On the same day that the world watched as Paris’ Notre-Dame Cathedral was ripped apart by fire, one of London’s historic hotels reopened to the public yesterday, after being destroyed by a major blaze last summer.
Opening its doors to overnight guests after the most extensive renovation in its 117-year history, the 181-room hotel began a new chapter in what has been a storied history.
Located in the exclusive neighbourhood of Knightsbridge, the London icon has some of the city's best views of Hyde Park and The Serpentine. The hotel dates back to 1902, when it was first opened as the Hyde Park Hotel. It quickly became a favourite haunt for royals and was the place where Queen Elizabeth II and her sister were taught to dance.
It was popular with politicians such as Winston Churchill and then Margaret Thatcher, and has hosted many celebrities, including pop star Robbie Williams who was staying at the hotel when it caught fire last year.
Every one of the property's accommodations, from the smallest rooms located in the hotel’s turrets to the largest and most extravagant Mandarin Penthouse sitting pride of place on top floor of the hotel, was redesigned by award-winning designer Joyce Wang.
Inspired by its royal parkland location, the art-deco-style interiors stem from a palette motivated by the colours of falling leaves and acorns. There’s also a sampling of royal-influenced fittings, suitable given that the queen still holds the key to the park side gate of the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park.
A curated exhibition just beside the hotel's Bar Boulud entitled If Walls Could Talk, showcases the hotel’s illustrious past; and a 1920s Afternoon Tea pays homage to the era where history was created in the iconic hotel.
To celebrate the hotel’s reopening, the Be the First to Stay package gives all guests that check in between now and June 30 the chance to enjoy daily breakfast in bed plus credit to spend in The Roseberry tea rooms, the Mandarin Bar, Bar Bouloud or at The Spa with rates starting from Dh3,165 including taxes.