The former residence of Napoleon Bonaparte’s grandnephew, on a hill leading down to the Seine next to the Trocadéro, has been converted into this striking palace hotel whose airy, light-filled spaces by Pierre-Yves Rochon showcase European Empire and minimalist Asian decorative influences in a manner some French traditionalists find refreshing, others eccentric. The location is a bit of a desert when it comes to shopping and dining. However, culture-minded guests love the cluster of less touristy beacons within a two-block radius.
Many rooms in the Shangri-La Paris have unimpeded views of the river, and some have Eiffel Tower views from the bathtub. The second-floor historic rooms, with alabaster columns, stained-glass windows, and coats of arms bearing bees and “B” for Bonaparte, have become a popular venue for society baptisms.
Europe’s first Shangri-La hotel is in the former mansion of Prince Roland Bonaparte. Molded ceilings, Eiffel Tower views, and the two-Michelin-star restaurant, L’Abeille, are all fit for modern aristocrats. From $815. 33/(0) 15-367-1998. This appeared in the October 2012 issue.