Shangri-La Paris: Inside the Parisian luxury hotel now hosting the world’s most famous debutante ball

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One of the most lavish and talked about events in the high society social calendar returns after a two-year hiatus.

The debutante ball (The Ball of Debutantes) is an especially unique and majestic event that celebrates a select group of 20 young women and men from prominent families, from hollywood royalty a royal royalty worldwide. Past celebrity-born debutantes include Lori Harvey, Dree Hemingway, Autumn and True Whitaker, Scout and Tallulah Willis, Ava Philippe and Lily Collins.

The event also has a solidarity component, and this year Le Bal is raising money for two charities: that of Chef José Andrés world central kitchen in the US and for heart disease research in the Hospital Necker-Enfants Malades in Paris.

Established in 1994 by Ophélie Renouard, the gala was inspired by the 18th-century English tradition of the debutante ball, in which young women were introduced to high society. During the early years of Le Bal’s history, the event was also known as the Bal de Crillon, or Crillon Ball, as it was held year after year at the prominent Parisian hotel of the same name. But the Hotel de Crillon underwent an extensive renovation over a few years, and the event has since moved to different hotels in Paris before settling on the Shangri-La Pariswhich hosted the big event in 2018 and 2019. And this year will mark the return of the event since the pandemic began.

The Shangri-La Paris has the esteemed honor of being one of the few hotels in the city to be considered by the government with the distinction of palace hotel, which signifies both its historical importance and its excellence in service and hospitality beyond the limits of traditional five. -star meter.

“The Shangri-La is classified as a ‘historic monument’ and has therefore maintained its charm and the level of sophistication necessary to showcase Le Bal in the best possible light,” says Renouard. Fortune. “Also, the fact that the Shangri-La is a private venue gives it a special feeling and is an asset for a private event like Le Bal.”

Today, the iconic building once welcomed Parisians and world travelers within its walls, 114 years after Prince Roland Bonaparte first opened the doors of his residential palace to Parisian society.

Courtesy of Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts

Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts has more than 100 luxury hotels and resorts with more than 40,000 rooms in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, North America and Australia since its launch in Singapore in 1971. The hospitality giant now is based in Hong Kong.

Located in the fashionable 16th arrondissement of Paris, the hotel is home to 100 rooms and suites, with enough amenities that guests don’t even want to leave often, despite being steps away from sites like the Eiffel Tower and Place du Trocadero, as well as like many of the most popular museums in the city, including the Musée Moderne, the Palais de Tokyo and the Palais Galleria with the Musée de la Mode. (Not to mention, the hotel is a 15-minute walk from some of the world’s most luxurious fashion boutiques, including Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Saint Laurent, and Dior, along Avenue Montaigne and the Champs-Elysees.)

Bathed in natural light, the lobbies and lobby feature high ceilings and upgraded marble.

Courtesy of Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts

But despite hosting one of the world’s most high-profile social events, as well as runway shows during Paris Fashion Week every season, as well as Hollywood press gatherings (such as the hotel’s premium “Shangri-La Suite,” the (brand name for its presidential suite—it offers an unparalleled view of the Paris skyline), the hotel itself has a much quieter, more low-key vibe. It is one of the most luxurious five-star hotels in Paris and, of course, it welcomes celebrities, but generally those who do not seek the attention of fans and paparazzi.

Guests feel more free to spend time in the champagne lounge bar or hidden cocktail bar, The Botanical Bar. The hotel also frequently welcomes families, and even has a new set of panda-themed items for the little ones, including slippers with panda emblems, a children’s book, and a stuffed panda, all of which children can take home as a souvenir.

Today, the hotel at 10 Avenue d’Iéna has once again become an address for the elegant and cultured set of Paris, just as it was more than a century ago.

Courtesy of Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts

One of the main tasks of the Shangri-La Paris staff is to master the art of combining an authentic representation of Asian customs and hospitality with the French art of living in order to develop a strong client base of European and American clientele as well. of its long tradition of receiving guests from Asia.

Originally built as the home of French Imperial Prince Roland Bonaparte, Napoleon Bonaparte’s great-grandnephew, the site was selected by the prince for its proximity to the Seine and its strategic location in the heart of Paris for his social scene. Under construction from 1892 to 1896, the urban palace remained in family hands until Bonaparte’s death in 1924, and his daughter sold it shortly thereafter to a finance company who converted it into office space. After World War II, the state took over the building until 2005, when it began renovations before opening as Shangri-La in 2010.

