Shangri-La Hotel Paris Hotel

Paris, France

Conjure in your mind a profuse Parisian palace and we’d wager that what you’re picturing isn’t so far from reality at Paris’s Shangri-La, the hotel group’s first European opening. It was originally the private residence of Roland Bonaparte, nephew of Napoleon, who had a fine taste (and budget) for architecture, fixtures and fittings, but it was French interior designer Pierre-Yves Rochon who was charged with transforming the property from home to hotel. Silk wallpaper, subtle gilding and tasteful chinoiserie are his style weapons of choice, which all neatly temper the all-out ostentation employed by the previous owner, without letting you forget that you’re residing in one of Paris’s finest addresses. All 100 rooms are individually designed, with many overlooking the Eiffel Tower, which feels so close, you can almost touch it – ask for one that’s south-facing. Bathrooms are head-to-toe marble, with the majority featuring TVs in the tubs, and tech is high-spec. The best suites come with huge terraces that cry out for springtime breakfasts alfresco. However it’s the hotel’s restaurant offering where things really start to impress.

Two-star-Michelin L’Abeille is the flagship, where Christophe Moret sends out a menu that’s a perfect example of modern French fine dining. Pace of service is perfect, with his scallops, elm and green asparagus from Provence in a primavera stew nothing short of a masterpiece. Shang Palace, France’s only Michelin-starred Chinese restaurant, is equally good. The windowless basement setting is enlivened by some of the finest authentic Eastern tapestries this side of Beijing, with a menu to fit. Authentic Cantonese cuisine is order of the day, with a tasting menu that takes you through the region’s greatest hits. Crispy duck is sweet and superb and a dim sum collection shows the umami art of a true master. Elsewhere, a huge swimming pool flooded in natural light and excellent Carita spa reside in what was once the stables.

Doubles from £539.

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