In the five-star London hotel game there’s luxury and then there’s the Mandarin Oriental London, whose ability to deliver the height in service while maintaining a reputation for grace and style makes it the choice of only the wealthiest guests. Pillow menus, rooms filled with high-end tech gadgetry, butlers on every floor—at this hotel, if you have the money then your every whim can be catered to. Located in Knightsbridge and backing onto Hyde Park, the grand Victorian hotel and its Oriental meets contemporary modern interior theme is the place to indulge yourself with a super exclusive London escape.
YOU SHOULD KNOW For all the lavish details, stunning architecture and amazing service, the hotel still finds itself sat on a corner of Knightsbridge perennially clogged with traffic, that doesn't make for the prettiest entrance.
International royalty, Saudi princes and the world’s wealthiest tend to opt for the hotel’s palatial suites, however, for the record, the rooms are no slouches when it comes to grand design. Decorated in neutral greys, teals and blues, the design is art deco meets contemporary modern with statement chandeliers, leather topped writing desks and original artworks on the walls.
Renovation of rooms facing Knightsbridge were completed in 2017, with park view rooms next in line to receive a facelift. Suites with park views are well worth paying extra for.
Opulent pearl-colored bathrooms are laden with marble and feature grand tubs and separate walk-in showers depending on your choice of room. Unsurprisingly extravagant, suite bathrooms are more like your own personal spa.
Given the price of rooms, the hotel has some serious first impressions to deliver to its guests and with a lobby as ostentatious as this, the wowing starts on entry. Wall-to-wall marble complements the chandelier-cum-installation in the ostentatious foyer, where guests can rest a while or take some time to spy on those other fortunate souls lucky enough to be arriving into the lap of luxury.
A gorgeous twin-lane indoor pool features a chic black slate surround and stylish sun loungers. Oh, and a lap timer for those working on their stroke.
Numerous treatment rooms offer a wide range of treatments and massage to guests on a wellness trip.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Currently undergoing renovation, the spa is set to remain closed to guests for the first half of 2018.
The hotel’s fitness centre has state of the art Technogym equipment, a male sauna and a wind down area for post-workout reflection.
Most hotels call in just one superstar chef to helm their flagship restaurant but the Mandarin Oriental London chooses two. First, there’s the Michelin-starred restaurant Dinner by Heston Blumenthal at which you can sample the English chef’s gastro extravaganza. Next, New York chef Daniel Boulud’s Bar Boulud provides the setting for gourmet burgers and brasserie classics in a more informal—yet no less swanky—environment.
The slick, contemporary Mandarin Bar is the place where the rabble get to sample the delights of a hotel off limits to most, meaning come five o’clock the general public descend on the bar to join hotel guests in drinking in one of Knightsbridge’s most exclusive bars.
Located in one of London’s ritziest, wealthiest neighborhoods, the hotel is perfectly placed for guests who want to indulge in the best high-end shopping, wining and dining in the city. Taxis can take you into the heart of the West End in 10 minutes and while most guests probably wouldn’t consider public transport, Knightsbridge Tube is adjacent should the need for Underground travel arise.
After being spoilt at Dinner and Bar Boulud, head for more of the same hotel fine dining at Rivea London (3-minute walk), a French-Italian fusion at the Bulgari Hotel. If you feel like toning it down with some of the city’s best steak, visit Hawksmoor (10-minute walk) for the finest hunk of chateaubriand.
Just around the corner, it’s a short walk to The Berkeley’s Blue Bar (4-minute walk) should the Mandarin Bar become too full for your tastes. A little further away on Hyde Park Corner, the Lanesborough Hotel’s Library Bar (9-minute walk) is another place in which to escape the rabble with cocktails and a private club atmosphere.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Screaming with opulence at every turn, the hotel is one of the finest luxury institutions in London. Catering to luxury travellers who want for nothing, the service is the difference here. Rooms are modern and elegant and the Hyde Park views are a charming bonus out of reach of most luxury London properties.