Hyde Park

Built in 1889 as an exclusive gentlemen's club, the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park remains one of the most refined addresses in London hospitality.
How the Stage was set HISTORY IN BRIEF 1889: The Hyde Park Hotel opened. 1899: A terrible fire ravages the hotel. It closes for renovation. 1996: The hotel is acquired by the Mandarin Group. 2000: The Mandarin Hyde Park re-opens after an extensive refurbishment. HISTORY IN DETAIL 1887, August: The Hyde Park Court project was announced but got delayed by endless planning disagreements, the most notable dispute being 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 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. 1889: The hotel opened as an exclusive ‘Gentleman’s Club’ with lavishly furnished drawing and dining rooms, a billiard room and a smoking room. Considerable skill had been deployed in the creation of a dramatically picturesque skyline using red brick and Portland stone in an eclectic Franco-Flemish style. Loggias were built to provide space for a pleasant summer’s evening lounge and promenade overlooking the park. Each of the first three floors was designed with four family suites and a bachelor’s suite. The upper floors were planned as single residences of varying sizes. However, more than half the tenants occupied at least two or more suites, with a certain dowager occupying six. The palatial interior decoration, the lavish use of marbles and gilding were years ahead of the best London hotels. The hall, entered from Knightsbridge through swinging doors of carvedwalnut, was lined with coloured marble and had a frescoed ceiling, as well as a marble chimneypiece 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. 1899: In 1899, a dramatic fire struck the property. Watched by thousands, the fire damaged the top three floors of the Knightsbridge wing and destroyed 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. 1902: The Hyde Park reopened after renovation as 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 eighteenth century style of Sheraton and Hepplewhite. 1911 – 1912: The Ballroom was redecorated in a style reminiscent of Louis XVI. 1925: Mewes & Davis, who also remodelled some of the principle rooms in a traditional Louis XV style, built a Palm Court. 1937: During the coronation of George VI, the Crown gave special permission for hotel guests to use the park entrance. 1996: The hotel was renamed Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park and is part of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group. 2000, May : Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London re-opened its doors following a £57 million restoration. The extensive work included: a luxurious renovation of the hotel’s 200 guestrooms and suites; the spectacular re-design of its restaurants and bar by internationally renowned designer Adam Tihany; new meeting rooms; and the creation of an exclusive spa, unique to London.
Members of the Royal Family have always been frequent guests of the hotel - Queen Mary was a regular visitor; the Prince of Wales - later Edward VII - came for society balls and most of his semi-official engagements; Princess Alexandra attended elegant dances; Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the late Princess Margaret first learned to dance here; Prince Philip held his polo and cocktail parties within the hotel as well as often bringing Princess Anne and Prince Charles to tea when they were children; and most recently, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip were guests at Baroness Margaret Thatcher’s 80th birthday party held in the hotel’s grand ballroom.
As a private ‘Gentleman’s Club’ the entrance to this magnificent building was through The Loggia, but in 1902 when it re-opened as Hyde Park Hotel, the postal address had 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, should be moved from the Park side to Knightsbridge and that the original entrance be preserved for Royal use alone, and has been opening for them regularly ever since. Today, guests can still take part in this grand tradition of the hotel by requesting permission from the Royal Parks to use the ‘Royal Entrance’ for special occasions. Guests who have enjoyed access to this legendary entrance have included members of the Japanese Imperial family, former South African Premier General Hertzog and the President of Uganda, to name just a few. Spectacular parties that hold a special place in the hotel’s history include Lady Vyer’s silver wedding party in 1948 - with the King and Queen as guests of honour - and the legendary Balaclava Ball, hosted by the five cavalry regiments who had taken part in the charge, attended by the Queen, Prince Philip and the late Queen Mother. Other celebrations have included 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 the largest music events of 2005 where many of the top acts made Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park their home away from home. Most recently, the hotel was proud to host the 80th birthday party of Baroness Thatcher which was attended by Prime Minister Tony Blair, Lord Archer, Shirley Bassey, Joan Collins and John Major among others.

Christoph Mares
Liam Lambert

Managed by: Mandarin Oriental Hotels
185 Rooms
19 Suites
All of the 200 rooms and suites have been individually furnished and decorated in true Victorian style with the ultimate of luxury in mind. Each room is lovingly prepared with Irish linen bed sheets, goose-down pillows, luxury designer bathroom products and a fresh orchid. Behind the exquisite materials and handcrafted finishes lies the latest technology. All rooms have outstanding facilities including two telephone lines with voicemail, high speed internet access, DVD and CD players with library, in-room safe, high speed internet access and a personal bar with refrigerator. Guest Floor Managers are also on hand throughout your stay to take care of your individual needs.
The Royal Suite offers a large balcony that runs its entire length and provides the ideal place for summer entertaining and dining, whilst the Sovereign Suite boasts a stunning bedroom with four-poster bed which leads on to a private balcony where four people can dine in luxury overlooking Hyde Park, this suite also offers a unique bathroom with free-standing Victorian bath.
Overlooking London’s finest Royal Park on one side and cosmopolitan Knightsbridge.
Foliage: Food by executive chef David Nicholls and Head chef Chris Staines Park Room Restaurant: North Mediterranean cuisine Ferrari Bar: cocktail lounge, light snacks and drinks The Park and Mandarin Bar
Fitness Centre, Spa. ‘The Spa at Mandarin Oriental’ ‘Time RitualsTM’: guests are encouraged to book ‘Time’ rather than a specific treatment Features and services: Sanarium; Vitality Pool; Amethyst Crystal Steam Room; Zen Colour Therapy Relaxation Room; Taste of Traditions – Body treatments and facials inspired by the ancient traditions of the Orient, Mediterranean, India and Arabia using Comfort Zone products; Shiatsu Inspired Ginger Ritual; Ama Releasing Abhyanga; Life Dance; Padabhyanga Foot Therapy Massage; Personalised Wraps; Stimulating Hip & Thigh Treatment; Oriental Salt Scrub; Total Indulgence Pre/Post Natal Treatment; Holistic Back, Face and Scalp Massage with Hot Stones
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Our Select Member Hotel

Hyde Park
Country: England
City: London
Opening date: 1908

Note from the Host

General Manager Christoph Mares

Coordinates

66 Knightsbridge
SW1X 7LA England, London

Tel: +44 20 7235 2000
Fax: +44 20 7235 2001

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