London is renowned for its time-honoured luxury hotels, but if you’re looking for a wellness break that combines contemporary flair with impeccable service for a weekend of holistic healing, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park has it all, with an exquisitely slick spa to boot.
Nestled in the heart of the super-elite Knightsbridge district, bordered by Harrods, Hyde Park and Buckingham Palace, this 1889 Edwardian masterpiece recently underwent an extensive multi-million-pound restoration, with internationally renowned designer Joyce Wang working her magic on its 141 spacious guest rooms and 40 lavish suites.
While the crème de la crème has to be the Mandarin Oriental Penthouse – a new three-bedroom, three-bathroom hideaway with its own dining room, two kitchens and sprawling terraces boasting serene park vistas – checking into any of the rooms is a treat for all the senses.
Calming colours adorn the walls that come splashed with silver and etched glass, while the all-white marble bathrooms feature a separate shower and bathtub ideal for an early-night soak. The cloudlike bed will allow you to drift into an unencumbered slumber, where the only thing to wake up for is breakfast in bed.
And while the menu leaves no dish unturned, the Healthy Breakfast comprising Dragonwell green tea, a Pink Detox juice (carrot, apple and ginger), courgetti, carrot and chia seed muffins, seeded multigrain toast with avocado purée and sugar-free preservatives, fresh fruits, Bircher muesli and egg white omelette allows for all the taste of the traditional English breakfast but with none of the guilt. There are yoga mats for private practice too, should you wish to get a stretch in before heading to the spa.
Reopened in May 2018 following an extensive redesign by New York designer Adam D. Tihany, The Spa at Mandarin Oriental is an oasis of tranquillity where all your stresses come to melt away. Nestled in the depths of the building, this majestic den of wellness is a world away from the hustle and bustle of buzzy Knightsbridge, taking its cues from traditional Chinese symbolism with relaxation in mind at every turn. Common and lounge areas are unified by the soothing sounds of trickling water, while its calming neutral palette of glossy caramel and earthy tones is the perfect antidote to soften those tense shoulders.
Going well beyond fluffy facials and light pampering, the spa provides treatments that tackle physical and mental wellbeing, and if you’re looking to escape your stresses for an hour, the 60-minute aromatherapy massage uses a melting pot of essential oils for everything from relaxation to mood enhancement, and will leave you feeling light as air.
The spa also houses a Rasul water temple that combines the health-enhancing properties of heat, steam and mud for a complete relaxing skin conditioning treatment, as well a Chinese medicine consultation and treatment room plus heat and water oasis including a sauna, amethyst crystal steam room, vitality pool and zen colour therapy relaxation area.
A 360-degree holistic haven, there’s also a wellbeing and fitness centre with 24-hour state-of-the-art fitness technology for those looking to get active during their stay, as well as a Pilates PT Studio set up by award-winning founder Hollie Grant, and offering a menu of holistic and bespoke HIIT training and Pilates. Be sure to do a few laps of the indoor 17-metre twin-lane stainless-steel heated pool before you drift magically out the doors back into the real world.
For those looking to indulge with an exquisite fine-dining meal, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal is the place to be. A joint venture with The Fat Duck Group, the two-Michelin-star restaurant is a London institution and an experience not to be missed. If the weather suits, take a seat on the expansive terrace and take in uninterrupted views of Hyde Park while perusing a menu that is heavily influenced by Blumenthal’s ongoing research and discovery of historic British gastronomy.
Featuring recipes dating as far back as the 14th century, kick off your gastronomic tour with the renowned ‘meat fruit’ of mandarin, chicken liver parfait and grilled bread, followed by a fillet of Hereford beef with mushroom ketchup, chips and steak sauce. For those looking to continue their healthy streak, there’s also roast cauliflower with truffle on the menu, but be sure to save room for dessert – the tipsy cake made with spit-roast pineapple and served with Jersey cream is a sure-fire treat for the taste buds.
Gracious, elegant and as upscale as they come, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park London has everything one needs for an exquisite break in the British capital – lavish rooms, exquisite dining, unparalleled service and, of course, one of the most luxurious places to be pampered in the city. Mandarinoriental.com/london/hyde-park/luxury-hotel