Introduction: Pulling Off A Very Special Surprise Trip
Review: St. Regis New York
How I Pulled Off A Surprise Trip… Sort Of
Review: Air Serbia Business Class A330 New York To Belgrade
Review: Aman Sveti Stefan Montenegro
Review: Dining At Aman Sveti Stefan
Review: Shangri-La Paris
Review: Lufthansa Lounge Paris Airport
Review: Lufthansa First Class 747-8 Frankfurt To Los Angeles
Paris s a city with a lot of top notch luxury hotels, though they come at a steep cost. The good news for points enthusiasts is that there are some great points properties where you can redeem points, like the Prince de Galles, which is a Starwood Luxury Collection property, or the Park Hyatt Paris.
While I’m sure those would have been great, I wanted to make this really special. I was planning to propose to Ford in Paris, so figured trying to find a great hotel that has rooms with terraces overlooking the Eiffel Tower would be amazing.
I know, that’s cheesy as hell, but Ford loves Paris, and I knew he’d at last appreciate the thought I put into it.
After doing some research, it looked like the Shangri-La Paris has the best Eiffel Tower views. The going rate for one of their Eiffel Tower View Terrace Rooms would have been 1,600EUR per night for our three night stay. However, I managed to do significantly better than that.
I used the Shangri-La Luxury Circle program to get a better deal. By booking through Luxury Circle I could get a third night free, a confirmed upgrade at the time of booking, a welcome amenity, and a property credit equal to 10% of the cost of one night.
So I booked one category below the Eiffel Tower View Terrace Room — the Eiffel Tower View Room — which cost 1,400EUR. When you factor in the third night free, I ended up paying 930EUR per night, and we got free breakfast every morning, plus a 140EUR property credit (plus I earned points in the Shangri-La Golden Circle program).
Yes, that’s a lot of money. While I think really splurging on resorts can make sense, in general I don’t place as much value on city hotels, since you typically spend more time outside the hotel. As much as I was tempted to redeem points at the Park Hyatt, I figured I could save that for our next trip to Paris, and make this extra special. After all, in a few decades I’m (hopefully) more likely to remember what a special stay this was and how nicely the setting contributed to that, rather than having spent $3,000 more than I had to (or in reality more like $1,650 more than I had to, when you consider the alternative — the Park Hyatt would have cost 30,000 points per night, and I value those points at ~1.5 cents each).
Now, let’s get to the actual stay, and whether or not this was all worth it. We took an Uber from Charles de Gaulle Airport to the hotel, which took only about 40 minutes thanks to light traffic on a Saturday.
The exterior of the Shangri-La is stunning… I think the pictures speak for themselves.
The bellmen were super attentive, and greeted us the second we stepped out of the car, helped us with our bags, and walked us to reception.
The lobby was every bit as gorgeous as the hotel’s exterior — just wow! The pictures don’t really do justice to how grand and pristine everything feels.
Reception was located about halfway down the lobby to the left, and across from that was the concierge desk. The associate checking us in was delightful — often I find myself somewhat annoyed at the check-in experience at luxury hotels, but she struck the right balance of just about everything.
Within a few minutes we were checked in and escorted up to our room. The hotel has a few different wings, and there was a single (small) elevator for the section of the hotel in which we were staying. Our room was on level six, the hotel’s top floor.
We walked down the rectangular hallway, and our room (#64) was at one of the corners.
The room featured an entryway with the main part of the room to the left, and the bathroom, closet, and stairs to the right.
The room was gorgeous. There was a king size bed which was divine. There are comfortable beds and then there was this bed — my goodness, I slept so well.
At the foot of the bed was a couch, and across from that was a chair as well as a console with a TV on it.
Next to the TV was a Nespresso machine.
Below that was the minibar.
On the side of the room by the windows was a vanity.
Across from that was a desk with a mirror (so that you can see the Eiffel Tower even when facing the wall).
There was a nice welcome amenity waiting for us, consisting of a bottle of Veuve and a plate of cherries and peaches. That’s a very nice champagne to get as a welcome amenity.
There was also a welcome letter… addressed to “Mr. and Mrs. Schlapping[sic].”
