Paris is known for its palace hotels, which signify a type of ultra-luxury accommodation. The Shangri-La Paris in the 16th arrondissement truly was a palace. In the late 19th century, Prince Roland Bonaparte, grandnephew of Napoleon, erected this architectural masterpiece filled with hand-carved marble, frescoes, vaulted ceilings, and a dramatic Stairway of Honor. In 2010, the property was transformed into the Shangri-la Paris with a design by Pierre-Yves Rochon, who fused Asian hospitality with French elegance. The 100 rooms and suites are filled with Empire-style furnishings and have stunning views of Paris; more than half have drop-dead views of the Eiffel Tower. Food takes a starring role at Shang Palace, the only Michelin-starred Chinese restaurant in France. Don’t miss Le Bar Botaniste, where the interiors evoke Napoleon’s war tent, and the herb-spiked cocktails are inspired by Roland Bonaparte’s passion for botany.
FOR FOODIES: Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris
Paris, a well-known culinary haven, reaches its pinnacle at the Four Seasons Hotel George V. This icon, built in 1928, is set in the Golden Triangle, an 8th arrondissement neighborhood known for its glamorous boutiques and its stellar location—just a short walk from the Arc de Triomphe. The five-star hotel is home to no less than three Michelin-starred restaurants. There’s the three-starred Le Cinq (where chef Christian Le Squer’s multi-course menus are served under a majestic chandelier), the one-starred L’Orangerie (where chef Alan Taudon celebrates seafood and plant-based cuisine), and the one-starred Le George (chef Simone Zanoni’s modern-Mediterranean restaurant). The epic wine cellar, hidden 45 feet underground, survived the bombings in World War II. The hotel also offers over-the-top excursions, like a trip to Versailles in a Porsche with chef Zanoni to pick seasonal produce from his kitchen garden, followed by a cooking class back in the city. Upstairs in the 159 guest rooms and 59 suites, designer Pierre-Yves Rochon embraced Louis XVI–era elegance with trompe l’oeil ceilings, crystal chandeliers, and silk furnishings.
FOR FASHIONISTAS: The Ritz Paris
In the 1st arrondissement on the legendary Place Vendôme, The Ritz is a timeless beacon of elegance and style that has been entwined with the city’s literary and fashion scene for more than a century. Coco Chanel resided here for decades, Ernest Hemingway savored spirits at Bar Hemingway (named in his honor), and F. Scott Fitzgerald found sanctuary within its walls. After a $450 million transformation overseen by architect Thierry Despont, the Ritz continues to captivate travelers with its sunlit rooms adorned in gilt-framed molding and a swimming pool that sits under a trompe l’oeil sky ceiling filled with clouds. You can indulge in Parisian pleasures in the hotel’s public spaces: Linger over tea in the Belle Époque–style Salon Proust or savor seafood delights at Bar Vendôme, a stylish brasserie. The rooms are spectacular—especially the suites. Some are named after former guests, including the Suite Coco Chanel (where she lived) and the Suite Marcel Proust (with stunning paneling), as well as landmarks like the Suite Opéra (overlooking the Palais Garnier). The hotel’s charm even extends to its youngest guests, with teddy bear mascots and École Ritz Escoffier cooking classes.
FOR ART LOVERS: Le Meurice