Mandarin Oriental London - Hip Hop "Thug Boy" Central !!!
Stayed at the Mandarin for one night because wonderful The Lanesbourough (where I stayed for 5 nights, see my review)
was completely oversold for the add'l night I requested..
The Mandarin was "created" from the old, doudy Hyde Park Hotel, and it shows.... The executive room booked was of decent size, good lighting, but had no enclosed shower (but great water pressure!) and came with paper fax, internet outlets, good stereo/CD and excellent wide-screen TV (with the most terrible remote I have ever seen - you really need a guide to figure out, no matter if you are a true techie like me). Room overall was ok, but not up to Mandarin's quality standards in other properties, and during the night a light blew out that also shut down the entire rooms power, taking about 45 mins for a staff electrician to fix in the middle of the night.
The real reason I would *never* return to this hotel is the dressed-down, "thug like" street rappers with their horribly dressed entourages hanging/partying constantly in the hallways and lobby throughout the hotel - I thought this might be a freak thing, but after talking to both the doorman and the limo driver, apparently the hotel is marketing itself to the London "music" crowd, and this type of crowd is the standard now, not the exception - and it really shows - The only refuge from this less than desirable crowd was in the popular "Mandarin Bar", which I think most of the hotel's elite was hanging out in an attempt to separate themselves from the rest of these folks....
All on all, when I travel to London, and stay with a top hotel chain with the reputation of the Mandarin group, I except to dress well and enjoy the good life, and not hang out with the partied-out "P. Diddy" crowd..
Advise: Avoid at all costs unless you are into hanging with the rap and hip-hop crowd 24/7.
Living on its reputation?
Stayed here last weekend for 2 nights while visiting the London Boat Show - and while I agree that the location is great - the hotel was a big disappointment. On a positive note, the staff were very wecoming and efficient - and there were lots of them. The rooms were big and old fashioned and the bathrooms were a monument to marble! My biggest gripe is the bar... a tiny space which has been redesigned in new muted browns, beige, creams with lots of opaque glass - quite out of keeping with the hotel - but it was tiny! On both nights we failed to get a seat, despite standing at the bar for nearly an hour and eventually left to find a drink elsewhere. Come on Mandarin - look after your guests. I won't be back - take my advice and try One Aldwych instead - the bar is brillant and not a piece of marble in sight!
A favorite in London
We took advantage of the low season rates and spent three days in one of the regular rooms. (You know it's just a regular room because it has Penhaligon rather than Jo Malone products. A hardship, I know, but we managed somehow.) Even though it wasn't a suite -- and therefore didn't look out on the park -- it was still a fantastic room. Very nice bathroom. My only complaint was that the lights were too dim to read by. But then again, this hotel doesn't cater to bookworms.
The Park restaurant is wonderful, with one of the most varied menus I've ever seen: burgers, pad thai, pizzas, dim sum -- and all done well. You can eat as much or as little as you like. So much nicer than the rigid three-course affair that so many British hotels force on you.
The Mandarin bar was buzzing when we were there. We even witnessed a very moving scene between one of the staff members and a customer. Very unprofessional, but it was better than a soap opera.
The doormen were inconsistent; sometimes they were there, sometimes not. Apart from that, the service throughout the hotel was flawless, very attentive and courteous. At the end of the three days, I wanted to move in permanently.
I recently had the pleasure of spending a night at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel while passing through London. (December 26, 2004). Having stayed at several of the "5-star" hotels in London, I was pleasantly surprised to find that this hotel surpassed them all! From the moment I arrived at the door, the friendly, efficient and conscientious attitude was exhibited by every employee. I was made to feel at home. The money spent was more than worth the price as the hotel was clean, up to date and fresh. The food I ate at the restaurant as well as the room service was cooked to order with no extended wait. In all, a wonderful experience. I cannot wait to return. (Don't waste money on Lanesborough etc. THIS is the place to stay!).
Average 5 star
Not bad - service excellent. Don't have a car valet - you could do a better job yourself at the local Shell garage in less than 5 minutes, and it's 30 cheaper. Staff are excellent - attentive, speedy, polite. The biggest let down was the room -nothing wrong with it as such, but there was nothing special about it - distinctly average for a major 5* of this type, and the bathroom was not great - long and thin - bath was tiny. Spa facilities are v good - not explained very well.
Stayed at the Mandarin Oriental three times over the past year, generally for a week at a time. Overall I like the hotel but am not particularly wedded to it and am trying another hotel for the trip I am taking next week.
The hotel has an aging dowager appearance to it in the wear and tear of its furnishings. Rooms are spotless and the help is extremely attentive. Each room is configured a bit differently but the bathrooms generally (possibly all) have a shared tub / shower combination which is not my favorite. The rooms are well upholstered with beautiful fabrics and draperies, but the furniture itself shows signs of age. For example not all the cabinet doors fit squarely and can be hard to open and close - maybe that goes with the territory. Also, the rooms can be quite warm and stuffy forcing you to open the windows, which lets in the city noise. What I found particularly bothersome what that the room lighting can be rather dim. We actually requested extra lamps to brighten up the rooms a bit.
The bar is quite a scene and very active into the late nights with an attractive crowd, lots of cigarette smoke, and can get quite loud. Try to get a room above the second floor to insulate yourself from any ambient noise. The restaurants are outstanding with a very creative kitchen cooking in a few different motifs (new British, Chinese, Indian, Italian) So navigating the menu can take some time. Also it is quite expensive so plan accordingly. Breakfasts are enormous, and watching the horseback riders and dog walkers in Hyde Park from the restaurant in the mornings is great fun.
loved this hotel and location
we stayed with our three children for two nights and were extremely impressed! The check in was efficient.They had our adjoining rooms available which is never a guarantee at any hotel.Our rooms were large and spacious. Our roll away was delivered and still left us with plenty of room compared to european standards. The staff was friendly and helpful and our floor concierge left each child a gift pack on their beds as a welcome gift. The kids loved this and that alone made their stay. We were 1 block from harrods and close enough to Buckingham Palace. The best was being right on top of the Knightsbridge tube. The price was well worth the stay and a lot cheaper than the other five star hotels. I need to add that i am a travel agent and did not receive any deal or benefit as they did not know my business.
Greetings, I wanted to find out if U.S. travelers still need to bring adapters for electronic devices such as laptops, iPods, phone chargers, etc. Any advice is appreciated. I am staying at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park.
RE: RE: bring adapters?
Be careful - the adapters make the plugs fit, but they probably do not transform the electricity. So make sure that your device can handle the different voltage or else you will fry it.
RE: RE: bring adapters?
No, if you talk about laptop, ipod, cell phone etc, those items chargers works it both countries, usually 100 to 240 v, and you do not need any electrical converter, you only need a plug to fits for the UK standard socket in the wall, like the one in this next photo.
RE: bring adapters?
As the son of an electrician, I can tell you that with a little bit of bending it is technically possible to jam a US plug into a UK socket's bottom two pins, and it works fine, however I would not recommend it...
RE: RE: bring adapters?
Yes and Maplins on Tottenham Court Rd.
RE: bring adapters?
Thank you everyone. I picked up a converter at Sharper Image and the Mandarin Orange also said they would assist.