Hotel review

Hotel Review: Shangri-La The Shard, London

In life and in business, first impressions really matter. From the moment you meet someone or visit a place for the first time, that first memory can last a lifetime, good or bad.

Do a quick Google search for “first impression quotes” and you’ll find plenty of examples of just how important this really is. A classic quote – “you only get one chance to make a first impression” – must be on the hotel staff training manual at Shangri-La The Shard, London. Because from the moment we arrived until we left the standards were impeccable.

Of all the memorable moments at the Shangri-La, the most lasting “first” impression came when we arrived in the room, located on the 46th floor of this iconic skyscraper.

We were greeted by darkness, which was a bit strange at first, but when we inserted our room key card into the wall slot, that’s when the magic happened . The blinds slowly open to reveal stunning panoramic views of London and some of the capital’s most famous landmarks – Tower Bridge, the Tower of London, the River Thames and the Walkie Talkie building to name but a few. The views really took our breath away.

The message “sweet dreams in the clouds” was written on one of the bedroom’s floor-to-ceiling glass panels. Given the first impressions, it is difficult to do better.

Why stay here: the room

The Shard, the tallest building in London and Western Europe, officially opened in February 2013 and comprises offices, residences, restaurants and the hotel. The Shangri-La occupies 19 floors of the skyscraper and begins at level 34 – 125 meters high – where the reception is located. The hotel itself has 202 rooms and suites, all of which offer spectacular views of the city.

Staying one night in a deluxe king room with city view on the 46th floor, we were so comfortable here that we only left it to visit the infinity pool, more on that later. It had all the comforts expected of a luxury five star, including a large screen television perfect for movie night and a computer tablet on which one could order food or inquire about the services on offer. As is the case with modern hybrid living, there was an office space where you could do a few hours of work.

Room service was also excellent. My wife asked for a yoga mat for her every day Yoga with Adrienne session on YouTube. This was not a problem for the staff of a hotel that has wellness as its main theme.

Soak up the view from the freestanding bathtub

Watch Antiques Roadshow in the bathtub…

The stunning panoramic views are not only from the living room and bedroom, but also from the bathroom. The freestanding bathtub offers a view of the city. Another amazing thing in the bathroom was the TV…in the mirror. I’ve seen televisions in bathrooms before, but in the mirror? It was definitely a first.

Checking in on a Sunday means you can soak in the tub, admire the Square Mile and watch Antiques tour. Honestly, has there ever been a better option on a Sunday night?

Head to TĪNG restaurant for dinner or breakfast

food and drink

There are plenty of dining options at Shangri-La The Shard, London which are popular not only with hotel guests but locals as well. The TĪNG restaurant offers classic Asian cuisine with a British twist while the Sky Lounge is ideal for brunch or a glass of champagne. On the 52nd floor, you’ll find GŎNG, the tallest hotel bar in Western Europe, serving sunset cocktails and late-night drinks. Other options at The Shard include Bar 31, Aqua Shard Bar, Hutong and Oblix.

I’d like to say we enjoyed a multi-course dinner at TĪNG followed by some cocktails at GŎNG. But I won’t lie to you, we never ventured out of the room for our evening meal – we ordered.

From the in-room tablet computer, you can choose from a range of room service options. We ordered the Shanghai Noodles (£34; shredded beef tenderloin and wok sautéed vegetables) and that hotel room service staple, the Classic Club sandwich (£16). As an accompaniment, and because we were intrigued, we also ordered fries with ketchup katsu (£5). The ketchup katsu was so good it might be the best five we’ve ever spent on food.

For breakfast, we ventured downstairs to TĪNG where a large buffet is served each morning. The classics are all there: cooked breakfast, pastries, pancakes and eggs to order. After overindulging in the view from the room, we continued to admire the TĪNG landscapes – and rightly overindulged in the breakfast treats on offer.

Enjoy a sunset swim in the infinity pool

Facilities: swimming pool

Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts is headquartered in Hong Kong and at its London property, the modern Asian influence is evident in the rooms, restaurants, and design. Another space in the hotel that makes you feel like you’re in Asia, rather than the UK, is on the 52nd floor, where you’ll find London’s tallest infinity pool and sauna.

Guests can book an hour slot to visit the pool, so we decided to go at sunset. Swimming a few lengths and then watching the sun go down over London is something we won’t soon forget.

The view from the room at night

The verdict

All over the world there are many modern architectural marvels – and in terms of ranking, The Shard is quite literally up there. Many visitors to the capital may choose to stay in a more historic hotel that offers British tradition and glitz, but if you want to experience the ‘new’ London then Shangri-La The Shard is the place to go. From the rooms to the restaurants, everything about the hotel is sensational. Those views from the clouds are what really sets it apart. You will never want to come down to earth again.

How to book

Rooms at Shangri-La The Shard, London start from £725 per night, based on two people sharing a Superior Shard room on a room-only basis. To book see shangri-la.com


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