Inside London’s beautiful, bizarre new hotel, the Mandrake

The 34-room boutique property takes inspiration from the mandrake root, a powerful psychedelic that’s long been associated with witches and sorcery.

By Margot Bigg 06/11/2017

Among the newest additions to London’s hotel scene, the Mandrake is also one of the most bizarre. The brainchild of entrepreneur Rami Fustok, the 34-room property takes its inspiration from the mandrake root, a powerful psychedelic that’s long been associated with witches and sorcery. The result is a beautifully hemmed together — if mildly dystopian — boutique property with an ambience that’s equal parts Eyes Wide Shut, Alexander McQueen, and Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights.

Tucked away on a quiet West End side street, the Mandrake would be easy to miss were it not for the gigantic taxidermy ostrich with snakeskin-covered neck in a vitrine at its entrance. A dark, dungeon-like passageway leads into the hotel, where there’s even more of the fantastical, from eerie wooden-carved figurines that could’ve been plucked from a dark Victorian fairy tale to yet another hybrid beast, this time a stuffed antelope bedazzled in a shimmering coat of turquoise peacock feathers. Even the elevator has been artistically tended to, with glass walls that overlook a four-story-long mural rife with sacred geometric shapes linked together by thick masses of serpentine vines.

In a stark contrast to the fantastical public spaces, many of the guest rooms are low-key, featuring a mix of white and dark tones offset by colourful avant-garde prints and gorgeous gray marble bathrooms. Others take the surrealist steampunk ambience a step further, with dark-velvet draperies, jewel-tone interiors, and claw-foot bathtubs. And even Londoners who don’t plan to spend the night will find stopping by worth a visit — not just to gawk at the endless display of stunning art, but also to indulge at the Mandrake’s exclusive branch of Michelin-starred Hong Kong institution Serge et le Phoque, which serves French fare along with finer takes on British pub classics (think tempura fish and chips).

ADVERTISE WITH US

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Stay Connected

You may also like.

Walk On The Wild Side In Tasmania

Is this the best place for a reset in these COVID times?

By Natasha Dragun

27/12/2020

This Turks and Caicos Resort Community Is The Antidote To 2020

The 46-home development is called the Strand, and is slated to open in late 2021.

By Janice O'leary

18/12/2020

Private Island Ownership Is Intensifying

Covid-19 has caused a rethink about the realities of a private, protective bubble like no other.

By Lucy Alexander

30/11/2020

Australia’s First Premium Surf Lodge

The ‘luxification’ of Australia’s surfing industry continues to swell.

By Terry Christodoulou

26/11/2020

Robb Read: Saving The Reef

Inside the unprecedented and collaborative new approach to conserve the Great Barrier Reef.

By Richard Clune

16/11/2020

Buy the Magazine

Subscribe to Robb Report today!

Subscribe today

Stay Connected