Hotel Review: The Mandrake Hotel, London

I recently posted about Hotel de Jobo in Paris, which I found so unabashedly bold that I would chuckle in bemusement every time I got back to the hotel after a day out.

London’s The Mandrake Hotel is perhaps just as over-the-top flamboyant, if one was to compare the two. One might even suggest that where the Hotel de Jobo stopped just short of reaching the goal, The Mandrake picked up the mantle and went further. The result? Luxury and whimsical mythological make-believe coexisting in apparent harmony.

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Location: Right smack in the centre of London, the epicenter of the hustle and bustle, the beating heart of the west end, you get the drift. If you want to be as close as possible to Oxford, Regent and Carnaby streets with their myriad of shopping, theater and dining possibilities this is literally it. If you prefer somewhere quieter – both figuratively and literally speaking – or something more retreat-like, this is on the opposite end of that scale. Although, to be fair, the hotel’s leafy courtyard has a distinctive oasis feel to it.

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Rooms: Over the years I have noticed that some hotels, both luxury and otherwise, will spend all of their capital, monetary and otherwise, in their lobby at the expense of their rooms. This is in some ways understandable because who doesn’t want to give the best possible first impression? The lobby at The Mandrake, which is arrived at via a dark tunnel flanked on one side by a suit-clad doorman, already gives one a rough idea of the bold, psychedelic decor you’ll find in some of its rooms.

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Standout feature: I would venture to say that some of the hotel’s 30 rooms are the hotel’s standout feature. The hotel is named after the mandrake plant, which is a hallucinogenic and narcotic, so you sort of get an idea of the theme it’s aiming for. Whether it stands out positively or negatively, however, is subject to personal taste; I personally appreciate a maverick in the world of luxury hotels where things can get a tad predictable.

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Other facilities: Facilities are decidedly boutique. Not unlike its contemporary and neighbour The London Edition, The Mandrake features a theatre which sometimes hosts artists in residence as well as film screenings and live performances and even sound massages (a treatment using gongs which create a vibrational massage through sound waves). There is also a bar, restaurant and the usual room service and wi-fi.

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The Lowdown: Doubles from £250, The Mandrake Hotel, 20-21 Newman Street, W1T 1PG; +44 20 3146 7770; themandrake.com

© Cynthia Wamwayi 2018

 

 

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