Kids-friendly weekend in Paris
Sophie, 34, mother of Achille (4), from Brussels, Belgium
For a weekend I had the chance to stay at Shangri-La Paris with my husband and son. To reward ourselves with a sunny break mid-February in the 16th arrondissement of Paris. Imagine the decor: the Shangri-La is ideally located between the Seine and the Eiffel Tower which is only 800m away! We had a stay worthy of the most beautiful fairy tales!
Because we booked our stay on the Little Guest site, our son Achilles had the chance to receive, free of charge, before our departure, a cute little suitcase by Samsonite. This zebra suitcase is super funny and very practical since children can store their books, toys and cuddly toys, and they can also visit train stations and airports, before the amused eyes of other travellers! As you can see, our Parisian getaway had the best beginnings.
“Our son was lucky to receive a small Samsonite suitcase for free.”
This was the first time we stayed at a Shangri-La hotel. I had read somewhere that the name “Shangri-la” was inspired by a famous 1930s novel and meant “tranquillity and hospitality” in Tibetan. When I inquired about their Parisian hotel, I had learned that this address was formerly the palace of Napoleon’s nephew, Roland Bonaparte, who had it erected at the end of the 19th century. An entire programme…
“This address was formerly the palace of Napoleon’s nephew.”
When we arrived at the reception, we were immediately charmed by this exceptional hotel without ostentatious luxury. If the walls of this palace could speak, they would tell us a lot of anecdotes, as this place is loaded with history. The reception staff were smiling and very attentive. During the check-in, the receptionist called my son Achilles by his first name: a detail that counts for a mother-hen like me! Unlike other palaces whose service can sometimes be austere and too controlling, we appreciated the simplicity and elegance of staff members. Having arrived before the official check-in time, our room was not ready yet. We were kindly offered to wait 15 minutes in the lounge of the bar where drinks were offered.
“During the check-in, the receptionist called my son Achilles by his first name: a detail that counts for a mother-hen like me!”
We booked a Junior Suite Paris, with a large bedroom and a living room in which was a comfortable sofa bed for our child. When the customer relationship manager opened the door of the suite and we discovered the welcome to Achilles, we were overjoyed! A real bamboo teepee had been mounted in the living room for him! A teepee with a comfortable mattress on which Achilles enjoyed each of his naps. Balloons inflated with helium decorated the room. On these balloons were marked the first name of our son. In his teepee, Achilles discovered many gifts: a colouring set, slippers in his size, a puzzle…and even an umbrella for children (a great detail, given the weather in early February). A few hours later, a butler knocked on the door to offer us an elegant Shangri-La polo shirt embroidered with the name of our son. Wow! Mom and Dad were not forgotten, as a bottle of Veuve Clicquot was waiting for us in a champagne bucket.
“A teepee had been installed in the room for our child! “
But the highlight of the show was still to come. When we looked out the window, we saw the Eiffel Tower! I understood why this suite is called the Junior Suite “Paris” … The setting was magical.
During our stay, we particularly enjoyed the location of Shangri-La. The hotel is located 5 minutes walk from the Eiffel Tower and the boat dock, and 3 minutes from the Trocadero. If you travel with children, I strongly recommend you to visit the Aquarium of Paris – Cinéaqua (itinerary), located at Trocadéro (thank you Monsieur concierge for this good address), but especially to go in the playground at the foot of the Trocadéro. This fun place offers a breathtaking view of the Eiffel Tower and it is probably the most beautiful playground in the world! A stone’s throw from the playground, there are two historic rides that make children happy.
“The playground at the foot of the Trocadero is probably the most beautiful in the world!”
Aside from the beauty of its decoration and the comfort of its rooms, the major asset of Shangri-La Paris is undoubtedly its indoor swimming pool, generously sized, where it is good to recharge your batteries in complete safety, as a lifeguard constantly watches over you and your children. All children’s accessories are available in self-service: fins and snorkel, balloons, buoys, inflatable armbands etc. Swimming lessons for children are even offered at a price of 75 € / 30 minutes. Sports moms can take part in an aqua gym class or yoga on the pool deck during the summer months. The hotel’s spa offers mini-manicures and mini-pedicures where beauticians use natural varnish without toxic products for children.
“At the swimming pool at Shangri-La, a lifeguard constantly watches over your children.”
I also advise you to have lunch at Bauhinia, the main restaurant of Shangri-La where is also served breakfast. Special mention for Eggs Benedicte with truffle chips served at this breakfast: the best that my man has ever eaten! We would have liked to try the Shang Palace, the only Michelin star Chinese restaurant in the Michelin Guide. Unfortunately, the period of our stay coincided with the Chinese New Year and the restaurant had closed as the whole brigade had returned to China. This will give us an excuse to come back!
I could cite many details that make the Shangri-La Paris unique such as the heated floor of the bathroom, the television hidden in the mirror of the same bathroom, or the electric curtains that equip the rooms. But no word would be loud enough to express the wonderful time we had as a family.
“You will come back home with stars in your eyes.”
Therefore, I strongly advise you to live your own experience, believe me, you will come back home with stars in your eyes. Of course, this kind of stay has a price (count € 1,500/night for the Junior Suite Paris, breakfast formula), but this price is justified by the comfort and service delivered. A small detail that is important: the hotel has 100 rooms for 350 staff members. You understand, therefore, why in Shangri-La, Mom, Dad and children are kings!