THE Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard, London, has now reopened its doors, welcoming guests with experiences inspired by the best of the British springtime.
Located a few steps away from London Bridge Station, with a dedicated entrance on St Thomas Street, the Shangri-La occupies Floors 34 to 52 of this 72-story pyramidical skyscraper. Towering at almost 301 metres high, it is the tallest building in the UK, which on a clear day can be seen from 25 miles away.
A 26-second ride in the hotel elevator flies me up to the reception, where my bags are whisked away and taken to my room. With the trailing wisteria and the seasonal florals adorning the hotel lobby, it feels like a scene reminiscent of a picnic in the clouds.
Comprising 185 rooms and 17 suites, the rates rise in accordance with the view rather than the space. The hotel’s interior was designed by FM Architettura d’Interni, best known for their skills in the construction of luxury residences and megayachts.
Their brief was to achieve maximum functionalism within the building’s distinctly sloping shape, which they cleverley delivered by utilising the abundance of light streaming into every space.
Looking down from my orchid-embellished suite, a nod to the Shangri-La’s Asian heritage, London is laid-out beneath me. The thrill of seeing the city’s most iconic landmarks from the 43rd floor is simply breathtaking – and not for the faint-hearted.
Even more dizzying is the cityscape view at night, with the black ripples of the River Thames snaking through London and Tower Bridge twinkling in the distance.
Thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows in my room, I can capture this full view even while soaking in the freestanding bathtub.
I commence my evening at the Gong Bar on the 52nd floor, with the Italian head barman Georgiou guiding me to a table-side window, where my landmark-spotting obsession continues, sunset cocktail in-hand.
I later head down to dinner at Ting, the fine-dining destination restaurant, where I enjoy European-with-an-Asian-twist delicacies, while listening to the clinking of champagne glasses echoing through the room as everyone is seemingly celebrating a special occasion.
In the morning before breakfast, I head back to the 52nd floor to the infinity swimming pool where I’m memmorised by panoramic sunrise views while taking an early dip. A swim certainly worth taking the plunge for.
by Amanda Bernstein
Shangri-La hotel at The Shard, London, 31 St Thomas Street, SE1 9QU
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