When I stayed at the Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park I learned that what makes a top hotel really outstanding is not just the luxurious decor, not just the delicious food and elegant public areas but the service of staff who make it their mission to please you in every way they can.
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At the Mandarin Oriental service means that everyone knows your name, nothing is too much trouble and that the staff are constantly on the look out for ways to delight you. It could be a bowl of perfectly sweet strawberries, or a chocolate gateau that you find in your room at teatime, or it could be the unusual tea that’s brought to round off your meal, or the suggestions they offer to make the most of your stay in London.
Now before I get too carried away, I should declare that I received a complimentary night’s stay at the Mandarin Oriental in order to write a review for a luxury hotel website – read my review for Kiwi Collection here. So obviously the staff would be on their best behaviour wouldn’t they? Yet everything I saw led me to believe that world class service is a way of life at the Mandarin Oriental and that true luxury at a hotel like this is being made to feel like a princess from the moment you step through the door.
I was lucky enough to be spend the night in the Prince of Wales Suite where a little bird told me that an American Pop Princess had been staying not long before. My daughter and I were soon well at home, testing out the comfy sofas and the flat screen TV, taking a long hot soak in the marble bathroom and woke in the morning to catch the mounted red-coated guards of the Household Cavalry riding past on their way to the Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace.
If you want to stay in the heart of London in a gorgeous hotel that has often entertained royalty (pop princesses or otherwise), with traditional and elegant interiors and exceptional service, then you can’t do better than the Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park.
Bar Boulud opens at the Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park
While we were there we enjoyed a delicious Asian meal in the Park Restaurant but a hot new restaurant has also just opened at the Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park. Bar Boulud is headed by Michelin star French-born, New-York based chef Danel Boulud, who already has a string of successful restaurants in New York including the sister restaurant Bar Boulud New York. I’m told that Daniel Boulud has the culinary stature in the US that Gordon Ramsay has in the UK but a lot more Gallic charm!
The restaurant will feature French bistro style favourites like truffled white sausage and braised rabbit ragout as well as the signature terrines, pates and charcuterie that you can watch being prepared at a special charcuterie bar. There’ll be a zinc topped bar where you can buy fine French Rhones and Burgundies by the glass as well as artizan beers. I suspect that the Gaulloise smoke and absinthe won’t feature heavily at Bar Boulud though – this is a stylish modern interpretation of the French Bistro style, with oakwood, cork and leather furnishings designed by top architect and designer Adam D. Tihany.
It sounds like the ideal place for a relaxing dinner with friends sharing a plate of seafood or some of that charcuterie washed down with a glass or two of well-chosen French wines. Must stop in there for lunch when I’m next in Knightsbridge stocking up on designer essentials at Harrods or Harvey Nichols!
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