Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London opened its doors on May 6, whisking its first guests to the 35th-floor sky lobby for check-in and cementing its status as one of the most prominent luxury properties in London, thanks in no small part to its location inside architect Renzo Piano’s soaring Shard skyscraper. As the hotel, Shangri-La’s third in Europe, makes its debut, we’ve rounded up the top three things to know about the sky-high stunner before you go.
1. It has a distinct location. In opting not for the established luxury-hotel hubs of Knightsbridge, Hyde Park and Mayfair, but rather for Piano’s new south-of-the-Thames tower, Shangri-La Hotel chose to offer a different experience in a developing neighborhood nestled between the London and Tower bridges. Stay here and you’ll be directly across the river from the City of London financial district (a boon for business travelers) and within a 20-minute walk of the Tate Modern. This placement also makes for perfect landmark views; spread between The Shard’s 36th and 50th floors, guest rooms afford glimpses of St Paul’s Cathedral, the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye, among other attractions. And it’s no problem to get here from the city’s airports — simply arrange to have the hotel’s Wi-Fi-equipped limo fetch you.
2. You can live the high life without leaving the hotel. The Shard’s lofty observation platform, known as The View from The Shard, is already a favorite with visitors, and now Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London brings with it a 52nd-floor bar and indoor infinity pool, and a 35th-floor restaurant and lounge. Gong, slated to open in July as the city’s highest bar, promises to be an intimate spot to sip champagne while watching the sun set over London. Opening today, Ting restaurant offers a modern European menu with Shangri-La’s signature Asian twists, with produce sourced from local markets. Ting’s lounge area, meanwhile, will serve Asian specialties such as curry laksa (a flavorful noodle soup) and wonton soup. There’s also an artisanal deli and bakery (Láng) on the first floor, but the bottom line is: You’ll hardly have to touch the ground to have a grand time during your stay at London’s first elevated luxury hotel.
3. Each guest room is unique. There are no cookie-cutter configurations here. Thanks to The Shard’s unique design, each of the 202 guest rooms has a different layout; though all share contemporary décor featuring floor-to-ceiling windows, light woods and marble bathrooms with heated floors. Other amenities found in every room include Frette linens, Nespresso coffee machines and Acqua di Parma bath products. You’ll notice a set of binoculars to better take in the views — which, if you book one of three signature suites, consist of uninterrupted city vistas from east to west. Considering that upgrade? Know that all 17 suites also come with personal butler service.
Photo Courtesy of View From The Shard