My wife and i received a gift card from friends for the Mandarin Oriental. It was denominated in US$ but, as the voucher was purchased in £sterling in the UK, we assumed it would reflect the £sterling amount. It was for $300. I checked the FX rate 30 minutes before arriving and saw that it would be about £147-150. It transpires my friends had chipped in a ver generous £150.
However, we were informed that it was worth only about £130 when we arrived. I checked with the hotel's internal bureau de change desk and found that, not only did they apply their own harsh exchange rate completely unreflective of the market rate, but they also took commission on the exchange. I complained and got nowhere- i didn't want to ruin the evening so didn't go as far as i would have liked. The man behind the desk smugly said we could use the voucher in the Mandarin Oriental in Boston USA without incurring the commision/fx rate. Obviously, this was extremely unhelpful as we imagine few London cabbies would accept that fare. This left a very nasty taste in our mouths. We checked with our friends to see if they were told of this. They were not and were appalled. They said they would not have bought the voucher had they known. There are countless hotels/restaurants offering vouchers w/out the skim off the top.
Long story short: if buying a voucher for for the Madarin Oriental, be sure to factor in that they'll take 20% before you've even walked through the door.
We used the voucher for a meal at Dinner. I don't know whether Mr. Blumenthal is aware of the situation but, as it overshadowed the evening, I will not comment further other than to give this warning to others and 1 star.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- With bustling Knightsbridge on its doorstep and leafy Hyde Park at its rear, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park is London's most prestigious address. Blending sumptuous guestrooms with a world-leading spa and a stylish bar, it is the definitive destination for a luxury escape. With two award-winning restaurants including Bar Boulud, London and Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, and a new Afternoon Tea salon, The Rosebery Lounge, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park stands at the culinary centre of the capital. On 19 September 2016, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London will be embarking on an exciting restoration designed to significantly enhance the facilities of the hotel. The property will remain open throughout the 18-month renovation, which will be undertaken in two phases in order to minimise disruption to guests. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London Hotel London
- Mandarin Oriental London
- Mandarin London
- London Mandarin Oriental
- Mandarin Hotel London