Shangri-La London to Open in May

It's official! Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts has finally announced that the Shangri-La Hotel At The Shard, London will open May 6.

We've been eager to see this hotel since we heard where it will be located—right on the South Bank of the River Thames in the 1,004-foot-high glass-clad Shard. The hotel will be the Hong Kong-based hotel group’s third in Europe, following debuts in Paris in 2010 and Istanbul in 2013. 

It will also be the tallest hotel in Western Europe and the first high-rise hotel in London: The Shangri-La takes up levels 34 to 52 of the 72-story Shard. (You want top views of the city? Look no further. This place has floor-to-ceiling windows all the way around, including double-length windows in the lobby.)       

When they arrive, guests will enter the building in a dedicated entrance on St. Thomas Street before heading up in a high-speed elevator to the sky lobby on level 35. (Nice touch: A selection of artwork from from Asian and British artists will be showcased throughout the hotel's public areas.) 

The hotel’s 202 guestrooms and suites will take up levels 36 to 50 and are some of the largest in London (think 323 to 2,024 square feet). Because of The Shard’s spiral shape, each of the rooms and suites has a unique layout and design. There will be some consistent elements, though: We mentioned the floor-to-ceiling windows, and there will also be heated floors in the bathrooms and  mirrors with TV screens built-in. (For those who really don't want to miss out on the views, be sure to ask for bathrooms that look out over the city.) 

Deluxe, Premier and Grand Premier guestrooms and suites offer northerly views toward the City and top landmarks. Superior guestrooms and suites look south and toward Kent, Surrey and Sussex. 

In September, the hotel will unveil its three signature suites, which will all look out over St. Paul’s Cathedral, Tower Bridge and down river toward the O2 Arena. Then there's the Shangri-La Suite on level 39, which has 180-degree views of the Palace of Westminster, Big Ben, the Tower of London and the River Thames (with Canary Wharf, Tate Modern, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and Maritime Greenwich all visible). 

Three river-facing event spaces on level 34 also offer top views.  The largest of the venues, Ren, can accommodate up to 140 guests; the other two, Yi and Li, can hold up to 10 and 35 guests, respectively. 

For foodies, the hotel will have three "wining and dining" options. GŎNG, London’s highest bar on level 52, takes its name from 'dougong' – an ancient Chinese structural element of interlocking wooden brackets that will be a component of the bar’s interior. TÎNG, derived from the Chinese word for a living room, is the signature restaurant and lounge on level 35 and LÁNG – the Chinese word for 'pathway' – is a deli on the ground floor.  Level 52 will also have a 24-hour gym and London’s highest infinity pool. (Good to know: Along with GŎNG, level 52 will open from July 1.)