“If you’re going to go anywhere by train, you might as well go to Paris” – with those words Coco left on the Eurostar for the 2 hour commute from London – Paris comfortably transported on Eurostar – finding herself in Paris, the City of Love, the city of lights. Just a stepping stone away from London, Paris, with its endless ruelles lined with bistros and high fashion boutiques, is our home away from home. There’s something about Paris that is so uplifting and so elegant that the drive from the train station to the hotel feels like something out of a film noir. Watching the monuments and landmarks lazily drift past the car’s tinted windows, Coco was driven to one of Paris’ most exclusive arrondissement, just a few metres away from Paris’ Eiffel Tower.
Far from being a demoiselle in distress, the Shangri La welcomed Coco with the open arms of a long lost friend from across the pond. True to their reputation, Coco was given a welcome fit for a queen by the legendary host. Asian flair and hospitality blends in seamlessly with the Parisian touch from the lobby itself, transporting guests back to a time long gone and recreating an ambiance of prestigious baroque glory. Built at the end of the 19th century by Roland Bonaparte and restored in 2009, the Shangri La Paris still exudes regal glamour and creates a cultural bubble of aristocratic flair that reenacts a royal court. Located on the banks of the Seine, the location for the Shangri La is the only way to truly experience Paris in all its glory. With a room offering panoramic views overlooking the French capital, the Eiffel Tower was almost close enough for Coco to touch and be transported into this whimsical world of decadence and sophistication. In true Parisian fashion, the hotel’s rich history is displayed along its 3,000 square meters, with every inch filled with anecdotes and tales.
Guests can opt for a casual dining experience at La Bauhinia, the hotel’s social hub that displays 1930’s-era Eiffel-inspired steel glass cupola and offers both Western and Oriental classics. In the evenings, patrons on a romantic quest can make their way to the jardins for a French gourmet dinner at L’Abeille, which was awarded 2 stars in the Michelin Guide. The Shangri La also boasts the first fine-dining Chinese restaurant in Paris, the Shang Palace, the only Michelin star restaurant in this category in France.
And of course, any hotel stay wouldn’t be complete without a quick detour to the Spa. The CHI spa at the Shangri La is a place of peace, enchantment and wellbeing. The ambience is a combination of subtle Asian calm and French elegance and truly invites you to revitalise in a serene environment. Being situated both above and below ground, the spa boasts natural daylight, creating a cocooning atmosphere in which the outside world is melted away, replaced by a true oasis in the heart of one of the world’s busiest cities. The CHI Spa uses exclusively The Organic Pharmacy products which combines very high end quality ingredients and state of the art research to offer entirely organic products. The Organic Pharmacy is enabling Shangri La to further launch its “healthy and serene” campaign with the “100% green dinners” – fresh products produced locally in a transparent and ethical way. In the spirit of true detox, the Shangri La has left nothing to chance and offers an entirely vegan afternoon tea, prepared by Chef Michaël Bartocetti, free of lactose and cholesterol.
Lured by the appeal of Paris’ hidden secrets and cultural hubs, the Shangri La Paris has curated an in-house travel guide which features its top 10 Parisian Walks, giving the keys to Paris’ most exclusive paths to their more adventurous guests.
Coco’s visit to the Shangri La coincided with Halloween and with its romantic atmosphere and authentic decor, one couldn’t be blamed for feeling Marie Antoinette’s spirit. Following a beautiful rendezvous at the Bonaparte’s residence, Coco left Paris with a twinkle in her eyes and another visit penciled in her schedule!