For the best views in London you need to visit The Shard. Stay at the Shangri-La Hotel for the ultimate room with a view.
There is something extra indulgent about a night in a luxury hotel in your own city. All too often I rush from meeting to meeting and never appreciate my own home town. So the option of being a tourist for the day in London always gives me a new perspective on my city and makes me fall in love with it all over again.
The ultimate for me is a view – whenever I go somewhere I try and get as much as a bird’s eye view as I can – my love of high vantage points is possibly why I am currently coveting a drone!
The London skyline is constantly evolving and currently some of the best views are from the Shard – and of course the Shangri-La Hotel that occupies the 34 – 52 floors of the building.
We visited for their Summer in the City offer to; belatedly, celebrate Ed’s birthday, and enjoyed a night in City View room, with a room service champagne afternoon tea followed by breakfast the next day.
Arrival at the hotel is easy – come out of London Bridge tube and follow the signs to the Shard – if it is a fine day I’d recommend catching the tube to Monument station and then walking across London Bridge, or catching the riverboat. Anticipation and the journey is part of the fun. Ed had no idea where we were going, all I had told him was to pack an overnight bag and to bring his swimming trunks.
One arrival you are whisked up in a high speed lift to reception on the 35th floor. Immediately the view is the star of the show, you are drawn to the Westward facing view of the Thames. Checking is efficient and swift, the reception staff accompany you, via another lift, to your room and give you a quick tour.
We had a Deluxe City View room on the 46th floor; one of the 202 rooms, and 17 suites in the hotel, with a view encompassing all of West London up to London Bridge (for more of the room views see my separate post). Rooms are light and airy with glorious floor to ceiling windows for the stunning view. Decoration is neutral and muted, with that view you really don’t need any stand out decor!
All the important things are spot on – a huge comfortable bed with luxurious bedding. Comfortable armchairs for watching the view from – I am always surprised how many hotel rooms don’t have two comfortable chairs. All rooms have a Nespresso coffee pod machine with fresh milk provided in the mini bar. Blackout blinds are provided for those floor to ceiling windows, and clever shades automatically come down when you leave the room to keep it cool with the air conditioning switched off.
For those who need to do some work there is a large desk with lots of power sockets and an adjustable chair, and for people having a longer stay there is plenty of wardrobe space for storage and your shopping. Wifi was password free and lightening quick.
The marble bathroom was huge, with underfloor heating, walk in shower, freestanding bath, L’Occitane toiletries as well as soft towels and bathrobes. The loo was a high tech Japanese Washlet with a heated seat.
Being on the 46th floor there is no danger of anyone peeking in through the floor to ceiling windows, so you can relax in the bath with a view too.
As you would expect from a hotel of this calibre all the little things were also spot on too – those little touches that make your stay so much more enjoyable, but you might not notice them if they were missing. We appreciated a little welcome snack of fresh biscuits with caramel or chocolate dipping sauce as well as two bottles of filtered water. Bathrobes were supplied in two sizes – I hate being swamped in the generic extra large ones that many hotels provide. There were bathroom scales provided and I loved the tub of bath salts in the bath bar. The hairdryer was a decent power that you could actually style your hair with and the air conditioning was whisper quiet. The only thing missing was either a plug socket or USB outlet by the bed for charging phones.
Feather duvets and pillows are provided for that oh-so-blissful bed. A nice touch was the night light switch, with a small dim LED so that you could find it, that lit a low level light at the side of the bed, and in the bathroom to make that night time trip to the loo so much more navigable. The last time I was in a hotel I didn’t turn the light on in the middle of the night and ended up comically crawling across the floor, as I knew there was a step in the room but I’d lost all orientation and had no idea where it was and had visions of cracking my head open in the middle of the night and being found by housekeeping in the morning! No such problems here.
The tea was fantastic – delivered exactly at the time we ordered it – room service had called to confirm timings and our preferred types of tea. A wheeled table covered with crisp linen and cake stand of dainty sandwiches, filled rolls, warm plain and fruit scones (with generous quantities of more then enough jam and clotted cream – I hate a stingy cream tea!), as well as a selection of cakes and pastries. Glorious washed down with the champagne, and being in our room meant we could get up look at the view and take more photos.
The Shangri La never fails to wow – and one of the jewels in the crown is the 52nd floor – with the glorious infinity pool, gym and Gong cocktail bar. I could have stayed in there all day. Ed and I were fortunate to have the lounger surrounded pool to ourselves. Infused water and Nespresso machines are provided poolside for refreshments.
Pool Goals Level 52! The almost perfectly heart shaped ripple expresses just how I feel about the Sky Pool at the @ShangrilLaLondon on the 52nd floor of the @theshardlondon Perfect views here of The Thames and St Paul's Cathedral. Mornings like this make me love my city more than ever. #Presstrip with The Shangri La.
The gym is small, but well equipped, I am sure the amazing view makes you exercise for longer!
Breakfast is served in Ting restaurant on the 35th floor – a full buffet of English, Continental and Asian food is available – as well as an extensive à la carte list, seating is at tables or more relaxed lounge style, ideal for a leisurely breakfast to enjoy that view.
Ed had a perfect eggs Royale and I, ever the one to shun traditional breakfast foods had the à la carte Asian Breakfast a feast of congee, wok fried noodles and lots and lots of toppings and condiments. My type of breakfast. Service was on the slow side, admittedly we were there at the end of breakfast after the rush of people getting out to meetings etc.
The Asian breakfast at the @shangrilalondon is one of the best hotel breakfasts I've ever had! I prefer not to eat traditional breakfast foods so this was perfect. An assortment of dim sum, bowl of congee with all those delicious garnishes as well as fried noodles with chicken. just perfect. And of course the obligatory coffee as well as the amazing views from Ting restaurant on the 35th floor of the hotel in the @theshardlondon We were guests of the Shangri La. #presstrip #review
Summer in the City at Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London
We enjoyed the ‘Summer in the City’ package including an overnight stay for two in a city view room, bottle of house champagne, a afternoon tea served in the room with captivating views over the capital, complimentary WiFi, complimentary use of the gym and the infinity Skypool, and English breakfast served in TING restaurant and lounge, located on the 35th floor. This offer starts from £615 for one night based on two people sharing a room. Room only rates for a city view room start from around £550.
For further information and reservations click here.
We were the guests of the Shangri La at the London Shard – all opinions our own.