Do you love a good dose of the royals? Whether you’re a diehard Kate fan, The Crown lover, or just here for the pomp, there are parts of London that must be ticked off the list when you’re in town. Why settle for sightseeing though? Staying overnight at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park let me turn up the princess vibes in a big way.

She’s the grand old dame of Knightsbridge. Perched around the corner from Harrods and a stone’s throw from Kensington Palace, the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park sprawls across the block in a statement of turrets and stonework, red brick, and white balconies. Bellmen greet you at the door, in Beef Eater red coats and top hats. This is a hotel that likes to make a grand entrance. Up the stairs, into the lobby, there’s marble and gold everywhere. The crowning glory is the mantlepiece above a majestic fireplace. Today, it’s decked out in more flower arrangements than I had at my own wedding. It’s Chelsea Garden Show season and the hotel is partaking in Belgravia in Bloom, where hotels, shops, and cafes throw their own mini flower show in honour of the main event. There’s nothing mini about these blooms though. An ombre of white, they steal the show, or better yet, set the scenes for a stay that’s decadent in just about every way.

I’ve come through the front door but the royals, they come through the back. Not a side door they can sneak through, but their own Royal Entrance. It’s red-carpeted and backs onto Hyde Park. It can only be used by royals, which they’ve done over the centuries, but it makes a perfect spot to watch the royal Household Cavalry trot past on their daily Changing the Guard. Each weekday at 10:28 am and 9.28 am on Sundays, you can see them up close from the comfort of the Mandarin Oriental’s private garden. Or your room, if you’re staying on the Hyde Park side of the hotel.

The Royals have a long-standing history with the hotel – from Kate and William’s pre-wedding celebrations, balls, dinners, and even Margaret Thatcher’s 80th birthday party – it’s been a go-to location for occasions outside of the Palaces. And why not, it’s got the décor and the location to stick to the theme.

Our room, a Hyde Park suite, does fill like it would be right at home in Kensington Palace. Custom-built furniture, including a bar cabinet I would like to transplant right to my home, a decadent double-sized bathtub, a curated library collection of art and history books, art deco chandeliers, hand-painted gilded wallpaper, an entire lounge room, and a king bedroom I never want to leave. There’s a dressing table with a Dyson hair dryer, GHD straightener, and hair salon lighting that’s begging me to do a proper ‘glam’ though I admit I make a beeline for the bath and Diptyque hair products instead.

In the lounge room, there’s a bottle of champagne and a ‘garden tray’ of tiny delights – think bite-sized edible flowerpots and a chocolate ‘hat’ – for afternoon tea when you’re fresh out of the and snug in a robe. Surely this is how the royals spend their afternoons?! I might choose to then jot a note at the leather writing desk afterwards, but a book and curling up on the lounge are calling.

Even royals have to eat, but like a palace, this hotel has kitchens and dining rooms aplenty. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal is the most famous spot to dine. We spot couples dressed up and ready to experience the art of eating at Blumenthals’ table. There’s also The Aubrey, a modern Japanese Izakaya that apparently does a killer cocktail, sashimi, wagyu, and late-night DJs. It’s a chic, exclusive underground eating space that feels maybe more like Harry, Beatrice, and Eugenie’s vibes back in the day.

On a glorious London summer day, I wouldn’t be surprised to spot Kate sipping tea in the Hyde Park Garden – the hotel’s private hedge-rimmed garden is a little oasis of wrought iron chairs, salmon pink cushions, delicate rose posies, and umbrellas. The hotel has just worked with the Dinner by Blumenthal team to introduce a light menu and an array of cocktails. Guests could also of course take a more traditional Afternoon Tea in The Rosebery, the lobby lounge where you perch among more florals and raise Fine China with dainty pinkies.

We don’t have time for a garden party though as I’m off to the spa. Descending down into the lower levels of the hotel, I’m spending an afternoon blissing out with a facial, but not before enjoying the mineral bath, a crystal steam room, a sauna, a relaxation lounge, zen color therapy, coloured ‘sensory’ lounges, and a swim. This is definitely how I could see royalty relaxing. The Spa by Mandarin Oriental has all the hallmarks of this luxury hotel group’s wellness principles. You can choose traditional treatments or try out something new like a cryotherapy facial. Its cutting edge meets comfort.

Blissed out even after just one night, all that’s left is breakfast. As close to a royal spread as we’ll come, there are dishes of smashed avocado, plates of Caprese salad, and cured meats. Platters of freshly baked pastries, bowls of every summer berry, cheese plates, juice bar, mini quiches, tiered stands of banana bread, wooden bowls of cereals. It’s a feast fit for a king. It certainly fuels us for a day wandering past Kensington Palace and down to Buckingham Palace.

As we pass by the gates of a palace, and wander back home to our own, I can safely say this princess feels perfectly spoilt by her stay. A tiara wouldn’t go amiss, but hey we can’t have it all!

Lisa was the guest of Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park.

About Lisa Perkovic: Lisa has spent the past decade travelling the world writing for Australia’s leading newspapers, magazines, and blogs about all things travel. Her own honeymoon was her pièce de résistance – an epic journey to the Maldives and South Africa. Now she loves nothing more than sharing destinations and tips to help other newlyweds work out how to have the honeymoon of their dreams.