In life and in business, first impressions count. From the moment you meet someone or visit somewhere for the first time, that first memory can last a lifetime, good or bad.
Do a quick Google search for “first impression quotes” and you’ll find plenty of examples that explain how important it really is. A classic quote – “You only get one chance to make a first impression” – needs to be in the hotel staff training manual at Shangri-La The Shard, London. Because from the moment we arrived to the moment we checked out, the standards were impeccable.
Of all the memorable moments at the Shangri-La, the most lasting “first” impression was when we checked into the room, located on the 46th floor of this iconic skyscraper.
We were greeted by darkness which felt a bit strange at first but when we inserted our room key card into the wall slot the magic happened. The blinds slowly open revealing a breathtaking panoramic view of London and some of the capital’s most famous landmarks – Tower Bridge, the Tower of London, the River Thames and the Walkie-Talkie building to name a few. The view really took our breath away.
One of the bedroom’s floor-to-ceiling glass windows read ‘sweet dreams in the clouds’. First impressions are hard to beat.
Why stay here: the room
the shard, the tallest building in London and Western Europe, officially opened in February 2013 and consists of offices, apartments, restaurants and the hotel. The Shangri-La occupies 19 floors of the skyscraper, starting at level 34 – 125 meters high – where the reception is located. The hotel itself has 202 rooms and suites, all with spectacular city views.
We stayed one night in a deluxe city view king room on the 46th floor and were so comfortable here that we only left to visit the infinity pool, more on that later. It had all the amenities one would expect from a luxurious five star hotel including a wide screen TV perfect for a movie night and a computer tablet to order food or learn more about the services on offer. As befits modern hybrid life, there was a workplace where you could work a few hours.
The room service was also excellent. My wife asked for a yoga mat for her daily Yoga with Adrien Session on YouTube. This was not a problem for the employees of a hotel that focuses on wellness.
Check out the Antiques Roadshow in the Tub…
The breathtaking panoramic view is not only available from the living and sleeping area, but also from the bathroom. The freestanding bath offers city views. Another amazing thing in the bathroom was the TV in the mirror. I’ve seen TVs in bathrooms, but in the mirror? This was certainly a first.
If you check in on a Sunday you can soak in the tub, look out over the Square Mile and watch Antiques Roadshow. Honestly, has there ever been a better Sunday night option?
The food and drink
There are many restaurants in the Shangri-La The Shard, London, which are popular not only with hotel guests but also with locals. TĪNG Restaurant offers classic Asian cuisine with a British twist, while the Sky Lounge is ideal for brunch or a glass of bubbly. On the 52nd floor you will find GŎNG, the highest hotel bar in Western Europe, serving sunset cocktails and late night drinks. Other options in The Shard include Bar 31, Aqua Shard Bar, Hutong, and Oblix.
I would like to say that we enjoyed a multi-course dinner at TĪNG followed by a few cocktails at GŎNG. But I won’t lie to you, we never ventured out of the room for dinner – we ordered.
You can choose from a range of room service options on the in-room computer tablet. We ordered the Shanghai Noodles (£34; wok-fried, shredded beef tenderloin and vegetables) and the hotel room service staple, the Classic Club Sandwich (£16). As a side and out of curiosity, we also ordered some fries with katsu ketchup (£5). The katsu ketchup was so good it was maybe the best fiver we’ve ever spent on food.
For breakfast, we ventured downstairs to TĪNG, where a large buffet is served each morning. The classics are all available – cooked breakfasts, pastries, pancakes and eggs made to order. After enjoying the view from the room too much, we continued to admire the landscapes of TĪNG – and rightly enjoyed the breakfast treats on offer.
Facilities: the pool
Headquartered in Hong Kong, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts’ London property showcases the modern Asian influence in the rooms, restaurants and design. Another area in the hotel that makes you feel like you’re in Asia, not Britain, is on the 52nd floor, where you’ll find London’s highest hotel infinity pool and sauna.
Guests can book a one-hour slot to visit the pool, so we chose to go around sunset. Swim a few laps and then watch the sunset over London, we won’t soon forget that.
There are many modern architectural wonders around the world – and in terms of ranking, The Shard is literally at the top. Many visitors to the capital may opt for a more historic hotel that offers British traditions and splendour, but if you want to experience ‘new’ London then the Shangri-La The Shard is the place to be. From the rooms to the restaurants, everything about the hotel is sensational. However, those views from the clouds are what really set it apart. You will never want to come back to earth.
how to book
Rooms at Shangri-La The Shard, London start from £725 per night based on two people sharing a Superior Shard Room on a room-only basis. Book see shangri-la.com
https://www.theweek.co.uk/arts-life/travel/956209/shangri-la-the-shard-london-hotel-review Hotel Rating: Shangri-La The Shard, London