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“Gift card rip-off”

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Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London
Ranked #211 of 1,072 Hotels in London
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 10 April 2012

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.

Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
11  Thank john m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MO_Hotels, Public Relations Manager at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London, responded to this reviewResponded 16 April 2012

Dear Sir,

Thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback and we apologize for the confusion regarding our Gift Card programme. Mandarin Oriental Global Gift Cards are sold and stored in USD, and credit card charges occur in USD. We have reviewed your check and can confirm that the amount applied from your Gift Card to your restaurant bill was GBP 177.68, not GBP 130. We try to make the process as clear as possible and do not look to profit from currency exchange. We apologize for any miscommunication regarding the redemption of your Gift Card and hope you will give us another chance to delight you at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London in the near future.

Sincerely,
Sarah Cairns, Director of Communications, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London

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755 - 759 of 1,142 reviews

Reviewed 4 April 2012

I just love the standard of the Mandarin Oriental Group. The service is always extremely friendly with no flaws in it. The location of the hotel is excellent both for shopping and all the tourism acitivites. The rooms itself are fine but compared to other cities in the world small (which is the common thing in London).

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Blackmage1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 March 2012

We stayed here for four nights in Jan 2012 and had an overall excellent experience save for one hiccup.

Arrival has you received very well and the location is excellent accross from Harvey Nicholls plus also immediately above a main tube station on the Picadilly line. The concierge was very helpful, as were check-in staff. EG asked concierge about going to Leonardo Da Vinci exhibition and he gave us low down on ticket issues in London ... so that didnt happen (face value £15, price if wanted to get from broker £150).

Room was excellent, large airy, very comfortable and very quiet.

Ate in Bar Bouloud which we had booked several weeks earlier! - shown to a nice table, sat down, offered a drink waiting for menu - and then asked to move as the waiter advised they had kept it for someone else!. Then showed us towards a rather awful table in a long row of very close tables...... just about to walk out, when a very adept manager spotted what was going on and headed the whole issue off at the pass. Well done well handled and saved the day with a perfectly sensible excuse and a pre-dinner champagne on the house. We were smiling again. Food good, but atmosphere a little too casual for us on the night. Probabaly prefer to try Heston's restaurant next time. We also ate one night in the bar after the theatre - they are not really geared for this as the bar area is too busy to do this properly, but a club sandwich was good and when we did get a seat we were well looked after very well

The hotel does not apper to have a large sitting area so its either the bar or your room. The decor is good though throughout.

Room Tip: We had a corner room which had some great views over the city. Not at all noisy
  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank B_Dublin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 March 2012

My friends paid £250 for a giftcard In the London hotel for me to have a great meal at "Dinner", but when it came to paying my bill after the meal they said the card was only worth £180 !!!
It seems they have a nice little scheme going where they convert the card to USD, then convert back at their own extraordinarily bad exchange rate, therefore making a nice margin for themselves. A real shame as the restaurant was very good, but my only defence was to take the service off the bill, which wasn't fair to the staff. However, beware the rip off card scheme !!!

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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13  Thank david h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MO_Hotels, Public Relations Manager at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London, responded to this reviewResponded 16 April 2012

Dear Sir,

Thank you for visiting Dinner by Heston Blumenthal and for taking the time to provide your feedback. We are delighted to hear that you enjoyed your meal but apologize for the confusion regarding our Gift Card programme. Mandarin Oriental Gift Cards are sold and stored in USD, and credit card charges occur in USD. We have reviewed your particular case and can confirm that the original Gift Card value purchased was approximately GBP 180, not GBP 250. We do not look to profit from currency exchange and attempt to make the process as transparent as possible. We apologize for any misunderstanding regarding the value of your Gift Card and hope you will give us another chance to delight you at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London in the near future.

Sincerely,
Sarah Cairns, Director of Communications, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 March 2012

Once a year I take some friends for a weekend in London . A nice hotel and a great meal and good company. The Mandarin Hyde Park is in my opinion the best of the 5 Star hotels I have stayed in. Real service delivered well.
If anything the bar is on the small side but still very nice.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank ALBERT N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London

Address: 66 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7LA, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > London > Knightsbridge
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#48 Spa Hotel in London
#90 Business Hotel in London
#137 Romantic Hotel in London
#146 Family Hotel in London
#163 Luxury Hotel in London
Price Range: $974 - $1,529 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London 5*
Number of rooms: 198
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

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