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Courtesy of Shangri-La
Courtesy of Shangri-La
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Take a Wellness Staycation Inside London's Iconic Shard

Picture of Esme Benjamin
Wellness Editor
Updated: 16 August 2017
We all need respite from the grind now and then, but two weeks at a yoga retreat in Bali isn’t always realistic. When time and budget restraints threaten to interfere with some very necessary self-care, the solution is a wellness-focused staycation in luxurious surroundings—a weekend of exercise, healthy foods, meditation and complete relaxation to help you decompress and re-energize.

Inside the glossy glass exterior of The Shard, about half way to the top, you’ll find Shangri-La—a sanctuary in the sky that overlooks all of London while remaining unsusceptible to the city’s chaos.

The hotel has the kind of ambiance that makes you feel able to leave everyday stresses at the door, and earlier this year, it solidified its zen reputation with the addition of a new all-encompassing wellbeing program.

The Grand Gathering mass meditation | Courtesy of Shangri-La
The Grand Gathering mass meditation | Courtesy of Shangri-La

Inspired by the Shangri-La of James Hilton’s novel Lost Horizon—a mythical utopian paradise in Tibet—the hotel set out to curate a holistic self-improvement / self-care experience by courting the London wellness scene’s biggest names—think celebrity trainer Dan Roberts, mindfulness guru Michael James Wong, and a host of fitness and yoga experts you probably follow on Instagram.

The program is woven through every element of the hotel. At the restaurant you’ll find nutritionist-devised, low calorie, multi-colored meals like poached sea trout in a coconut broth, or fresh local vegetables from nearby Borough Market served with a romesco dip. Everything comes with the option of gluten or dairy-free substitutions, naturally.

Guests can book a personal training session with Dan Roberts himself, or a relaxing spa treatment—both from the privacy and comfort of their room. And mornings start with run club—4, 6, or 10km guided routes that take in some of London’s most famous sites.

Yoga at the Skypool | Courtesy of Shangri-La
Yoga at the Skypool | Courtesy of Shangri-La

Shangri-La also launched a summer series of events which span sunset yoga with Fat Buddha Yoga at the Skypool (Western Europe’s most lofty place to swim), a mass meditation called The Grand Gathering, a cardio dance workshop taught by celebrity trainer Simone De La Rue of Body By Simone, and a dissection of the clean eating movement by Jasmine Hemsley, Founder of Hemsley+Hemsley.

A Shangri-La overnight mini retreat feels a million miles from everything, and the beauty is there’s no long-haul flight required.

Where would you like to go next?

How about visiting London’s best outdoor swimming pools, or get inspired by the dreamiest places in the world to do yoga.