7.09.2012

La Bauhinia, Shangri-La Hotel - Paris, France


La Bauhinia
Shangri-La Hotel, Paris

10 avenue d’Iéna
F-75116
T: (33 1) 53 67 19 91

On my second last day in Paris, I went for lunch at La Bauhinia; one of the three restaurants inside the Shangri-La Hotel. My visit to the hotel left quite a lasting impression, and I must say this meal was my favourite of the entire trip. In addition to an excellent three-course meal, I was happy to be dining at one of my favourite hotel chains - the Shangri-La - especially their location in Paris as it's housed in a building of historic significance.

They were fully booked when I was there, but I'd love to stay here on a future trip to Paris. The hotel is located at one of the best areas; in the 16th arrondissement within distance of Trocadero and across the Seine from the Eiffel Tower. Most of the rooms/suites have AMAZING views!!

I was welcomed by very friendly and courteous staff as I walked into the lobby. It was so beautiful I remember the first thought that popped in my head was: "wow!!"

Before I go any further, here's a bit of interesting history about the hotel.
It was originally built in 1896 as the home of Prince Roland Bonaparte, the grand nephew of Napoleon. Years and years later, Shangri-La acquired the building and spent four years to renovate and restore it. They ensured that the integrity of the original home was preserved. The hotel officially opened its doors in December 2010, becoming the first Shangri-La hotel of Europe.
The lavish interiors are reminiscent of the Bonaparte family. If you observe closely you can see their imperial insignias and ornate monograms incorporated into the details.



Located at the far end of the lobby, past this stunning staircase, you will find La Bauhinia. Decorated in Bordeaux reds and jade tones, the restaurant is directly underneath a glass cupola. This let in lots of natural lighting which, combined with music from a baby grand piano, created a perfect atmosphere for my lunch!

The executive chef is Philippe Labbé. The menu consists of both (southeast) Asian and French cuisines. I love French food and seeing as I was in Paris after all, I went for the French dishes. I started off with this amuse-bouche. I regret to admit I do not remember what it was exactly, but I do remember it being delicious.



THE FOOD: Here's what I ordered. All in all, a very satisfying meal. Everything was well-prepared, well-presented, and tasted very fresh. Once again, I regret not writing this review sooner as none of what I ordered can be found on the menu anymore (I was here one month ago). I am not sure how often their menu changes but you can view what they currently serve here.

THE SERVICE: As you can usually expect with any upscale restaurant, the service was excellent. The servers were very friendly, attentive, efficient and knowledgeable about the menu. The food also arrived very quickly.

BEST FOR: Breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, business meal, an anniversary, etc. Although I didn't get a chance to have dinner here, I think this place is better during the day (when it's bright thanks to the glass ceiling). If I was to have dinner at the hotel, I think L'Abeille would have a better evening atmosphere.

THE COST: €€€€
A bit on the pricey side, it would be difficult to spend less than €100 ($130) per person on a three-course meal; wine, tax, and tip excluded.

This post is already longer than I expected to make it, so I will end with a few photos I took during the small tour I got after lunch.


Le Bar; cozy and elegant. I LOVED the horse paintings.



Walking around the salons/ballrooms, I felt like I was touring a grand palace like Versailles.
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