Shangri-La at The Shard London, the Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts' first property in the United Kingdom, is located on the south of River Thames with the Borough Market just a stone’s throw and London Bridge Station a simple elevator-ride down, offering easy commute for both business and leisure. The hotel is spread across floors 34 to 52 of The Shard, the tallest building in the UK at 72 storeys, its spire-like steel and glass façade by Italian architect Renzo Piano blends into the sky.
A 28-second elevator ride to the 35th floor and you enter Shangri-La through what’s the most remarkable lobby, its floor-to-ceiling windows lend spectacular 360-degree views of the London skyline. Then there’s the signature Shangri-La scent that has the lingering warmth of musk and sandalwood enlivened by a mix of floral notes – the stuff of dreams.
Suite bedroom, Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard London
There are 185 rooms and 17 suites at Shangri-La, offering a vantage point quite unlike any other in an inherently low-rise London. Staff, attentive but not intrusive, led us to our Deluxe City View room, bright and sumptuous but unintimidating. The Shangri-La bed with 300 head count Frette linen sheets rests comfortably against a cherry blossom-embossed headboard rounded off with plush velvet and leather upholstery in a natural palette. Binoculars, a personal favourite, are available in all rooms, which offered a more intimate view of sunny London. St. Paul’s Cathedral, Tower Bridge, Tower of London, Canary Wharf and Tate Modern are among the iconic landmarks in plain sight from the lush floor-to-ceiling windows.
Evening view of the London skyline from Shangri-La at The Shard London
The piece de resistance is the bathroom with a freestanding bath deliciously placed next to the windows, so you rejuvenate with L’Occitane amenities while soaking up the London vista. The hotel makes no concession on comfort and its marble-clad heated bathroom floors and toilets with heated seats are real treats for cooler days. There’s no rush to get out of bed when you’re at Shangri-La as there are bedside controls for lighting and blackout shutters – a push of a button and you can view London’s luscious landscape from the comfort of your bed.
There’s great attention to detail and the design aesthetic harks back to the brand’s Asian origins. There are three signature suites, designed by FM Architettura d’Interni and inspired by a flock of geese, the high-flying birds are a recurrent motif in Chinese tradition. The rich handmade silk wallpaper features geese painted using the ancient Chinese ink wash technique. Decadent and dreamy, the suites boast muted tones of champagne and bronze featuring plush body-contouring beds, contemporary upholstery and walk-in wardrobes, among other offerings. With a butler at your service and access to a private lift, these suites are a traveller’s ‘suite’ dream realised.
Infinity pool at Shangri-La
Upon arrival, we had relished complimentary macarons as part of the hotel’s exquisite ‘Summer in The City’ package. This is a summer special at the hotel and offers the perfect getaway complete with a night’s stay in a Shangri-La room or suite along with free access to the gym and what is Europe’s highest infinity pool on the 52nd floor.
English breakfast tea is served at the hotel’s signature Ting restaurant on level 35, and afternoon tea in the room. There are separate menus for the Classic and South East Asian tea spreads, each delightful with a carried selection of sweets, scones and savouries. We tried the South East Asian tea, a refreshing twist to its English counterpart, which featured an elaborate mix including black Shangri-La's signature, along with black, white, green, oolong, and infusion and fruit teas. To nibble on, delicious macarons, mousses and tarts – a fruity fiesta with mango ganache, and tropical fruit and gooseberry compotes paired with the pillowy goodness of mascarpone and curd. The scones boasted classic flavours and the savoury spring and paper rolls were evident nods to Asian flavours.
Sweets from 'Summer in The City' offer at Shangri-La
The Shangri-La at The Shard experience is exquisite for both families and professionals who wish to nestle above the city in one of its most central locations. It breathes life into the fantastical, utopian land that James Hilton describes in his 1933 novel Lost Horizon, which the hotel also takes its name from. A true depiction of the brand’s inherent understated splendour that resonates across its properties from its first-ever in Hong Kong to London.