Around the World in 80 Pairs of Shoes


May 15, 2013

The Shangri La Hotel London at The Shard

This week marks the opening of a new luxury hotel in London, The Shangri La Hotel London at The Shard.  The hotel was originally earmarked to open in 2012 in time for the London Olympics however issues caused the opening to be delayed.  So is the Shangri-La London worth the wait?

80 pairs of shoes shangri la london the shard ground floor

We arrived at The Shard around 5pm and found the entrance quite easily as the hotel has a great presence on the ground floor.  Your bags are taken at this point and you will be shown to the lift that takes you up to the 35th floor reception floor for check in.   When the doors open up you are going to be faced with one of the best views of London, seeing London from the reception area is pretty special and that view draws you in instantly. (I’m not going to ruin that surprise with a photo!)

80 pairs of shoes shangri la london shard key to a perfect stay

The check in desk area is very small with only enough space for four check in attendants so we were given a tour of the reception and restaurant area before we finally were able to check in as they were busy checking in other guests.    The check in was smooth and soon we were escorted by Roxanna to our room on the 47th floor.  She gave G a good briefing on all the technical stuff like how to use the blinds etc.  (I do wonder if it would be better to have the check in area downstairs on the ground floor as it’s a bigger space, hence you could have more check in staff.)

80 pairs of shoes shangri la london the shard check in reception

A short time later a lovely box was delivered which contained complimentary green tea.

80 pairs of shoes shangri la london welcome gift green tea

So I know you all curious and want to have a snoop inside The Shangri-La London hotel so here is a little tour of our room.  The hotel kindly provides the binoculars for some Peeping Tom action!

80 pairs of shoes shangri la london the shard binoculars

The bathroom includes a very large marble shower, a bath overlooking the Thames and a heated toilet seat that G struggled to get to work but it later turned itself on.  The Shangri-La London are providing guests with Acqua Di Parma products as the toiletries.

80 pairs of shoes shangri la london shard bathroom view

Now don’t get me wrong however I thought I was only sharing the room with G but good old Romeo showed up for the evening as well.  Romeo is a very cute soft toy that costs £10 and the proceeds go to the Blackfriars Settlement Project which is a local London charity that the hotel is supporting.

80 pairs of shoes shangri la london the shard romeo charity

In the corner of the room, there was a chair which provides you with the best seat in the house to play “I Spy With My Little Eye” using a pair of binoculars that are in every room.  It was a little later that G realised that from our room (4706) you could actually see into our neighbours room and also the rooms below ours when it got slightly darker; something that the media is loving at the moment.  To be perfectly fair to The Shangri-La London; it’s more a feature of the building (The Shard) than a problem with the hotel however it’s an unfortunate one.

80 pairs of shoes shangri la london shard views

The bed was super comfy and as this hotel is more of a destination type hotel we spent the day enjoying the views of London and also plane spotting from the comfort of our bed.  The views of London are incredible – you have to visit just to see the view over London.

80 pairs of shoes shangri la london shard view bedroom

Mother Nature also provided some beautiful rainbows on Saturday which I just have to share!

80 pairs of shoes shangri la london shard view of london rainbow

Or if you wanted too there was a rather large TV to watch; along with the Coffee Machine that G had a fight with this morning!  The Coffee Machine won!

80 pairs of shoes shangri la london shard tv coffee machine

This is the controversial carpet that everyone keeps talking about (and more importantly my new shoes).

80 pairs of shoes shangri la london the shard carpet

Our room was right on the corner of The Shard and something we didn’t really notice until we headed to bed was actually how noisy the room was due to the wind and once again it’s purely due to the design of the building unfortunately.  Even though we were 47 floors above the ground we could still hear the sirens, trains coming in and out of the station and the wind really did howl which didn’t make falling asleep easy.

At 2359hrs just as I was almost slipping into a deep sleep, the alarm sounded and woke us up saying that there might be a possibility that The Shard had to be evacuated and they were investigating a problem.  For 20 minutes the alarm went off continuously with the same message; thank goodness we didn’t have to evacuate.  By the time it was turned off, I was in a slight panic and was in bed wearing my jeans and with my shoes right by my bed just incase we had to walk down 47 flights of stairs (I had an afternoon tea booking on Sunday so the exercise was probably needed!).  Unfortunately, the howling wind and the alarm caused my body way too much stress and set off my IBS and needless to say I had very little sleep.  This was my second evacuation alarm at a hotel in ten days so I should be use to them by now!

As I was heading into the shower this morning, G thought it was a good idea to lift the blinds.  After working out that we could see into the neighbours room, I instantly thought they could probably see into ours.  Needless to say I told G to put the blinds back down again FAST!

We didn’t eat breakfast at the hotel as I needed to get my feet on solid ground and get some fresh air.

On check out we pointed out a few issues with the room which they wanted to hear about as it helps the hotel fix things so it doesn’t become an ongoing problem.  The Shangri-La London then provided us with a discount which we were surprised about as we didn’t expect this at all.

We had booked in for Afternoon Tea in the Lounge and this has to be the only service issue that we had for our entire stay.  The service was dreadful and it is mainly because they were understaffed and they admitted this to us.  We waited for 1.5 hours for our Afternoon Tea to arrive however I will write about the full experience of Afternoon Tea at The Shangri-La London on Wednesday so you can see what little sweet treats you are in for!

80 pairs of shoes shangri la london the shard afternoon tea

The Shangri-La London is everything you would expect from a Shangri-La property – simple elegance.  I have read that some people have found it to be uninspiring however I think the whole hotel chain has an understated elegance which is apparent if you visit any other of the Shangri-La Hotels around the world.  We only had the one service issue which was during Afternoon Tea however the rest of the service was some of the best I have experienced in London.

80 pairs of shoes shangri la london the shard simple style

The hotel isn’t fully operational as yet; the pool and bar areas are still closed and a number of rooms are not completed so building work is still ongoing.

I’m not too sure if this will become one of London’s Iconic Luxury Hotels but only time will tell.

What are you thoughts on this property?  Have you stayed?

P.S. Just in case you don’t know what The Shard is – here is a photo!

80 pairs of shoes shangri la london the shard exterior


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