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“Brilliant views otherwise pretty ordinary”

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Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London
Ranked #62 of 1,078 Hotels in London
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 26 June 2014

It was lovely to be so high - we were on the 47th floor overlooking the river. But rooms look into each other .... at over £500 per night does one really expect that? Bathroom very average. Cramped shower. Strange design with wall between the windows and the bathroom creating a useless narrow passage in the bedroom area. Housekeeping standard appalling. Had to complain to front desk on several occasions and eventually resorted to calling the manager in. Booked lunch with friends who were excited to see hotel and views and we were put at a table with NO view! And told table could not be changed. Staff didn't seem to recognize guests even after 3 days ... So always looked at a bit suspiciously when at the lifts. Doorman on the ground floor always trying to stop you from entering despite the fact that you had greeted him on your way out!

Won't be staying here again.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Lychi C
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 reviewResponded 1 July 2014

Dear Lychi C,

Thank you for your recent review of our hotel. We too are saddened to hear of your disappointing stay. I would like to get in contact with you to ensure such issues are resolved, please would you provide your information by calling +44(0) 207 234 8187 or emailing claire.hepworth@shangri-la.com?

Kind regards,
Darren, Darren Gearing, General Manager

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Reviewed 24 June 2014

I booked this hotel as a surprise present for my husband's 60th birthday so was really hoping it was going to be special. My first impression was that the room was small (I had booked a deluxe city view room and was given room no. 4811) and for the money I paid I had hoped for something larger. There wasn't much room between the end of the bed and the desk and chair so you had to squeeze through, the other thing that was disappointing was that our room had one of the Shard's structural girder's in it (all beautifully boxed in of course) but it really obscured our view. We had three floor to ceiling windows and could really only see out of two unless you positioned yourself in a certain way. I had ordered a birthday cake to be in the room on arrival but it wasn't, despite a phone call earlier in the day (where I had been passed to four different people). My son went in search of it and it turned up about 15 minutes later.

Having said all that I thought the room, bathroom and rest of the hotel certainly had an air of luxury and we enjoyed it. The breakfast was served promptly and was very tasty, the only hitch being a request for a second cup of coffee which took a good 15 minutes to come because apparently the machine? had broken down! I agree with some of the other reviewers in that the hotel does still seem to have teething problems and maybe should be offering lower rates until everything is running smoothly (see my last paragraph!). It's also a real shame that the pool isn't open - again full price without the full facilities.

Our check out went smoothly but then things took a turn for the worse! We were told that one of the lifts was out of order and so were shown into the other lift with four others (a family of four). The lift doors closed and then our lift literally fell! It was terrifying! My hands are shaking just typing this. It jolted to a halt at floor 28 where it stayed moving and shaking for what seemed like ages although was probably more like one minute but that time was so frightening! My legs went to jelly and so did the other woman's. None of us knew what was happening and I'm sure the same thing was going through everyone's mind - was it going to carry on falling? All of a sudden the lift went straight back up to floor 35 and the doors opened. We all got out and were very shaken and went and sat down on the sofas by the reception desk. Phone calls were made saying that both lifts were now out of order. We were wondering how we would get down but quite frankly I wasn't in a hurry! After a while we were shown into the other lift and a member of staff came down with us, she could see how shaken we were. It was a truly awful experience and took me (and my husband) quite a while to calm down. It's one of those things where you keep going over it in your mind and thinking of what may have happened. We did have a lovely stay, such a shame that it ended like that!

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank daysaway1054
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 reviewResponded 27 June 2014

Dear lynles671162,

I appreciate you taking the time to review our hotel. I am saddened to hear that you experienced this problem upon check-out and I would like to get in contact with you personally, please would you provide your information by calling +44(0) 207 234 8187 or emailing claire.hepworth@shangri-la.com.

We hope that you will stay with us again.

Kind regards.

Darren

Darren Gearing, General Manager

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Reviewed 23 June 2014

I've stayed in many Shangri-La's in South East Asia and Australia so was delighted to see them open in London. As I live close by I will probably not have a reason to stay there but I visited today for Afternoon Tea with a friend in the Ting Lounge. I had made a reservation.

We walked there along the river and arrived a little early. The doorman was polite, helpful and friendly and once inside we were quickly shown to the lift. The impression of the hotel thus far was that it was well organised and immaculately clean.

The lift journey was rapid to the thirty fifth floor and we were greeted very politely again as we stepped out and shown to the Ting Lounge. I explained to the lady we met that we had a reservation but that we were a little early. She smiled, assured us it was no problem and showed us to a lovely table by the window.

Menus were brought swiftly which we perused and as we concluded which of the two tea options, traditional or Asian to have a member of staff appeared and took the order. The table was set quickly and pots of tea, hot water, jugs of milk, cups and tea strainers arrived quickly afterwards. There are a choice of about twelve teas on the menu. I had chosen the house afternoon blend which had just the right amount of freshness for me at that time of day.

Sandwiches, scones and cakes followed on quickly all of which were delicious and when offered a second round we were quick to accept.

