Let’s face it, London certainly has no shortage of luxury hotels. I’ve been fortunate enough to stay in most of them, but there’s only one that combines beautiful luxury with unmatchable views. The Shangri-La Hotel, at The Shard, London is more than at The Shard (Europe’s tallest building), it’s in The Shard. The hotel occupies the 34th to 52nd floors of the iconic skyscraper. On my recent London luxury adventure, I had a chance to spend a few nights at the Shangri-La and was really blown away by the experience. There’s just no other London luxury hotel that offers that same beautiful perspective on the city.
Having a location inside a giant glass building in the heart of London means each of the hotel’s rooms and suites have jetliner views of the city and its landmarks. I had one of the Shangri-La’s Iconic City View Rooms and it lived up to its name with a direct view over Tower Bridge and the Tower of London. Directly in front of the large, comfortable bed was a postcard view of the City of London and it’s now iconic buildings like the Cheesegrater, Gherkin and Walkie-Talkie. With walls of glass, I had a 180-degree view of the city, stretching from the Palace of Westminster and the London Eye all the way to the buildings of Canary Wharf. Beyond the city, you can see hundreds of miles (on clear days) into the English countryside.
Aside from the killer views, the room had a wonderfully large, spa-like bathroom, bathed in marble and other beautiful stone finishes. There was a large, separate shower and a huge soaking tub, complete with a bath kit. There was a bottle of Evian, a loofah, bath beads and a little poetry book, all placed on a metal rack that sat across the tub.
The Shangri-La offers a few dining options. For modern British cuisine there’s Aqua Shard. For what the hotel calls “urban casual,” there’s Oblix and for more traditional Chinese home-style food, there’s Hutong. TING is the property’s signature Asian restaurant and GONG, on the 52nd floor with jetliner views, is one of London’s most popular lounges for drinks or late-night snacks. Although we didn’t dine at any of the restaurants, we had a fun night of drinking at GONG and two amazing room service breakfasts in our room.
The hotel’s gym is located on the 52nd level, with those jaw-dropping views of the city. You also have the now world-famous Skypool, an indoor infinity pool offering views of London’s landmarks as you swim.
The Shangri-La also treats guests with the perfect location from which to explore London. With Tower Bridge and the Tower of London only a few steps away, much of historic London can be accessed on foot. When you need the Tube, the Tower Bridge stop is almost directly under the hotel.
Any hotel can offer beautiful accommodations and fancy dining, but it’s the people and the service that really separate the Shangri-La from any other hotel brand. I’ve stayed in many of their properties around the world (Hong Kong, Istanbul, Paris, Toronto) and find that same warm, personal service, with an Asian touch, at every property.