To get views like these you'll need to ask for a Grand Harbour View Room or Suite—generally the room numbers from 8 to 14 on each floor. Or you can skip the room rate and just head on up to Blu Bar. Drinks may be the standard hotel-pricey but not noticeably more than other places, and... well, have you seen those views?
The view from Blu Bar, open from 5 p.m. (3 p.m. Fri & Sat).
When you first walk onto level 36 and turn left for the bar (there is a restaurant on this level as well, sharing million-dollar window real-estate), a hostess is usually waiting to seat you. This is for the "money seats" with views like these, and the obligatory waiter/waitress service.
But you can skip that if you turn to the left again and sit at the bar, or along one of the side windows overlooking McMahon's Point and the harbour on the western side of the bridge—it's a great place to catch the vivid sunsets, and it's much easier to find a spot here and accommodate a larger group than out in the front section.
The less populated part of Blu Bar.
If you do angle for a seat with Opera House views, however, try to drop by before June 21st—until then, the Opera House is being lit up with different projected patterns from 6 p.m., as part of the Vivid Festival.
They didn't come out in photos for us to share with you but you can take our word that it looked pretty. Except perhaps for the shadowy one that moved around like some big intruder sneaking past in the sky (or playing shadow puppets on the sails of the Opera House). That one made us glad they turned the projections off around midnight.
[Photos: Blu Bar interior: Shangri-La website; all others; HotelChatter]