We just came back from the weekend in London, where we stayed in Mandarin Oriental hotel. Recently refurbished and straight in the middle of the city, sounds great, right? We thought to try something new to our usual Connaught hotel in Mayfair or Lanesborough hotel. So here is my honest review based on our personal experience.
The hotel can’t be located in a better place, particularly if you love shopping. Right opposite Harvey Nichols department store, on the top of the most fashionable Sloane street and less then 5 min walk to Harrods. But not only shopping is the attraction here. Several amazing restaurants are in the walking vicinity of the hotel and if you like running or long walks in parks, Hyde park is just opposite. So for me, the location can hardly get better. Well unless you want to be in Mayfair where you have Bond street to shop and the most amazing restaurants like Hakkasan or Scott’s within 5 min walk. Anyway, Mandarin Oriental London has the perfect location for a weekend away and we were excited to go there.
Mandarin Oriental London
I arrived a little bit earlier then my husband so I was the one checking us in. Unfortunately our room was not yet ready but the staff was kind enough to help me with the luggage to the spa and fitness are in order for me to change clothes for my lunch with a friend. The only thing I wasn’t very comfortable was that the reception was tiny. In fact it was so tiny I was standing almost shoulder to shoulder to another guest. There was no privacy whats so ever. I just don’t want to hear others people conversation at the check-in. The reception just should have been bigger.
Now let’s talk about the design. The entrance is quite spectacular and apparently all original, full of gorgeous marble and as a bonus, fabulous Halloween decoration. Though I thought it should be better lit, it is quite opulent and has a wow factor.
Our room itself was a bit too simple comparing to the opulence of the entrance. Nice, but it didn’t quite feel luxurious. Definitely not like other Mandarin Oriental hotels around the world. For example Mandarin Oriental Dubai was oozing luxury from every corner. The bathroom was a bit too small and without a bathtub, just shower ( I didn’t mind, but my husband did). The only thing I did really appreciated was the perfect lighting in the bathroom to do my makeup.
I also didn’t enjoy much the design of the halls. Somehow it felt like the separate pieces of furniture and decoration don’t belong together. Chandeliers with tassels and blurry photograph of a horse in the field (in colour) is just not my thing.
The breakfast room for me was quite a disappointment. I didn’t like the decoration at all. It felt like a room from the 80’s. The breakfast was quite disappointing as well. The choice wasn’t great and it all felt poorly presented and not very often refilled (empty bowls from fruit). Also a chair broke under my husband (and not because of his weight) which can, of course, happen but in my opinion, it should not happen in such hotel.
We haven’t eaten in the Michelin star restaurant, so I can’t review that, but I am sure it will be good. However if you like a good burger, Bar Boulud is inside of the building and it is one of my favourite restaurants in London. Certainly for burgers and service, which is both spectacular and I would recommend to anyone to go there for sure if you are visiting London.
The spa had a nice design, but for some reason I didn’t find it at all relaxing. You know that feeling when you enter the spa and suddenly you feel like in your Zen? Well I just din’t have that feeling there. The massage was very nice and the therapist very professional, so overall experience was nice, just not incredible. I also visited the gym, which had a great space next to the spa area. In London it is quite difficult to find a hotel with a large enough gym, so this was certainly a plus. Even though I didn’t quite like the choice of the Technogym treadmills (bit wobbly and no possibility to place a phone on it to watch something while running), I think it was quite a good gym actually and definitely good enough for your weekend away exercise.
Service across the whole hotel was nice and friendly, however a bit clumsy. First, when looking for my luggage I got offered completely wrong luggage. When ordering room service they forgot my salad, which was part of the dish from the menu and when calling back, they were surprised that I want a salad and in the end even brought the wrong one. Housekeeping left dust on our headboard and every once in a while we got disturbed by telephone ringing without any answer. So my summary of the service is that it just should be smoother and more on top of things.
Would I stay again?
I am not sure but probably not, unfortunately. However never say never, right? I was so ready to love this hotel, but I just didn’t. It wasn’t bad at all, it just was not 100% for such price (£ 830 per night). I think, if the service and breakfast was absolutely incredible, I think it would massively improve the whole experience. It is a shame, as I really love the location and the building and Bar Boulud. There were just so many tiny details which, separately, would not be that important, however put them together and you have suddenly less then perfect result.
Have a chic day