After a long flight, followed by lugging an unnecessarily heavy suitcase aboard Gatwick Express, then into an Uber, we arrived to the Shangri-La at the Shard, London in a bit of a kerfuffle. Even with the quick, ear-popping elevator ride to the 35th floor lobby, we still hadn’t fully stopped to appreciate the experience around us. Once sorted at the desk, the check-in host kindly escorted us to the next elevator bank, where we ascended even higher to the 46th floor. The host had merely opened the door when the most triumphant, breath-taking welcome occurred. As the lights beamed on, multiple window shades throughout the corner suite lifted in unison to unveil the crown jewel of all cities, London.
In a city where ultra-modern skyscrapers are juxtaposed with traditional low-rise architecture, the Shard is the newest, tallest and most modern skyscraper of them all. As the highest building in Western Europe, it houses 3 restaurants, office space, a beautiful viewing deck, and – of course – the renowned Shangri-La Hotel London. In true Shangri-La style, the hotel offers an impressive property, luxurious amenities and world-class service, all with hint of their signature Asian style.
Each of the 202 rooms at the hotel consist of floor-to-ceiling windows, delivering unmatched views of London. From our freestanding bathroom tub, we could see west to St. Paul’s Cathedral, north to the City district, and east to Tower Bridge and Canary Wharf. Snag the binoculars from the desk to scope out famous sights in the distance. Automatic blackout shades, Toto toilets and in-mirror TVs are just a few of the modern amenities outfitting the Shangri-La guest rooms. And – when in England – be sure to use the beautiful in-room tea sets provided!
Even higher, on the 52nd floor, you’ll find a stunning infinity pool, 24-hour gym and their famous GŌNG bar. The highest bar in Western Europe is known for innovative and on-point cocktails mixed by head bartender, Christian Maspes. Served in the most creative and quirky fashions, Christian’s cocktails are enjoyed while soaking in a panoramic view of London. When dusk turns to dark, watch the city lights flicker on and Tower Bridge illuminate before your eyes. A selection of light bites can be found at GŌNG bar, but for the real dining experience head back down to floor 35 for Ting Restaurant. Here, the true flavors of the Shangri-La’s Asian influence shine through, with tasty specialty dishes inspired by the chef’s home island in Malaysia.
Perhaps most of all, we were impressed by the hotel’s balance of local London appreciation with the modern amenities and subtle Asian influences so beloved of the brand. Since the contemporary skyscraper’s all-glass façade reflects the historic city surrounding it, the Shard really is the perfect home for the world-class, luxury hotel.
Compass + Twine was a welcomed guest of Shangri-La at the Shard London and thanks them for a wonderful stay. All opinions are our own.
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