FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Shangri-La Hotel, Paris

by Irvina Lew

Apr 17, 2019

Sborisov | Dreamstime.com


Close-up view of the Eiffel Tower. Landscaped gardens. An indoor swimming pool. Vegetarian and vegan wellness menus. And a butler and babysitting services. Oh yes, the elegant and sophisticated, 5-star Shangri-La Hotel welcomes families in regal style. The cast-iron gateway, the imposing porte-cochere, the domed foyer and grand stairway at this Monument Historique feels like the magnificent 19th-century family palace it was built to be for Prince Roland Bonaparte, grand-nephew of Napoleon. (The learned aristocrat, world traveler and passionate botanist entertained the leading minds of the early 20th century there.)


The transformation to a luxe hotel revealed original, hand-carved mahogany paneling under layers of paint, a glass and steel structure behind a dropped ceiling and marble floors to salvage. Workers meticulously took apart and reassembled stained-glass windows and each original floor board to restore the authentic architectural assets. And they updated the project with state-of-the-art, 21st-century amenities, which include a fitness area in the former stables with a 175-square-foot swimming pool with columns, a glass wall to the outdoor terrace and steps leading to the mezzanine above, to spa treatment cabines off a corridor overlooking the exquisite pool and terrace.


Children will be delighted “playing palace” here. At check-in, they receive passports that can be stamped at a variety of hotel outlets — from the pool to restaurants. The in-room amenities include Bamboo, the plush panda, a cotton bag that becomes a backpack, a coloring book and crayons, slippers, a puzzle and a cookie from the Pastry Chef.


The Eiffel Tower. Photo: Dennis Dolkens | Dreamstime.com

The Eiffel Tower. Photo: Dennis Dolkens | Dreamstime.com

The 37 suites among the 100 accommodations are particularly grand, many with French doors leading to Juliet balconies and views of the Eiffel Tower. Within this Empire setting, Neoclassical furnishings are unassuming, quiet and calming with comforting shades of creamy ecru and airy blues.


Plus, hotel restaurants offer special menus made of drawings, which entice children to pick their own meal. As for dining, you can also introduce them to two-star Michelin gastronomy at l’Abeille, or one-star Cantonese food in the enticing Shang Palace restaurant, and dine, healthfully, at La Bauhinia, (a B-GREEN wellness breakfast perhaps?), or take advantage of a vegan tea or 24-hour room service.


The hotel’s prime location in the chic 16th arrondissement is a short walk to the Seine River and across to the carousel and the Tour Eiffel or to the riverside quai for the Bateau Mouche (tourist ferry) or to the Batobus, which makes many stops along the river to family-friendly places, including the Tuileries Gardens (next to The Louvre) and even the carousel at the Jardin des Plantes. The hotel is near the fashionable boutiques on Avenue George V and Avenue Montaigne and the weekly President Wilson market (Wednesday and Saturday). The quartier (neighborhood) also borders the Parisian park Bois de Boulogne, with its Jardin d’Acclimatation, the famed amusement park, near the recently constructed Fondation Louis Vuitton, which Frank Gehry designed.


If you can afford one of the 16 Palace Hotels in France, the country’s top hotel category, consider the Shangri-La Hotel as an intimate, family-friendly venue.


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