Experience London and Paris in Ultimate Glamour Over One Long Weekend
Including business-class travel, five-star accommodations, and some of Europe's most breathtaking views, Rich Report provides the ultimate business-class travel experience.
I have been fortunate enough to be able to travel to the United Kingdom and continental Europe countless times in the past decade, on multiple airlines and with itinerary plans ranging anywhere from 48 hours to four months in length.
In the fall of 2022, I had the opportunity to discover my favorite way to see two of the world's biggest cities — London and Paris — and now I am unable to find any other way to make the trip.
In my journey to Heathrow, my first stop was Newark Liberty International Airport, where I got some work done in the British Airways lounge before I boarded the seven-hour flight to Heathrow. I was traveling in the recently relaunched British Airways Club World cabin in my early 20s, as opposed to my go-to flight in my early 20s where I would take the cheapest seats available from a budget airline.
I was aware of the fact that this would be a different flying experience than what I had been used to from the moment I reached my seat, and I immediately began exploring the features and amenities of the cabin.
I'm not a big fan of red-eye flights, but I do make sure that my skincare routine is strictly adhered to, and I do everything possible for me to get to my destination rested and ready to go. It immediately struck me how spacious the cabin would be and how much privacy I would have.
In the cabin, there was ample storage space for my in-flight essentials, as my seat doubled as a fully lie-flat bed, separated by a gliding suite door.
I was able to spread out, apply my hydrating products, remove my contacts, and get comfortable once the plane reached altitude — without bothering fellow passengers. Club World seats also come with power ports, tables, and White Company bedding to ensure total comfort.
My favorite part of flying in the Club World cabin is sampling the seasonal menu, which I usually try to sleep the entire flight. In contrast to crackers and cookies, the offerings are carefully curated by British Airways' culinary experts. I enjoyed sesame-seared tuna, fruit, and a cheese board on my flight before I closed my eyes. My first stop, the Shangri-La The Shard, was a short 30 minutes away once I awoke, rested, and was free of in-flight soreness.
A 72-story skyscraper located just south of the Thames, The Shard, is the location of the Shangri-La hotel in London. On arrival, it was evident that the views are the highlight of the five-star hotel, even in the dreary London weather — which begins on level 34 and extends to the 52nd floor.
Shangri-La The Shard's unique vantage point, made possible by its floor-to-ceiling windows, allows visitors to take in the breadth and magnificence of London from a different perspective while standing several floors above the hustle and bustle of the city.
Although guests may initially visit for the stunning skyline views, such as myself, they remain captivated by the exceptional Shangri-La service, attention to detail, and dining experiences.
Whether it's enjoying sky-high afternoon tea at TĪNG, sipping on specialty cocktails at GŎNG bar, or taking a morning swim in the Infinity Sky Pool overlooking Tower Bridge and St. Paul’s Cathedral, every aspect of the hotel embodies the essence of London but with a touch of luxury that takes it to the next level.
I was able to reminisce a lot when I was going to check out of The Shard and cross the English Channel to Paris, where my second and final stop was, when I went to both cities in one trip for the first time.
It would be an understatement to say I would not repeat the experience I had taking a Megabus overnight from Victoria Coach Station to Gare de Bercy for just $25. As I traveled again, I chose an easier, faster, and more comfortable mode of transportation: the Eurostar.
I arrived in the City of Lights in just a couple of hours, eagerly anticipating the next leg of my journey: two nights at Shangri-La Paris, my first stop of the trip.
It is likely that when you close your eyes and imagine a glamorous Parisian hotel, you will see something very similar to Shangri-La Paris if you close your eyes. The luxury hotel has been built in the 16th arrondissement, where it is characterized by its “French meets Asian” style and its historical significance, as it was once owned by Prince Roland Bonaparte, Napoleon's great-nephew.
This hotel is decidedly French in design, with high ceilings, marbled hallways, and greenery contrasting with high ceilings and marbled hallways. In addition to Ming Dynasty-inspired vases, imperial insignia, and crystal chandeliers, fresh baked goods are accompanied by the freshly baked goods.
The location of this Shangri-La property, like Shangri-La London, is crucial to the overall experience, I realized as I scrolled through the hotel's Instagram feed and tagged posts.
It has 100 rooms and suites; some of them have private terraces, where you can enjoy morning espressos and croissants on the tree-lined Avenue d'Iéna or the Eiffel Tower.
During my research, I also learned that I wouldn’t get the full benefit of Shangri-La Paris’ opulence if I didn’t participate in two on-property activities: a treatment at CHI, The Spa, and a dinner at the Michelin-starred Shang Palace or La Bauhinia, where the famous architect Maurice Gras designed the glass dome ceiling.
I felt relaxed, full, and confident after my last day in London and Paris, following several hours of sightseeing and shopping, a healing massage, and a multi-course dinner.