The luxury Mandarin Oriental hotel stands proudly opposite Harrods and Harvey Nichols in Knightsbridge. With its prestigious address and notoriety, it has long since been on the list of fine London hotels.
The place has a sense of regalness about it – the grand interior design features fine artwork on the walls, rich prints and draping thick velvets. The hotel actually dates back to 1889 and was originally an exclusive gentleman’s club. It still has that air about it.
The hotel is not small, it features just under 200 rooms and suites over four floors. The majority look out with a view of Hyde Park, and a few have views of Knightsbridge. The bedrooms ooze luxury – the bed sheets are made from the finest Irish linen, the pillows stuffed with the softest goose feathers and probably our favourite touch, the bathroom featured an array of Jo Malone bath products.
The room itself was absolutely beautiful - rococo style featuring elegant timeless pieces and pleasant floral prints. The palatial design has gotten away without looking old fashioned, thanks to sheer luxury and richness of the room. This is accompanied by some top mod-cons such as the Bang and Olufsen flat screen television and iHome docking station which didn’t look as out of place as you may have expected!
The spa is first class, the indoor pool is a delight to find in a city where space is a premimum. The hot stone massage gave my weary travellers bone the much needed attention they deserved, before I lost the next hour in the sauna, vitality pool and amethyst crystal steam room. The added bonus was my mobile had no reception, so I did for once get an afternoon off.
The Mandarin is also home to Heston Bluementals Dinner. The night we stayed we didn't do dinner, so we sent Karis McLarty instead a few nights later, and she wrote the restaurant up for the lifestyle section.
The hotel is big on personal service, it has a loyal following of celebrities and is a sought after location for engagements and weddings. It stands slap bang in the middle of Knightsbridge and if you are important enough some of the shops on Sloane Street will deliver to you. Once, a famous singing Diva asked for countless shoes to be delivered. She was offered two pairs for free, she took five and never settled the bill!
For the spa and location alone, its an absolute winner.