five star london, luxury hotelsEvents In London September 2013

Nigel Bowen, Head Concierge of The Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park

  • by Charles the Concierge

What brought you to the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park? 

Mandarin Oriental is a global leader in luxury hospitality, they offer what is cutting edge and blend this with the tradition and culture of the cities that they locate in – without forgetting the company heritage and oriental opulence.

I had an opportunity to lead a great Concierge team in arguably the best hotel in London, the capital of the world – so obviously I am delighted!


5 words that you would use to describe the hotel? 

Grand, Opulent, Established, Historic & Luxurious


5 things a first time visitor to London must do 

Walk… Just walk and don’t forget to look up and around – some of London’s greatest treasures are amongst the rooftops. The Underground is the best public transport system in the world to get across town though. 

Visit the Tower of London – take it in – the grandeur, the history. This imposing 950 year old fortress has played such a major part in in shaping Britain and its location dates back to being a strategic position in the Roman conquest of Londinium. 

Visit Westminster Abbey for history – every Monarch since 1066 has had their coronation there and 16 royal weddings, not to mention the most famous Britons that are laid to rest and in memorial. 

Galleries… Museums… TheV&A (my favourite), Royal Academy of Arts, The National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Tate Britain & Modern, British Museum, Museum of London,Wallace Collection, Natural History & Science Museum, Saatchi Gallery… Oh, I could go on… 

Local culture…. Try some Great British delicacies… Pie & Mash, Fish & Chips, Jellied Eels, Potted Shrimp, Bubble & Squeak, Cornish Pasty, Haggis… A pint of regional hand pulled Ale, make it Pimm’s O’Clock in Summer and take in a great park or two whilst you are at it!


Which spots in London do you personally enjoy the most? 

I live in and love Marylebone Village. I am biased… But I also love Borough and shopping in the market, being on the Thames in Richmond and stopping off at Kew Gardens, taking the Thames Clipper for a day out in Greenwich and sitting in the tranquility of Mount Street Gardens in Mayfair. 

I love to wine and dine around Charlotte Street and do a little bar hopping in Soho. I really like the artistry, creativity and down to earth approach of Shoreditch and Hoxton. I find that Mayfair is traditional London at its finest and I love the pace and buzz in Knightsbridge, home to the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park.


What major events would you recommend in London for 2015/16? 

Royal Ascot, The All England Lawn Tennis Club for Wimbledon, The Rugby World Cup, The Ceremony of the Keys, Trooping of the Colour – along with the many music festivals and summer concert series – British Summertime in Hyde Park.


What are the hidden gems in the Knightsbridge and Hyde Park neighbourhoods? 

There are some fantastic small boutique stores to compliment the flagship brands on Sloane Street and the well know department stores Harrods & Harvey Nichols. 

I love the Berluti shoe store on Harriet Street, some great shops along Hans Road – Angelo Galasso for one off bespoke menswear, Rigby & Peller – official provider of undergarments to Queen Elizabeth II. I like a cocktail in Barts (the worst kept secret in Knightsbridge) – the fabulous small homeware and design boutiques of Walton Street. 

There is some wonderfully surprising and historic walks to take through Hyde Park & Kensington Gardens. Our Concierge team would be delighted to inform our guests of this and much more when staying at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park.


Who would you say The Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park is most suited to as a traveller? 

The Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park caters for every kind of guest, from all countries and walks of life – from those in London on business, short and long stay leisure and special occasions. The Concierge team and I take great pride in making sure that every guest that passes through our doors are given generous service and the utmost respect.

For more information please visit The Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park

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