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“Oh Dear!”

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Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London
Ranked #65 of 1,067 Hotels in London
Certificate of Excellence
London
Level Contributor
185 reviews
64 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 253 helpful votes
“Oh Dear!”
Reviewed 1 June 2014

Birthdays are a huge deal in our house. Living in London, the thought of spending a small fortune on a night in a London hotel is nothing short of extravagant. However staying at the Shangri La in the Shard was expected to be an unforgettable experience for my birthday and so it was but for all the wrong reasons.
We rocked up at 2.30 to be advised the room would not be ready until 3pm, official check in time. No problem, we toddled off to Borough Market, my husbands favourite place in London. We returned at 3.30pm to be advised that the room was still not ready and remained not ready until 4pm. Now staying at this hotel is all about the view, therefor at the very least and not forgetting this is a new hotel, one would expect clean windows. The interior windows were filthy with large greasy marks all over them. The member of staff showing us the room immediately blamed the Shard. Apparently they were in charge of cleaning the outside windows but the issue as I pointed out was the inside windows which were the responsibility of the hotel. We advised the staff member that we were leaving the hotel in an hours time and would not be back until late. Perhaps the windows could be cleaned before we returned. They were not!
The room was nicely furnished with some great touches, binoculars, freshly brewed tea in a leather basket, great bath products. However in a brand new hotel one expects movies on demand and a greater selection of channels. The bath was positioned behind a open shower so that if one person was in the bath and another was showering the person in the bath would get soaked from the shower. Equally to fill the bath took 25 mins.
We returned at midnight to find the windows still smeary and untouched but someone had thoughtfully left two condoms by the bed!!!!! Is this some kind of hotel policy to replace night time poems or chocolates with Durex, we wondered? We have stayed in Shangri La hotels all over Asia and first, second and third class hotels all over the world, right down to a tin shack in Peru and not once have we encountered such a disgraceful occurrence.
As we were both exhausted we decided to deal with the issue in the morning however at 4am we were awoken by a very loud announcement that the hotel may have to be evacuated, please await further instructions". This was on a 30 second loop. Neither my husband or I said a word to each other but rather like a scene from Modern Family and with complete co ordination we threw our belongings into our bags and dressed tout suit. Being on the 47th floor of a prime terrorist target with alarms ringing was suddenly very unappealing. The staff at reception looked equally as terrified as us but valiantly offered tea to anyone who fancied hanging out on the 35th floor. We descended to the ground floor and amazingly found only one other couple there. A charming Californian couple, he was a bomb disposal expert. You meet the most interesting people at that time in the morning, or so it would appear. Quite frankly we and they were amazed that no body else had thought it at the very least prudent to exit the building. It turned out to be a faulty smoke detector but by the time this news had filtered through to us we were more than half way home and feeling just a little rattled. Now obviously faulty smoke detectors happen and false alarms happen but the staff seemed totally untrained for this event and unfortunately for all concerned the reality is that this building is a potential target and therefor staff training for such an event is paramount. As you can imagine, this is one birthday that we will never forget but for all the wrong reasons.
In conclusion, management has been advised of the catalogue of errors that happened before the alarm scenario, how they handle the situation will be the true test of not just Shangri La London but the Shangri La brand.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
36 Thank fleetoffoot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 1 June 2014

The views from this hotel are absolutely amazing and you have to pinch yourself that they are real. It's like sitting in an aeroplane but having and time to absorb the sites of London and where they are in relation to each another. We had a great room overlooking the The Tower of London and Tower Bridge...lovely bath, shower and state of the art loo with built in bidet, heated seats and deodoriser !! The rooms are lovely- comfy beds and gorgeous linens..but two issues...firstly, what designer would place a huge TV and cabinet RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE VIEW and blocking it from when you lie on the bed ? Secondly ( and this has been well documented) you can see other guests lying in their beds because of the reflections from the glass and the thin mirrors that run down each pillar. My daughter spent her morning commenting on other guests " doing naked yoga on their bed !!" A word of warning- book your space in the lounge and bar because we were initially turned away from both,which were filled with non residents sipping cocktails and having afternoon tea. We only got a table when I complained that , as guests, we had no where to go ! We ate at Ting - the food was nice and the staff very pleasant, but make sure you book.The breakfasts are extortionate in price in comparison to dinner ( £38 for English Breakfast with Borough Market on the ground floor ? Really? ) Overall, an amazing experience but a few issues still need ironing out.