Throughout the staff were helpful, professional and friendly in the discrete and understated way I expect when in a Shangri-La.

We left after about two hours, our expectations more than met, relaxed and refreshed and I look forward to visiting again soon.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank longhaulfromlondon
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 reviewResponded 25 June 2014

Dear longhaulfromlondon,

Thank you for your kind review. I am delighted that you enjoyed your recent visit to Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London with your friend.

I hope we will be able to welcome you back in the near future.

Kind regards,

Darren

Darren Gearing, General Manager

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Reviewed 23 June 2014

We love staying at new hotels hence why we booked our room as soon as the reservation line opened on the 19th of March for the opening weekend of Shangri-La the Shard. The reservation was reasonably smooth but the lack of photos of the rooms on the website is making booking a room like a gamble, you don’t know what you are going to get nor what your rooms might look like. Thought it was an issue because the hotel was not opened at the time (back in March) but it wasn’t really acceptable.

There weren’t any packages for the guests at the time of our booking but then we were able to change our stay to a “Romance in the Cloud Package” few days before our stay. However, the service was a shamble from then on. We tried to get more information about this package and the dinner option but no one ever bother to reply to us, how hard was it? All they need to do is to send out the PDF version of the menu or let us know what the options were, set menu or a la carte? All we got was silence until I spoke to the manager of the restaurant as I couldn’t get anything out of the front desk. We also tried to communicate via Twitter but whoever was in charge turned out to be extremely selective with what they reply to, only positive tweets would be responded to. What is the point having it if the company only chooses to be selective?

At the end I spoke to someone reasonably high up in the hotel and resolve the issues, but this was all unnecessary if the frontline will do what they were supposed to do.

The check in process was easy and we were taken up to the room by the concierge, who also showed us the room and notify a few things which weren’t working yet. Like the TV in the shower and some other stuff. I know it’s not something people book their rooms for but you would like to have the option to use those especially when you are paying a premium price. Because the room was really really small compare to the one we wanted so we got offered the next category but we would lose our City view, in exchange of more space. We took the option to change the room as I couldn’t believe that was the Iconic City View we have paid £850 for (or £600 for the room only), yes we have the view but the room was no bigger than a room in the Premier Inn. As we have 2 in-room massage treatments arranged there was no way we would have two massage beds squeezed into this room, one will have to be right by the front door which won’t be very romantic nor relaxing for the couple I believe. Dinner at the Ting Restaurant will be reviewed under the restaurant page as this review is only about the room.

The smoke alarm went off for 10 minutes around midnight and luckily we were still awake or it would be really annoying as we weren’t sure whether we should be leaving or staying as no information was given at all. At the end it was a false alarm and we later found out some guests got a discount because of this (through the reviews) but not us.

The new room was nice but it was a shame we lost the view were hoping to see (we got the view of Surrey and Canary Wharf instead). Breakfast in the room was nice and delicious, just as well it was included in our package as I could not justify paying £85 for 2 full English breakfast.

Overall it was a big disappointment for the stay. Many things weren’t ready, the swimming pool, the Gong Bar on the 52nd floor, the TV in the bathroom and others. It makes us feel like this place is far from ready to be opening this week, therefore they are still charging the guests the full price while it feels like a trial run. There were many areas need to be improved on, the communication between the staff and the guests, the staff attitude, the facilities should all have been looked at before the place was fully open to the public. I can understand the staff should be proud to work for their company, but what I have seen during the stay was more on the arrogance than pride.

What they should have done was to run a trial, charging guests at a lower prices while the hotel figures out what may go wrong so they can correct these issues before going into operation. It made us felt we actually paid the full price but getting the trial run service and never got to use any of those facilities which made the hotel special. Without a doubt, this place will be popular because of its location. But if things don’t improve they will be gambling with the Shangri-La brand and I would hate to see a 5 star hotel brand tainted simply because of one particular property of the chain.

Room Tip: The higher the floor the smaller the space it gets, so be careful if you want the view as you might...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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9  Thank Walkman88
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 reviewResponded 25 June 2014

Dear Walkman88,

Thank you for sharing your feedback with us. I am deeply sorry to hear that your stay with us was disappointing during the opening week and I have shared your comments with our management team.

We truly believe in providing excellent service, and I really hope to invite you back in the near future to make up for this.

Regards,

Darren

Darren Gearing, General Manager

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Reviewed 23 June 2014

I was meeting my fiancé at the hotel after 2 intercontinental flights. We were originally told our (deluxe) room would be ready "by 3pm" and they would ring us (it was 9am) but then a room suddenly appeared, so great start.

The room was beautiful, as were the views. We could have done with an explanation as to how things worked in the bathroom.

