One multi-million pound renovation and a freak fire later, The Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park has reopened its restaurants and spa to a fanfare reception, with guest rooms and suites poised to be unveiled in April. The spa, like the rest of the hotel, is worth the wait. Set in the depths of building, this cosseting den of wellness is a world away from the razzmatazz of busy Knightsbridge.
The space has been redesigned by American interior doyen Adam D Tihany and takes its cue from traditional Chinese symbolism. Akin to Mandarin Oriental’s signature aesthetic, calming decor is flourished with Asian details, including two large-scale floral wall features. Treatments and lounge areas are unified by a soothing, neutral colour palette of glossy caramel and earthy tones, accented by opulent grey silks and punchy aqua-hued velvet. Small trays of Chinese tea and discreet, courteous staff await you at every turn, while just the sight of the dimly lit relaxation room and the distant sound of the water jets are enough to make your shoulders soften.
Guests are encouraged to arrive 45 minutes prior to their treatment to lap up the facilities, including a state-of-the-art gym, a scintillating 17-metre indoor pool and an amethyst crystal steam room. There are 13 single treatment rooms (not so unlucky here) and a capacious Oriental Suite for two, with a grand, mosaic-tiled Rasul water temple, designed to condition the body with heat, steam and mud.
The Spa at Mandarin Oriental goes beyond fluffy facials and light pampering, providing treatments that tackle physical and mental wellbeing, created in partnership with an A-team of health and beauty experts. There is a mani-pedi studio in collaboration with master French podiatrist Bastien Gonzalez, the foot guru credited with putting the ‘cure’ back into pedicure and a sophisticated space dedicated to Chinese medicine. Targeted facials have been designed by revered London-based facialist Linda Meredith and Nescens, the science-driven, Swiss anti-ageing brand.
On my visit, I surrender my shoes and stresses at the front desk and spend the next few hours padding about in sybaritic serenity. I sample the Oriental Qi, a heavenly one-hour 50-minute massage atop a blanket-swaddled, heated bed. I am kneaded and pummelled from head to toe and slathered in aromatic oils, while I fight to stay awake; not wanting to miss a moment of this hypnotic pleasure.
If possible, I would still be at the Mandarin Oriental: perched poolside, post-treatment; dipping my toes in warm water in a meditative state of mellow bliss.
The Oriental Qi treatement is priced at £265 for 1 hour 50 mins; Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, 66 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7LA, mandarinoriental.com