The Hotel Edit #1: Our Stay At The Shangri-La Hotel At The Shard
I have wanted to write this post for so long now. There are a variety of reasons why it's taken me so long. One of which is the events that happened during our stay, which I will write about in my next blog post. This post however is to share the fantastic stay we had at The Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard to celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary back in May.
As it was our fifth wedding anniversary and my turn to host (we take turns each year to arrange something special for our anniversary) I wanted to arrange something extra special. Unfortunately my PHD exams got in the way (We had a lovely day in Chelsea - see my blog posts here and here) and so I decided to take the opportunity to plan something extra special a few days later. I had seen beautiful pictures of the Shard hotel, and in particular it's pool, and decided to throw caution to the wind and book it.
On the day we decided to arrive earlier than check-in to make the most of the amazing view. We were allowed passes up to the skypool on the 52nd floor. And what a view...
The pool area was just stunning. With an amazing infinity pool overlooking the beautiful city of London. There were staff there to hand you towels as you stepped out the pool and fetch you drinks from the GONG bar next door should you so wish. There was complementary coffee and water and even sofas to relax on. Seriously, heaven in the sky.
We didn't have time to sample the pool before our celebratory afternoon tea and so we just sat and enjoyed the view and a drink for a while.
Although we of course came back and made the most of the pool after our tea. I tried for ages to get that 'magic' shot of us on the edge of the pool that you'll find on IG. It's really not that easy to do, let me tell you. So this one had to do...
We spent the whole afternoon relaxing by the pool before we headed back to our room to continue enjoying the view. Ah, but I mentioned afternoon tea didn't I...
We had a wonderful afternoon tea at TING lounge in the hotel, with guess what.... more STUNNING views. Luckily TING don't rest on their view to impress, the afternoon tea itself was delicious too.
We had the prefect day for it, with beautiful blue skies, and a gorgeous view, this time in the other direction over Tower Bridge towards the East of the city.
The tea really was delicious, and fully refillable (except for champagne of course) which I always find a mark of good afternoon tea. The vegetarian sandwiches were inventive and not just more of the usually offering as in some places. The service was good, if a bit slow, but the staff were lovely.
I haven't tried Aqua at the Shard for afternoon tea (yet) but from what I've heard from others, TING looks to be far superior. There is even a wonderful little touch about 'tea in the clouds' that I don't want to spoil for you in case you visit, but was a lovely end to the tea. I'm already dreaming about when I can go back.
We ordered lots of extras and then asked to take them away (another mark of a good afternoon tea when they let you do this) which we took back to our room...
Now the room... I had high expectations having IG'd and Pinterested the life out of the hotel. And I wasn't disappointed.
Because we checked in early we missed out on the 'big reveal'. Apparently (aka according to all the reviews I read in anticipation) when you enter your room someone usually opens the blinds as you step in. To be fair I think walking in to this view on show was just as spectacular.
I paid a bit extra to have a 'city view room' as opposed to one looking to the south over Kent (seriously who stays in the shard to see Kent?) and it was so worth it. This view of St Paul's was just breathtaking.
The room was obviously to a really high standard. There were lots of lovely little extras and touches like the little box of chocolates in the picture above, a posh coffee machine and every type of drinking glass you could need. Some of the unusual features included a TV in the bathroom mirror and a heated toilet seat that vibrates!
The hotel knew we were staying for our anniversary and this little cake arrived to the room for us to celebrate (alongside all the cake we took from TING). Andrew has arranged for me to have a massage and I was escorted to a room in the hotel which had been altered to accommodate some massage tables. It's a shame I couldn't quite see the view during the treatment but the massage was lovely and relaxing.
We had planned to go to Borough market for dinner, but instead decided to buy some treats from the supermarket and stay in the room to enjoy the view instead (a choice that may actually have saved our lives, but more on that in the next post).
The view over London as the sunset was spectacular and one I will not forget. Unfortunately the night turned into one I will not forget for unimaginable reasons. But we had the most wonderful day in The Shangri-La at The Shard and I hope to experience it all again one day...