Built as a tribute to the daughter of Prince Roland Bonaparte, the former owner of the Parisian estate that now houses Shangri-La Paris, the Marie Bonaparte Ballroom offers an intimate setting for events of all kinds, from business meetings and seminars to birthdays and weddings, with capacity for up to 40 people for lunch or dinner.

Courtesy of Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts

Throughout the hotel, guests will find a mix of French art that came with the property, as well as paintings and other antiquities from across Asia, as Shangri-La takes up residence in all of its locations around the world. The most historic areas of the old Palais, including the cast-iron entrance gate on Avenue d’Iéna, the façade, the rooftop, the lobbies and gallery, the entrance dome, the marble staircase, the family rooms at ground level floor (such as the billiards room) and Roland Bonaparte’s private home on the second floor—were listed as national heritage sites in 2009, an initiative undertaken by the Shangri-La Group.

With 100 rooms and suites, two restaurants, including the only Michelin-starred Chinese restaurant in France, as well as a cocktail bar and several historical events and reception rooms, guests can live like a prince or princess in this historic retreat.

Courtesy of Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts

For the rooms (including 37 premium suites), architectural renovations were designed to blend late-19th-century French styles with modern (yet minimalist) luxury. And one of the subtle themes of Shangri-La hotels is that every room should have a view, from the Kowloon location overlooking the Hong Kong skyline to The Shard skyscraper offering 360-degree views of London. At Shangri-La Paris, 40% of the rooms and 60% of the suites offer incredible direct views of the Eiffel Tower and the Seine. And most of these rooms and suites, nearly half of which have a private balcony, are large enough and equipped to entertain friends, family, or business associates.

Shangri-La Paris strives to cultivate a warm atmosphere, with authentic representations of two cultures: the Asian art of hospitality and the French art of living.

Courtesy of Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts

But the hotel has taken pains to preserve the historic components, with the only notable touches being air-conditioning and a Nespresso machine in one of the connecting lounges that doubles as a backstage for a fashion show.

Overall, reception and event spaces span 9,150 square feet (850 square meters). Three connecting rooms, the Grand Salon, the Salle à Manger and the Salon de Famille, lead to the historic gallery on the first floor. The ballroom is located on the rue Fresnel side of the building, a spacious space with integrated audiovisual functions. Frescoes adorn the walls and the ballroom overlooks part of Prince Roland’s former stables.

Interior of the Great Hall of the Shangri-La Paris.

Courtesy of Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts

The Great Hall, decorated in the Louis XIV style, is the main reception space in the building, both in the prince’s time and for the hotel today. The ballroom features an immense white marble fireplace, decorated with two gilded wood and marble tables, two crystal chandeliers, and dozens of bronze wall sconces (mainly crowns, lions, and bees, all symbols adopted by Napoleon Bonaparte). ) and a trumeau mirror.

One of the lounge spaces inside the Shangri-La Paris.

Courtesy of Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts

La Salle à Manger, designed in homage to the Napoleonic era, features mahogany carvings of battle weapons and military trophies within the upper arches above the salon doors and the window opening onto an outdoor terrace. Two huge statues of eagles with outstretched wings occupy a privileged place in the room. A Renaissance-inspired fireplace, topped with a two-column mantle, frames a bronze relief replica of the work of Jacques Louis-David. Napoleon crossing the Alps.

Delicate blue tones and artistic touches add a touch of femininity to the Salon de Famille.

Courtesy of Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts

The Salon de Famille is softer with delicate color tones and artistic touches, a room used mainly by women during the palace’s time as a residence. It is decorated primarily in the French Imperial style, with paneled walls painted with winged women around a medallion, and the ceiling features an orb of sphinxes and plants.

Located in the exclusive 16th district, steps from the Place du Trocadero, the hotel is located on the other side of the Seine, facing the Eiffel Tower.

Courtesy of Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts

Shangri-La Paris says you can customize your spaces for business meetings and events, from conferences to executive retreats, as the concierge staff and events team can complement work schedules through a variety of wellness activities at the hotel’s underground spa, pool and gym. In addition, the hotel’s award-winning chefs are on hand to organize special dining experiences that celebrate both seasonal local French produce and Asian cuisine, especially at La Bauhinia, which specializes in Thai food and might have the best Pad Thai without Paris, and Shang Palace, a Chinese restaurant that Shangri-La installs in many of its locations worldwide. And the Paris location, overseen by 37-year-old Hong Kong native Samuel Lee Sum, holds the distinction of being the only Chinese restaurant in France with a Michelin star.

rates at the Shangri-La Paris starting at €1,600 ($1,599) for a superior room per night for two people during the winter months.

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