Shangri-La Hotel, Paris
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A spa hotel with a view onto the Eiffel Tower.
Rates: from €675
Added extras: Two Michelin-starred restaurants
Services: valet parking, spa and pool
Based on the novel ‘Lost Horizon’ by James Hilton, the splendid Shangri-La Hôtel Paris (which was once upon a time Prince Roland Bonaparte’s hotel particulier) is in the perfect location on avenue d’Iéna. The book tells of an English diplomat and his three companions, who fall victim to a road accident and are taken in by Tibetans. Their refuge, a Tibetan convent, is simply named “Shangri-La”.
And hospitality at the Shangri-La is a serious business. Over half of the rooms – elegantly and carefully decorated by renowned craftspeople – have breathtaking views of the Eiffel Tower and the Seine. The spa is just as dazzling; complete with a 15m long, 6m wide pool bathed in natural light thanks to huge bay windows.
Take a breather in the Asian-inspired gardens, with exotic plants like the trachycarpus fortunei (Chusan palm) and even rarer species such as the firmiana. Expect to feel inspired by the harmony between nature and urbanism, the ability to stay connected in a society that’s going ever faster.
Don’t leave without dining in one of the three restaurants; expect typical French gastronomy at L’Abeille (two Michelin stars), a clever mixture of French and Asian cuisine at the Bauhinia, or Cantonese at the Shang Palace (one Michelin star). It doesn't get better than that.