Between the removal of COVID travel restrictions and a close exchange rate between the US dollar and British pound right now, many Americans are heading to the UK in droves this year. London, in particular, is a prime choice for travelers visiting for both business and pleasure, as “wellness” travel shifts from the pandemic trend to integrating into the new normal.

Located in The Shard, a now iconic (and once divisive) skyscraper on the south side of the Thames and the tallest building in the UK at 309.6 meters (1,015.7ft) tall, the Shangri -The London has found itself at the heart of a number of pandemic travel trends, from staycations to digital nomads, and it is in a prime location to serve both tourists and business travelers close to the center financial hub of London as well as some of the city’s most famous landmarks including the Tower of London, St Paul’s Cathedral, Tate Modern and Borough Market.

Inside the bathroom of a luxury city view guest suite.

Philip Reed

The Shangri-La London has been able to remain open for most of the pandemic, outside of mandatory lockdown periods, particularly for domestic tourists and staycationers in 2020 and 2021. And while London has started to see a rebound in tourism this year (airport meltdowns aside), the demographics around who visits have changed dramatically this year, especially as Asia is only slowly reopening comings and goings now. Meanwhile, Shangri-La London management says it has welcomed increasing numbers of American tourists in recent months.

Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts has over 100 luxury hotels and resorts with over 40,000 rooms in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, North America and Australia since its launch in Singapore in 1971. The hospitality giant is now based in Hong Kong. First opened in 2014, the London site was Shangri-La’s first property in the UK, occupying the 34th to 52nd floors of Renzo Piano’s iconic skyscraper.

A great place for finance and tech digital nomads.

Courtesy of Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts

While each individual Shangri-La location is designed to incorporate local touches and customs, the hotel group strives to maintain a distinctive theme across all of its locations so that repeat guests develop a sense of place with each stay. This includes a signature scent of lotus and jasmine in the lobbies as well as signature music in the lobby and on the advertisement played on the in-room television upon arrival.

Lottie Fisher, deputy director of marketing and communications at Shangri-La London, explains that it all depends on what the hotel group can stand for in each location, between the brand’s heritage and the local culture of the hotel or resort. respective. And the results are subtle, without being overwhelming or kitsch.

Inside the sky pool at Shangri-La London.

Courtesy of Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts

And given its location in the City, London’s financial hub, it’s a prime location for business travellers. The hotel also hosts a number of corporate events on its 34th-floor Sky Terrace with great views of the River Thames. Local office workers make up the bulk of the clientele at Bar 31, the hotel’s all-day coffee bar on the ground floor, just outside London Bridge station. The casual restaurant serves pastries, pizzas, cocktails and more, and during the upcoming holiday season, the bar will set up chalet-style seating on the outdoor terrace, where guests can drink hot chocolate or mulled wine .

The Sauna, overlooking the London cityscape.

Philip Reed

Shangri-La actually moved to the ground floor, literally and figuratively, as the hotel group approached developers of The Shard when the now-iconic glass structure was already under construction. This made it easier for the hotel group to build more than 200 suites (each with a panoramic view — no interior rooms with courtyard views), an infinity pool, a fitness center, and three restaurants (and their huge kitchens) with more freedom.

Inside the fitness center at Shangri-La London.

Courtesy of Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts

In addition to Bar 31, the hotel has two on-site restaurants on the upper floors. TĪNG, on the 35th floor, serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, but the best reason to visit is for afternoon tea. The restaurant offers an extensive menu of teas from England and across Asia, including blends exclusive to Shangri-La. Customers shouldn’t miss the sandwiches and pastries, with vegan and vegetarian alternatives available. Servers elevate the experience with a special table experience, starting with a white chocolate replica of The Shard, on a tray filled with dry ice. When the waiter pours hot water over the ice, it creates a magical effect as clouds spread across the table.

The Shangri-La London is located between the 34th and 52nd floors of the iconic skyscraper designed by Renzo Piano.

Courtesy of Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts

Shangri-La also has a signature restaurant, Shang Palace, a fine dining establishment specializing in Cantonese cuisine, which is found in most Shangri-La hotels. The Paris site, in particular, is the only Michelin-starred Chinese restaurant in France. Open since 2011, Shangri-La Paris’ Shang Palace was Europe’s first outpost and has retained its Michelin star since 2012. While London doesn’t have a Shang Palace, it does have GŎNG, a Japanese restaurant on 52nd floor, with a very original and eclectic cocktail menu and an evening menu made up of a variety of sushi, gyoza and tempura.

Room rates vary throughout the year. Heading into the winter season, rates start at around $785 (£700) per night based on two people sharing a Premier Shard room on a room only basis.

Sign up for the Makeshift Features mailing list so you don’t miss our biggest features, exclusive interviews and surveys.