A Fairly Brief But Happy Review Of The Shangri-La Hotel At The Shard, London


View-of-the-Shangri-La-at-the-Shard-from-Below

Americans thinking of a splurge stay in London might first focus on hotels of mahogany, brass, leather and old paint. Understandable. England does historic luxury pretty dang well. But in our recent travels my daughter and I stayed at the Shangri-La at the Shard, and there’s a good case to be made for skyscraper hospitality.

Even in the city of Today’s Most Famous Queen.

The Shangri-La’s got a nice intimate modern lobby. No milling throngs, as you might find at the Savoy, for example. Tourists visiting the top of the Shard for viewing use a separate entrance, a visit which for whatever reason we never made. The clerk at the front desk will send you to the elevators, and you’ll check in on the 35th floor. The rooms are to be found on floors 35-52, we stayed on the 47th.

Shangri-La-At-The-Shard-Lobby

In many fancy hotel rooms, the first thing one does is pat the bed linens, or ooh and ah at furnishings and fixtures. Not here. You are going to want to take a picture.

Photography-the-View-from-the-Shangri-La-at-the-Shard

From the Deluxe City View rooms, to which we were upgraded, here’s what you’ll see.

The-View-from-the-Shangri-La-at-the-Shard-is-amazing

No I am not kidding. Looks like a Dutch painting, almost. And for some odd reason, not vertigo-producing, which as one not good with heights, I had feared.

We stayed at the Shangri-La because Significant Husband does significant business travel, which generates a lot of Shangri-La loyalty points. Thank you Significant Husband, I’d rather have you by my side than a view, but it does lessen the sting.

Deluxe-City-View-Bedroom-At-The-Shangri-La-London

Eventually one’s thoughts will turn to sleep, especially in light of a 10-hour flight in Economy Plus. One will be not disappointed.  My daughter and I often share a bed when we travel, this one was big and fluffy. And yes, reaching out to hold her arm as I drift off is immeasurably sweet.

Do not worry that the view has disappeared with the sun. It’s still out there. The London Eye was blue that night.

London's-Night-Sky-From-The-Shangri-La-at-the-Shard

The rest of the hotel is modern, but not coldly so, and luxe, but not too gaudy. I suppose I could do with less marble, but I suppose nobody is listening to me. (One note for the long of hair, watch out for the shower, the step-down is shallow and if the drains get slow water leaks onto the bathroom floor.)

Halls-and-Bathroom-of-the-Shangri-La-London

Eventually you’ll leave your room. Yes that hallway is blurry in the photo. No in real life it’s not. And you’re going to want it to be navigable, because you should get the breakfast package and eat at Ting in the mornings. Wonderful waitstaff, brilliant service, and yes, a view, albeit south instead of north.

Breakfast-at-the-Shangri-La-at-the-Shard

They put out the usual pastries, yogurt, and fruit for the buffet, as well as a hot breakfast that includes eggs and dim sum. The Shangri-La’s Asian heritage in evidence, as befits cosmopolitan London of 2014.

Hot-Breakfast-at-the-Shangri-La-London

And nobody cast a disparaging eye at my purple sweatshirt, so, bonus points. Nor did they sigh when I ordered the 6th gallon of tea our first morning. The second day we showed up, they brought me a pot without being reminded. I loved that.

Breakfast-tea-at-the-Shangri-La-London

I also loved staying on the South Bank, amongst people going to work. For one thing, the Borough Market is right nearby for lunch as you return to the hotel after a morning’s sightseeing. This allows you to feel all frugal, kind of like a sale at Neiman Marcus but hey. Crossing London Bridge, which one does if one walks a lot, you enter the City of London, its financial center. Not picturesque, but there’s sufficient awesome and quaint to be found elsewhere in the city, and I enjoyed the more binary thrum of modern commerce.

Street-View-of-the-Shangri-La-at-the-Shard

Finally for those who cannot leave their room, entranced by the view as though it were Morgan le Fay, there’s fruit.

Fruit-Bowl-At-The-Shangri-La-London

Which might not be your first priority, but is lovely when jet lag or strikes, or you just want to put some food in your mouth that nobody has sauced, fried, or seasoned. Even those of us who love luxury occasionally just want a simple green grape.

BTW, the rumored peeking into your neighbor’s room? Not apparent, I guess I’d have had to climb over the corner desk and plaster myself against the window with craned neck? It’s an absolutely lovely place, that became part of the fabric of our stay in the way that memorable hotels will.

 

Bottom line seems to be about $400/night, but you may do better on TripAdvisor. Links may generate commissions.

 

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15 Comments

  • 09/11/14
    8:42 am

    Reply

    Jan's Sushi Bar said...

    The first thing I do when I check into a hotel is look at the room service menu, but that’s just me. I think if I were to stay there, I’d take a picture, too.

    And while we’re at it, color me green with envy; when Beloved travels, all we rack up are Holiday Inn points. *sigh*

    09/12/14
    11:34 am
    Lisa said...

    @Jan’s Sushi Bar, He could do Starwood, you know. Stay at the Sheraton 4 Points. That gets you the Westins and St. Regis:).

