London – one of the world’s most vibrant cities, is known for its ceaseless energy, modernity, and culture, and you are guaranteed to feel all of those vibes and more as you journey your way up to The Shangri-La’s lobby on the 34th floor of the iconic Shard building.
Seated atop the tallest structure in not only London but the whole of the UK and Western Europe, The Shangri-La, London transports you to a place of complete luxury and tranquility with incomparable views of the city. If you are looking for a hotel with some serious bragging rights in London, then there is only one place to stay, The Shangri-La At The Shard.
Scroll to the bottom for our stay in pictures – click on the small images to enlarge.
The first and only UK location for the Chinese-based global hotel group, The Shangri-La The Shard occupies floors 34 to 52 of The Shard – the tallest building in the UK – and features the best panoramic vantage point in the city, overlooking London’s most famous landmarks. The closest public transport link is London Bridge station, just a quick 30-second ping down the hotel’s lift for National Rail services, the Jubilee and Northern Lines.
London’s legendary Borough Market sits at the foot of The Shard with fruit-and-veg traders and delicious food stalls offering fresh seafood and artisan pastries. Borough Market is also home to two of the city’s most popular restaurants, Padella and Taiwanese bun shop Bao – both of which always have queues outside the door. Elsewhere, The Tower of London and St Paul’s Cathedral are just across the river, while the Tate Modern, South Bank, the London Eye, and Shakespeare’s Globe are all within walking distance.
Rooms & Suites
The Shangri-La London offers a large range of guest room options, all ultra-luxurious and featuring breathtaking views. Standard rooms range from their Superior Shard Rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows boasting impressive southerly views of London to the Iconic City View Room with 645ft of floor space. We stayed in the hotel’s Deluxe City View Room which featured stunning views of London’s Tower Bridge, The Tower of London, The HMS Belfast, and Canary Wharf. There are also six types of suites, for those looking for more space or travelling with family – the Shangri-La suites all feature separate living areas and some even come with a personal butler.
The hotel’s interiors are the perfect blend of elegant and modern and the brand’s Asian origins are often referenced in the décor, with orchids, cherry blossoms, golden bamboo trees embossed in the walls and throughout the rooms and suites. You will also be able to enjoy the hotel’s incredible architectural elements from every angle as the custom glass artwork can be admired from the lobby, all guest rooms, the restaurant, bar, and sky pool.
The room’s sophisticated marble bathrooms are a true highlight and all bathrooms boast heated floors, mirror/televisions, large rain showers, Japanese toilets with heated seats and electronic bidets, and L’Occitane or Aqua Di Parma toiletries. Of course, we have to mention the freestanding bathtub with spectacular views of the city – if you are looking for that extra wow factor, upgrade to a room that features a city view.
Other thoughtful additions include a pillow menu, binoculars to use at your leisure, and a small welcome tray filled with delicious afternoon tea treats. We stayed for 2 nights and, all in all, we found our room to be well-equipped with modern touches and everything one might need for a city break stay. The room was extremely luxurious and comfortable, kept to high standards and immaculately clean. As for the bed? Super king-size mattress, high-thread-count linens, down pillows – like sleeping on a cloud in the clouds.
Service & Spa Facilities
The Sky Pool on the 52nd floor is only 10 metres long, yet swimming here is simply bliss. The views are truly breathtaking, and an extraordinarily attentive pool attendant is on ready to throw out warm, fluffy towels. At one end, there is a tea station with a large selection of herbal teas. Fresh fruit and infused water are also available.
There is no dedicated spa at the Shangri-La, but the hotel has converted two rooms into devoted treatment rooms nicknamed Wellness in the Clouds, which are well-designed, and collaborated with London brand, Neal’s Yard Remedies. Choose from a range of treatments from therapeutic to holistic massages, using only the finest natural and organic, ethically sourced herbs, botanicals and essential oils to help find the perfect balance between outer beauty and inner health.
When it comes to service, in general, you will find that from the door staff to concierge and restaurant staff, everyone is warm and friendly. The Shangri-La London prides itself on a certain graciousness that is reflected in all of the staff who can frequently be seen going above and beyond.
Restaurant & Bars
After you have settled into your room – and perhaps had a warm bubble bath with a view – then it’s time for dinner and cocktail or two. Head to the hotel’s stylish GONG Bar on the 52nd floor of The Shard, which has an impressive 360-degree view and a constantly changing menu of cocktails. A lively bar with an enthusiastic vibe and slick but attentive service. London at night is nothing short of magnificent, as the city twinkles and shines as seen from GONG bar. The famous landmarks are illuminated in all their splendour, making this the ideal place for pre-dinner cocktails and soaking up the lively ambiance.
For those, like me, who do not drink alcohol, you’ll also find a wide array of mocktails, and the bar staff are also more than happy to whip up something special if you tell them what you like. It doesn’t take long to realise that GONG is as popular with non-hotel guests as it is with those staying overnight and with it being the highest hotel bar in the UK, it’s not hard to see why it is so well-loved.Ting Restaurant which features an extensive menu with a European and Asian twist, with many of the ingredients sourced from the local Borough Market.
British highlights include the Beef Tartare, Rabbit Bolognese, or Raw Orkney Scallop to start, whilst Asian small plates worth trying include the Silken Tofu and Crispy Salt and Pepper Squid. Large plates that we loved include the Singapore curry laksa, Atlantic Cod Loin, and Korean Chilli Popcorn Chicken. For dessert, you will want to try the mochi selection and the chocolate and peanut bar.
Breakfast is also served at Ting Restaurant and we opted to have our first meal of the day here on our first day and ordered in-room dining for our last morning. Shangri-La hotel’s are famous for their breakfast spreads and we were certainly spoilt for choice. Again, a mix of Western, Asian, and Middle Eastern choices – it was great to see an Asian breakfast favourite featured on the menu; congee with traditional condiments and char sui bao.
Also on offer for breakfast, everything from buttermilk waffles to grilled kippers, bakery baskets, and large sliced fruit platters. There’s also a Wellness Menu which features the likes of gluten-free porridge, fresh smoothies, and smashed avocado on sourdough – something for everyone.
KeiKei is a London-based award-winning journalist and videographer with a degree in Broadcast Media and Journalism from the University of the West of Scotland and an extensive reporting background in news, entertainment, travel, and lifestyle.
KeiKei has travelled the globe interviewing, reporting and reviewing. Her work has been published in worldwide media outlets including, The New York Post, The Guardian, The Mirror, The Daily Mail, National Geographic and Conde Nast publications.