. About half of all the rooms and suites have Eiffel Tower views and it's hard to drag yourself away from the window.

Interior designer Pierre-Yves Rochon was tasked with decorating the guest rooms, channelling a Gallic-Oriental fusion with Empire-style furnishings in hues of blue, ecru and white. Apart from some of the more lavish suites, it seems a bit sombre given the opulence of parts of the palace, but maybe that's the point.

Bathrooms are decked in chocolate brown marble and buff limestone with separate baths and shower heads of dinner-plate proportions. There is also a Nespresso machine, kettle, DVD, TV and free Wi-Fi.

Shangri-La Hotel, 10 avenue d'Iéna, Paris, France (00 33 1 53 67 19 98; Shangri-la.com).

Rooms ****
Value ****
Service *****

Doubles start at €600, room only.

Suggested Topics
Voices
Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
charity appeal
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Arts and Entertainment
Jennifer Saunders stars as Miss Windsor, Dennis's hysterical French teacher
filmJennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress
Life and Style
tech
Sport
Nabil Bentaleb (centre) celebrates putting Tottenham ahead
footballTottenham 4 Newcastle 0: Spurs fans dreaming of Wembley final after dominant win
Voices
Jimmy Mubenga died after being restrained on an aircraft by G4S escorts
voicesJonathan Cox: Tragedy of Jimmy Mubenga highlights lack of dignity shown to migrants
Life and Style
Sebastian Siemiatkowski is the 33-year-old co-founder and CEO of Klarna, which provides a simple way for people to buy things online
tech
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Ashdown Group: Data Manager - £Market Rate

    Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Data Manager - MySQL, Shell Scripts, Java, VB Scrip...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - Bedfordshire/Cambs border - £32k

    £27000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - near S...

    Recruitment Genius: Class 1 HGV Driver

    £23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This successful group of compan...

    Recruitment Genius: HGV Class 2 Lorry Driver / CPC and HIAB Training Provider

    £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A HGV Class 2 Lorry Driver is required t...

    Day In a Page

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
    La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

    Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

    The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
    10 best high-end laptops

    10 best high-end laptops

    From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
    Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

    Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

    The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
    Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

    Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

    The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
    Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

    'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

    After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
    Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

    Homeless Veterans campaign

    Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
    Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

    Meet Racton Man

    Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
    Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

    Garden Bridge

    St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
    Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

    Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

    An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
    Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

    Joint Enterprise

    The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
    Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

    Freud and Eros

    Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum