Press Centre

Hotel In The Clouds

  • Episode: 

    1 of 1

  • Transmission (TX): 

    Tue 11 Nov 2014
  • TX Confirmed: 

  • Time: 

    8.00pm - 9.00pm
  • Week: 

    Week 46 2014 : Sat 08 Nov - Fri 14 Nov
  • Channel: 

  • Status: 

  • Amended: 

    Wed 29 Oct 2014
The information contained herein is embargoed from press use, commercial and non-commercial reproduction and sharing into the public domain until Tuesday 4 November.
Hotel In The Clouds goes behind the scenes at the capital's newest and highest five star hotel, Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London, in the build up to opening and across its first few months of business.
The programme meets the staff and takes in the breathtaking views and follows the day-to-day running of this £90m flagship hotel.
Covering 19 floors of The Shard, the hotel is the highest in Europe. It has numerous lifts, suites costing up to £19,000 a night with £1,000 toilets, and boasts a cocktail sky bar on the 52nd floor. 
Cameras follow the new members of staff, many of whom have been recruited locally (the recruitment policy favours personality over experience) as they are interviewed for positions and then undergo training for their roles. Their training includes lessons in Asian hospitality as the hotel is one of the first to specifically cater for the rapidly growing Asian market and staff must learn to work the Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London way.
New staff members include Ollie, 19, a chef who has landed his first job straight out of college and Anne, the hotel’s only sommelier who has to teach inexperienced restaurant staff how to serve fine wine. There’s also Angela who has to make the leap from serving pizza to working as a silver service waitress in the hotel’s high end restaurant, and Thaddaeus and Eddie, childhood friends from Bermondsey who have both got jobs as bellmen. 
Thaddaeus and Eddie had never set foot in a five star hotel before working there and as part of their job they need to learn where all the building’s 44 lifts are located. After undergoing training the pair are invited to stay at the hotel as guests so other staff members can have a practice run before the hotel officially opens. The pair are both given rooms with incredible views and are invited to enjoy the restaurant
Speaking about his new job, Thaddaeus says: “It’s been easier having Eddie by my side as we have known each other for 10 years. It’s nice to see a friendly face when you’re coming into a completely different world.”
“We’re not here to be bellmen our whole lives, we’re here to progress and climb up the ladder.”
Junior chef Ollie beat off competition from 100 candidates to obtain his position in the hotel’s restaurant. He was a star pupil at college but is on the bottom rung in the restaurant and one of his tasks is removing leaves from stalks of cress every day. 
Ollie says: “It can be very frustrating starting at the lowest level you’ll always be given the jobs that everyone else doesn’t want to do.”
But despite the menial tasks and working 16 to 17 hours a day, Ollie is positive about his new position. 
He says: “This is my first job out of college and it’s tougher than I thought it would be. At first it was really bad but it’s slowly getting better, we all know our jobs more, we’re finding it easier.”
Ollie’s parents come in to enjoy a meal at the hotel and head chef Simon puts Ollie on plating up duties so he can impress his parents with his new skills. Despite initially doubting Ollie’s career choice, his parents are both very proud. 
Experienced sommelier Anne has her work cut out for her at the hotel having to train novice staff how to serve fine wine. 
She says: “To be able to have an impact on other people, to be actively able to impact on little parts of their life. To say to a guest ‘Happy Anniversary, I’m so happy you came to us tonight’ these things matter and they really matter to me. And that’s what gets me out of bed every day.”
Waitress Angela is struggling to learn all the nuances that come with five star service. She was employed due to her natural people skills but despite her friendly demeanour she feels she still has a lot to learn. 
She says: “There are certain things you can’t say at a table like ‘let me grab that for you’ or ‘hello guys’. Things that I would naturally just be saying, my natural self.  It has to be all positive things that you say. You can’t say ‘no problem’ because it’s got no and problem in it.  So you say ‘yes sure, sure yes, I can do that for you’”
Angela lacks confidence but under Anne’s tutelage she begins to learn the ropes. Angela ends up charming all her customers; one of whom she later learns is Michelin-starred chef John Campbell who is very impressed by her.
Built near to London Bridge station, The Shard dominates London’s skyline with its 72 floors standing over 1,000 feet high. Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London opened a year later than it was originally planned but now it’s up and running, general manager Darren shares his ambitions for the future of the hotel. 
He says: “The ultimate goal for this hotel is it will be in the top five hotels in the world. That’s it, that’s the truth.”