Hotels

An Exclusive Look at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park

The Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park recently underwent a multi-million dollar refurbishment. We took a glance inside to see what’s new at this lauded hotel.

Standing majestically in London's affluent Knightsbridge area, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park is hard to overlook. The red-brick facade overlooks leafy Hyde Park on one side and is directly opposite Harvey Nichols alternatively.

It originally opened in 1889 as a gentlemen’s club, and since then is has been a favorite haunt from the rich and powerful ever since. Your accommodation underwent a $280m refurbishment last year. However, just a couple days before unveiling the shiny new updates, disaster struck like a fire broke out.

We won't result in the cliche of comparing the hotel to a phoenix rising from the ashes, but the hotel is unquestionably back. The top-notch services begins when the impeccably-dressed doormen escort you in to the gorgeous marble-floored foyer. Ascend the velvet stairs to some grand fireplace (we visited during Chelsea Flower Show once the city blooms with floral displays – lilac wisteria hung from the space).

The concierge desk would be to your right, which is another indication from the degree of service here: you are shown the concierge before reaching reception, and also the doorman informs me that they'll help to arrange anything I might need within my visit; tickets to shows, restaurant bookings, or perhaps a chauffeur to consider me out and about.

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal lives up to the hype; the restaurant is a regular entry in Elite Traveler's Best players Restaurants. The whimsical and artistic dishes keep patrons wanting more. As you enter Dinner, there is a hanging pineapple display against a violet light board – an homage towards the famous tipsy cake.

The chef’s table at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

As is Blumenthal's signature, recption menus is inventive and fun and takes diners on journey: the orange pate is in the shape of a mandarin and also the old-fashioned bread maker results in a cloud of dry ice when it is used table side, adding a little theatrics to abandon.

For a far more casual affair, visit Bar Boloud. It's interior is reminiscent of a 1920s train carriage: think red leather booths and moody lighting. The restaurant is known for its meat dishes – the pork belly starter was a personal favorite (although I didn't actually order it; I tried/stole my companion's coupled with severe food envy which i did not order it for myself).

The spa are available underground and spread across two floors. There's a fully-equipped gym along with a completely new Pilates/yoga studio. Book set for a bespoke programme designed by award-winning trainer Hollie Grant. If swimming is more your thing, there’s a 55-ft twin lane indoor swimming pool including a lap timer.

The 55-ft swimming pool

There are 13 treatment suites, together with a couple's suite having a Rasul water temple. The menu is extensive so they cover holistic, tailor-made treatments throughout the world. The thorough pre-treatment consultation features a questionnaire that can help to determine if you are more ying or yang, according to your responses (questions change from digestive issues to how you solve an issue).

I had the Oriental Qi treatment, 100 minutes of massage made to balance and restore the power of the meridian lines in the body. I have had long treatments before and honestly I've often found myself getting restless and fidgety after an hour or so but this flew by.

The couples suite with Rasul

The treatment begins with a soothing foot massage and exfoliation, paying homage to the standard Chinese custom of removing a guest's shoes when they enter your house. I explained about problems and lower back pain to my therapist, who then suggested some dietary changes that ought to help (explaining that she is also a trained nutritionist) and wrote them down for me personally.

Post-treatment, I was result in the relaxation room and had a pot of tea (there is a bespoke mixture of tea for the hotel). It is a soothing place to spend a few hours and there are leaflets extolling the virtues of a digital detox and, if you're feeling stress and anxiety out of your phone, there are coloring books and pencils to assist practice mindfulness.

The facilities are separated for that sexes. The women's changing room includes a hydrotherapy pool with sculptures of the female form at the conclusion, a steam room and sauna. I visited on a 'life was imple' coupled with the whole place to myself. The amenities are fantastic here too – there’s a Dyson hair dryer and apothecary skincare products, so it's perfect if you are heading out after.

Despite the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park’s super central location, the suites are really quiet. There are 13 signature suites in a variety of configurations, but all beautifully appointed. The interiors are by Joyce Wang who also designed the Mandarin’s first and flagship property in Hong Kong.

The Mandarin Oriental Penthouse may be the biggest in the home with three bedrooms, two salons (both having a dining table for eight and a comfy sitting room), two kitchens and five terraces. It feels more like an awesome, elegant London apartment and it has a welcoming residential feel. The views over leafy Hyde Park below are sublime.

Contact molon-reservations@mohg.com, +44 (0)20 7235 2000, mandarinoriental.com

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