After a day out we returned to enjoy the room - gorgeous bath and products. From our jetlag we collapsed on the fabulous bed, hoping to have a long night's sleep. This would have been the case...if the fire alarm hadn't sounded at 4am. This consisted of a pre-recorded message at a very loud volume saying "This is a fire alarm - stay in your room until further notice". Being on the 47th (?) floor, this was somewhat disconcerting, and for over 20 minutes this was all that happened. When it stopped, I rang reception, but no answer. Ringing again, we were told someone had been smoking. A note was pushed under the door saying sorry, this is what happened. And nothing else was mentioned. I was also disturbed by the fact that there was no visual warning - flashing light, etc., thinking of deaf clients.

This over (again, not the hotel's fault), we went to breakfast, which was included. We were sat at a central table, and when I asked the (I think Italian) waitress if we could have the (free) window seat, she said no, as that table wasn't made up. About 4 minutes later she sat a new couple there.

We were handed a menu with a series of breakfast sets with their accompanying prices, but no explanation as to what we could/couldn't ask for, having the breakfast included. I asked for a muesli aside, which the waitress said was fine, but then forgot to bring. My partner had the continental breakfast, and when we showed the waitress a hair that had been baked into the croissant, she looked at it, took it away...and we never saw her again. For the prices I saw and the overall quality, breakfast is certainly not worth it.

On to checkout: as a Golden Circle member, there was a special queue, and at that time, one person in each queue. After 10 minutes, as both were still being served, I was offered to check out downstairs in the lobby, to "save time". The idea was fine, but to cut a long story short, the (charming) Japanese lady at reception was unable to technically do the checkout, had to return to the higher floors, and in all we took 25 minutes to complete the procedure. In addition, when I returned to collect my luggage there was a new envelope with it saying the invoice I had been given was incorrect.

So: a beautiful building with gorgeous rooms and views, but with service which should not really be expected anywhere, never mind a Shangri-La in, say, Asia

Room Tip: Have breakfast at Borough Market, 2 minutes walking from the hotel.
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank M C
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 reviewResponded 25 June 2014

Dear M C,

Thank you for your review. I am disappointed to hear that you had a less than favourable stay with us at Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London.

To investigate these issues thoroughly and ensure this type of incident does not happen again, would you mind letting us know your contact information and details of the incident by calling +44(0) 207 234 8187 or emailing claire.hepworth@shangri-la.com?

I do apologise for the service you received and I hope that you will consider coming back in the near future so that we can make up for this regrettable incident.

Sincerely,

Darren

Darren Gearing, General Manager

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Reviewed 22 June 2014

Stayed Sat 21st for one night 2 rooms. We took our 2 teenage children. We drove to the hotel and had difficulty finding it. You can see the Shard but getting to the front was not easy. The post code is not in my sat nav and there is a lot of diversions around. I suggest you put the name of the road in. We had some problems with the room 1 was not ready until 4pm and we had to be out at 5.15 for a restaurant reservation so I got a bit tense. I am not particular difficult but when you pay nearly £1200 for 1 night you don't expect teething problems. We had problems with the blinds and as you stay here for the view its pretty important they work. What I can say is the staff and management accepted the problems and did all they could to rectify the problems and I did leave feeling happy with what they did. The room was really hot when we arrived and it did take an hour to cool down.
The best part is the view, I can only think of 1 city view that could compete and that is looking at Hong Kong from across the water at night. To be able to watch London including the river Thames, Tower of London, Tower Bridge, HMS Belfast all from your bath is wonderful.
Food was good quality. We had drinks in the bar on 52 nd floor and it was good but there is a £30 per person minimum spend and the view from your room is better as you are a bit lower down. We did have a good stay and probably wouldn't have got so stroppy with the faults, if I hadn't paid so much, but the staff did do their best to make sure we left happy which we did. The general manager and Brian Leung, Duty manager were extremely helpful.

Room Tip: pay the extra for a city view, the £50 or so is worth it.
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank BigGE52
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 reviewResponded 23 June 2014

Dear BigGE52,

Thank you for your review. I am disappointed that you encountered problems upon check-in regarding one of your rooms not being ready. I am pleased that we were able to resolve the issue with your blinds and that you left feeling happy.

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

Kind regards,

Darren

Darren Gearing, General Manager

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Reviewed 20 June 2014

We arrived late afternoon, due to traffic, everyone was polite and helpful, they unloaded everything, and took us to the lift, where the reception is on the 35 floor, checked in then taken to the 44th floor, to our suite both the room and views were amazing at £450 a night it should be.
We stayed two nights and enjoyed the hotels views and bar, we were disappointed the infinity pool was not open, and a discount should have been applied, also breakfast not included, the hotel has the wow factor, but it is further out, an extra £10/£15 in a taxi to get anywhere interesting.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank thepanamahat
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 reviewResponded 23 June 2014

Dear thepanamahat,

Thank you for your review. I am pleased to hear that you enjoyed your overall stay with us recently.

I apologise that you were not informed prior to your arrival that our pool would not be open until 11th August, we are doing everything we can to speed this process up and hope that we will be able to welcome you back after it is open.

Sincerely,

Darren

Darren Gearing, General Manager

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Additional Information about 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 #62 of 1,078 Hotels in London
Price Range: £367 - £670 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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