Hotels

Meet London's Trippiest Hotel

And Another That Overlooks Hyde Park

By Sarah Freeman ·
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One has an greenhouse in its lobby.

The other suffices with a legendary 350-acre park on its flank.

At first, London's newest hotels don't appear to have much in common.

Other than an appreciation for nature and dreams of meeting you.

There's the mid-century modern wonderland now open within the historic Royal Lancaster, while the Mandrake takes a more psychedelic approach to accommodating you.

Take a look at both here, and feel free to discuss amongst yourself.

First up is the Royal Lancaster, a circa-1937 office building-cum-hotel that now stands lovingly refurbished. A sweeping marble staircase welcomes you, revealing the Hyde Lobby Bar within its arches. Here you'll dive into gin martinis and Scottish lobster cocktails and basically pretend it's the BBC's version of Mad Men.

After that, to your suite, which will be adorned in cool, blue velvet furnishings you can drape yourself over to appreciate the Hyde Park views. Or do the same from the marble bathtub. This place knows its good side.

Across town in the West End, step into the Mandrake, a hotel straight out of Alexander McQueen's fever dreams. The mandrake root may be hallucinogenic, but the gothic chandelier, sprawling courtyard greenhouse and strange, glowing red restaurant are undeniably, actually there. And damn sexy.

You could pick the Mandrake room, if sleeping in a Bedouin-style tented bed appeals. But we suggest opting for the Penthouse, a marble-inundated affair with taxidermy animals stalking the living area and a hot tub under a retractable roof.

More for the hot tub than the taxidermy.

Sarah Freeman is often accused of hiding secrets in her hair. She can make any cocktail, as long as that cocktail is a rye Old Fashioned, and has never met a saison she didn’t like.

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