  • 09/11/14
    8:49 am

    Reply

    Tabitha said...

    I used to work down that way – happy days.

    That squidgy marshmallow bed looks so inviting.

    09/12/14
    11:35 am
    Lisa said...

    @Tabitha, I can imagine you striding those streets. Locks a swinging. Have you given up the blog, finally, BTW?:(

  • 09/11/14
    9:19 am

    Reply

    déjà pseu said...

    Oh, it looks fabulous! The Shangri-La in Hong Kong was on our short list. The older I get, the more I appreciate good, unobtrusive service. And spectacular views.

    09/12/14
    11:35 am
    Lisa said...

    @déjà pseu, So curious to see where you do stay! And Hong Kong is kind of View Central, no?

  • 09/11/14
    9:32 am

    Reply

    Buckeroomama said...

    The Shangri-la is almost always our first choice of hotel wherever we go here in Asia. It’s heartening to know that their service standard is pretty consistent be it in Asia or Europe.

    09/12/14
    11:37 am
    Lisa said...

    @Buckeroomama, I’d love to traipse around the world, from Shangri-La to Shangri-La:).

  • 09/11/14
    11:26 am

    Reply

    Mary anne said...

    Wow! Love this. I am so with you on sharing a bed with grown daughters. They are never too old to cuddle.

    09/12/14
    11:37 am
    Lisa said...

    @Mary anne, It’s just so lovely. And not something I foresaw.

  • 09/11/14
    3:14 pm

    Reply

    Frances/Materfamilias said...

    Admiring. And Envying. And chuckling. SOOOO different from our hotel room in London. What a wonderful place to launch a mother-daughter whirlwind tour of England!

    09/12/14
    11:39 am
    Lisa said...

    @Frances/Materfamilias, It was lovely. And one can reasonably argue that other sorts of rooms have more British charm from days of yore.

  • 09/11/14
    5:40 pm

    Reply

    kathy said...

    So different than where we stay, but looks very cool. Great views.

    09/12/14
    11:40 am
    Lisa said...

    @kathy, Where do you stay? My dad used to love the Connaught. I’ve eaten there but not stayed.

  • 09/11/14
    5:56 pm

    Reply

    RoseAG said...

    That’s pretty snazzy. Did you go to any shows while you were there?

    09/12/14
    11:44 am
    Lisa said...

    @RoseAG, We didn’t. Every night we were meeting friends and family for dinner, except the first one, and we were too tired to go anywhere when we first arrived. But we thought about it.

  • 09/11/14
    7:37 pm

    Reply

    Candace said...

    What magnificent views and exquisite dining! Looks like a very comfy, cushy bed – so inviting. With all your tea drinking, you must have explored a few loo around town? Beautiful photos and such an enjoyable post!

    09/12/14
    11:45 am
    Lisa said...

    @Candace, Thank you! And I drink water all day long, so I’m used to the demands of hydration:).

  • 09/12/14
    5:35 am

    Reply

    Jane said...

    I’m with you on the gallons of tea but then live to regret it when I need the loo all day long! Love the fluffy bed but even more so the luxe bath – so different from the hotel we stayed in with the funky British plumbing.

    09/12/14
    11:46 am
    Lisa said...

    @Jane, This was definitely NOT funky British plumbing:). The toilet was one of those Japanese gadgets with options. I did not explore its functions, however.

  • 09/12/14
    5:59 am

    Reply

    Sue B @highheelsinthewilderness.blogspot.ca said...

    Lovely photos, Lisa. Looks wonderful. I’d be tempted to linger over those multiple pots of tea….a good pot of tea in a restaurant being rare on this side of the pond.
    Loved your purple sweatshirt too.

    09/12/14
    11:47 am
    Lisa said...

    @Sue B @highheelsinthewilderness.blogspot.ca, Thank you Sue:). I would have lingered. The daughter, not so much.

  • 09/12/14
    6:02 am

    Reply

    Mardel said...

    Oh love the fluffy bed and the views, oh my, the views. It sounds lovely.

    09/12/14
    11:47 am
    Lisa said...

    @Mardel, Oh my. One could have sat for hours.

  • 09/13/14
    10:39 am

    Reply

    Jen on the Edge said...

    When my family was last in London (3 years ago), the Shard was still under construction. We stayed in a nearby hotel and walked by unfinished Shard multiple times every day, as it’s on the way to the Tube station we used most.

    Anyway, one thing I like best about the Shard is it’s location within London — on the South Bank, right on the water, near Tower Bridge. It really does feel like it’s in the heart of things.

  • 09/13/14
    8:06 pm

    Reply

    Mamavalveeta03 said...

    How fun! Would that my daughters should allow me to share a bed, let alone a room with them. There is some complaint of snoring. I have no idea of that which they speak.

  • 09/16/14
    10:02 am

    Reply

    Patsy said...

    Having spent most of my career in skyscrapers (currently on floor 31), it never occurred to me that it could be scary – yikes! Glad it didn’t induce vertigo!

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