The much-delayed Shangri-La hotel at the Shard has finally opened its doors.
Guests at Tuesday morning's opening ceremony for the hotel – which occupies levels 34 to 52 of the skyscraper – included London Mayor Boris Johnson, Lord Coe and developer Irvine Sellar.
The launch event was hosted by BBC presenter Fiona Bruce. Guests were led into the hotel by a Chinese lion dance which included the scattering of cabbage leaves as a symbol of good fortune.
Local dignitaries attending the celebration included Mayor of Southwark Cllr Abdul Mohamed, council leader Peter John and Bermondsey & Old Southwark MP Simon Hughes.
The Hong Kong-based hotel chain owns and manages more than 80 venues but this is the first in the UK.
The hotel's 202 rooms start at £450 a night whilst the most expensive suites cost up to £20,000 a night – more than many Southwark residents earn in a year.
The rooms come equipped with binoculars to help guests take in the spectacular views.
In a joint statement Michael Baker – chief executive of the Shard's management firm REM – and vice chairman Irvine Sellar said: "The opening of The Shangri-La Hotel At The Shard is yet another milestone in the hugely successful London Bridge Quarter.
"We believe the launch of this world class hotel further enhances the appeal of The Shard which already has become a global landmark and a London icon.
"The Shangri-La Hotel At The Shard will draw even more people to this part of London helping to firmly establish London Bridge Quarter as one of the capital's most exciting districts."
For the latest local news and events direct to your inbox every Monday, you need our weekly email newsletter SE1 Direct.
7,000+ locals read it every week. Can you afford to miss out?
Read the latest issue before signing up