The five-star Shangri-La hotel occupies the 34th to the 52nd floors of architect Renzo Piano’s world-famous building, The Shard in downtown London, England. My husband, son, and our son’s girlfriend recently experienced this hotel first-hand. It was an urban hotel experience we’ll never forget.
There is simply no other more accurate way of describing the hotel’s defining feature, the 360-degree views of one of the world’s most beautiful cities, than to say it will take your breath away. For an idea of the impact of the hotel’s view, visit the Shangri-La London’s website and watch the aerial video, but note that it won’t do the scene you’ll take in justice when you visit in person.
The lobby is located on the 35th floor of the building which is infinitely easy to find because it can be seen from almost anywhere. After a quick x-ray of handbags, we were whisked away in a high-speed elevator and collectively gasped as the doors opened. After a few moments of taking in the spectacular London view from the floor-to-ceiling windows, we completed check-in and were escorted to our rooms.
Elegant, posh, and sophisticated were words that came to my mind as I explored the room. For our Shangri-La night, we opted for a girls’ room and a guys’ room. We girls chose the room with the gorgeous stand-alone tub. The room seemed built around the bathing experience. Sumptuous bath salts were laid out along with a book rack for reading. After warming up the soft towel on the heated rack, I sunk into the warm water and tried to believe the scene in front of me was real. Our room featured floor-to-ceiling glass in place of exterior walls, including the bathroom. From high up and through the mild rolling fog, I watched the lights come on in clumps as dusk crept in. Unlimited hot water kept my bath perfectly warm and I stayed in until I became too drowsy. It was the best bath of my life and I look forward to the day I am back in the bathtub at the Shangri-La London.
The men made use of the many TV channels to watch movies to relax, but even they ended up turning off shows in favor of enjoying the view outside. The beds in both rooms were of the highest quality, wrapped in (my favorite) Frette linens. Italian linens are simply incomparable in terms of comfort. Each room is equipped with a pair of binoculars for study of the landmarks on display below. My room faced the Tower Bridge which crosses the River Thames and London Tower. We visited both the next day (they are an easy walk away). The hotel’s location is perfect for planning in tandem with spending the day at the infamous London Tower, but don’t forget the lesser-known sites like The George Inn, a former medieval coaching inn built in 1543 and frequented by Shakespeare and Charles Dickens. This historic find is a ten-minute walk away from The Shard and worth it (try the fish and chips).
In the morning, we all met in TING restaurant for a delicious breakfast. American, English and Asian choices were in abundance. Our breakfast was in buffet-style, so were tried old favorites and a few new favorites as well.
My only regret is that we were at The Shangri-La for one night. We didn’t visit the 52nd floor infinity pool and really should have, for example. However, the bright side is that it will be there for our next visit. I dearly hope next time will be soon.
My recommendation: The Shangri-La London is a spectacular hotel with the best city view in the world. Book your room.
For more information on the Shangri-La London, please visit their website.
Examiner’s Note: Thank you to Victoria Gibbs, the Digital Marketing Manager of the Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard, London, for so helpfully arranging this travel experience – it was spectacular.