After months of low key preparation behind the scenes, The Mandrake Hotel is finally revealing itself to the city of London.
The hotel – owner Rami Fustok’s brainchild – is scheduled to open at the end of July in the Fitzrovia neighborhood near SoHo and Regents Park. Named after the mystical, hallucinogenic plant that dates back to biblical times, Fustok says the concept of The Mandrake has a different hotel management philosophy than other competing luxury hotel brands. Rather than pairing up with one of these competitors, The Mandrake plans to remain independently owned and managed.
“We don’t want our guests to feel like just another item, we don’t want superficial experiences,” Fustok said. “You’ll really feel the soul [here].”
Designed to replicate the gardens of Babylon, 20 percent of the hotel is open air space with a courtyard and hanging gardens. Located in a neighborhood adjacent to SoHo, The Mandrake is placed in a hub of luxury business buildings including Estée Lauder and L’Oréal as well as the new Facebook headquarters.
The hotel is decorated from room to room with an art collection meant to express and represent its spirit, Fustok said. The walls of The Mandrake will adorn original artworks from artists such as Chagall, Dali and Koons.
It is equipped with 30 guest rooms of six different styles. Guests in the high-end penthouse can take advantage of any weather condition and time of day with the retractable roof over the Jacuzzi, giving them the opportunity to enjoy a rain shower or simply gaze up at the stars in the night sky.
The Mandrake kitchen will feature Michelin star chef Frederic Peneau, the owner of acclaimed Hong Kong and London-based restaurant Serge et La Phoque. Chef Peneau will not only cook for the in-house restaurant, but for all room service as well. The hotel will also host three different bars and a pizza shack located on the terrace.
The Mandrake also houses a theater meant to fit 26 people. Here, the hotel intends to host Q&As with different visiting artists each month. It has also partnered up with MUBI, an “online movie theater where you watch, discover, and discuss films,” according to its Twitter page. Through this partnership, The Mandrake wants to host themed movie nights throughout each month where attendees can discuss and watch the film as well as participate in a Q&A with those who were behind the scenes afterwards.
“Hotels in London gear most of their events toward the outside coming in,” Fustok said. “We feel it’s important to include all guests in [all events].”
The hotel also plans to host early morning yoga, in-room spa sessions as well as charitable events at the end of each year in a further effort for guest interactivity.
CoStar Group, a commercial real estate agency, reported in August of 2014 that the location where the hotel is being built was originally meant to be a Rosewood Hotel when it was still going through the planning stages.