Nowadays a senior executive, Group Director of Quality & Rooms and Area Vice President Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, General Manager, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park London, Amanda Hyndman landed her first senior hospitality position in 1992. Her incessant desire to evolve and perfect has led her to run the Waldorf Hilton London in 2003.
From 2007, Hyndman started her journey with the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, one of the world’s leading luxury hotel groups. She has successfully held General Manager positions with Mandarin Oriental The Excelsior (Hong Kong), Mandarin Oriental Washington (U.S.), Mandarin Oriental Bangkok (Thailand) and since June 2018, she has been heading up Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park London, with a supervision role over the Mandarin Oriental Hotels in Prague and Munich.
She made her mark with the extraordinary revival of the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, which underwent under her tenure a most complex transformation, beyond just a renovation. The hotel has not claimed a top stop in Bangkok’s highly competitive luxury hotel sector but also became one of the most high rated and praised luxury hotels in Asia. The success of her undertaking was driven by a unique blend of updating the property while keeping intact its DNA but also in line with the DNA of the Mandarin Oriental Hotels.
She took over the helm of the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park London which was in the midst of a multi-million dollar renovation – a most ambitious undertaking, again not just a renovation but identifying the ideal path for the iconic heritage hotel to step into the future. Mention must be made that the choice of the new interior design was regarded at the time as extremely daring, considering that the hotel no longer kept it classic, traditional English style.
In the middle of the renovation process, the hotel was closed due to a fire and the works were suspended. Amanda’s leadership was beyond inspiring and resilient. She had to reassure staff, guests and her colleagues at the group that she was very much in control. She had to comfort, encourage and reassure – and she did earn the immense respect of all. She remained stubbornly confident that the fire was just a passing episode.
The renovation was completed, however, the Covid-19 pandemic forced the hotel to be shut down once again. Unlike many other London luxury hotels, she wasted no time to remain firmly engaged with both staff and guests. She initiated charitable and sports activities which not only made her team feel ‘taken care’ but also that there is a ‘light at the end of the tunnel’.
I met Amanda earlier this month with a hotel running at full capacity, including a wedding hosted almost every day. Rooms and suites are flawless, with the utmost focus on comfort, from the highest quality custom made furnishings, superb lighting (moods) perfect soundproofing, silent AC without commenting on aesthetics which are very much a question of personal taste. Rooms and suites are exceptionally conceived for both leisure and corporate guests, singles or couples. No detail has been overlooked and the quality of finishes is stunning.
With a restaurant by celebrated award winning British Chef Heston Blumenthal (including a cozy outdoor sitting terrace garden), large rooms and suites (some with Hyde Park views, some with Knightsbridge views), a cosmopolitan Bar, London’s finest luxury Spa (including a state-of-the-art indoor swimming pool), and a fully equipped Gym, a unique Afternoon Tea (constantly ranked among the top in London) and a storied Ballroom which has close ties to the Royal Family, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park is THE finest luxury hotel in London.
- no compromises in service
- no ”reduced” dining, bar or Spa menus
- seamless turndown and housekeeping services
- ultimate Covid-19 safety and hygiene measure firmly and consistently implemented, yet guests would not feel them
- fully stocked (daily sanitised honour / mini-bars
”All we need to do is to be kind, appreciative and humble” Amanda told me.”I believe we have succeeded in transforming Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London to one of the finest hotels in the world”. Post pandemic, mentioned must be made that while most luxury hotels are facing major challenges such as lack of staffing, major delays in deliveries and a steep fluctuation in demand, Amanda seems to have confidently found the answer to all these challenges.
During my stay, 8 luxury hotels in London got together to host American travel agencies to convey the message that London is open and is once again ready to welcome American guests. While the other hotels hosted dinners / luncheons or parties, Amanda ensured that the Royal Guards would not only parade in front of the hotel, as they do on a daily basis, but they also engage more with guests. Guests were undoubtedly swept off their feet.
Under her tenure, Mandarin Oriental Munich underwent a stunning multi-million dollar renovation which was executed during the pandemic – the hotel today ranks among the top three luxury hotels in Germany and is probably one of the most beautiful such renovations, in keeping with the Mandarin Oriental Hotels DNA.
As she prepares to announce a new dining concept at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park London, she is most confident about the future. ”We are running exceptionally high occupancy and demand is ramping up. It could be that this year, we shall have more demand from leisure, but we remain a top choice and a unique location for events such as weddings”.
As for concerns related to Human Resources and potential shortages and other challenges, Amanda says ”This is a Mandarin Oriental ! We shall always be a top choice for staff in all departments” Her care for the safety is not only focused on guests but also on her team, every single team member being regularly Covid-19 tested.
But what makes Amanda special is the fact that she is such a beloved leader, a great ambassador but also a most genuine and involved team leader, shaping the careers of so many who have had the privilege to work with her.
Without sharing details on her plans which she seems to be very excited about, she tells me she has also been actively involved in the Mandarin Oriental Mayfair Hotel and Residences, the second outpost of the group in London which is slated to open June 2022.
Oliver Petcu in London
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