Then there was the most disorganized welcome letter I’ve ever seen. First they address me as “Mr. Schlappig,” then as “Mr. Bell,” and then they say the travel agency I booked through was “The Smart Flyer,” and then they say it was “The Travel Society.” While very minor, what horrible attention to detail. How hard can it be to copy & paste? It’s one thing to make one mistake, but to have three mistakes with the welcome letter is sort of unacceptable.
Anyway, on the opposite side of the room entrance was a large closet area.
Then next to that was the large bathroom. It featured double sinks, a soaking tub, a partitioned off toilet, and a walk-in shower.
Toiletries were provided by BVLGARI. There was even a diffuser with the Shangri-La signature scent, which I loved.
The room was gorgeous, though the highlight was what was waiting for us at the top of a long staircase. When I booked this room I figured there might be a small balcony attached directly to the room, or something. Nope.
Instead there were a couple of dozen steps leading up a level.
WOW! The terrace had a dining table with two chairs, two loungers for sunbathing, and an umbrella.
Here’s the view from our terrace by day:
And by night:
There’s no way to describe that other than magical. We spent a couple of hours up there every day working, talking, having drinks, etc.
The terrace exceeded my expectations, though if I had one piece of feedback, it’s that the deck is in need of a repaint and power wash. The furniture also didn’t feel quite as high quality as you’d expect. Very minor in the grand scheme of things, though.
Anyway, the associate from check-in escorted us to our room and then asked if we wanted to partake in the signature Shangri-La tea service, which we did. Within a few minutes some tea was brought to our room.
For booking through Luxury Circle we were entitled to complimentary breakfast, which we could have either in the room or restaurant. Given our terrace, we of course elected to have it in our room. The breakfast menu read as follows:
Is there anything better than breakfast in France?
Or perhaps more accurately, breakfast in France on a terrace overlooking the Eiffel Tower on a gorgeous morning?
The food was phenomenal. They just don’t make food in the rest of the world like they do in France. From the bread to the eggs to the yogurt… YUM.
Our second morning we decided to have breakfast in the hotel’s restaurant, just to mix things up. The restaurant has a beautiful courtyard setting with lots of natural light.
The restaurant breakfast menu read as follows:
I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.
We also ordered a crepe to share. When in Paris…
The last morning we went for room service breakfast again (though it was raining, so we ate inside).
In terms of the hotel’s other facilities, there’s a Chi Spa, which is also where the gym and pool are located.
The hotel’s gym is small, but has good equipment, and is open 24/7.
The real treat is the hotel’s pool. It’s not every day you see a city hotel with a pool this gorgeous.
The other thing that impressed me about the hotel was the service. Everyone we interacted with was exceptional, and it’s rare that I say that in France. From the front office to the concierge to the restaurant staff, everyone was polished as could be, and genuinely wanted to please.
Now… the hotel’s location. I’ll be the first to admit I’m not an expert on Paris. However, I feel like there’s a bit of a tradeoff when it comes to wanting Eiffel Tower views. For these purposes the location was perfect, since I wanted the views, but I did find us more often than having to either walk 45 minutes or take a 10-15 minute Uber ride to get where we wanted to go. Personally I think the Park Hyatt, Le Bristol, etc., have a better location, but that’s a highly subjective topic.
Shangri-La Paris bottom line
Overall I was very impressed by this hotel. What a gorgeous property, from the exterior, to the public spaces, to the rooms. Just lovely. The terrace room we had exceeded my expectations by a long shot, as I didn’t think the terrace would be that nice. All the food we had at the hotel was delicious, and the service was excellent across the board.
There were a few minor areas for improvement, and the location isn’t necessarily ideal, but overall this exceeded my expectations.
But… was it worth it?
For this stay, yes. I can’t even begin to say how special it was to have a terrace overlooking the Eiffel Tower. For an occasion like this, it was worth it to me. I’m lucky enough that I can afford to splurge like this for a special occasion, and for both of us this was unforgettable. I’d always rather spend money on experiences than material things, and in this case it was money well spent. Yes, I (subtly) proposed on the terrace, and yes, he said yes.
While I won’t be making a habit of staying here, I’d highly recommend this for a special occasion if you have the means to do so. Otherwise there are plenty of other great hotels in Paris as well.