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Suite Stay: Shangri-La Hotel, Paris

Tucked inside Paris’ most chic and discreet neighborhood is Europe’s first-ever Shangri-La Hotel, a flagship of intimate scale and local historic significance.

For its first property in Europe, the Hong Kong-based Shangri-La Group set the tone for this magnificent hotel with its exclusive address, at the heart of the city’s luxurious 16th arrondissement, located across the Seine from the Eiffel Tower. The property stands tall at the previous – and now restored – Palais Iéna from the Prince Roland Bonaparte era, just steps away from several of Europe’s most renowned museums.

Walk through the original iron gates of this property, whose architectural renovations were directed by Richard Martinet, and be transported back into time to 1896. Guests arrive in a small, protected courtyard bathed under natural light through restored glass, in front of two Ming Dynasty-inspired vases that establish the mood for the hotel’s Asia-meets-Paris elegance. Pass through the lobby, with its high ceilings and refurbished marble, and look to your right: there stands a historic billiard room with a fumoir, waiting room, and fireplace, almost intact from their original days.

The interior design for the premises was overseen by Pierre Yves-Rochon, who, in his bid to bring the hotel into the 21st Century, meticulously studied archive photos of the former Palais Iéna. Yves-Rochon’s pleasing harmony of textures and colors is apparent throughout the rooms of the establishment, which (except for the Signature Suites) are decorated in shades of blue, white, and ecru, at times “Empire”, at times “luxury minimalist”, and at other times both. Custom-made finishings (think textured wall panels, silk-threaded wallpaper, and refined crystal hardware) adorn the 81 rooms and 27 suites, 60 percent of which feature a breathtaking, often panoramic view of the Eiffel Tower and the River Seine.

Best of all, the Shangri-La Group’s tradition of service excellence, based on the core values of sincerity, humility, helpfulness, respect, and courtesy, is evident in every aspect, making the hotel the perfect marriage of two cultures: the Asian art of hospitality and the French art of living.

compiled and written by HALEH NIA

-November 14, 2012

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