London's most anticipated hotel opened today, as Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts opens its first property in the United Kingdom.
Celebrating Shangri-La’s Asian heritage, the hotel’s opening ceremony began with the traditional ‘awakening of the lion’ and a colourful dance procession, which was followed by the official ribbon cutting led by Mayor of London Boris Johnson. The Mayor was joined by Lord and Lady Coe and international dignitaries.
Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London is the Hong Kong-based hotel group’s 83rd hotel and third in Europe, following the openings of Shangri-La Hotel, Paris and Shangri-La Bosphorus, Istanbul in 2010 and 2013, respectively.
Located in the tallest building in Western Europe on floors 34 to 52, Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London is the city’s first high-rise hotel. Offering unrivalled views of London in every direction, and overlooking such landmarks as the Houses of Parliament, Tower of London and St. Paul’s Cathedral, the hotel is also the first luxury property to open south of the River Thames and is conveniently positioned minutes from The City of London.
“The sweeping views from Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard provide an entirely new perspective on London," says Shangri-La President and CEO Greg Dogan. "It is a spectacular setting in which to introduce our signature Asian-inspired hospitality to the U.K.
"The master architect Renzo Piano had amazing vision with his design of The Shard. We’ve created a unique hotel that complements the iconic building and makes the most of the 360-degree view of London.”
The spire-shaped, glass-clad Shard is a 306-metre-high 'vertical city' located on the historic South Bank of the River Thames. The modern building provides the perfect foil for the hotel’s elegant, contemporary design, which drew inspiration from the rich cultural offerings of London’s vibrant art, fashion and entertainment scene and Shangri-La’s Asian heritage.
Every one of the hotel’s 202 guestrooms and suites has a view, and the rooms are amongst the largest in London, averaging more than 42 square metres (452 square feet). They feature Chinese art reinterpreted in a modern, abstract way alongside a soothing colour scheme and mood lighting. All offer the exclusive 'Shangri-La Bed' featuring patented body-contouring technology, marble-clad bathrooms with heated floors and Acqua di Parma amenities. Complimentary Internet access, one of Shangri-La’s signature offerings worldwide, is available throughout the hotel, and butler service is offered in all suites.
The hotel’s Asian touches extend to its three wining and dining destinations. Tīng (derived from the Chinese word for a living room) serves locally sourced cuisine with a hint of Asian flavours in the restaurant and authentic Asian specialities and two unique afternoon teas in the lounge. Láng is a patisserie and artisan deli on the ground floor showcasing a selection of Shangri-La signature cakes and savouries for eat-in or take-away along with seasonal hampers.
The third, Gŏng, London’s highest champagne and cocktail bar, will launch 19 May 2014. Gŏng takes its name from 'dougong' – an ancient Chinese structural element of interlocking wooden brackets that will be a component of the bar’s interior. Gŏng is located on Level 52, which is also home to the 24-hour gym and London’s highest infinity pool, which will open this summer.
For intimate celebrations, private cocktail gatherings and luxury product launches, the hotel’s three river-facing event spaces offer a London event experience like no other. Located on Level 34, they are connected to the sky lobby by a grand staircase with a vista of St. Paul’s Cathedral and beyond.
The venues accommodate from 10 to 140 people, and the entire 34th floor may be requested for a standing reception of up to 200 guests. Spectacular views from 125 metres above the city complement the state-of-the-art conferencing technology and tailor-made catering services.
“Today marks an important milestone in London’s hotel landscape and the ongoing development of the South Bank Community and the borough of Southwark. We are thrilled to open our doors and be an integral part of this local community. We look forward to welcoming guests from all over the world and to delivering Shangri-La’s legendary hospitality from the heart to each and every guest,” said Darren Gearing, executive vice president and hotel general manager of Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London.