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Our First Visit to Shangri-La at the Shard London

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  Site Where: 31 St. Thomas Street, London, United Kingdom, SE1 9QU
April 7, 2014 at 8:31 AM | by | ()

Having waited for so long, we were pretty psyched to check out Shangri-La at the Shard last week. One thing we can say for sure now that we’ve been inside? It will be unlike any other hotel in the city – the Asian-influenced design and skyscraper setting is more Tokyo or Hong Kong than London, even as you look out over the British rooftops.

Arrival happens through the ground floor lobby on St. Thomas Street, which has a reception desk, small seating area, and around the corner, coffee shop and patisserie LÁNG. We liked the mural made out of coffee cups and saucers (see below for a picture), and as the final furniture arrives, LÁNG will also get outdoor seating, between the Shard and the escalator that runs up to the concourse level of London Bridge station.

Two express lifts to the left of that table will whisk you upstairs, where you will have to exit and change lifts to go to any of the guestrooms (key card access only) or further up to level 52 once it opens. From this point onwards, it was unfortunately strictly verboten to take photographs, but we can nonetheless give you a pretty good idea based on what visuals we have.

Those lifts will take you up to the 35th floor, where you will be greeted by the above: two receptions desks to your right, and straight ahead some lobby seating with St. Paul’s Cathedral in the distance. The glass railing you can just about make out in the back is where the floor opens up to below, with a right-turn staircase – as well as a glass lift – taking you down to the meeting and function space. This ranges from intimate boardrooms to a ballroom with Tower Bridge views; if you have a larger party in mind, you can take up the entire floor.

Most rooms share the design you see above, with modern furniture, light wood, and blue carpets. Like we mentioned last week, layouts are very different: one room we saw had a desk set up in a corner right against the window, giving knee-buckling views towards the southwest, while the other had a small seating area with sofa, so it will be worth investigating which category, aspect, and floor plan you prefer.

How those categories are organized has changed a bit since we last looked at them: rather than Superior, Deluxe, Premier, and Grand Premier Rooms, it’s now Superior Shard, Deluxe City View, Premier City View, and Iconic City View. Iconic City View rooms are corner rooms, with 180-degree panoramic views due to the shape of the building; those on the northwest corners will have the best view of both the City and everything west from there.

Suite on 38 is now the London Suite, and Suite on 37 the Westminster Suite. Together with the Shangri-La Suite, these will arrive in September.

Some bathrooms have a Japanese-style wet area (combining rain shower and bathtub), while a select few have freestanding tubs with a view. Toiletries are by Acqua di Parma in the rooms, with suites having a choice of three different brands based on preference.

The 52nd floor pool (also coming in September) faces west, meaning views of Big Ben and the London Eye while you swim. Closing at 8pm, it will then be merged with GŎNG, the Champagne and Cocktail Bar facing the City across the river and Canary Wharf to the east in the distance. Given a capacity restriction of 90 people, a reservation will be pretty crucial.

Only 59 rooms will be available from May 6. We found a Deluxe City View room on Saturday, May 10 for £540 ($895), including breakfast. We’ll have more for you on Shangri-La in a few weeks’ time – in the meantime, we’ll leave you with a few more pictures below.

[Photos: JasonD for HotelChatter]

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