The highly anticipated opening of Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts’ first property in the United Kingdom—the Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London—has arrived. And it doesn’t fail to live up to its expectations.

Located in the tallest building in Western Europe (the 1,004-foot-high Shard opened to the public in February 2013), the hotel is situated on floors 34 to 52 of the tower, and, as such, is considered the city’s first high-rise hotel. The spire-shaped, glass-clad Shard is located on the historic South Bank of the River Thames.

The views of London from all 202 of the hotel’s rooms and suites are from every direction (see photo of the Skyview Lounge), overlooking such famous landmarks as the Houses of Parliament, Tower of London, and St. Paul’s Cathedral.

“The sweeping views from Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, provide an entirely new perspective on London. It is a spectacular setting in which to introduce our signature Asian-inspired hospitality to the U.K.,” said Shangri-La President and CEO Greg Dogan. “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 substantive rooms offer the exclusive “Shangri-La Bed” with 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 food and beverage outlets, Tîng, Láng, and Gŏng. 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 meeting and events, the hotel’s three river-facing event spaces are located on Level 34, and 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 booked for a reception of up to 200 guests.

For more, visit www.shangri-la.com.

 

One Among Many New Event Spaces

 

Another highly anticipated opening in London is that of the IWM London, the flagship venue for Imperial War Museums, which will re-open in July. With a spectacular new atrium designed by architecture firm Norman Foster, known for its pioneering concepts, the venue will feature a hanging gallery in the rooftop providing dramatic views of the floors beneath. Groups can rent space in the new venue.

In Soho, Firmdale Hotels will open the Ham Yard Hotel in June. Its event spaces will include a 175-seat theatre with a stage and VIP balcony, several exclusive private event spaces, a four-lane 1960s-style bowling alley, and a restaurant and bar surrounding a leafy garden.

The award-winning Hoxton Hotel chain, now with a property in east London, sees the opening of its first central London venue this summer. The new site in Holborn features 174 guest rooms. Just like its Shoreditch sister, the meeting and events space, named The Apartment, is a collection of individually designed meeting rooms set around a chic, open-plan kitchen.

In the heart of the City of London, Jason Atherton’s City Social recently opened its doors. The venue, which seats 90, features art deco–style interiors against the backdrop of London’s skyline from its location on the 24th floor. The focal point of the venue is the freestanding, dramatic black-and-steel open kitchen in the center of the dining room, where guests can dine at the chef’s table while watching the kitchen team at work.

etc.venues’ latest offer, 155 Bishopsgate, a contemporary conference and exhibition space is also now open. Located next to Liverpool Street station, it offers three conference suites, with the largest accommodating up to 550 people.

 

Also new and noteworthy:

 

• In May, the Maybourne Hotel Group saw the opening of Fera at Claridge’s with chef Simon Rogan taking on the mantle from Gordon Ramsay.

• Luxury hotel group The Doyle Collection introduces London’s largest townhouse suite at The Kensington Hotel, which offers guests spacious apartment-style accommodation. 

• At Lancaster London, the hotel has a new Senses Room and Chef’s Table, which takes guests behind the scenes into its refurbished kitchens. Following a kitchen tour, Chef’s Table guests are seated in the hotel’s Senses Room, which has large glass doors facing the technologically advanced kitchen of this leading banquet hotel.  

•  Central Hall Westminster—central London’s largest purpose-built conference venue—recently completed refurbishment work to create a new event space on the ground floor adjacent to the 200-seat public café. It offers natural light from a conservatory area and features previously hidden early 20th century vaulted ceilings.

For more information, visit London & Partners.