Staying at the Shangri-La London is an experience that starts as soon as you make your way to the entrance of the hotel at street level. A doorman greets you with a smile and directs you to the first lift. Starting on level 35, soaring 125 metres high to the reception area where the panoramic view of London takes your breath away. Even as someone so used to London’s horizon, there is something still surprising about the skyline. Perhaps it is because you can appreciate the iconic sights, without the bustle of everyday London affecting your appreciation.
Although 95 storeys high, the highest floor accessible to visitors is level 72 and is part of the upper viewing gallery, which is 244 metres (800 feet) high and is open to the public. Guests staying in the hotel however, have access to a private lift where you are welcomed by the warm and cosy atmosphere of the main lobby.
Making my way to the door of my room I stand poised, tap the key card onto the door and push the door open. It’s dark inside the room and although I am initially a little confused, I step inside with my overnight bag. Placing my key card into the switch is all I needed to do to make this room come to life. All the blinds on the windows rose in unison, up to reveal floor to ceiling glass that exposed me to the view of the city. Utterly breathtaking and a clever way to showcase just how special a stay in the Shard really is. I am lucky enough to be given a corner suite, so the view was as panoramic as it could get.
With 202 rooms and suites, all with spectacular viewpoints of the city, each room is carefully designed to enhance the seamless fusion of Eastern and Western interior design. The Shangri-La focuses on space optimisation and features exquisite custom-made furniture that works seamlessly in the room to avoid the feeling of being over-cluttered. Its high-grade silk wallpaper and refined palette of champagne, citrine and bronze means that the attention stays on the view. Designed by Francesca Muzio and Maria Silvia Orlandini, co-founders of lauded Italian design atelier FM – Architettura d’Interni Studio, the rooms remain both cosy and spacious.
Additional amenities that will simply blow your mind include the new sauna space that has been recently renovated in order to make guests feel as relaxed as possible in the city. Another carefully thought out feature is the hotel’s infinity pool, London’s highest pool. This space remains tranquil throughout the day and evening, providing guests with a space to unwind.
The Shangri-La’s location means that transport links to the best London tourist spots are unmatched. Situated by London Bridge, the station also connects to London’s major airports, with London Heathrow 60 minutes away, London Gatwick 30 minutes and London City Airport just 15 minutes away from the hotel. Pan across the skyline and spot famous landmarks around the hotel, from Tower Bridge to the Tower of London, St Paul’s Cathedral to Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament there is lots to keep your eye on.
Meander from your room to the 35th floor and discover TĪNG, a delicious dining experience tucked just off the Sky Lobby. Celebrating fresh ingredients sourced from local suppliers in Borough Market, TĪNG serves British Cuisine with a subtle Asian twist.
Deriving from the Chinese word for ‘living room’, TĪNG encompasses both casual elegance and chic dining. The restaurant is a popular destination for breakfast, lunch, dinner, afternoon tea and late supper, so transforms throughout the day to suit the mood and the menu. Every occasion is enhanced by 360-degree views of the River Thames, Tower Bridge, Maritime Greenwich, Canary Wharf and the historic counties of Kent, Surrey and Sussex. Whether you are enjoying the buffet style breakfast by sunrise or tea at sunset, soak in the London backdrop while savouring the best of British fare.
When dining at Ting during the evening, the flexible set menu means that you can pick and choose your favourite dishes to make a winning set menu suitable for your preferences. Hero dishes include the hand dived sea scallop with forced rhubarb, ginger and dashi broth. A cold starter where the sea scallop is served raw and has been marinated to create a citrusy and tangy flavour.
Another winning starter option is the burrata with salsa verde, blackberries and sourdough crouton. The burrata is perfectly creamy, easing the sharpness of the blackberries and the acidic salsa verde.
For a main choice, opting for the dry aged stone bass with lobster bisque, poached lobster and braised fennel was all too easy. Albeit being a solely fish dish, it has a meaty base flavour that is achieved using a meat stock. A clever alternative that works perfectly to add density to a typically light dish.
Although you will finish your main feeling delightfully full, dessert consists of both sweet and savoury options. Those who enjoy finishing on a sweet note should try the vanilla cheesecake with quince compote, gingerbread and gingerbread ice cream. A wintery twist on a classic dish.
After dinner or even before, experience your favourite cocktails at the highest hotel bar in London, Gong, a dimly lit and atmospheric bar bringing unparalleled elegance to the city’s social scene. Elevated on Level 52, this is quite possibly the best place to go for sunset cocktails and late-night drinks, featuring the dramatic backdrop of London’s skyline. The bar offers three distinct areas: the cocktail bar, the Champagne bar and the Sky Pool (open Thursday to Saturday evenings from 9pm – 1am with a live DJ).
However you choose to spend your time at the Shangri-La London, just make sure you enjoy your stay up in the clouds.
Hong Kong-based Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts currently operates over 100 hotels with a room inventory of over 41,000. Shangri-La hotels are five-star deluxe properties featuring extensive luxury facilities and services. For more information, visit www.shangri-la.com.
Deluxe City View Rooms start from £495 per night.
31 St Thomas St, London SE1 9QU