Room Tip: Chose the highest level- floor 50
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Fiona H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ShangriLaLondon, General Manager at Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London, responded to this review, 3 June 2014
Dear Fiona H,

Thank you for your review. I am pleased that your overall experience staying with us was “amazing” but I am disappointed to know that you experienced some issues during your stay.

I have shared your comments with our management team so that those issues that we were not aware of can be addressed immediately.

I hope that we may be able to welcome you back to our hotel in the not so distant future.

Best regards,

Darren

Darren Gearing
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
106 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 May 2014

We visited the Coffee shop on the ground floor of this Hotel which is open to Non Residents. The welcome and service was excellent. The coffee, the best my husband has tasted so far in England and the Hot Chocolate a chocolate wonder with it's wafer of gold lettering on the chocolate floating on the top to gently melt. It was yummy!! Also we were given a plate with 4 small biscuits on it which were lovely. The toilets were very clean even with a heated toilet seat and hand towels. Excellent visit.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank NZcouple_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ShangriLaLondon, General Manager at Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London, responded to this review, 3 June 2014
Dear NZcouple_12,

Thank you for your review. I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed your visit to Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London and in particular the coffee and hot chocolate in LANG. I will make sure to pass on your kind words to the team.

I look forward to welcoming you back in the future.

Kindest of regards,

Darren
Darren Gearing
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
32 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 May 2014 via mobile

Amazing property where it's all about the view. The staff look good but lack experience, training and real concern for guest comfort.

An orientation on arrival would be a good idea.

If you stay, you MUST get a reservation if you expect to eat or drink! We didn't. We weren't advised to.

Hopefully in 6 months the staff will have grown into their roles, the management will have stepped up and the guest will become number 1 priority rather than their image.

Without the guest experience being improved, the view is not worth the money.

Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
6 Thank beefeater34
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ShangriLaLondon, General Manager at Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London, responded to this review, 3 June 2014
Dear beefeater34,

Thank you for sharing your feedback with us. I am deeply sorry to hear that you had a less than favourable experience with us at Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London.

I have shared your comments with our management team so that they can be addressed immediately. We truly believe in providing excellent service, and I really hope to invite you back in the near future so we can show you our unique Asian hospitality.

Kind regards,

Darren
Darren Gearing
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chessington, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
514 reviews
208 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 186 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 May 2014

We arrived about 2:40 and were greeted downstairs and taken to the 35th floor to check in. We were then asked to sit in reception whilst they checked whether our room was ready. After about 20 minutes, we asked and were told that the room would be another half hour and were taken to Ting for a complimentary glass of champagne, which turned into an additional beer and tea/coffee and biscuits (all complimentary) until our room was finally ready at about 4:00.

We had booked a Deluxe City View and were shown to a corner room, 5704, with stunning views over Tower Bridge and Docklands. It was large with an extremely comfortable bed, TV, table, chairs, desk, proper fridge-type minibar and a kettle and Nespresso machine. The decor was smart and neutral, but wasn’t competing with the floor to ceiling views. Unfortunately, we were not told that there was tea in the leather case which was left on the desk, so we didn't discover it until the next morning! The Wi-Fi was excellent: very fast, no login required and worked everywhere. However, we couldn’t work out the air conditioning in the morning – even at 15 degrees it was still blowing out hot air!
The bathroom was a reasonable size, with a shower cubicle, Japanese-style toilet and separate bath overlooking London. It was supposed to have a heated floor but ours didn’t seem to work.
The turn down service left us a second bottle of water, which was very welcome, but no chocolates.
The blackout blinds were very effective, but without them at night we had the problem of being able to see into other rooms above and below us, which the hotel didn't warn us about (although we had read about it in the media). It did mean we couldn’t enjoy a bath with the view, but it is hard to see what the hotel can actually do about it.

