Hotels are everywhere in London and sometimes it feels difficult to make a decision on which one is the right choice for one night away, or a few. It is easy for the eclectic Mandrake hotel to go unnoticed. After all, the understated exterior makes it seem like a secret hotel. We walked past the entrance twice by accident when looking for the front door.
A hotel full of dark mystic and wonder, you’ll be intrigued to take a closer look. I dare you not to. Opened in September 2017, it is the first hotel from Lebanese-born, London-based Rami Fustok, who has converted two former office blocks into a sumptuous retreat full of mythical pieces of art, beautiful velvet furniture and marble tables. As a guest, you’ll have an overwhelming urge to touch everything. All the furniture and materials feel sumptuous and luxurious which is intentionally done. Location wise, The Mandrake is in Fitzrovia, in nestled in the heart of London's West End, not far from Oxford Street.
As an opening statement, I have to say that the Mandrake is a well-designed hotel with a very clever use of space. This 30-bedroom boutique hotel not only is mystical on the inside; it is also magical on the outside. How so, you may ask? Well, the four floors of this building overlook a stunning inner courtyard, draped in jasmine and passion flowers and dotted with raffia seating. It’s a breathtaking sight and the hanging gardens make you feel as if you have been transported to Bali. The photos could send Instagram into overdrive with its natural beauty.
We had one of the terrace bedrooms, meaning we could open our patio doors straight onto the terrace area and breathe in the smell of jasmine. Our bedroom had everything we needed including a king size bed, a hammam-style marble bathroom with a rainforest shower and a smart TV. I did miss my bath and you can upgrade to a suite for a free-standing tub. I never tend to sleep well in hotels, despite always intending to. However, the overnight stay at The Mandrake was one of the best night’s sleep I’ve had in a while. This may be down to the Mattress and Topper being handmade by Naturalmat, made from organic and natural fibres. Also the fact that there were no children with us to wake us at 6am.
During our stay we wanted to take full advantage of the facilities here. We started in the cocktail bar, which is already being talked about as one of the trendiest bars in London. We were very well looked after by the bar staff and they did not hesitate in recommending some of their different cocktails. Behind the bar is it impossible not to miss the fantastic creature in a glass case which is half peacock and half kangaroo. Commissioned specifically or from Fustok’s personal collection. I could hardly take my eyes of it all night.
After cocktails, we wandered next door to The Mandrake’s restaurant, Serge et le Phoque. This chic dining room with soft lighting is complimented with aubergine-coloured chairs, pink formica tables and stunning velvet booths. This hotel is, without question, both trendy and luxurious. Even everyone who walks in the restaurant looks good. For dinner, we opted for the five course taster menu which did not disappoint. All the dishes were packed with flavour and delicately balanced, so you didn’t feel full, even though you left the restaurant completely satisfied.
The following morning, we enjoyed a hearty breakfast of poached eggs, avocado and crab with sourdough bread, as well as a fresh smoothie. There definitely feels like a commitment for spiritual health and wellbeing in this hotel residence. For every time you order a drink of any kind, they serve you a glass of water at the same time. I don’t think I’ve ever drunk so much water in 24 hours.
My husband was booked in for a Lomi Lomi Nui full body massage. He wasn’t quite sure what to expect, other than being informed that the massage was from ancient Hawaii that is unlike any other massage he may have had before.
Slavo is the Mandrake’s qualified massage and sound therapist. His core training is in the ancient Hawaiian massage art of Lomi Lomi Nui which he has practiced since 2008. My husband said this a massage like he had ever experienced before, with Slavo moving his joints into healing positions along with using singing bowls to create vibrations around the body. When my husband came back from his treatment and had a peppermint tea, he said he would highly recommend Slavo’s healing hands to anyone.
In summary, I can’t wait to visit The Mandrake again. The terrace will be wonderful in the summer when the cold weather is finally behind us. The Mandrake still feels like a hidden gem in such a busy city. Perhaps there is some mystical force which lures you back. It’s luring me back already.
For more information, visit www.themandrake.com. All views, blog content and photography are Guilty Mother’s own.