Is This London’s Most Exclusive Address?

5 min read

Royally loved, effortlessly elegant and the very definition of iconic, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London is an institution that may well spoil you for life

London. Attempting to succinctly convey the eclecticism of England’s capital is an impossible task; if you were to ask each of the 30 million travellers that have visited it this year, they would likely share different reasons as to why it’s so beloved. A cosmopolitan destination with stories at every corner, London’s offerings ensure a packed schedule no matter how often you return. Whether you spend your time soaking up the sights, picnicking in parks or shopping on Sloane Street, there is something for everyone and, as luck would have it, there’s a destination in the centre of it all.

Straddling the electricity of central Knightsbridge and serenity of Royal Parkland, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London offers the (very) best of both worlds. It is a hotel of two addresses, and if you’re holidaying with the entire family, take advantage of its two personalities by claiming a floor to yourself. It offers two penthouse suites — the aptly named Mandarin and Oriental — which can be combined to create the Mandarin Oriental penthouse: one of London’s largest three-bedroom, three-bathroom suites, with both park and skyline views. Gaze at Hyde Park’s dancing foliage from a private balcony — an especially mesmerising sight when auburn leaves seem ablaze in the autumn sun — and prepare before a long day of exploring (read: shopping at nearby Harvey Nichols and Harrods). It’s from here that guests can catch the world-famous Changing of the Guards, as the Royal Household Cavalry pass the grounds on horseback on their way to Buckingham Palace. This ceremony has taken place for over 500 years; if the walls of the Mandarin Oriental could talk, they’d divulge stories of those that watched the exact procession since its opening 117 years ago.

Enjoy breakfast from the privacy of your balcony and watch the historic Changing Of The Guards procession

The storied hotel initially sparked outrage when it was concieved as the tallest building in London. The doors swung open in 1889 as a residence for high-society gentlemen before being transformed into the celebrity-frequented Hyde Park Hotel in 1902. Since then, it’s been a haven for WW1 soldiers on leave; the location of Queen Elizabeth II’s childhood dance classes; Mahatma Ghandi’s home away from home; Sir Winston Churchill’s getaway; SAS headquarters and the British Royal family’s go-to event space, including for the pre-wedding celebration of Prince William and Princess Catherine. It became part of the Mandarin Oriental family in 1996, and an extensive, multi-million-pound restoration was completed in 2019.

Relax in one of the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park’s serene suites

Inside this red-brick Edwardian landmark you’ll find Mandarin Oriental’s quietly opulent aesthetic harmonising perfectly with the echoes of important moments in UK history. Internationally renowned designer Joyce Wang spearheaded the refurbishment, incorporating the natural beauty of neighbouring Hyde Park and 20th century glamour into 141 rooms, 40 suites and public spaces. A glass chandelier replicating a closed flower bud greets visitors entering the lavish marble lobby, and the tie-in with nature is equally apparent throughout the suites where Hyde Park’s horse-riding bridal paths are reflected in geometric patterns on the ceilings. Hand-painted wallpaper is adorned with foiled feathers designed by local artist Lizzie Deshayes. The rooms are elegant and extravagant in equal measure with Oriental touches and art deco flourishes, from etched glass, burnt silver and copper to plenty of gold, as well as Mandarin Oriental’s fan emblem scattered subtly throughout. A testament to the hotel’s five-star reputation, attention to detail is evident in every inch of the space including the suite’s multiple entrances (perfect for sneaking in for a refresh before greeting guests in the living room), bespoke library and motion-activated nightlights for those burning the midnight oil.

The imperial suite’s bedroom interiors mirror Hyde Park’s surroundings through foliage-inspired textiles and light fixtures

After a day exploring London’s exclusive shopping destinations — all mere minutes from your doorstep — unwind at The Spa at Mandarin Oriental. Tucked away in the depths of the hotel and perfected by New York designer Adam D. Tihany, a sauna, amethyst crystal steam room, Technogym-strewn gym, 17-metre lap pool and zen colour therapy relaxation area are counted among the facilities of the holistic retreat. Searching for tailored experiences? There are 13 treatment rooms including dedicated spaces for couples, Chinese medicine and beauty treatments.

The Spa features a 17-metre lap pool to work off your Michelin-starred meals

You needn’t look further than the hotel grounds for award-winning fare. Each a destination in their own right, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London houses four bars and restaurants, including Dinner by Heston Blumenthal — the famed chef’s only London outpost. Its playful, two Michelin-starred take on British cuisine has foodies travelling from near and far to secure a coveted seat. The Rosebery is a must for an unforgettable afternoon tea, the Mandarin Bar conjures nature-inspired cocktails and The Aubrey, an upscale Japanese speakeasy, is bustling into the early hours. When you finally retreat to suite serenity, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London ensures that once you’ve kicked off your heels, soaked in the tub and climbed into a cloud-like bed, you’ll sigh ‘there’s no place like home.’

To celebrate the festive season, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London is setting the stage for a picture-perfect Christmas with spectacular decorations, visits from Santa Claus and carols. Guests checking in until 22 December will be greeted with festive treats upon arrival, while those staying for Christmas weekend can enjoy a magical stay complete with personalised stockings, lunch at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Santa visits and your own Christmas tree. The magic continues outside the iconic address’ doors, with the twinkling lights and themed windows of Sloane Street’s boutiques and Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland completing the Christmas of dreams. Book now

  • Words by Savanna Smith