It’ll come as no surprise that on a grey London day like today, the latest announcement by Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts has sent ‘waves’ of excitement down our spines, turning the idea of ‘feeling blue’ on its head.
A pioneering ‘Ocean Encounters’ exhibition at the brand’s iconic London and Parisien properties will tinge its walls with radiant, cheerful shades of aquamarine. The exhibition will showcase the wonders of the Indian Ocean, serving as a poignant reminder of its conservation from late October onwards. The photographic artworks, shot by famed wildlife photographer Greg Lecoeur will allow Shangri-La guests to come eye to eye with the floating giants of the sea: from sperm whales and hawksbill turtles to impossibly graceful manta rays. Which is all rather bizarre to us, considering Shangri-la London at the Shard is a lofty thirty-something floors up in the air.
But Lecoeur, whose impressive list of credentials includes National Geographic’s 2016 ‘Nature Photographer of the Year’ Award, has declared the Indian Ocean a ‘true underwater paradise for divers’, and we dare say anyone who’s dipped as much as their little toe into the big blue outside Shangri-La’s properties in Mauritius and the Maldives is likely to concur. It’s nice that here, miles away in Western Europe, we can achieve an understanding of why we must all our bit to protect this delicate, undersea ecosystem. Upon closing in Europe, the exhibition will travel home (on a gulf stream, we’d like to imagine) and go on display at exactly those resorts.
Guests looking to take a blue print home will have the chance to do so after the show closes, with prices starting at a very reasonable €250 – a steal, if you ask us, especially seeing 100% of proceeds will feed right back into protecting the Indian Ocean’s sensitive eco-system through Shangri-La’s 2010 founded SANCTUARY initiative. We’ll be toasting our acquisition with an Azure cocktail, a speciality created in-line with the exhibition; a salty-like-the-sea concoction topped with samphire!
Photography by Greg Lecoeur