London has a new hotel on the block and it’s sure to be a stay to remember, with unrivalled views from the city’s tallest building…
Piercing London’s skyline, The Shard is a new architectural favourite of visitors to the capital. The towering glass viewing platform has offered visitors a different vista of the city since it opened in February 2013, but now the super luxurious global hotel brand Shangri-La is offering visitors the chance to stay there, too.
The Shangri-La Hotel has certainly set its standards high (literally), positioning itself as the highest hotel in western Europe and featuring the highest bar and infinity pool in London.
The hotel occupies floors 34 to 52 of Renzo Piano’s glass extravaganza in the London Bridge district of the capital. It is built around a central structure, meaning that every room has a view and wherever you walk it’s clear to see that the hotel has sought to complement the urban panoramas rather than rival them, giving a real sense of understated luxury.
There are 202 rooms and suites, which are luxuriously appointed in the manner for which the hotel brand is renowned around the world, and all rooms are designed with the spectacular view in mind. The standard rooms are plush and spacious but upgrade to the Iconic City View Room and you’ve got 180° views, binoculars to help you pinpoint places you recognise and an iPad with augmented reality technology to help you discover more of what you see.
In the restaurant TING – which fuses Asian and British cuisines – all ingredients are sourced from nearby Borough Market, which lies in the shadow of the towering structure. Guests can also book in for a tour of the market with the executive chef who will take you around, introduce you to suppliers and let you pick our your favourite ingredients, which he will use to create a dish of your choice afterwards.
The swimming pool, which will open in August, will offer yet another thrilling way to enjoy the view. The uber-cool infinity pool is surrounded by tables and chairs, inviting you to enjoy a drink after your swim to once again appreciate the magnificent views.
Gong is a sky-high hostelry, which boasts two bars: one with a fantastic selection of British gins and the other serving just Champagne. Perched on the 52nd floor, the ceiling of the bar is smaller than on the lower floors as the ‘Shard’ comes to a point at its peak. This gives it a cosy feel and it is also open to the public, ensuring a vibrant, bustling atmosphere.
Staying in the Shard makes for a perfect base for exploring London. We particularly liked using the binoculars provided in the bedroom to look down at the capital and pick out the places we wanted to explore next. Growing ever taller, the City of London is just opposite, HMS Belfast is just in front too, or you can simply wander down the south bank of the river where you’ll get to see Shakespeare’s Globe, the Tate Modern, the London Eye and the Southbank Centre. While you’re out on your discoveries you’ll be able to turn back at all times for an alternative view of your temporary home.
Spiralling out of the busy metropolis, the Shard is certainly a new highlight of London, and whether you’re in it or looking back at it, it’s really all about the view.
To find out more and to book a room visit the Shangri La website.
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