We had booked a table in the bar, Gong, at 10:15 – the only time available – and were given a great seat by the window. The service was good, although the gents were served their beer before the ladies their champagne and we had to ask for nibbles! No hot drinks were available yet, as they had only been open a few days.
The gym wasn’t open yet, but we had a quick look, and it seemed small but well equipped. There are a few anomalies though, like the cheap plastic wall mounted soap dispenser in the ladies, which hardly looks like a five star fitting.
Breakfast was included in our package, and we went down about 9:30. Service was quite slow, which wasn’t a problem for us, but it was about 45 minutes until we got our main courses, which were both very tasty.
Overall, we really enjoyed our stay, and the views are stunning from all angles. Service was very friendly, if a little slow, and will hopefully improve with time.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank PotterMoose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ShangriLaLondon, General Manager at Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London, responded to this review, 29 May 2014
Dear PotterMoose,

Thank you for your recent review. I am pleased to hear that you enjoyed your overall stay but I am disappointed that you experienced some slow service issues.

We hope to welcome you back to Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London soon.

Kind regards,

Darren

Darren Gearing
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
25 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 May 2014 via mobile

Unlike some of the previous reviews, I really could not fault our experience this afternoon! The service was second to none, we were constantly asked if we'd like more food - which was then delivered to the table straight away! The food was lovely - especially the cakes! The views (obviously) were incredible and I can't wait to return! Thank you to the Staff that were on duty this afternoon for such a lovely experience - you made us feel very special!

Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
8 Thank suesutton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ShangriLaLondon, General Manager at Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London, responded to this review, 5 June 2014
Dear suesutton,

Thank you for your kind review. I am delighted to know that you had such a great Afternoon Tea experience here at the Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London during your recent visit and I will pass on your praise to the team.

We look forward to welcoming you back very soon!

Kind regards,

Darren - Darren Gearing, General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 May 2014

we spent Bank Holiday Sunday night at the Shangri-La. we arrived at 3pm (this was the time that we were told that we would be able to get into our room), Unfortunately our room was not ready and so we left our luggage and went in search of a pub. We returned at 4.30 and we were shown to our room on the 46th floor. The room was quite small but beautifully furnished and the view was amazing overlooking the HMS Belfast, Tower Bridge and the Tower of London. The binoculars that they supply are really useful. We did not have a bath but a shower which is fine for us. there was a TV in the bathroom mirror which was very cool and even a remote control for the loo! (will not go into details but well worth a go!!) I had booked a table at the Gong cocktail lounge on the 52nd floor, people were queuing to get a table and so its essential to book before you go. I had 2 very nice cocktails which were expensive but no more so than the price you would pay for at any other cocktail lounges in London. I was unable to get a table at any of the restaurants in the shard and so we had to go out for dinner. The view from our room at night was amazing and i found myself not being able to sleep as i kept looking out of the window. There were electronic blinds you could use but we chose to keep them open. The breakfast was lovely although the service was a bit slow it didn't matter as we were in no hurry. Everyone we had dealings with over the 2 days were extremely friendly, polite and went out of their way to make our stay memorable, which it was. Would definitely like to return when the swimming pool and gym are open.

Room Tip: room 4603 has really good views of Tower Bridge and the Tower of London.
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank LesleyVU
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ShangriLaLondon, General Manager at Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London, responded to this review, 29 May 2014
Dear LesleyVu,

Thank you for taking the time to review Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London.

I am pleased that your overall stay was enjoyable and I apologise that your room was not ready upon your arrival.

We look forward to welcoming you back once the pool is open.

Kind regards,

Darren

Darren Gearing
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London

Property: Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London
Address: 31 St Thomas Street, London SE1 9QU, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > London > Southwark , London Bridge
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #65 of 1,067 Hotels in London
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London 5*
Number of rooms: 202
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
London's first elevated luxury hotel - starting at 125 metres high - Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London occupies levels 34 to 52 of The Shard, Western Europe's tallest building. Situated in London's most historic areas, Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London is in close proximity to the financial hubs of the City and Canary Wharf as well as key tourist attractions such as Tate Modern, the Tower of London, St. Paul's Cathedral and Borough Food Market. The hotel offers 202 guest rooms and suites throughout levels 36 and 50, all with unparalleled views across London. Three signature Shangri-La wining and dining venues and three river-facing event spaces on level 34. Level 52 is home to London's highest bar alongside the hotel's infinity Skypool and 24-hour gym. ... more   less 
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