Last weekend Joe and I spent a long weekend away together at The Mandarin Oriental* London eating great food, drinking even better wine and spending some uninterrupted quality time together. Our stay at the Mandarin was simply wonderful I wanted to share a few photos with you for anyone looking at booking an extra special hotel in our cosmopolitan capital.
London’s Mandarin Oriental is situated in Knightsbridge right opposite Harvey Nichols and just down the road from Harrods with the other side of the hotel overlooking Hyde Park. Even on a grey day there’s no denying the grandeur of this iconic hotel with top-hatted doormen and branded flags flying in the wind. With doors opened for you at every turn and an extremely warm welcome by the reception staff right from the beginning our stay oozed professionalism and sheer luxury.
We were invited for a drink in the extremely cool hotel bar and were served our Moet in quirky oval flutes with wasabi snacks to wait with. When our room was ready we were shown upstairs to the third floor and into our large en-suite room with king-sized bed, LCD TV, mini bar, ample wardrobe space and elegant marble bathroom and stunning monsoon shower bath. In all honesty the décor in the Mandarin isn’t to our usual tastes – we’re a boutique couple all the way – but there’s no denying the grandeur that oozes out of every room in this hotel and it’s clear why millions across the globe come back again and again.
Surprisingly the Mandarin Oriental doesn’t offer it’s guests free wifi and as 3G was few and far between we paid £24 for two days’ worth of internet use. I couldn’t help finding this a little odd considering the price of the rooms and the amount of business people we saw stopping within the hotel, but once paid for the wifi connection could be used on up to 6 devices so it kept us happy throughout our staff and enabled me to get a bit of work done on my ipad in the bath! Our bed was the most comfortable I’ve ever slept on which made for two nights of heavenly re-charging. With luxurious sheets, pillow menu and a mattress you instantly sink into I challenge anyone not to drift off as soon as their head hits that feather-stuffed square of heaven.
Breakfast at the Mandarin Oriental is served inside Dinner by Heston Blumenthal with stunning morning view of Hyde Park, or if you’re feeling a little lazy you can opt to have it brought straight up to your room. As we were stopping for two nights we decided to do both during our stay and neither were without their benefits! On the first morning we took a stroll down to the restaurant around 10am and took a seat. The waiting staff were friendly and extremely efficient making breakfast a relaxing and very enjoyable experience. I went for Smoked Salmon and Caviar with Scrambled Eggs on Wholemeal Toast with a pot of Earl Grey Tea which was exactly what I wanted. Generous portions, fresh ingredients and a side of lemon made this my ideal breakfast and I thoroughly enjoyed every mouthful. Joe chose a Full English breakfast which also came with free reign of the continental selection. I couldn’t help but sneak a bite of his black pudding which was one of the best I’d tasted and I’m happy to report it all went down very well – great coffee too! With full tummies we were set up for the day and didn’t get hungry again until late afternoon. Breakfast the next day ordered to the room came within just half an hour and was enough to feed an army. It gave us an extra hour in bed and enabled us to pack and eat at the same time all whilst still in our Mandarin Oriental robes!
Downstairs the Mandarin Oriental boasts a stunning bar and restaurant – Bar Boulud. We had reservations elsewhere for food but we did pop in for a cocktail or two which turned out to be some of the best we’d ever had. I went for their White Cosmopolitan (Vodka, Elderflower Liqueur, Lime and White Cranberry Juice) after seeing incredible photos online and Joe tried a New Yorker, a smooth bourbon based cocktail with vermouth and bitters topped off with a single cherry. Both were mixed exquisitely and were worth every penny of their £13.50+ price tag – we couldn’t help but go back on our second night for more. The restaurant looked very busy, even late on Sunday evening and once again the staff couldn’t be faulted. Sadly we were too busy to visit, but The Mandarin also has a luxurious gym and spa with treatments galore downstairs for those looking for a bit of R&R during their stay – everyone we spoke to recommended it and the signature treatments really do look divine.
Dark wood and patterned wallpaper aside there is no denying that the Mandarin Oriental is a truly luxurious refuge in the busy centre of the city, and although a little too heavy as a quick stopover for most, I would highly recommend booking in for a special occasion. Every single second of our stay at the Mandarin was faultless with no request too much for the doting staff and we were made to feel like royalty from the moment we walked through the door.
You can find out more about the Mandarin Oriental Knightsbridge and book a room on their website here.
*our stay at the Mandarin Oriental was complimentary however all opinions and views in this post are my own..and Joe’s!