The 181-room Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park will reopen its doors on December 4 following a fire in the summer that spread several floors of the hotel, writes Angie Cronin.
The fire is believed to have been started when the by-product of welding work landed on the felt lining of a planted wall, setting it alight. It led to an evacuation of the building, which had just undergone a multimillion-pound renovation.
About 120 firefighters tackled the fire, with 36 hotel guests and 250 hotel staff evacuated from the building, and no injuries reported.
The hotel won’t reopen fully until spring 2019 when it will unveil new guest rooms and suites, but December 4 will see the reopening of the lobby lounge and reception area, the two-Michelin-star restaurant, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, and Bar Boulud, London, the Rosebery for afternoon tea, the Spa, and the rooms that are available to hire for events.
The hotel’s 450 employees pledged to donate about 40,000 hours to good causes across the capital as they wait for repairs to be completed.
New general manager Amanda Hyndman faced the challenge of keeping her workforce motivated and thanking all those who had offered help.
Their ‘Fantastic London’ campaign has seen staff volunteer at Oxfam charity shops and driven vans for The Felix Project – which collects food that cannot be sold and distributes it to charities who provide meals for vulnerable people.
They have also given time to Kitchen Social – which provides healthy meals for children during school holidays – and worked with homeless charity The Passage, Evelina children’s hospital, London Fire Brigade and employment support charity, Resurgo.