In Shangri-La’s London Suite at The Shard I found a little missive to no one in particular on a notepad next to the toilet. It read “OMG, hot bot”. Clearly my guests the previous evening had felt moved to remark on the heated loo seat – an unexpected moment of joy.
You don’t have to stay in one of the three new presidential suites – the Westminster, London and Shangri-La on floors 37, 38 and 39 respectively – to enjoy this particular pleasure. All the lavatories in London’s only high-rise hotel have them, including the street-level café Lang (don’t all queue at once).
It’s just one element of a stay that is memorably world class. It’s not unheard of for people to check-in for a week or more to top suites such as these, and you need that long to enjoy all the features – cocktail-making paraphernalia, steam showers, the Skypool and gym, even a chauffeur and butler.
But really, it’s all about the view. The architectural quirks in The Shard’s structure have created what feels like your own in-room viewing platform. Sit and drink-in the changing light at sunset (the suites have “spotting scopes” to catch the detail) and watch the moon rise.
Inside, the colour palette complements the vista. You might think London is grey, but in the golden light of a summer evening the buildings can exude a warmer hue which the Italian design studio, FM Architettura d’Interni, has picked out in shades of champagne and oyster for their custom-made furniture and silk wallpapers. It’s a touch beige but sumptuous all the same. Deep-sea blue carpets in the London and Westminster Suites break up the neutral colour scheme in a nod to the tidal river outside, which is, in reality, always the colour of Thames mud.
All three suites are, surprisingly, one-beds (you can request to add an adjoining guestroom), but you do get a lot of space for your money. Even the smallest of the three, the London, has six rooms including dressing room and pantry; even the bathroom – with underfloor heating – is big enough to have a party in. Which is where you might end up if you do want to party, as the sound-proofing leaves something to be desired, as did the entertainment system.
But from now on, I’ll just have to make do with a visit to the hotel’s cocktail bar, Gong, where I’ll head straight to the bathroom and reminisce about my 24 hours of luxury on a loo with a view (heated, of course).
Signature Suites at the Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, start from £4,250 per night, including breakfast and VAT. Visit shangri‑la.com/london, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7234 8088