Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London
|Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London|
|Location||66 Knightsbridge, London, United Kingdom|
|Opening||1902, reopened in 2000 after a complete renovation|
|Owner||Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group|
|Management||Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group|
|Number of rooms||141|
|Number of suites||40|
|Number of restaurants||3 Restaurants and 1 Bar|
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London is a five-star hotel, located in the Knightsbridge district of London, owned and managed by Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group. Housed in a historic, Edwardian-style building, the hotel originally opened its doors to the public in 1902 as the Hyde Park Hotel and in 1996 Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group purchased property conducting a full renovation, consequently re-opening in May 2000.
In June 2018, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London completed the most extensive restoration in its 115 year history. The hotel was damaged in a fire on 6 June 2018 which was mainly confined to the exterior courtyard area of the hotel with limited impact on the interiors and is temporarily closed.
Overlooking London’s Hyde Park on one side and Knightsbridge on the other, the hotel was originally built in 1889 as an exclusive ‘Gentleman’s Club’.
The project, originally known as Hyde Park Court, was announced in August 1887 but was delayed by planning disagreements, including the proposed height of the development, which was to be the tallest building in London. Outraged residents feared a shadow would be cast over the Serpentine lake in Hyde Park and they threatened to force the builders to reduce the number of floors by putting up a wooden barrier which would block the light to the lower floors. An unsuccessful Bill was brought before Parliament to reduce the restriction of buildings from 100 feet to 60 feet, and so the original design of the hotel remained.
The outside consists of red brick and Portland stone in an eclectic Franco-Flemish style. The hall, entered from Knightsbridge through swinging doors of carved walnut, was lined with coloured marble and had a frescoed ceiling, as well as a marble chimney-piece complete with a marble clock. Stairs of white marble flanked with balustrades led to the upper ground floor. This style of decoration continued in the principal communal rooms, including the breakfast and dining room overlooking Hyde Park.
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group purchased the property in 1996 and conducted a complete £57 million renovation of the hotel, as well as a re-design of the restaurants and bar. Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London re-opened in May 2000. In June 2018 an extensive restoration of Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London was completed. Internationally renowned designer, Joyce Wang, oversaw the redesign of the rooms, suites and public areas.
In 1899, a fire struck the property, damaging the top three floors of the Knightsbridge wing and destroying part of the roof, including the central iron and glass turret. All residents made a successful escape, despite the fire brigade’s ladders only reaching halfway up the building.
After the renovations, the building was reopened in 1902 as the Hyde Park Hotel, London’s newest and grandest hotel. The ceilings and marble floors had survived, and period fireplaces in the style of Louis XV and XVI were installed, while the furnishings echoed the 18th century style of Sheraton and Hepplewhite.
Between 1911 and 1912, the Ballroom was redecorated in a style of Louis XVI. In 1925, the architects Charles Frédéric Mewès and Arthur Joseph Davis, who also remodeled some of the principal rooms in a traditional Louis XV style, added a Palm Court.
A royal entrance
As a private 'Gentleman’s Club' the entrance to the building was through the Loggia, but in 1902, when it reopened as Hyde Park Hotel, the postal address changed from Albert Gate to 66 Knightsbridge. Tradition has it that the Queen would not allow any form of advertising within the Park, and therefore insisted that the main entrance, with the hotel’s name above it, be moved from the Park side to Knightsbridge. The Queen consequently mandated that the original entrance be preserved for Royal use, unless permission is otherwise granted by the Royal Household, which has been upheld ever since. The doors were opened during the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in 1937 when the Crown gave special permission for the guests to use the park entrance.
Today, guests of Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London can still take part in this tradition of the hotel by requesting permission from the Royal Parks to use the ‘Royal Entrance’ for special occasions. Guests who have been granted access to this entrance include members of the Japanese Imperial family, former South African Premier General Hertzog, and a President of Uganda.
Many important events have been held at the Hyde Park Hotel. A few such events were Lady Doris Vyner's silver wedding party in 1948, with the King and Queen as guests of honour, and the Balaclava Ball, hosted by the five cavalry regiments who had taken part in the Balaclava charge, also attended by the Queen, Prince Philip, and the late Queen Mother.
Other celebrations include the 1992 production of “Pavarotti in the Park”, one of the country’s largest open-air concerts, the 1995 Anniversary of VE Day in which seven Heads of State and their delegations took up residence, and ‘Party in the Park’, one of Europe’s largest music events. The hotel hosted the 80th birthday party of Margaret Thatcher which was attended by HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, along with former Prime Ministers John Major and Tony Blair, former deputy chairman of the Conservative Party Jeffrey Archer and entertainers Shirley Bassey and Joan Collins among others.
Restaurants and bar
The interiors of the restaurants and bar were created by the designer Adam Tihany. The hotel is home to three restaurants: Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Bar Boulud, London and The Rosebery Lounge as well as Mandarin Bar.
The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, London
As part of a restoration of Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London the Spa was fully renovated and reopened on 1 June 2018 with the number of treatment rooms increasing from 9 to 13.
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- "Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London". Mandarin Oriental The Hotel Group. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
- Lake, Emma (11 June 2018). "Welding work at Mandarin Oriental believed to have set fire to planted wall". The Caterer. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 February 2010. Retrieved 24 August 2009.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 9 February 2010. Retrieved 24 August 2009.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- "Mandarin Oriental fire: Blaze at Knightsbridge hotel". BBC News. 6 June 2018. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
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