Views from The Shard skyscraper: Shangri-la hotel, London landscapes and a high tech toilet

Views from the Shard skyscraper and the Shangri-la hotel, London Bridge, London

Last week I took another trip up the Shard skyscraper in London Bridge, this time courtesy of a tech press launch I was invited to.

The launch took place in the ultra-plush environs of the Shangri-La Hotel, which occupies floors 34 to 52 of the tallest building in the European Union.

Views from the Shard skyscraper and the Shangri-la hotel, London Bridge, London

We were whisked up in a super fast lift from the main, marble-clad lobby area to the Shard’s 35th floor in just 28 seconds and were rewarded with fantastic sunset views over the capital.

Views from the Shard skyscraper and the Shangri-la hotel, London Bridge, London

The hotel has 202 guestrooms and suites, with 17 coming with a personal butler service for the severely loaded (and lazy).

Views from the Shard skyscraper and the Shangri-la hotel, London Bridge, London

Inside, the fittings and furnishings were suitably luxurious.

With ‘entry-level’ rates at the hotel starting at £450 per night (excluding breakfast), this isn’t a place for oiks to tarry.

Views from the Shard skyscraper and the Shangri-la hotel, London Bridge, London

Views from the Shard skyscraper and the Shangri-la hotel, London Bridge, London

Looking north, with the view dominated by the controversial lines of the Walkie Talkie building, which hit the headlines on account of its car melting heat rays.

Views from the Shard skyscraper and the Shangri-la hotel, London Bridge, London

Looking west over central London.

Views from the Shard skyscraper and the Shangri-la hotel, London Bridge, London

River Thames view.

Views from the Shard skyscraper and the Shangri-la hotel, London Bridge, London

Looking down to London Bridge station.

Views from the Shard skyscraper and the Shangri-la hotel, London Bridge, London

Bridges across the Thames.

Views from the Shard skyscraper and the Shangri-la hotel, London Bridge, London

Despite the relentless enthusiasm of the guy hosting the event, there really isn’t that much scope for excitement at the launch of a portable scanner.

Even an invitation to compare and admire the updated circuit board and hold the all-new,  improved battery failed to uplift spirits, but happily the free drink and tasty snacks on offer pleased the assembled journalists.

The guy to the right was particularly fond of the pudding, wolfing down no less than four portions in swift succession.

Views from the Shard skycraper and the Shangri-la hotel, London Bridge, London

With the presentation over, all eyes looked out from our lofty perch to admire the lights of London below us.

Views from the Shard skyscraper and the Shangri-la hotel, London Bridge, London

Views from the Shard skyscraper and the Shangri-la hotel, London Bridge, London

Views from the Shard skyscraper and the Shangri-la hotel, London Bridge, London

The star of the show for me wasn’t the scanner but this ridiculously high tech Japanese Washlet GL toilet that came with a preheated seat and a built-in phone charging station – and that wasn’t all.

Views from the Shard skyscraper and the Shangri-la hotel, London Bridge, London

Attached to the wall was an electronic control panel for the toilet, which let you choose a rear or front burst of  hot water, with the option to adjust the power or even go for an ambitious oscillating pattern.

When you’re finished, a power deodorizer ensures that your botty is the sweetest smelling thing in town.

Views from the Shard skyscraper and the Shangri-la hotel, London Bridge, London

The lobby area.

Views from the Shard skyscraper and the Shangri-la hotel, London Bridge, London

More views over London.

Views from the Shard skycraper and the Shangri-la hotel, London Bridge, London

Views from the Shard skyscraper and the Shangri-la hotel, London Bridge, London

Taking photos.

Views from the Shard skyscraper and the Shangri-la hotel, London Bridge, London

Views from the Shard skyscraper and the Shangri-la hotel, London Bridge, London

Looking down.