The property will re-open in its entirety on Monday, April 15 having completed the most extensive restoration in its 117-year history. This includes all new guest rooms and suites and, two newly created expansive penthouse suites. Most accommodation offers exceptional views of leafy Hyde Park and the London skyline.
“Mandarin Oriental is enormously proud of the heritage of this historic hotel. The scope and intricate detail of this momentous renovation is designed to ensure this iconic London establishment is recognised as one of the finest hotels in the world. We look forward to welcoming our guests with kind and intuitive service that is truly British but reflective of our Oriental heritage,” said Amanda Hyndman, general manager and area vice president of operations.
Guestrooms and Suites
Internationally renowned designer, Joyce Wang oversaw the redesign of all guest rooms and suites, along with the creation of the hotel’s new penthouses, taking inspiration from the peaceful park side location, as well as the glamour of the early 20th century’s Golden Age of travel. All 181 guest rooms and suites are now more luxurious and comfortable than ever before, with art deco-inspired features including carefully curated artworks and custom-designed furniture.
New York designer Adam D. Tihany was responsible in redesigning of the next-generation Spa at Mandarin Oriental, London. In keeping with the fresh new look, the extensive spa menu has also been enhanced to include exclusive partnerships with some of the most sought-after health and wellness experts in the world. The new spa features 13 individual treatments rooms, an Oriental Suite with two massage beds and a Rasul water temple, a room designed for traditional ASANTE Chinese Medicine consultations and treatments and a Bastien Gonzalez Pedi:Mani:Cure Studio – the first of its kind in the UK.
The Restaurants and Bar
Adam D. Tihany managed the light refurbishment of Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Bar Boulud, London and Mandarin Bar. The Rosebery, known as the Bennett Tearoom in the 1920s, will offer a special 1920s Afternoon Tea, while Mandarin Bar has created a series of special cocktails named after celebrated guests and iconic events that took place within the hotel.
Having hosted royal parties and glamorous events since the 1900s, the hotel’s Ballroom and Loggia have also been lovingly restored to include 24-carat gilding of many original features. Both venues enjoy access from the park via the private Royal entrance. The renovation also includes a beautiful hand-painted Butterfly Terrace by artist Leah Wood, along with two new versatile meeting spaces, Asquith and Balfour, for private meetings and social soirees.
The first phase of the renovation was unveiled in September 2017. Joyce Wang was commissioned to transform the Lobby Lounge and Reception area, which now blend seamlessly with The Rosebery’s nature inspired décor. Contemporary materials, including acrylic, are juxtaposed with more traditional finishes such as blond burl wood. Centre piece commissioned glass chandeliers enhance the dramatic entrance. The reception artwork by Fredrikson Stallard, is an abstraction of the textured and layered bark of the Plane Tree – the signature tree of Hyde Park.
The hotel has commissioned VISTO Images to compile an outstanding art portfolio throughout the hotel. Each of the hotel’s new floor landings showcase a striking photograph by Mary McCartney, who is the official photographer of the Group’s international advertising campaign, while the corridors are home to pieces inspired by the nature of Hyde Park and English technological innovations featured in the 1851 Great Exhibition. Other eclectic art pieces can be found throughout the hotel’s public areas.
History of the Building
The building was commissioned in the late 1880’s however construction was initially delayed due to fears that its height would cast a shadow over the Serpentine. It finally opened in 1889 as an exclusive block of apartments for affluent bachelors, before opening as a hotel, with its own private Royal Entrance, in 1902.
Since then, many honoured guests have passed through the hotel, and for several years after the Second World War, it was the headquarters of the SAS. Glamorous parties and dance classes by the venerable Madame Vacani who taught HM Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Margaret to dance have been held in the ballroom.
Sir Winston Churchill lived in the hotel for a while and was known to offer room service waiters two cigars in return for the delivery of an early breakfast. Evelyn Waugh was also a regular guest, and characterised some of his fellow guests after his many stays.
Many of these momentous past events can be viewed in more detail in the newly created Historical Journey Exhibition on permanent display in the hotel from Monday, April 15.