Traditional in appearance, The Mandeville’s towering red-brick and pillar frontage, flanked by a giant Union Jack and suited ‘n’ booted doormen, belie the explosion of French-inspired couture inside. Sashay across the polished floor of the foyer, sail up to the recently refurbished fifth floor, and it’s Maison Christian Lacroix that greets you.
The location is ideal, with only two quick tube stops from the West End, and is pumped with enough glitz and glamour to make you feel like a star. Oxford Street is minutes away for high-adrenaline shoppers or for a more sedate purse-bashing there are plenty of boutique stores nearby.
The hotel’s fifth floor is made up of four Christian Lacroix-designed rooms – Jardin Exotique, Classic Lacroix, Midnight Blue, Jewel Box – each individually and expertly coutured to reveal a different show-stopping story of A-list Riviera life.
Before we got to our room, the Classic Lacroix, there was the fifth-floor warm-up – a veritable corridor fanfare of candy-bright jewelled wallpaper, statement mirrors and hot-pink stripes. It was instant lumière; un aperitif that was as dramatic and exuberant as the plat principal: the room itself.
After the sensual assault of the corridor, the Classic Lacroix was like a much-needed meditative breath: relaxed and centred. Gone were the clashing prints, replaced instead by a sublime balance of black and white.
Despite the room’s slim size, we were instantly enchanted by its looks, beguiled by its lavish linen and furniture, and impressed with the hotel’s luxurious touches: a Nespresso machine, large flatscreen Smart TV, Bigelow Apothecaries toiletries, USB sockets, Villeroy & Boch crockery.
What the room lacked in square footage, the bathroom more than made up for. Glinting with chrome and biscuit-coloured marble, the bathroom housed a huge shower and tub, heated floors and towel rails, and fluffy robes and slippers – a couple could easily exist for a weekend in the Classic Lacroix without treading on one another’s toes.
Plus, the room felt incredibly private and quiet. We didn’t hear any of the other guests and, despite us being in the heart of London, the noise of the metropolitan didn’t make it past our Lacroix blinds. Which meant peaceful slumbers and very sweet dreams.
The trouble with boutique hotels, is they come with a boutique attitude – right? Not so at The Mandeville Hotel.
There was nothing snooty about the staff. Reception was cheery, friendly and the check-in and out swift; the doormen where more than happy to be in the picture – after they’d attended to guests of a non-blogging nature, of course – and the concierge, well, he was a fruit-burst of positivity and enthusiasm.
But what we liked most was that the whole of the downstairs crew seemed like a genuine team – as well as behaving with correct decorum, they weren’t afraid to crack jokes together or help one another out.
And we got the impression that you’d be treated to the same high-quality service whether you were arriving with Louis Vuitton luggage, or not.
R & S x
The Mandeville Hotel, Madeville Place, London, W1U 2BE.
0207 935 5599 | The Mandeville Hotel – Marylebone