Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park
A dramatic brick façade forms the unmistakable face of Mandarin Oriental’s first and only outpost in London. The high-end, Hong Kong
–based hotel group, with properties from New York to Shanghai, took over the century-old Hyde Park Hotel back in the late nineties, reopening the Edwardian-era beauty just in time for the new millennium. In the past 15 years, as the London hotel market boomed and numerous young pretenders swung wide their doors, the Mandarin has managed to stay current while still retaining its old-fashioned appeal. The reason is the hotel’s two destination restaurants. The first, Dinner, is a collaboration with maverick molecular-gastronomy pioneer Heston Blumenthal. Currently ranked as one of the UK’s top restaurants, according to San Pellegrino’s World’s 50 Best list, it has garnered a loyal following for its historical-themed menu. Downstairs, the more informal but no less illustrious Bar Boulud is the only London outpost of French-born, New York–made, Michelin-starred chef Daniel Boulud, with a light, brasserie-style atmosphere popular for business lunches. The combination of these two spaces, with the Mandarin’s all-round opulence, makes a traditional choice palatable to modern tastes.