By Nicole Cotroneo
On December, Shangri-La opened its first property in Paris, which is also its first in Europe. And it seems they’re staking their claim on the continent Napoleon-style: with a hotel that’s small in size but exceedingly grand. The most intimate of all 69 Shangri-La hotels, the Paris property was once the private home of Prince Roland Bonaparte, the grand-nephew of Napoleon. Built in 1896, the restored palace now has Empire-style interiors by designer Pierre-Yves Rochon (who worked on another little Paris hotel, the Four Seasons Hotel George V).
With 81 rooms, including 27 suites, the hotel’s most lavish quarters are rather difficult to choose. La Suite Imperiale was Roland’s private apartment and maintains opulent original moldings and high ceilings. It has a private dressing room and a balcony overlooking the Place d’lena. Then there’s La Suite Panoramique, with a huge wraparound terrace capturing sweeping views of the Eiffel Tower and the Seine.
Located near the Trocadero in the 16th arrondissement, Shangri-La Paris is just a short walk to the popular Christmas Market in the Jardins du Trocadero — a little holiday village with over a hundred stalls selling food and trinkets through December. Of course, in warmer months, you’ll want to spend time in the hotel’s own private gardens, designed by a star urban landscaper who’s also worked on the Tuileries and Trianon Palace. The gardens will have 1,500 plants, including “Asian exotic” and rare species, inspired by Prince Roland’s own love of botany (he kept the world’s largest private herbarium, later relocated to Lyon).
On a recent visit to New York, one of Shangri-La’s higher-ups told globorati they may never recover the money they’ve put into their Paris palace. Sounds like the kind of vanity project Napoleon would have approved.
bonus video: Heather Secrets of Parisvisits the newly-opened Shangri–La Paris Hotel