Luxury is not just for Friday and Saturday nights – its for every day of the week, and a Sunday is arguably one of the best days to head into The City for a luxury spa break. Taking this highly under-utilised opportunity for rest, relaxation and plenty of glamour, Spabreaks.com Senior Product Manager, Sarah Hill went on a Sunday spa break at Shangri-La The Shard, London and made us green with envy by telling us all about it.
I booked my spa break in lockdown and have been looking forward to it ever since. I wanted a break for myself while at Shangri-La The Shard is expensive, I wanted to treat myself – it was definitely worth it. I chose a Sunday because it wasn’t as busy in The City, and taking the Monday off was a great way of feeling good at the start of the week, extending the weekend and maximising my holiday! I have done that before, and afterwards you really feel revitalised for the week ahead.
At Shangri-La The Shard you really get what you pay for and more. It’s all about the view, as you will soon see, and it’s almost feel like going into a Tardis. You arrive through the doors and from the moment the doors shut, you could be a million miles away. It was like going abroad without the hassle.
Service starts the moment you step foot inside the building. Your suitcases are automatically taken and everyone is very attentive. You arrive at reception and get everything booked in, from your breakfast to your treatments, and from then on, everything about your stay is seamless. I can tell you know, it was absolute perfection – the little things were really taken care of – for example, we had the same table at dinner and at breakfast, which really made us feel looked after.
After we checked in, we were taken to our room, which was a Deluxe City View room. As the name suggests, it’s the prime location for enjoying views of the city. You can see Tower Bridge and St. Paul’s, all from the clouds. By the end of my Sunday spa break I had fallen in love with London all over again.
Being so high up, it’s a totally different way of experiencing London. It doesn’t feel chaotic, it feels magic! All the details were thought about in the room, from little cards saying ‘welcome to the clouds’, to electric windows, L’Occitane toiletries, and a heated toilet seat… which took me by surprise, but gives you a sense of the high spec gadgetry in the hotel!
Even the bath had a view of the city, and there were LaDuree macarons waiting for us – as it was October, they were Halloween themed.
We didn’t leave the hotel throughout our break, and after we settled in, we went straight to the spa.
Having put on our robes and slippers, went to the spa. The pool is on the 52nd floor, separate to the treatment area. The iconic infinity pool looks out over St Paul’s Cathedral, which is truly incredible. There are concierges who welcome you to the area and who make sure you have everything you need, whether it’s taking that photo of you in the pool for Instagram or handing you your towel.
The pool area is small and intimate, with a pool and a sauna. Again it’s all glass, all around so it’s all about the view – even from inside the sauna. There are loungers around the pool, covered in towelling so you don’t have to worry about making your robe wet.
What I loved about it was you can sit in this beautiful spa area and watch the sun set over the city. Then this amazing view changes as all the lights come on and it sparkles in the night. Amidst this urban landscape, it’s an incredible way to just stop and see everything happening beneath you in slow motion.
The treatment rooms feel like bedrooms because they’re so luxurious and cosy. My friend and I had a dual room so we had our treatments together. Again (surprise), it’s all glass, so can see the whole of London below while having full body massages from Neal’s Yard. The treatments were amazing.
Back in the room we got dressed up, because this is definitely the place to enjoy what you’re wearing. As it was October, everything was pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, whereas now, for Christmas, they have an alpine theme with great photo spots around the hotel. That attention to detail means you could visit several times and it will always be a bit different.
We had dinner at Ting, their famous restaurant, and we had a table by the window, which felt extremely private. We had the option of a five-course tasting menu (you can add wine pairing) or the a la carte menu. We had the a la carte menu, which for me included pigeon to start followed by belly of pork. My friend had oysters followed by fish. It was all beautifully presented, as you might expect from a fine dining experience.
We finished the evening with cocktails in the bar, Gong, which you need a reservation for. It’s the highest hotel bar in Western Europe, located on level 52, the same as the spa. It’s decorated with chinoiserie style and again, the service is impeccable. Back in the room, we carried on chatting, and watched the view, which us hypnotic.
I love Shangri-La la as a chain, and I was so excited that it came to London. Everything they do is beautiful, and this is no exception. It’s the pinnacle of feeling special – somewhere that makes you feel like a celebrity for the entire time that you’re there. You leave feeling wonderful, with your head held high and like you can do anything – the perfect way to start the week!
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