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Summer in the City

At Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard

The view from The Shard, we’ve all either experienced it or know someone that has, towering above the London skyline, taking in iconic landmarks such as Big Ben, the London Eye and the River Thames, you can see for miles day or night, but how about doing this whole experience in a little luxury and style.

Occupying levels 34 – 52 of this iconic building is the luxurious Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard, undoubtedly one of London’s most exciting hotels, and it was going to be our home for the night, whilst we experienced their ‘Summer in the City’ stay.  From the minute you enter the sleek, luxurious ground floor lobby you know you’re in for a real treat as you head to a lift that whisks you to the 35th floor in 28 seconds (I timed it!) As the elevator doors open you are met with views that take your breath away, the whole of the London skyline is in front of you, and below it’s like a miniature town, with colourful ant-like dots rushing around,

Check-in was faultless and before we knew it we were being elevated up to our room on the 45th floor. Our room, a Deluxe City View, was a spectacular space with floor to ceiling windows looking out over the Thames, Tower Bridge, and St Paul’s Cathedral, it really was a sight to behold. The room itself was a fusion of oriental elegance with modern sleek finishes. Combining greys and light sand tones, along with Chinese silk patterns to create an elegant space to sit back, relax and admire the views, add to this the bottle of champagne that was waiting for us – it’s easy to see why this hotel is on everyone’s bucket list.

And just as I thought it couldn’t get any better, I walked into the bathroom!  – Oozing opulence and grandeur, with its heated marble floor and huge bath that looked out over the city skyline, I couldn’t think of anywhere I’d rather be than luxuriating in this bathtub, with a glass of champagne, taking in the views all around me, and if I became just a little bored of watching the world pass by there was always the high tech TV built into the bathroom mirror to watch. This bathroom is one that you just have to savor, even the toilet hasn’t escaped, with its heated seat and state of the art technology. And did I mention the L’Occitane toiletries, and fluffy robes?

Managing to prise myself away from the bathroom, it was time to venture up to the 52nd floor, where the swimming pool is situated. And in case you’re thinking a pool is just a pool, remember this is the Shangri-La. The space here is just as impressive as the rest of the hotel, offering a tranquil escape with loungers, elegant tables and chairs, a Nespresso coffee machine, bottled water, fluffy towels and, of course, the heated skypool (it’s the highest pool in Western Europe) with stunning views of St Paul’s Cathedral, the London Eye and Westminster.

Also housed on this floor is the fully equipped gym  – running on the treadmill has never been so enjoyable – shut your eyes (well not literally) and you can imagine you’re running on the clouds.

Back in our room and Afternoon Tea was served. The mouth-watering array of sandwiches, scones and desserts was tempting enough for us to drag our eyes away from the London skyline, but not for too long may I add. Sandwiches that consisted of smoked salmon, roast Angus beef, honey roast ham, vintage cheddar and a brioche bun with duck egg mayonnaise, were all delicious, fresh, and generously stuffed.

We indulged our sweet tooth on a cherry pistachio financier, a cassis and violet choux bun, apricot lavender mousse, rhubarb ginger crumble tart and a raspberry rose lychee macaron , all as delightful as each other but if forced to choose a favourite it would have to be the cherry pistachio financer.

Sipping champagne, eating Afternoon Tea, sitting back relaxing in our own room, whilst watching the boats go up and down the Thames, helicopters flying so close you can almost touch them, really is an amazing experience. And just because Afternoon Tea was taken in our room doesn’t mean there was any compromise on the service we got. We only had to pick up the phone and ask for more sandwiches, cakes, scones and tea and within an instance the waitress was knocking at our door.

It’s impossible to not stare out of the windows wherever you go in The Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard, whether it’s at the Thames, Big Ben, The Gherkin or watching the most amazing sunset – you never tire, and when the sun has gone down and everywhere is lit up, it is as if the whole city has come alive beneath you, an entrancing sight that is just WOW!

After an evening of exploring around London Bridge, we decided to head back up to the 52nd floor for a cocktail in GONG, the hotel’s bar; it’s a great space to end a perfect day.

Returning to our room, the lights below offered a mesmerizing sight of London’s cityscape as we drifted off for a blissful nights sleep.

As morning dawned, the streets below were slowly beginning to come alive, I could have sat and watched all day, but hubbie had other ideas and was being lured by the thought of breakfast, Served in TING restaurant and lounge back on floor 35, breakfast here is a grand affair.

The ‘Ultimate Breakfast Experience’ lets you help yourself to the buffet, (the choice of delicious fresh foods on offer are extensive) and indulge in the choice of one hot dish and side from the menu, along with tea and coffee of your choice.

Our table was in an alcove by the window with more spectacular views to gaze at, something you just never tire of doing.

The variety of items in the buffet was impressive, whether you wanted cereals, fresh fruit, freshly baked pastries (brought in that morning from Borough Market), cold meats, fish, hummus, crudités, fresh salad, the choice was there along with an Asian influence of noodles and Dim Sum and finishing touches such as fresh honeycomb to scrape your own honey from. A special machine can freshly squeeze juice in front of you or you can opt for a smoothie – there’s even a Bloody Mary station.

From the menu I opted for the healthy avocado, rye bread toast, poached eggs and spinach, which certainly didn’t disappoint. Hubbies choice was the Eggs Benedict, which was a treat to the tastebuds, with the eggs poached perfectly.

From watching the hustle and bustle of the busy streets below us to the sun rising and setting behind the iconic landmarks, a stay at The Shangri-La at the Shard is a real one of a kind experience. The food is delicious, the small touches (too many to mention) are faultless, staff are warm and friendly and the views are breathtaking it really is a heavenly combination and one of the most spectacular ways to see London – somewhere you need to stay at least once in your life.

BOOK IT!

Enjoy ‘Summer in the City’ at Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London. This experience includes an overnight stay for two in a luxurious guestroom or suite, bottle of house champagne served in room upon arrival, a delicious afternoon tea to be enjoyed in the privacy of your room with captivating views over the capital, complimentary WiFi, complimentary use of the gym and the infinity Skypool, and English breakfast served in TING restaurant and lounge, located on the 35th floor. The offer starts from £615 for one night based on two people sharing a room.

www.shangri-la.com/london/shangrila