Sky-high sparkles

ROBERT UPE
Last updated 10:17 09/05/2014
Shangri-La London

IN THE CLOUDS: The Shangri-La hotel occupies levels 34 to 52 of The Shard.

Shangri-La London
TOP VIEWS: Shangri-La hotel, the Shard, London.

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Floor-to-ceiling windows with some of the best views of London are promised in the Shangri-La Hotel that opened in The Shard.

In what was one of the city's most keenly anticipated hotel openings, the Shangri-La occupies levels 34 to 52 of the 72-storey glass-clad skyscraper with an observation deck that has become a major tourist attraction since it opened last year.

The hotel has 202 guest rooms and suites with individual layouts, due to The Shard's angled architecture. But some things that will be standard include marble bathrooms with heated floors, and mirrors with integrated television screens.

The northern rooms are said to be best, with views of landmarks such as St Paul's Cathedral, Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and the Tower Bridge. But there's even better to come later in the year when the five-star hotel's Shangri-La suite opens with a 180-degree panorama taking in the key sites.

The hotel will have London's highest bar, Gong, on level 52, which will also be home to a 24-hour gym and London's highest infinity pool.

The interior includes an extensive collection of original artworks and a spectacular grand staircase sweeping across double-length floor-to-ceiling windows linking the lobby on levels 34 and 35. True to the Shangri-La's heritage, it also includes subtle Asian touches by Hong Kong-based interior designer Andre Fu.

The hotel will be the third in Europe for the Shangri-La group, following openings in Paris in 2010 and Istanbul in 2013. Last month, another Shangri-La hotel opened in Lhasa in Tibet.

Opening rates in London start at £450 (NZ$882) a room a night.

See shangri-la.com.

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