Those without a head for heights will want to look away now because the Shangri-La at the Shard’s location on floors 34 to 52 of London’s tallest tower is all about sky-high living. Panoramic views are the main attraction here but business and leisure guests will also discover a sleek, luxury hotel with plenty of appeal beyond the skyline.
Don’t fancy being woken by the impressive sunrise? Heavy blinds make sure light is only let in when you want it.
Spacious rooms are given the illusion of feeling even bigger thanks to floor to ceiling windows that offer the best views in London. A faintly Oriental design theme runs throughout the rooms and the aesthetic is subtle with colors kept neutral to complement silk fabrics, velvet benches and contemporary light wood which add texture to the space.
Swanky marble bathrooms come with bathtubs, walk-in showers and flat screen TVs. Luxurious details include the very covetable L’Occitane toiletries.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Many rooms come with free-standing tubs positioned to make the most of the views while you soak—just make sure to request the tub with a view when booking.
The expansive lobby is all sleek marble, rich wooden details and yet more views. In fact, it’s worth noting that there’s no hiding from the views anywhere at the Shangri-La. With plenty of offices located in the building, the hotel does a fine job of separating itself from thoughts of work, with a friendly, welcoming staff.
Also located on the 52nd floor, the hotel pool is all kinds of magical with its infinity edge taking the water close to the towering atrium windows. If you’re not one for cocktails in the bar, then this is the next best place to catch the sunset.
Located on the 52nd floor, the gym at the Shangri-La is payback for all those basement facilities that hotel workout fans have been forced to put up with in the past. The fully-equipped gym offers the chance to run your daily 10k around 300 meters from the ground.
Guests can choose between various dining spaces. There’s Ting, which focuses on British cuisine with Asian influences, the Ting Lounge, which is all brunch classics and afternoon teas, and Lang, a relaxed dining room and café on the ground floor—one of the few places where you can get your feet back on the ground.
Guests sampling the cocktails in Gong bar should bear in mind that they’re drinking at altitude. Located on the 52nd floor, the bar is the highest point in the hotel and makes for a helluva place to see the sunset.
Towering high above London Bridge Station, the hotel has an excellent location for travel via National Rail or the Underground. The West End is a quick ten-minute Tube ride away, while the immediate vicinity is filled with plenty to keep you occupied over a weekend. Best explored on foot, the area has Borough Market close by and the likes of Tate Modern, Shakespeare’s Globe, and the South Bank a pleasant walk away.
Eat at the hippest Italian restaurant this side of the Thames at Padella (4-minute walk) or visit Eliot’s (5-minute walk) and indulge in a beautiful meal sourced almost entirely from the produce of Borough Market. If both are full then head to Boro Bistro for creative French dining.
The antithesis of the Shangri-La’s Gong bar, the ancient George Inn (5-minute walk) at Borough is a place to reconnect with a past when drinking dens were all rickety inns made from weathered timber beams. Dating back to the 17th century, it remains a charming place to drink. For something more refined, try the Wright Brother’s Oyster Bar (5-minute walk) where you can eat oysters accompanied by cocktails and Guinness.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Instead of historic pedigree, the Shangri-la at the Shard relies on the irresistible appeal of its location in London’s tallest building and there’s an undeniable status attached to a stay here at one of the city’s most famous addresses. Aside from the spectacular views, we love the pool and the elegant décor of the rooms that keep the design traditional while letting the Shard itself supply the futuristic feels.