Hotel Review: Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, Knightsbridge in London
With a fantastic location, tucked neatly between Harvey Nichols and Hyde Park, the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park invites you in for a glamorous stay among its sumptuous surroundings. Expect a stay like no other here, with double Michelin starred dining, modern, yet elegantly designed rooms and suites, a stress-eliminating spa and the most welcoming and friendly staff. Opened in 1902, the five star hotel saw a complete renovation in 2000 and boasts the most gorgeous and inviting interiors.
The second I spotted the hotel I was wowed – the gorgeous exterior made me reach for my camera, and, ascending the steps indoors, it was hard not to miss the large and beautiful marble framed fireplace in front and stunning floral displays scattered throughout the lobby. Red marble and polished surfaces decorated much of the entrance halls, while pillars and large, decorative lighting complete the grandeur. The hotel is well-staffed and appears well-run, from a guests point of view, everyone I came across was very friendly and happy to help.
With a stone’s throw to the hive of Knightsbridge and Harrods to the front and the calming natural surroundings of Hyde Park just as close to the back, the location really is a big selling point for any type of trip you desire. If a relaxing stay is what you’re looking for then head to the lower ground floor for a dip in the 17-metre pool, pay a visit to the amethyst crystal steam room, take a class in the Pilates studio or enjoy one of the many treatments in the 13 single or double treatment rooms.
The bar offers a very stylish place to enjoy a pre dinner drink. A gorgeous gold sunken ceiling hovers above the bar, while rich blue velvets coat the low chairs and leather stools surround the bar itself. It offers glitz, glamour and a glimpse of the many wines available to sip on as well as a creative cocktail menu (though I couldn’t recommend the Extravagant Martini – the truffle with coconut and gin was not to my liking!).
Once inside my room I spent a good five minutes marvelling at the detail in the décor, which embodies elegance, luxury and sophistication in one place. Recent renovations have seen renowned designer, Joyce Wang create wonderful interiors that reflect a regal connection as well as aspects of nature from neighbouring Hyde Park.
Modern metallics sit against pale walls and light wood furniture with super stylish lighting features and accents of blue and blush bringing the trendy décor together nicely. It held a super-modern twenties feel and I loved it, from the detailed panelling on the walls to the curved wardrobe offering use of every inch of space to the abundance of metallic accents throughout the bedroom.
Not long after I had been in the room a bottle of chilled Moet arrived along with a fruit platter and some lovely almond dark chocolates and I wasted no time in enjoyed those delights. It is certainly a place that if you forget to bring something, you really needn’t worry – there’s a shaving kit, toothbrushes, comb, stationary set, including a stapler and a very well stocked and decadent mini bar, including William Curley chocolate bars, Champagne truffles, crisps, nuts, sweets Champagne, wine, spirits, beer and soft drinks.
A white/grey marble bathroom held all the fancy features with correctly placed mirrors throughout. There was a turn-down service with my robe laid across the bed and my slippers (personal award for best hotel slippers goes to MO) laid on a mat next to the bed. My view looked a few metres across into another hotel room so I kept the curtains shut and I appreciated the 12pm check-out time as, on the day I visited, I certainly fancied a lazy morning.
As well as a lounge for afternoon teas – The Rosebery – the hotel holds two restaurants: Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, which holds two Michelin Stars and celebrates the history of British gastronomy and Bar Boulud, a French-style bistro on the basement floor, which is also accessible from the street.
I dined at the latter during my stay and enjoyed the casual, low lit atmosphere, which also held the Friday evening chatty buzz from the bar and diners. The menu held a plentiful selection of small bites, starters, seafood and main-sized offerings with a variety of meats and service was very quick.
For my starter I opted for rillons croustillants – crispy pork belly with Dijon mustard and cracked black pepper and really enjoyed the punchy flavours and crispy texture of the pork. Next up was loup de mer – grilled seabass, harissa marinated peach freekah (a green grain made from durum wheat) and spring onion. Seabass is a lovely, delicate fish with melt-in-the-mouth qualities and I had a gorgeous piece with crispy skin, which was complemented nicely with a glass of Chardonnay, while the peach was a welcome and uplifting addition to the plate.
Finally my dessert consisted of a traditional Basque cake with vanilla ice cream and a pear and cardamom compote – a cold dish with a crispy edge and sweet, flavoursome contents. Simple foods, good wine, relaxed atmosphere but too hot in the restaurant for me on the night and service was a little too quick, I require a little longer between courses to let my food go down, it was about five minutes between starter and main course, but nonetheless, an enjoyable meal.
There aren’t many places in London that you can watch the Queen’s cavalry trot past as you sip on your morning coffee. I took in the sight as I sat in the main restaurant and sipped on my cappuccino of which I was promised an exclusive blend of coffee beans, ‘like nothing I could get anywhere else in London’ promised the waiter; how could I resist! It was in fact delicious – with no bitterness, just smooth, tasty coffee with a delicate milky foam – as was the buffet.
There’s a gluten-free section, a juice bar, continental table and plentiful selection to order from the kitchen. Sadly I had to be restrained as I had a lunch booked and I’m not an early riser so I regretfully denied the gorgeous looking choices on the menu and gracefully chose from the buffet, though I spotted the French toast and immediately wished I hadn’t been so restrained!
There was a decadent display of bites to choose from and I filled my plate with small helpings of smoked salmon, ash rolled goats’ cheese, cashew nuts, brioche, Parma ham, chorizo, red berries, pitta bread, yoghurt, red pepper and the obligatory pain au chocolat.
The view, through the spacious windows, of Hyde Park left me forgetting I was in central London for a moment and a wander through the trees, across the paths and around the Serpentine post-breakfast was a must.
IN A NUTSHELL
This hotel not only has a fantastic location but holds the most decadent features, inside and out, welcoming staff and gorgeous interiors. I felt truly lucky to be able to spend a night here and I would return in a heartbeat – this epitomises a luxury London hotel.
Rates for Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London start from £760 per room per night.
Address: 66 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7LA
Phone: 020 7235 2000