*In collaboration with Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park
When: April 2022
Where: London, United Kingdom
Length of stay: 3 nights
Room booked: Superior Room
Room got: Hyde Park Room
Price per night: 655 GBP
Travel companion: Wife
Status / collaboration: AMEX Platinum booking / Collaboration with hotel
In the spring of 2022 I felt I was in need of some proper big city vibes. I just love the hustle and bustle of places like Tokyo, Paris and London, so I decided to book flights to the latter for a little pre-Easter celebration with my wife. One of the most important things was that the hotel had to be very luxurious with great atmosphere and excellent staff. I had been dreaming about going to the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park for years, so it was time to do something about it.
When I found a good offer from Amex with a complimentary third night, I knew I just had to grab it. Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park is situated in the luxurious neighbourhood of Knightsbridge in London, on the southern edge of the vast Hyde Park, so if you are the kind of person who likes to shop at Harrod’s and all kinds of high-end brand stores or just stroll around, this is the perfect location for you. We stayed at the hotel with our own money, but got a room upgrade as part of our collaboration.
We used Blacklane’s private chauffeur service to get from Heathrow to the hotel, which would usually take around 40 minutes, but because of a huge amount of traffic, it took an hour just to get out of the parking garage. When we finally arrived at the hotel, we were greeted by kind and efficient staff clad in their stylish red outfits, who helped us with our bags. We were shown to the reception area where we were offered warm, refreshing Japanese style oshibori-towels and some drinks while we were being checked in.
At this point they also told that they have a surprise waiting for us, so they led us to the Mandarin Bar, which wasn’t open for customers yet, and introduced us to the director of wine, Michael. All of this was due to the fact that I had mentioned in a previous email that I had started studying wines and had just finished my first wine course (WSET Level 2), which we were celebrating on our trip.
Michael laid out three glasses of wine in front of us and gave a blind tasting, which was extremely interesting especially for me, because I love blind tastings as they give me an opportunity to really test my skills. I was excited to get the first wine right all the way down to the area where it was from, but the third one was a complete mystery to me as it was served in a black glass. This means you can’t use your vision to even determine the colour. It was surprisingly difficult, but I’d definitely recommend giving it a go, if you have a chance and are interested in wines.
Having a tasting like this exclusively for us was a very nice surprise and a great start to our stay at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park. It’s rare to experience this level of service even in the world of luxury hotels, so it really left an impression on us.
We were pleased to find out our room had been upgraded by several levels all the way up to a Hyde Park Room with a view of Hyde Park, as the name suggests. The hotel rooms were completely renovated and started welcoming guests again in 2019, so the rooms are in excellent condition.
Our room number 620 felt spacious and modern, but still paying homage to the heritage of the building by retaining its understated luxury with a restrained colour scheme and plush furniture. I liked the fact that the whole floor wasn’t covered with carpet and instead they had left a part of the beautiful wood floors exposed.
The room has a good-sized desk (covered with leather), a fireplace (how great would it be if it was functioning), a large luxurious bed, two chairs and a small table that we used on our last morning for some room service breakfast.
The only real problem we encountered with the room was the fact that because we had an ajoining room, we could hear our neighbour quite clearly. Especially the music we woke up to at 1 am, so the soundproofing isn’t the best between rooms (at least adjoining ones).
Of course the bed is one of the most important features in a room and I can say that there were absolutely no complaints in this department. The bed is just the way it should be, the pillows are nice and plush and the linen are luxurious.
I always say this, but for some reason the bathroom is one of the most important criteria when I’m choosing a hotel to stay at. In Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park the rooms are filled with white marble, good lighting and a nice mix of old and new.
If possible, I’d prefer to have the bathtub and separate shower, but in this case the combination worked without a problem, as the water didn’t escape the tub. The actual shower had a nice older feel to it mixed with modern luxury, so the combination really worked.
Japanese-style toilets are still a rare sight outside of Japan, but Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park thankfully has them. For those of you who haven’t gotten a chance to try them, it is like a smart toilet with the ability to have a heated seat (once you get a feel for it, sitting on a normal toilet seat is a let-down), wash your private bits and lift the toilet seat with a push of a button.
Double vanities are a big plus in my books and I would love to have that set-up at home as well. Oh, and if you step into the bathroom while the lights are out, they automatically turn on for you to see where you’re going.
Throughout Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park the service was mostly excellent. We only encountered one employee at the inside entrance (not a doorman) who somehow gave us a weird look, but other than that we got some great experiences during our stay.
Like I mentioned earlier, the suprise wine tasting was such a memorable experience that isn’t something you see at most hotels. Also during our afternoon tea, we had such nice people taking care of us that we were in awe. If you want to read more about that, you can do it here.
One great example of the service was the concierge Gianfranco (hopefully I got the name right), who we talked to one evening. I told him that we would love to visit a specific hotel’s bar on the other side of town for some live music, but I had read that it’s really hard getting in if you aren’t a guest of the hotel or if you’re not willing to stand in line. He was immediately telling us “No problem, my friend works at the hotel, so I’ll call them”. A few moments later we were on our way there and after arriving at the hotel, were greeted with open arms and shown to our table right next to the band. These are the kinds of things great luxury hotels can offer the guests staying there – experiences, fantastic service and exclusivity.
The Michelin-restaurant “Dinner by Heston Blumenthal” hosts breakfast for the hotel guests each morning, so it’s a given that everything is delicious and of high quality. I always say “quality over quantity”, but this time I would have liked to have a bit more options on offer without having to pay extra for them, such as bacon and maybe some scrambled eggs.
I totally get it that the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park is a very luxurious hotel in expensive London, but even by those standards I felt that the amounts you have to pay for the extras like omelettes, pancakes and such was a bit much. However that being said, we had 100 USD Amex credit to use during our stay, so I basically just decided to use it on that. And when the portions arrived, they were big and absolutely delicious, so at that point I understood the prices a bit better. I’d be happy to pay that much if I was just visiting from outside the hotel. I just wish champagne was on offer without extra charge as it usually is in most luxury hotels we’ve visited (here it’s 24 – 38 GBP per glass) or at least have the price a bit lower for staying guests. However that being said, the champagnes available were of higher quality than usual with a vintage, rosé and blanc de blancs options to choose from.
The actual breakfast space was a bit too loud and busy for our taste, but we were lucky and scored a table in a quieter part of the restaurant next to a window with beautiful views of Hyde Park. The service at breakfast was excellent and very kind, which made our relaxing mornings even better.
So far we have stayed in three different hotels in London, so we have at least some kind of an idea on the level of hotels in the city. Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park was all-in-all a very pleasant experience with only a few small details that I think could be done better, so if you have the money to stay here, I’m pretty certain you won’t be disappointed. The rooms are beautiful, the property itself is spectacular, the service is warm and impeccable and the overall feel of the place is luxuriously elegant, so you can’t go wrong with choosing this as your hotel in the heart of London. We’d definitely stay here again in the future.
Thank you to everyone at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, who made our stay so effortless and welcoming. And thank you to my wife for helping me with many of the photos, as always.
If you’ve stayed at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, I’d love to hear your opinion on your experience in the comments. Or if you would love to stay there at some point, I’d very much like to hear that too. Thank you for reading and I hope this hotel review will help you make a decision when choosing a hotel to stay at in London.