This London Property Has the Highest Hotel Pool in Western Europe — and It's Located Inside One of the City's Most Famous Skyscrapers

Shangri-La The Shard, London, has floor-to-ceiling windows with panoramic views in every room, and you can't beat its prime location.

this london property has the highest hotel pool in western europe — and it's located inside one of the city's most famous skyscrapers

Courtesy of Shangri-La London

In a city full of wonderful luxury hotels, Shangri-La The Shard stands out. Housed inside one of London’s most famous skyscrapers — The Shard, the tallest building in the United Kingdom — the hotel offers some of the most incredible views of the city from its rooms and restaurants. The unique experience of sleeping inside a London landmark is made all the better thanks to attentive service, a great all-day restaurant and swanky bar, and the highest pool in Western Europe. I visited the hotel for drinks and afternoon tea when I lived in London, but I finally checked in to sleep among the clouds this May as the hotel kicked off its 10-year anniversary celebrations, complete with new experiences and festive food and beverage offerings.

Located in Southwark near London Bridge, the hotel is just a short walk from can’t-miss sights like Tower Bridge, Shakespeare’s Globe, and Tate Modern. The ever-bustling Borough Market, known for its wide range of vendors selling everything from fancy donuts to local cheese, is just a block away.  And of course, thanks to the floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows found throughout the hotel (even in the bathrooms), you can see all the rest of London so you can plot out your adventures from above.

Read on for our review of Shangri-La The Shard, London.

Shangri-La The Shard, London

  • The hotel has a unique position in one of London's most iconic landmarks.
  • Floor-to-ceiling windows in every room offer incredible views.
  • Gong is known for delightful sushi and excellent cocktails.
  • A celebratory 10-year anniversary afternoon tea featuring London-themed desserts is available at Ting.
  • Don't miss the sweeping views from the highest pool in Western Europe.

this london property has the highest hotel pool in western europe — and it's located inside one of the city's most famous skyscrapers

Elizabeth Rhodes/Travel + Leisure

The Rooms

All 202 rooms and suites offer sweeping views of London and beyond. From the entry-level Superior Shard Room to the 2,000-square-foot Shangri-La Suite, guests can expect luxe details like marble bathrooms with heated floors and sleek, upscale decor that puts the unbeatable views front and center. Room types vary by size, amenities, and views, so read the description if you’re hoping to book a view with a room of a specific London landmark, like Tower Bridge.

this london property has the highest hotel pool in western europe — and it's located inside one of the city's most famous skyscrapers

Courtesy of Shangri-La London

I could spot St. Paul’s Cathedral, Big Ben, and even the London Eye, a trifecta of iconic London sights from my room. Even better was watching the city light up at night from my bathtub, where a rose petal-covered bubble bath was drawn while I was at dinner.  A Nespresso machine, Jo Loves toiletries, universal plugs, and a pair of binoculars to admire the skyline were among my favorite in-room amenities.

this london property has the highest hotel pool in western europe — and it's located inside one of the city's most famous skyscrapers

Elizabeth Rhodes/Travel + Leisure

Food and Drink

Ting is the main restaurant at Shangri-La The Shard, serving breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner. For breakfast, guests can choose from a la carte selections or the expansive buffet, which includes both Western and Asian options and an impressive selection of fresh fruits, pastries, and more. A la carte and set menu meals are available at lunch and dinner, again featuring a combination of locally inspired and Asian-influenced dishes to suit any palate; highlights include signature hai san xao seafood noodles, vegan mapo tofu, and A5 wagyu sirloin.

Afternoon tea at Ting is a must; I came here for afternoon tea on special occasions when I lived in London. The restaurant has offered several themed afternoon teas throughout the years; right now, it’s celebrating the hotel’s 10th anniversary with the new A Decade in the Clouds afternoon tea, featuring tasty finger sandwiches (the truffle egg and cress sandwich was my favorite), warm scones, and London-themed pastries and sweets, including the sharable Shard-shaped dessert. A vegan set is available, too, as are mocktails for those looking for a nonalcoholic pairing beyond the tea.

The hotel is also home to three bars: Bar 31 on the ground floor, Sky Lounge on floor 34, and Gong on floor 52. The highest hotel bar in Western Europe offers some predictably amazing views of London and delightfully inventive and unique cocktails. Gong also features a sushi and small plates menu; I recommend reserving just before sunset to grab a couple of drinks and a sharing plate.

this london property has the highest hotel pool in western europe — and it's located inside one of the city's most famous skyscrapers

Courtesy of Shangri-La London

Activities and Amenities

Claiming the highest hotel pool in Western Europe, Shangri-La The Shard offers incredible views from the infinity Sky Pool and the Sky Sauna. The Sky Pool is worth a dip; guests should note that booking a free time slot is required, and there are specific children’s swimming times during the day. The Sky Gym is also located on the same floor.

The hotel also offers several experiences in-house and nearby, like the cocktail and sushi-making class held at Gong Bar.

Family-friendly Offerings

There are several interconnecting room options at Shangri-La The Shard, so families can spread out and enjoy spotting some of the city’s famous landmarks from the windows. Kids can also enjoy free or discounted meals at hotel restaurants with paying adults who are part of the Shangri-La Circle loyalty program (more on that below). Ting offers a children’s menu with favorites like fish and chips, stir-fried noodles, and more.

this london property has the highest hotel pool in western europe — and it's located inside one of the city's most famous skyscrapers

Philip Reed/Shangri-La London

Sustainability and Accessibility 

Accessible rooms are available, and all restaurant and bar areas are accessible. Staff are trained to assist guests with disabilities, and the hotel welcomes service animals and provides amenities for them.

On the sustainability front, the hotel works to source food and other sustainably produced items locally. Large-format in-room amenities also help to reduce single-use plastics on the property.

this london property has the highest hotel pool in western europe — and it's located inside one of the city's most famous skyscrapers

Philip Reed/Shangri-La London

Location

As we’ve mentioned, Shangri-La The Shard is located across 18 floors of the iconic Shard skyscraper in Southwark. This neighborhood on the south bank of the Thames is home to some of the city’s most iconic sights, including Shakespeare’s Globe, Tate Modern, and the always-buzzing Borough Market (a must-visit to browse all the delicious treats and food products). The famous Tower Bridge (not to be mistaken for the far less impressive London Bridge) is a 15-minute walk away. The hotel is a short walk from the London Bridge railway and underground stations, making accessing other parts of the city easy via public transport. Heathrow Airport is about 45 minutes to an hour and 45 minutes away by car, depending on traffic.

Note that because The Shard is a notable landmark, a security check is required to enter the building on the ground floor.

How to Get the Most Value Out of Your Stay 

Rates start at about $713 per night for an entry-level room at Shangri-La The Shard. Join the (free) Shangri-La Circle, Shangri-La’s hotel loyalty program, to get the most out of your stay. The program has four levels (Gold, Jade, Diamond, and invite-only Polaris), and just like other loyalty programs, the more you stay, the more perks you can enjoy. But you can still get some great benefits even if you’ve never stayed at a Shangri-La hotel before, including special member deals, free meals for kids under seven years old, and the ability to earn points to use at other fabulous luxury hotels worldwide. American Express Platinum Card holders can also score exclusive benefits when they book via Fine Hotels + Resorts on the Amex travel site.

Read the original article on Travel & Leisure.

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